On Syria, Senator Heitkamp Gives A Lawyer’s Answer

Heidi Heitkamp

President Barack Obama has announced that he’ll seek authorization from Congress for war in Syria (while also claiming he has the authority to act alone). But before the President made that announcement, North Dakota and Minnesota’s federal delegations were asked for their views on the situation, and most of them gave clear answers.

Senator John Hoeven told Forum Communications that the President must ask Congress for permission to get involved in Syria, and that he wouldn’t give his support for a war until the President made a clear case for it and secured backing from organizations like NATO.

Rep. Kevin Cramer also said that Obama must ask Congress, and said he’s waiting to hear the President articulate his case for war.

Rep. Colin Peterson said that he neither supports war in Syria, nor supports President Obama taking the country to war there without Congress.

Minnesota Senator Al Franken says he supports Obama on Syria and doesn’t think the President needs Congressional approval.  Senator Amy Klobuchar said the President must ask Congress, but didn’t indicate whether or not she’d support a war.

Agree or disagree with them, these are all clear and articulate positions as far as they go. And among them, Senator Heidi Heitkamp’s nuanced, lawyerly stance sticks out like a sore thumb:

In a statement, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp stopped short of calling for congressional approval for any action, but urged Obama to “openly consult with Congress and the American people to explain the need for action.”

“The Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons is reprehensible. But we need to be very careful about entering a conflict abroad — even in a limited scope,” the North Dakota Democrat said.

Does Senator Heitkamp support action in Syria? We don’t know. Does she think Obama needs to get approval from Congress for a war? We don’t know. Because instead of being a leader, Senator Heitkamp has decided to ride the fence.

Not exactly what voters who heard Heitkamp campaign on a platform of being an independent, even defiant Democrat would expect.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • Camburn
  • Camburn

    EXCLUSIVE: Syrians In Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack

    Rebels and local residents in Ghouta accuse Saudi
    Prince Bandar bin Sultan of providing chemical weapons to an al-Qaida
    linked rebel group.

    By Dale Gavlak and Yahya Ababneh

    • two_amber_lamps

      Maybe if The “Great” Leader would let the UN finish it’s investigation we’d know the origin of the weapons used in the attack.

      But why? Bammy wants to go it alone… the same issue he sniveled about the with respect to the Bu$hitler when he was a mere senator….

      Ready, Fire, Aim…..

      • kevindf

        Obama is worried Saddam’s WMD will be found in Syria.

  • http://randysroundtable.blogspot.com/ Randy G

    By the end of Heidi’s term she will have enough splinters in her a$$ from riding the fence to well, build her own fence!

    • sbark

      ……or supply her batting cage with lumber

  • Roy_Bean

    I can’t wait to see if she votes for it before she votes against it or if she just votes “present”.

  • Ratbite

    Surprise!! Surprise!! Surprise!!! We know she’s sold her soul & votes to harry Reed & Barrack Hussein Obama!!!!

  • sbark

    She is just not sure who she wants to win……….Al Queda forces, or Assads forces that at minimum assisted the Shia insurgents against the USA during the Iraq war.
    Like former Secty of State Kissinger said……”its too bad they cant all loose”……

  • barackHUisINSANEobama

    She basically pulled an Obama! She voted “present”!

    • yy4u2

      It’s her religion because he’s their messiah.

  • Matthew Hawkins

    How is her position significantly different from Cramer’s?
    When she gave the answer she hadn’t had the intelligence briefing yet, as had none of the others.
    Maybe she is just being careful.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      If she were a Republican you’d feel differently, you enormous hypocrite.

      • MrSkeptic

        Poor Republicans. They are helpless victims of hypocrisy. (rolls eyes). Her response is a non-story and the fact you made it into a story shows your own political bias. Hypocrite.

        • two_amber_lamps

          Your dismissal of Lie-di’s persistent waffling makes your political bias abundantly obvious. Just admit it, you’re in the liberal fish tank Comrade.

      • Matthew Hawkins

        You should say the same thing about yourself. You only are attacking her on this meaningless point because she is a democrat. Congress is going to debate and vote, than you will have your answer. But to expect her to have a position before the debate and vote is asinine.

      • Matthew Hawkins

        But since you are so willing to criticize everybody else’s position on Syria, what is yours?

  • two_amber_lamps

    Why do we even bother with asking Frau Hidey what her opinion is on the matter? We have merely to go directly to the source and ask Dingy Harry directly!

    • kevindf

      Are you implying she’s Harry’s puppet?

      • two_amber_lamps

        Wherever did you get such an idea?

  • Dakotacyr

    Let’s see:

    Hoeven: Obama must ask congress, Obama must make case to him

    Cramer:Obama must ask congress, Obama must make case to him

    Heitkamp: Obama must consult with Congress, Obama must make case to him and the American people.

    And actually she went farther than Hoeven or Cramer, that we have to be careful about entering a conflict abroad. Pretty clear to me. But then again, I’m not a Heitkamp hater.

  • Harold Reimann

    Sorry you have to report on the bitches from the Left. I don’t read what they have to say. Was hoping BO would go from Florence of Arabia to Lawrence but now I wonder

  • comstocck

    Hoeven, Heidi, Cramer-
    Stay out of Syria. We are tired of war. Where are our allies? No where to be seen. Do we even have any allies? Possibly not. President Obama just wants to drag you into this for political reasons. We are tired of war. We are tired of the killings. It is Syria’s civil war.