The debate over whether or not to attack Syria has created strange alliances. Mainstream Democrats and Republicans tend to favor action in Syria, while the pacifist left-wing of the Democrats and the libertarian right-wing of the Republicans tend to oppose action. For our purposes here, we’re counting John McCain and Lindsay Graham, who support action in Syria, but may vote against the resolution in Congress because it doesn’t go far enough as supporting action.
In favor of American military action in Syria:
John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi: the Republican and Democrat House leaders who are almost invariably on opposite side of any mildly contentious issue. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor also supports action in Syria, while Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, the third ranking Republican in the House is skeptical.
Barbara Boxer and Lindsay Graham: the Democrat from California and the Republican from South Carolina don’t agree on much, but they do both support military action in Syria. Boxer would likely oppose a longer engagement, and might oppose any strike if a Republican were president, but for now she stands alongside Graham and other hawkish Republicans.
Bill O’Reilly and Tom Perriello: Bill O’Reilly you know. He’s the Fox News bloviator in chief, and he recently tore into conservatives who oppose a Syria strike. Perriello heads the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, which is a leading voice on the left on issues such as immigration reform, gay rights and universal preschool. Syria, however, has united them in favor.
Opposed to a strike on Syria:
The combinations on the other side of the Syria debate are just as strange. Behold:
Rand Paul and Raul Grivalja: That Paul and Grijalva are on the same side of an issue is a surprise, but with Syria, it makes sense. Paul is the leading voice of libertarianism in the Senate, Grijalva is an outspoken liberal. They both have principles and a brand to maintain, which leads both of them toward anti-interventionist policies. They just arrive there from opposite mentalities.
Matt Drudge and Chris Hayes: Drudge, creator of the Drudge Report, went off at fellow Republicans on Twitter with Syria support by GOP leaders among his many frustrations. Hayes is a young liberal pundit on MSNBC. Their tones are much different, but each wants Congress to put the brakes on a military strike in Syria.
Liz Cheney and Alan Grayson: Grayson once joked that Dick Cheney, former Vice President and Liz’s father, “left a torture rack in the White House.” Now Grayson, a far-left Representative from Florida, and Cheney, a candidate for Senate in Wyoming, are on the same side of the biggest issue right now. Grayson has said that he’s not even sure the Assad regime launched the big chemical attack in Syria, and Cheney, who is campaigning as an anti-Obama warrior, has said that she wouldn’t vote for the resolution to attack Syria.