Chuck Todd: Democrats Are More 'Rational and Principled' Than Republicans in Opposing Syria Attack

NBC chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd on Sunday said there are more Democrats coming to a "rational and principled" decision in opposing an attack on Syria compared to Republicans who in his view are just as likely to be basing their opinion strictly on politics.

Such was said on NBC's Meet the Press (video follows with transcript and commentary):

CHUCK TODD, NBC CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: This is the problem. It's perfectly ra, to me, and I'm as cynical as anybody when it comes to political motivation. And I think about half of the Republican opposition here is a political opposition. But I think a good 50 percent of it is not. I think about 75 percent of the opposition of the Democratic party is rational and principled and maybe about 25 percent of it is politics.

I don't think it's as political as you think on this. I think there is, nobody, what does this look like on day four? The president, Denis McDonough has, what does it look like on day four when we get to Syria? And that's what the president hasn't answered.

The problem here is nobody discussed what the politics are for both Parties. If they had, Todd's point likely would have been made to appear rather foolish.

The assumption appears to be that the only political component for Republicans leading them to oppose an attack is to harm President Obama.

However, given the public's antipathy towards this war, members of the GOP might just be siding with their constituents.

Opposing calls to Congressional offices are apparently dwarfing those in favor of an attack. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said it's 99 percent in his office.

As such, in Todd's admitted cynicism, he appears to have misconstrued what the politics of this is. It is quite conceivable that equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans in Congress will oppose this attack simply because the public does.

But also missing in this discussion was Democrats supporting war strictly for the political reason of backing their President.

I quite imagine close to 100 percent of Democrats in favor of this incursion are doing so to save Obama.

Recall Congressional Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) who said last week that if she could vote, that's the only reason she'd support the attack. 

I asked Todd via Twitter what percentage of Democrats he believes are supporting war strictly for political reasons.

He has yet to respond.

(HT @SetonMotley)

Foreign Policy Syria NBC Meet the Press Video Chuck Todd Barack Obama Bashar al-Assad
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