OK, Congress is mad at the President. I get it. They’re mad because he didn’t ask them for their permission to join two other permanent members of the UN Security Council in effecting a no-fly zone over Libya in order to dissuade a brutal dictator from committing what would, effectively, have been genocide. Or they’re angry because he didn’t consult them beforehand (although he really did, in a meeting at the White House immediately prior to leaving for his trade junket to South America, but I guess nobody was listening).
And that doesnt’ really surprise me either, because not many people bother listening to this President.
He can be forgiven for not consulting with them, however. Maybe he thought they were so busy trying to undo everything he’s taken the time and effort to effect in the past two years, like healthcare reform, or maybe he thought they were so conflicted in arguing about defunding Planned Parenthood or NPR, that stopping long enough to give cursory sanction to the United States participating in a UN-backed multilateral effort to enforce a no-fly zone over a country embroiled in a people’s struggle against a brutal dictator, intent on retaining power via genocide, would tax their collective integrity too much.
For the record, yes, the Constitution specifically gives Congress the power to declare war, but it also gives the President, as Commander-in-Chief, to make war; and the last declared war we fought, involving Congress’s declaration, was World War II. As hard as it is for some of us to fathom, myself included, this is a humanitarian effort, under the auspices of the United Nations, enacted in order to prevent what would, most indubitably, have resulted in genocide.
I’m as uncomfortable about this as anyone else, but I’m comforted by the fact that we’re not leading on this, as hard as some people in this country and elsewhere are trying to make us. I think it’s significant that two other countries, France and the United Kingdom, were chomping at the bit to have a go at this exercise, rather than us. That the President was aware of the situation, we have no doubt; and many of the ones, politicos and plebs, were wringing hands and wondering why the President wasn’t doing more weeks ago. The plebs were the ones wondering why he didn’t react similarly to Egypt’s plight or why he didn’t highass it up to Wisconsin to lead the people’s protest against an elected governor.
It seems as though everyone, from politicians to pudits to proletariat, want this President to do everything for them, but not without their permission; that way, if anything bad comes from whatever it is the President does, the blame can only lie with him. In starker terms, it’s an abnegation of responsibility.
I find the latest hissyfit, on Congress’s part, mystifying, because I can remember Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, effectively doing the same or similar things, and only telling Congress after the fact. Newt Gingrich groused, but no one waved a pocket copy of the Constitution or called for either Reagan’s or Clinton’s impeachment. Clinton was impeached for getting a blowjob in the Oval Office, but not for involving the United States in participating in a no-fly zone over Kosovo or for bombing Iraq. Nobody in the Democratic majoritied Congress castigated Reagan for invading Grenada.
Dennis Kucinich, jumping between MSNBC and Fox, this week, pushing and then trying to walk back his call for Obama’s impeachment, verged on being an embarassment for the Democratic party in that it handed the GOP its greatest campaign advertisement material aimed at independents for the 2012 election cycle. Expect to see soundbites and film clips of Dennis’s impeachment pronouncement in party political commercials approved by Tim Pawlenty or Sarah Palin or even Donald Trump, depending on the whim of Republican voters.
At one point, Kucinich risked sounding like a Tea Partier, invoking the Constitution as the highest law of the land, as opposed to the War Powers Act of 1973, within which the President acted and by which he made his decision. Quite simply, other laws and measures are enacted which can supersede the Constitution, until such a time as those laws are deemed unconstitutional by a court of law. That’s how separation of powers worked, in case Dennis just might like to check.
And let’s just clarify another couple of things. Yes, this is about oil. For Britain. And yes, this is political posturing. By France.
If you recall, back in 2007, Tony Blair’s swansong was to visit Libya, kiss Gaddafi and return to Britain, waxing lyrical about the fact that Gaddafi had forsworn state-sponsored terrorism and wanted to begin legitimate engagement with the West as a partner – and, oh, by the way, the Brits got this super deal for BP to begin drilling offshore in Libyan waters, all for the price of release of the dying Lockerbie bomber, who’s still alive, unless the recent kerfuffle has wrought otherwise. So, erring on the side of caution, David Cameron wades in, under the guise of humanitarian action, to ensure Britain’s, or BP’s, oil interests are protected.
Nicolas Sarkozy’s up for re-election in May of this year. His approval ratings are currently hovering around the 35 per cent mark. He is, for all intents and purposes, the French Bush. A successful foray to succour the Libyan rebels would mightily increase his street cred on the world stage and possibly win him a second term as President of France.
But there’s also a third factor for these two European statesmen, more subtle than either of the two obvious reasons for being there. Should Gaddafi prevail, Libya will bleed refugees, who will eventually end up in Cameron’s Britain by way of Sarko’s France. Europe’s not a great place to be, at the moment, if you’re Middle Eastern or African and Muslim. America isn’t the only place with dodgy people playing up immigration issues.
So let’s disabuse ourselves of the cynical notion that our President is pursuing this for oil or to prove himself another version of Bush II, or even that he dithered before making his mind up to enter into this enterprise and, in doing so, snubbed Congress. Or that he even needs to be impeached. In deciding to be a part of the multilateral no-fly zone mission, he executed an action, which is what the Executive Branch of our government does.
At the moment, I’m giving him the benefit of a doubt, that we’ll hand over command of this mission to someone else very soon, as specified by the President, himself. He’s usually pretty reliable in doing what he says he’ll do, and if ever he isn’t, you can usually find that his failure is down to Congress and not him.
And as for Congress, they’re angry. Good. Now maybe they can channel that anger into something productive, like legislation creating new jobs. Until then, as we say in Virginia, if they’re mad, they can kiss their collective ass and get glad.
For the record — the applicable law is not the War Powers Acx but the United Nations Participation Act, passed 12/20/45 ( http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/decad031.asp ).
The relevant portion is Section 6: when the UN Security Council requests our participation in a military action, the president is authorized BY CONGRESS to apply military force. The one specified limitation is that he/she may not order greater force than requested.
😳 CORRECTION: Khirad brought up the UK and French immigrant issue with Libya first. So I want to give you proper credit sir. Jeez can’t I stick this correction on like pp 34 like the newspapers.
2:10 – 3:00
[ REP. KUCINICH : . . . The Barack Obama of 2011 doesn’t understand the Constitution anymore. ]
SCHULTZ : Do you think this is an impeachable offense?
REP. KUCINICH : Well, you know, I raised the question in a phone call with my Democratic colleagues, but I raised it to talk about the limitations of the reach of executive power, I didn’t raise it to start a process. It’s clearly outside the Constitution. Now, this isn’t even a debatable question at this point. It is outside the Constitution. The President cannot take this country into war unless there’s an actual or immanent threat absent the consent of Congress.
SCULTZ : But other Presidents have done it in the past and there have been no ramifications. Your thoughts on that?
REP. KUCINICH : Well, every situation’s different.
5:28 – 5:44
SCHULTZ : So moving forwards, President Obama has done this. What are the, what is the politicall downfall with his base on this, what’s your take on that?
REP. KUCINICH : [ ostentatious nineteenth-century melodrama sigh ] I have to tell you, I’m so focused on the Constitutional aspect, I haven’t really thought much about the political aspects of this.
Really, if people are going to represent constituents in the House of Representatives, they really should bone up on ALL the law. Kucinich sounded like a Teabagger bigging up the Constitution.
FACT: The War Powers Act of 1975 is the domestic legislation by which the President acted, which enables him to MAKE (not DECLARE, there’s a difference) war on a country for up to 60 days, as long as he notifies the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate within 48 hours after the initial action occurs. That law is separate from and equal to the Constitution. Besides, the Constitution allows the President as C-in-C powers to MAKE war. Congress DECLARES war, and it hasn’t done so since 1941. Also, this was an endeavor which came together to the President’s reluctant approval when Congress was on Spring break. How could they possibly get back in time to debate this – with the party of NO.
FACT: Any UN resolution regarding military endeavours for humanitarian purposes involving charter members of the Security Council takes precedence over any domestic legislation stating otherwise.
Bottom line: The President did nothing wrong, and Kucinich created a crappy attention-getting device that will give the GOP a WONDERFUL soundbite to use against him in the 2012 election.
The fact that he used that as a ploy to fundraise is pretty low as well, but then Dennis did sue the taxpayer for a broken tooth and settled for a payment of $150k; and then Dennis did get a 35% discount when he bought a foreclosed property in Washington for himself and his child bride, after railing about the injustice of foreclosure.
I don’t remember my reasoning with regard to him, but I am very glad I voted for a different alternative candidate ( Mike Gravel, before he got Libertariany post-primary ) in the 2008 primary. I am rapidly coming to find him absolutely loathsome. It is a disgrace to the Left that this showboatting useful idiot for the far Right, whose main distinction is conferring legitimacy on Ron Paul ( his stand on G. W. Bush now having been utterly cheapened ), is viewed as some sort of hero – I would infinitely sooner bestow that sort of recognition on Representative Barbara Lee, for example, who does not get nearly as much recognition ; or on Senator Durbin, who has announced he will hold a hearing, “ Protecting the Civil Rights of American Muslims ”, while this jackass has been getting all the attention.
And his appearance on Riz Khan was far worse than this. I could barely watch it, it was that disgusting.
If I were on a used car lot and I saw him approaching, I would turn and run.
Indeed. Cheers to Durbin.
With Sarko this is done for something else (conviction/oil/legacy), because his poll numbers can not recover from the nadir they’re in.
Or at least Bernard-Henry Lévy has said as much:
De Gaulle, He Ain’t
So, if this is a strategy to get reelected, I don’t think it’s a very good one. What he’s doing for Libya is a fine thing, but it won’t make the French forget about everything else.
I still love ya Denny!
I still love him, too, but dumb is dumb. I wish our allies were as coherent as our adversaries. The worst thing about being an advocate for justice is not our mortal enemies but our moral friends.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuJStuIU_DY Remember this guy?
Adonai. He’s the proverbial box of rocks. But at least he got his TEETH back.
I don’t have the chapter and verse of the War Powers Act(s) or Resolution, so I won’t argue the point.
I am ambivalent about our involvement in Libya, but recognize that we have obligations to several international organizations of which we are a part, NATO and the UN being two, so I imagine we have not only authority but an obligation to contribute to those entities’ efforts, whenever and wherever.
Finally, in defense of the President (for now), I would simply cite precedent. It seems to me we have fired bullets, bombs and bodies many times over the last 50 years without any formal declaration of war. Why is it now that Congress has its collective panties in a wad? Hmmmm? I suspect that there is a sort of “enough is enough” mood in DC about military conflicts. Too bad they didn’t have that attitude a few years ago.
Hi Pocket – I wish it were about “enough is enough” as opposed to “not with THIS President in the White House.”
Hey PW. Very well stated. I agree.
Kucinich did not call for impeachment. He said it was an “impeachable offense”. There’s a difference.
I can say that my neighbor’s yard is a health hazard, but that is not the same as calling the health department about it, nor is it the same as holding a trial for said neighbor.
It is not the War Powers Act. It is the War Powers Resolution of 1973. A Resolution is not a law, it is more of a Press Release.
I’ve brought up both of these before. Thank you for ignoring me.
Well it’s telling that Kucinich is now soliciting money after he said it’s an impeachable offense.
Kucinich proves he is bought and paid for, just like the teabaggers on the right wing.
And if Kucinich is actually serious, let’s see him rack up the impeachment charges. Perhaps hook up with Darrel Issa, the arsonist/car thief from California who has called for investigations against POTUS because POTUS is supposedly corrupt.
In the end, politicians on BOTH sides are spinning this for their own personal gain. POTUS seems to be the only adult capable of making a rational levelheaded decision.
It’s situations such as this one in Libya that make me proud to be a moderate Independent: no ideological dogma to cling to.
I just wish that the politicians suddenly taking a hardline stance against President Obama’s Libya decision were this tough against President Bush. Where was Kucinich and the rest of the anti war left Congresscritters during the run up to Iraq? They all seemed to make noise AFTER we were bogged down, and not before the fact.
POTUS was damned if he did and damned if he didn’t. If he didn’t get involved, they would say he allowed Gadaffi to kill his own people.
I’ve just had it with the spin on both sides and taking this conflict way out of context and making a mountain out of a molehill.
Kucinich was tougher than this on Bush. And no one listened. Still not listening. Don’t hear any other Democrats calling Bush a war criminal.
And why would they pay Kucinich to vote against them 99% of the time?
Give me Dennis Kucinich as President. He can sue all the lunchrooms he wants. Just my opinion though. I like Denny.
“Bush is going in the wrong way. And I dare say, that is what the strategy of his administration is, is just to wipe out government’s purpose for any social and economic justice at all. And I’m going to take the country in an opposite direction than he’s taking it.”
“Everyone should have health insurance? I say everyone should have health care. I’m not selling insurance.”
“The Bush administration manipulated intelligence to mislead the public and to establish a pretext to attack a nation which did not attack us.”
Adonai, Kucinich will never be President.
he was shut out, with no warning or reasonable justification, of the debates last time. Plan on that being repeated.
He is consistently misquoted. The media loves to repeat the same old lie that he claimed to see a flying saucer. He never claimed that, but said, just like a majority of Americans, that he had seen a UFO. Any flying object you can not identify is a UFO. Yest the media prefer to say that he saw a flying saucer and little green men.
The media also loves to focus on the fact that his wife is very beautiful and younger than him. Elizabeth might as well never open her mouth, because nobody wants to admit how intelligent and well-informed she is. They also refuse to admit that the two of them are very obviously in love with each other. I met both of them in 2007, and the connection between them is palpable. However, it’s soooo much more fun to imply that Dennis has a trophy wife and is in it for the sex.
The media also does not like that Dennis talks about actual solutions and specific plans to enact those solutions. It denies the media a chance to create a cult of personality if a candidate actually knows what he is talking about and knows what he is going to do about it.
I would love to see Rachel do an in-depth interview with Dennis and Elizabeth, but I doubt her bosses at Comcast would allow that.
2ccp – I would have voted for him in the last election but he wasn’t even on the ballot here. It was Clinton, Obama, and Edwards.
He’s not perfect, like any politician he sometimes does what he has to do but I think he has far more integrity than most in politics. As though that’s saying a lot considering American politics.
He was forced to drop out of the race before the Nevada caucus (I was living in Nevada at the time), so I never had a choice either.
he had too much to deal with in Ohio at the time, and it had become obvious that he wasn’t even going to get to the primaries. I seem to recall he got left off one primary ballot, even though he had fulfilled all the requirements.
2ccp – I can understand that. he knew better than anyone where this country was headed and how hard Ohio would be hit. I love his determination to keep running each time though. And any chance I get, he will receive my vote.
“I saw a UFO”
I remember that. I still love ya Denny. My aunt is certain she saw a UFO. She’d still get my vote.
Actually, there have been thousands and thousands of people all over the world that say they have seen UFOs.
KT–I know, but my point is that 2CCp says he never said that.
cher, I was responding to Adonai’s comment about his aunt. Hell, even Reagan believed in UFOs.
OK–And Reagan also consulted astrology and psychics!
Cher, so did Hitler.
I think he handled that well, actually. God knows, if I ever told the American people HALF of the woo woo shit I’ve experienced they’d either worship me or put me in a rubber room with three Napoleans and a Rasputin wannabee.
I also met Elizabeth and yes, she’s incredibly smart, and yes, they obviously love each other. Thanks for reminding us. They are a GREAT team.
I will always hold him in high regard for his unyielding support for policies that work on behalf of working families and union folks.
I don’t think he’d be a good president, but so what? Neither would the majority of Congress at any point, any time. That does NOT make him ineffective in Congress. Like Barbara Lee, he IS a voice of conscience. However, he was OUT TO LUNCH in his anger at Obama and his over-the-top declarations about Libyan action.
I watched Dennis on Ed’s show. He wasn’t misquoted, but he had NO answer when he was challenged with the question, “did other Presidents commit an impeachable offense when they did what President Obama has done? Dennis answered: “Each situation is different”. MY response was REALLY? It was ok for some other president to do it, but not President Obama? Come on. Dennis jumped the shark, IMO. What purpose did his comment serve. But I’m willing to bet we’ll all see it again. Watch for the Repub ads against the President.
Sabreen–you got that right! The ads are being put together already.
Thank you. His appearance yesterday on Riz Khan ( Al Jazeera, accessible on their webpage ) was really, really appalling ; and, together with conferring legitimacy on Ron Paul, a pattern of being a useful idiot for the Right is emerging ( at the very least, talking about “ Obama’s war on Libya ” is a tacit endorsement of the Right’s [ approving, ironically ] misrepresentations ).
But then, maybe I shouldn’t talk about strange bedfellows –
Mark Levin defends constitutionality of Obama’s Libya policy: ‘Don’t listen to Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich’
Well of course I will disagree with Dennis as President, seeing as he has his head so far up his ass and can’t see straight.
Dennis may have his heart in the right place, but he goes about his passion all wrong. He’s attacking the wrong person: President Obama, whom, as Rachel Maddow has pointed out, is taking a completely different approach to Libya than Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush did with their attacks on various countries.
When even one of Obama’s most vocal critics, Ms. Maddow, is coming out to bat for him on this issue, I think it’s safe to say that Kucinich is just blowing hot air. He wants attention, just like every other politician in Washington.
I’d like for Dennis to either put up or shut up, and I’d actually like to see him kicked the hell out of Washington for his grandstanding. He hasn’t gotten a thing done; a majority of his legislation hasn’t made it out of a single committee, and his voting record shows that he votes more with Republicans than he does with the Democrats, what business does he have calling himself a Democrat when he is declaring that President Obama can be impeached with zero basis? What makes his argument different from Darrell Issa, the arsonist/car thief from California who said that President Obama should be invesigated for being corrupt?
Just because Dennis has a (D) behind his name and calls himself a liberal does not excuse his ignorance. He is just as wrong as the Republicans.
Dennis and the rest of the UNprofessional left need to get over the 2000-2008 Bush/Cheney nightmare and live in the modern day. President Obama is not the enemy, and his administration is a hell of a lot better than the Bush/Cheney tyranny we were forced to deal with for eight long years.
Cluster, So it’s basically all about him calling out Obama? Which seems pretty consistent with him.
That’s a political argument. Do you seriously believe Kucinich thinks Obama is an enemy? That he is somehow as bad as Bush and Cheney?
Because I don’t.
He votes more with Republicans?????? Can you name issues or bills? That seems over the top. I hope that’s a bit of overstatement????
Cluster– I am infuriated with Kuchinich for his impeachment statement, but he has a pretty stellar voting record:
I love Dennis. He’d be a horrible president. Absolutely nothing would EVER get passed because he is totally inflexible. Like it or not, compromise and collegiality are the life stuff of democracy. Dennis does not work and play well with others. It is a strength when he’s pressing issues. It would be a fatal flaw as president.
choice, You may be right. But I believe he would be flexible if it benefited people. He eventually came around on the health care vote.
But,like you, I think we should value men of principle and want them leading our institutions.
It’s Dennis’ best role to be the conscience on the sideline. I value him for that, and it’s a role we would LOSE if her were the point man.
Part of America’s difficulty is forgetting how incredibly important the “side man” IS. Dennis has stars in his eyes, when his BEST thing is NOT being “No. 1” but the essential “No. 2-3-4” We have abandoned our capacity to value the people on the side. It’s a HUGE loss.
ClusterFox: No, he is not soliciting donation “after” saying that.
He was soliciting donations for a potential run, as well as to fight the elimination of his Congressional district, long before he said that.
I have been getting emails from his office for the past six months.
Even if he hadn’t been doing that before the quote (which nobody is admitting is being misquoted), you are using a logical fallacy in making one determinant of the other.
In other words, you are saying that after he made the observation in public, he would only be showing integrity if he dropped all fundraising efforts.
You want to hold him to a standard of behavior and course of action that nobody else is held to and even in a perfect world no one would even propose.
Kucinich and many Dems like Obama were tough on Bush about Iraq and for the right reasons. Waging unilateral and optional war based on lies even with the OK of congress is simply wrong.
Well, considering his closest colleague is Ron Paul, a hookup with Darrell Issa would be neither unlikely or inappropriate.
I was going to say it’s ironic that this blaringly cynical show of fabricated indignation cheapens his stand on Bush, but I can’t even say that much for him.
“proves” nothing, Clusterfox. What is being demonstrated is rather your determination to condemn those who criticize the president in precisely the same hyperbolic and non-factual way that you accuse Obama’s critics of doing.
The president has the authority under the Constitution and War Powers Act to take military action for a short period of time.
Shame on Kucinich for grandstanding by resorting to hyperbolic rhetoric and shame on Obama for being hypocritical about a campaign promise but I’m not throwing either one of them into Gaddafi’s compound over this because in my perspective both men a great assets to this country.
Can you please tell me what War Powers Act you are referring to?
The War Powers Resolution of 1973 (50 U.S.C. 1541–1548) was a United States Congress joint resolution providing that the President can send U.S. armed forces into action abroad only by authorization of Congress or if the United States is already under attack or serious threat.
The War Powers Act of 1941, also known as the First War Powers Act, was an American emergency law that increased Federal power during World War II. The act was signed by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and put into law on December 18th, 1941, less than two weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The act was similar to the Departmental Reorganization Act of 1917 as it was signed shortly before the U.S. engaged in a large war and increased the powers of the president’s U.S. Executive Branch.
The act gave the President enormous authority to execute World War II in an efficient manner. The president was authorized to reorganize the executive branch, independent government agencies, and government corporations for the war cause. With the act, the President was allowed to censor mail and other forms of communication between the United States and foreign countries. The act and all changes created by its power were to remain intact until six months after the end of the war at which time, the act would become defunct.
Three months after passing the first, the Second War Powers Act was passed. This further strengthened the executive branch powers towards executing World War II. This act allowed the acquisition, under condemnation if necessary, of land for military or naval purposes. Some provisions of the Hatch Act of 1939 were also suspended which reduced naturalization standards for aliens within the U.S. Armed Forces. In addition, it created methods for war-related production contracting along with adjusting several other aspects of government affairs. The Second War Powers Act repealed the confidentiality of census data, allowing the FBI to use this information to round up Japanese-Americans. 
I gotta go with KQ on this one. The President can deploy resources anywhere he wants anytime he wants. But without the eventual approval of Congress, it won’t last long. No funding. No war. If we had simply defunded Bush’s wars, he would have had to eventually bring everyone home.
War Powers Act or not, the Constitution gives the President total authority to deploy the military wherever he deems fit without immediate Congressional approval. Military action in the Constitution is weighted to favor the executive to ensure swift decisive action. It’s been done before. But we’re hardly declaring war on Libya here.
I don’t think we’re ignoring you, but I’m not sure it’s an accurate statement. I am very fond of Dennis – he’s been a superb leader on domestic economic issues for years. I met him and his wife, had a great conversation, and think highly of him. On this, however, he was ALL OVER the map. I cannot say for sure, but I believe at one point he DID say Obama should be (“could be”?) impeached, then softened his stand and vacillated on the wording over many, many interviews.
So we’re not ignoring you – I think we’re all trying to sort it out.
I also do NOT think this is an impeachable offense, so it makes me sad that Dennis jumped on this and yes, handed Issa a hot issue. Those two in bed make me queasy, BTW. Ick. But since every interview I’ve heard comes to a very different conclusion – yes it is, no it isn’t, not if he brings it to Congress in the next 60 days, not if we have a UN accord that was ratified by Congress – I think Dennis was irresponsible.
So we’re NOT ignoring you – I think we’re ignoring Dennis. Or whatever version of Dennis each of us has heard at whatever moment. Or something.
The War Powers Act of 1975 states that the President has a power to engage in military action which can last up to 60 days, as long as he advises the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tempore by word or letter of the action within 48 hours after it has happened – which the President did.
If Dennis Kucinich does not understand this law, and that it is TOTALLY constitutional until a court of law says it isn’t, he shouldn’t have spoken. If he doesn’t like it, why hasn’t he introduced legislation to get it repealed, or why hasn’t he challenged it in court as being illegal and unconstitutional? All it’s done is give the opposition a talking point. I daresay there are many on the GOP side – Boehner and Eric Cantor, for example – who understand this law indubitably, but who are cynically silent; but there are some who don’t and maybe they, like Dennis, need to be primaried.
He’s done no great favours to either the Democrats’ chances in 2012 or the President; and I’d hate to be his ass when Mamma gets back in town from Rome.
The problem is even if that’s the correct interpretation Americans don’t do nuance and the GOP knows it.
The right wing can now use Kucinich’s statements as a cudgel to paint Obama as a foreign born American Constitution hater.
Marion–Another great post. The republicans can’t seem to make up their collective minds: He acted without consulting us, but he acted too late, too! And, he’s not swaggering and spitting like a cowboy, therefore, weak.
Kucinich the Condundrum, as always.
I take Obama at his word. He’s never really lied, only made promises he should have known weren’t definite.
But I don’t think we should have been involved in this at all. Period. The Republicans seem to not care either way. As usual they are just looking to bring heat on the other Party’s leader. Republicans are constantly in campaign mode. Which is bad for their constituents but seems to work well for their politicians. Oh well, the people keep putting them in office so I hardly see that they can complain.
Forget the Republicans. The thing that ha blown my mind most these last few years is Obama’s constant struggles against his own Party. I mean, who really cost us better health care? Who really allowed the Bush tax cuts to stay in place and make everything Obama does the next 2 years that much harder? The Democrats!
Not all of them, of course. There are many Democrats out there I would vote for but they don’t run in my state. I wish they did. Everything Obama has done has been in spite of Congress. Not because of it. Republican and Democrat. I got a lot of issues with Obama but he’s trying a hell of a lot harder than the last guy. If only he had a better supporting cast. Things might be different. At least he headed off another depression. I can only imagine how bad it would have been if her had listened to Democratic leadership and sold out to the Republicans on it.
adonai, I agree about the twp parties. The GOP is always in campaign mode and will say/do just about anything for the sake of office.
The Democrats? They seem like a herd of blind kittens. Obama is struggling against his own party, imo. He knows that the GOP is useless and the Dems in Congress have not helped Obama at all.
I think that you are on target with your post. Libya is a real problem, all things considered. It would have been very difficult for the US to avoid getting involved. I hope that our involvement is small. It may not work out all that well.
agrippa, I feel like the Libya decision is very debatable. I probably wouldn’t have went this way but I can’t really fault Obama for doing it. Tough decisions are what being a leader is all about. Right or wrong, they have to be made.
And I agree, I hope our involvement is short and that France and England can handle it.
adonai, I cannot fault him either. The Libya involvment is debatable.
I think that part of the owrld is in for big changes — a “revolutionary situation” – I think that we need to keep that in mind.
Maybe I’m dating myself here, but I can’t believe sitting back and allowing a dictator, effectively, to commit genocide on his own citizens is debatable. We “debated” Kosovo, and by the time we enforced the no-fly zone there, look what we found. Gee, I can’t believe so-called liberals are even contemplating debating that. I guess the Left really is the New Right.
Said so well. I agree with you Marion. So happy that someone is brave enough to be as logical and even minded as our President. There seem to be those on this site that possess a streak of realism. So nice to come here, but think it necessary that we go to other sites and give them a dose of our realism – unashamedly.
I agree with your position about this.
I’m also willing to give the President the benefit of doubt. This must have been a terribly difficult decision for him to make, but he certainly went about it in the right way: instead of going with any kind of “gut instinct,” he surrounded himself with expert opinion and made a careful decision based on the facts of the matter.
Plenty of people back at the Huffpost are quick to compare him to Bush because of this, but the difference between this and the invasion of Iraq is like the difference between night and day.
I wish our involvement were not necessary. I can’t help but wish that. But I’m glad we have someone like President Obama at the helm during this difficult time.
And I very much agree with you too on this, Buddy.
Great post Marion.
I would add that President Obama is doing everything in his power to not “chest thump”. He didn’t announce this action from the Oval Office. He has continuously said that the US will NOT have the lead nor wants the lead in this intervention. He is trying to make the USA’s footprint as small as possible. Of course this to the chagrin of Lindsey Graham who waxed all nostalgic about the “good old days” when America took pride in being the first to beat the crap out of someone.
I have been genuinely surprised that there has been any controversy about this – participation in a multilateral Arab League-initiated United Nations resolution to protect civilians in Libya which barely qualifies as a military action.
This is helping to crystallise a vague notion I have had. I have heard it said that in the old days, there was Southern explicit and violent racism, and then there was genteel Northern soft racism ; and in my observations of HuffingtonPostian Blameobamabotism I began to wonder whether something of the latter was operative in some parts of the Left ( particularly on the occasions when a orgy of “ Bush III ” chanting would be punctuated with “ Hillary ( you know, that real progressive [ sarcasm alert ] ) would have been less divisive ” ).
This latest manufactured kerfuffle ( gee, wasn’t that something we used to only see on the Right? ) is a pretty clear example of what seems suspiciously like the President being held to a different standard, or, alternatively, being found fault with on principle. I’m not accusing Kucinich of racism – I think that would be more something in the general cultural background in this instance. Although I do note he voted against the impeachment of President Clinton, where there was even an actual trumped-up semblance of a real crime.
Thank you for stating that “ not many people bother listening to this President ”. I am sick and tired of hearing that he “ doesn’t have a message ”. If one part or another of the public deliberately chooses to ignore it and heed only the content-free natterings of their chosen nabobs of either end of the spectrum, that does not therefore mean that he has no message.
First off, I like “Blameobamabotism”.
Second off, –I’ve been very reluctant to say this– and so far have not made a comment to it in my daily blog, KevenSeven’s, or this one, nor anywhere else.
But, since you brought up racism…
It’s really tired to pull out the race card rather than argue the merits of an argument, I have not pulled it out, because I mostly do not believe that’s where dissent is coming from.
Nevertheless; underneath what I believe are by most, especially here, principled arguments against action, there’s just an inkling of doubt, a kernel, of possible racism in my mind… and not against the president–but about going into another “Muslim land” while “our people” suffer here. So far I’m reading it as the Persian proverb of ‘it is haram to send a lantern to the mosque when it is needed at home’ and I’ve chastise myself for such dark thoughts, but almost subconciously–and I repress it–I can’t help but wonder.
Forgive me, but sometimes the tone brushing aside “them” and “it’s not really genocide” (not by the technical definition, no), or the meme of “do we really know who the opposition is” (on the surface a valid concern to broach) starts to accumulate in my mind. However unfair to valid points as they are in isolation and proffered in good faith, it starts to ever so minutely chafe at me. It makes me ask myself if there aren’t latent undertones I’m giving the benefit of the doubt to too uncritically.
But as I said, I try to act in good faith, and it’s probably just my emotional involvement with the Arab uprisings showing itself jealously. I realize that.
Well, Governor Barbour ( who strikes me as more quasi-benignly oafish than anything, though I may be wrong ) did say “ I don’t think it’s our mission to make Libya look like Luxembourg. ” . . .
. . . and we would certainly be talking about a whole different can of corn if Congo and Sudan were in Europe. The point you raise is interesting and absolutely legitimate, and I don’t think it is ever tired or pulling the race card when there is a valid question. Likewise, referring to my original premise, just as it always valid to call out racism on the Right, we should always hold our side to the same standard – and my own views on that point, like yours on yours, are the outcome of a lot of minute chafings.
But, as I recall now, I did have a certain amount of, perhaps, pensiveness before posting my original comment, so I do understand your view. On the other hand, while I likewise don’t believe Representative Kucinich is racist, having watched his appearances on Riz Khan and Ed Schultz since posting I am far more disturbed by his position on this and unfavourably impressed by him. I don’t recall directly comparing him and Mike Gravel before the 2008 primary, but I can see now why I didn’t vote for him.
P. S. You have a blog? Or do you mean your ongoing feature here ( which I know I have woefully neglected, my sincerest apologies )? Please let me know. 🙂
Khirad, what a wonderful, self-reflecting comment. I understand everything you feel, while having the courage and integrity for asking yourself the hard questions. Thanks for that look into your mind– good man!
For America, I like your creative use of language and your coining of new expressions (even of relatively newly coined expressions):
Alas, who knew Spiro Agnew was such a visionary?
Wow Marion I think your best point is on the immigration nightmare this would lead to for the UK and the French if they did not secure at least a place for the rebels to live in Eastern Libya. I have not read that anywhere else.
Just for the record, I have. 😉
Though Marion added the bit about Marine Le Pen, et al.
We’ve already been seeing it a little, though mostly foreign nationals (China had the biggest evacuation of citizens it’s coordinated).
Well said, Marion.
US participation in this campaign is legal. There is a Security Council ruling which legalizes the campaign. The President has the authority under the war Powers Act.
As for Congress: their behavior speaks for itself.
The issue turns upon results. Is the campaign worth it to the Libyans? How will it work out for them? At the end of the day, that is what matters.