Highlighting the divide between progressives on the question of a U.S. military strike against Syria, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) squared both MSNBC host Chris Hayes and former Democratic National Committee spokesperson Karen Finney on Thursday, assuring them that failing to get congressional approval for an attack would not make President Barack Obama a lame duck.
“Most people understand, this is simply not our problem,” Grayson said of the current hostilities in Syria. “This is not our problem to solve, and we’re not gonna be able to solve it.”
“But that sounds — I have to say, that sounds a little morally obtuse to me,” Hayes countered, earning a curt “Sorry” from Grayson.
“That’s how the American people feel,” Grayson explained. “Overwhelmingly so. The calls are running 100 to 1 against intervention.”
“The American people can be wrong about things,” Hayes retorted.
“They’re not wrong about this,” Grayson countered, arguing that 50,000 people had signed his online petition against an attack.
“It’s not that they’re tired of war. It’s that they’re disgusted with war,” Grayson said of opponents to a strike. “And anything that looks like a war. And that’s exactly what this is.”
Finney, now an MSNBC host herself, took issue with Grayson’s belief that despite the seeming lack of support among lawmakers toward attacking Syria, that a failed vote on this issue would not carry over into the remainder of Obama’s term.
“Even [Republicans] who support him on the strike have to use the first two-thirds of the time that they use to support the strike to criticize the president,” Finney contended. “There’s no way they won’t try to use it against him.”
Watch the debate, aired Thursday on MSNBC, below.