In "A Brilliant Mess," Timothy Egan does his usual brilliant job, finding a certain American charm in the chaos of unpleasant, international events:
In the mess of democracy, the stew of free speech, the best ideas are supposed to rise to the top. That’s the theory, taught to schoolchildren since Thomas Jefferson’s day. For now, the best idea emerged--a path to getting poison gas out of the hands of a mass killer, without United States military action. And if Obama blundered into it, if he looks uncertain, weak or waffling, his heart and mind genuinely troubled, so be it. That's what happens when the world’s oldest constitutional democracy lives up to its title.
Which is to say, although chaos theory entails a predetermined outcome that cannot be predetermined, Obama's co-opting of our "inconsistent, incoherent" Congress was a huge tip-off. Put something, anything in the hands of a body attached to the addled minds of, say, John McCain and Rand Paul and Michele Bachmann and Louie Gohmert, and God only knows what will ensue--although we can know it won't make any sense.
And sure enough, in general what ensued was a traditionally hawkish party going apeshit lovey-dovey.
Only in America.
Therein, I suppose (if we insist), is our exceptionalism. In God's eyes, American democracy swims with children and drunks, all of whom are to be pulled providentially from the watery muck of reckless incoherence.
In the ancestral tree of our stumbling to a solution of the Syrian crisis, Congress was our indispensable forefather (in a parliamentary manner, I should add, of the mother country), providing just enough time to allow for the peaceful intervention of really old-country non-relations.
What he said: That is what so often "happens when the world’s oldest constitutional democracy lives up to its title."