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September 18, 2013 4:40 PM While We’re At It, Let’s Go Ahead and Authorize the Next War!

By Ed Kilgore

Sometimes Sen. Lindsey Graham does weird stuff before you can facetiously suggest he might do it. He’s thinking well beyond the use of force against Syria, per this report from The Hill’s Julian Pecquet:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Tuesday he’s working on legislation that would give the president the green light to attack Iran if negotiations over the country’s alleged nuclear weapons program stall.
Graham, one of the GOP’s most prominent hawks, told reporters on Tuesday that he’s worried the administration’s failure to get congressional approval for a strike against Syria has emboldened Iran. He said he’ll be working with Democrats and Republicans on legislation that would encourage diplomacy, threaten more sanctions and authorize military action as a last resort.

Now it’s true some of the Republicans opposing a use-of-force resolution aimed at Syria might have less trouble rattling sabers at Iran, where there’s no al Qaeda-ish rebels or Christian-coddling regime to worry about. In addition, a lot of GOPers probably went on record favoring a preemptive war on Tehran during the 2012 election cycle, where the entire Republican presidential field (with the obvious exception of Ron Paul) was regularly blasting Barack Obama for failing to get physical with the mullahs.

Still, prudence would suggest that Congress deal with one potential Greater Middle East war at a time. Brother Benen appropriately snarks:

I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that this resolution won’t have a whole lot of co-sponsors.

Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see how Graham’s primary opponents down in the Palmetto State—two of whom have ties to Paul World—deal with Graham’s plan to get ahead of the war-making curve.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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