Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Blow This, Congress

By Carl
The LA Times reports that "House Speaker John Boehner faces the difficult task of balancing growing frustration over the war within his caucus with a less vocal but hawkish flank that does not want to halt funds." This isn't surprising. Some Republicans favored military action before Obama. At least some of the division in Congress, however, is attributable to legislators who would've voted against the mission, but deem it important to remove Muammar Qaddafi now that we've targeted him and killed his son.

Blow-back, anyone?

The ersatz "Pottery Barn Doctrine" is in play: you break it, you own it. Republicans hammered Obama for waffling on getting involved in the conflict. Obama has carefully tread a line between active engagement of American troops and offering active support to the NATO mission in Libya.
Yet, Freidersdorf notes some piece of lunacy in the proceedings:
For those House members too, the ideal resolution would be something different than what is actually before them. Here is the missing option: a grant of authority to continue the mission in Libya, accompanied by a formal censure of Obama for waging it illegally. That's the best a pro-war legislator can do.   
Yea. He's not waging it illegally. Sorry. Even if you can make some cogent claim that his deadline has passed, he still has thirty days to withdraw the troops.
Which he's already begun.
Not just that, but you'd be hard pressed to call the actions in Libya a "war." We're under a strict treaty with NATO to provide support for NATO operations.
More important, there's the small issue of a "bill of attainder." You can't just censure a President, under Article I, Section 9. You need to impeach him and hold a trial.
The frustration over the war is political, not jurisdictional. Imagine if Obama manages to somehow eliminate Moamar Qaddafi AND Osama bin Laden in his first term of office. Not only would this guarantee his re-election (the pain of Lockerbie lives with us to this day) but his coattails would suddenly grow longer and stronger.
A smart Republican would jump onto the bandwagon and grab a piece of that action before it happens, because Obama seems determined to see this operation through.
I don't support this action anymore than I supported the war in Iraq, but we're there and trying to score political points from hypocrisy is worse than the actual act itself. You want to make bona fides against this war? Then put up a resolution that says something meaningful about it. Don't hide behind technicalities. Say you oppose the war, full stop. Man up, already!

(crossposted to Simply Left Behind)

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