Harry Reid either missed the point of his opponents today or he's once again talking past them in an attempt to beat them on talking points alone:
“If we allow [Bashar al-]Assad’s use of chemical weapons to go unchecked and unanswered, hostile forces around the work will also assume these terrible attacks of demons like Assad are permissible.”
First, I don't think most people want to let Assad's attack go "unchecked and unanswered," they simply don't believe, for a bunch of plausible reasons, that an essentially unilateral US military strike is the best way to respond. From the start though, that's the only choice that has been offered. It would be helpful to the cause of political civility if Reid would have enough respect for his opponents to acknowledge that that's the real problem for most who disagree with him on this issue.
Second, I don't believe it necessarily follows that if we fail to attack Syria now, other nations will feel free to use their own stockpiles of chemical weapons at will. So suddenly Serbia or North Korea will feel they can deploy chemical weapons without consequence? I think that's nonsense.
The problem for Reid is that Obama has botched this from the start. His first task should have been to build a case, along with our allies, that clearly laid out the basis for the diplomatic equivalent of an indictment. At that point, threats of force could back up the diplomatic options. We got the opposite instead. Now our fearless leader is caught in the strange position of having threats of diplomacy back up his initial desire to use force. And it's Russian sponsored diplomacy at that.
Reid can put all the lipstick on this pig that he wants and splutter on and on about morals, but his failure to address the real arguments of his opponents is what will doom his efforts in the end.