As a matter of foreign policy it’s impossible to understand the president’s demented dithering on Syria but it’s easy to comprehend his partisan political strategy.
Since Republicans are sincerely split on the right approach to the Middle East, sending decisions to Congress will highlight those divisions – and re-enforce Obama’s master narrative that the GOP is too divided to lead the nation.
He’ll tell voters in 2014 that the only way to repair dysfunctional, paralyzed government is to return united Democrats to control of the House. This represents Obama’s only hope to save his badly broken presidency, and by asking Congress to shape Syrian policy, he’ll also be able to blame them for unfolding disasters in the region. The president has so little confidence in his own Mideast policies that he’s eager to share “credit” with the despised opposition.