America is on the cusp of engaging in yet another military action in the Middle East and many senior elected officials are silent on the issue. On Monday, Tennessee senior Senator Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) drew strong criticism from his primary opponent, state Rep. Joe Carr, for not publicly stating his position on military action in Syria.
“All we hear from Sen. Alexander on this issue is crickets,” Carr said. “I think the state of Tennessee is demanding, and will get, someone who is going to show leadership.”
“The only thing worse than voting ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is voting ‘maybe’,” Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, recently told The Hill. “If you say you’re a leader and your incumbency matters, you have to demonstrate it in national issues like this one.”
Alexander’s primary opponent, Carr has been very vocal in his opposition to military action in Syria. Sen. Alexander has issued no public statement on the matter.
The first ad of Alexander’s reelection campaign trumpeted his success in preserving the rights of Tennesseans to fish at the bottom of dams.
UPDATE: Sen. Alexander’s staff has informed Breitbart News that they did issue a statement on the situation in Syria. The full text is printed below. Good luck figuring out what it means.
MARYVILLE, Aug. 31 – Immediately following the president’s remarks on Syria today, U.S. Senator Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) (R-Tenn.) participated in a briefing with Secretary of State John Kerry, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. He released the following statement:
“Under our Constitution the president should seek authorization from Congress before his proposed military action. I’m concerned about the consequences of a military strike in Syria, and what happens with step two, three and four after that. There may be a variety of ways, some military and some not, to show our disgust with the Syrian government’s apparent use of chemical weapons against its own people. Since the president’s proposed action appears not to be for the purpose of overthrowing the Assad government, during the congressional debate I will assess whether a military strike would do more harm than good by setting off a chain of consequences that could involve American fighting men and women in another long-term Middle Eastern conflict.”