House Speaker John Boehner split with his fellow Republican John McCain in saying military action in Syria was "premature," a position similar to the one he took on Libya last year but that this time puts him on the same side of the debate as President Barack Obama.
The players are the same this time around, as Senators Lindsay Graham and Joe Lieberman joined McCain in calling for U.S. air strikes in Syria, just as they did in Libya last year. But this time instead of using his reservations about military action to criticize Obama, as he did with Libya, Boehner's stance puts him opposite his Republican colleagues and in the same camp as the president, who the Washington Post reports rejected the idea of a military strike in Syria. Last March, as U.S. planes started carrying out strikes in Libya, Boehner issued a statement saying the president should consult with congress before getting the U.S. military involved in that conflict. He kept up his attack on Obama over the Libya action, pressing him to go to Congress for approval or risk violating the War Powers Act. Boehner's staying consistent in his message with his Syria reservations, but it's got him siding with the very target of his previous criticism, which must be a little awkward.