he'll be seeking congressional approval before any military action in Syria, as he really is supposed to do, if you think about it. I think this is the right thing to do if something is to be done, and it works not just because "the Constitution says so, that's why". For one thing, there's obviously no easy answer about what to do (besides "do nothing", but that isn't so easy when looking at the issue as a humanitarian one) and it's clear that Obama will be slagged however he chooses to act. But if he goes to Congress to let them decide, it does a few things:
It makes people commit. It's easy to be a talk show expert and criticize what the president is doing if one has no part in it. If one has to vote, though? That's different. The politicians voting have to own their decision.
It takes the "He's doing it without Congress/Constitution" whinge away from the "impeachment bunch."
This is cynical, but since Republicans appear to be divided between the war hawks and the Paulites, it does give them an opportunity to fight it out.
There's a built-in delay of action, because this Congress doesn't simply do anything right away, and that allows for time for more information to be uncovered.
And yet, it seems like he's at least publicly leaving open the possibility that he might just act without Congress in some limited fashion if he thought he had to, which kind of goes back to my previous guess that at least some part of this is to get Assad nervous in the "not gassing his people again" kind of way. Not a show, per se. Diplomacy by other means, maybe.
It does seem pretty calculating. But that's what I like about Obama, anyway, so that doesn't surprise me.