Posted on | April 1, 2011 | 28 Comments
Many of us supported this president because he promised to bring back the constitutional balance after the theories of Yoo, Delahunty, et al put the president on a par with emperors and kings in wartime. And yet in this Libya move, what difference is there between Bush and Obama?
Well, competence — or at least the common-sense recognition that war cannot properly be fought by piecemeal commitments. Obama evidently wants the Libyan intervention to be something that is Not Quite War, and does not appear to have considered the possibility that this will be more damaging for U.S. interests than if he had ordered a massive invasion of Libya. Sully cares not a bit for U.S. interests, of course, but is concerned only for his own credibility: His erstwhile idol Obama has outdone Bush in foreign-policy high-handedness, thus embarrassing one Andrew Sullivan (B.A., Oxford; M.A., Ph.D., Harvard).
Leaving aside Sully’s tattered credibility, however, let’s consider the situation as it now stands in Libya:
U.S. officials are becoming increasingly resigned to the possibility of a protracted stalemate in Libya, with rebels retaining control of the eastern half of the divided country but lacking the muscle to drive Moammar Gaddafi from power. . . .
New evidence of a possible impasse emerged Friday as an opposition spokesman called publicly for a cease-fire that would halt the fighting and essentially freeze the battle lines. The Libyan government rejected the proposal, saying that it would not “withdraw from our own cities.” . . .
So the Obama administration has, apparently, committed insufficient military resources to achieve any decisive outcome. Every additional day Qaddafi remains in power is like an advertisement of American impotence. And Harry Reid adjourns the Senate rather than permit debate on whether the president has constitutional authority to wage this Not Quite War.
“The president’s own words are incredibly important here. The hypocrisy is amazing. In 2007, the president said, ‘The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.’ And yet here we have a president cavalierly taking us to war. He seems to have had a lot of time to talk to people. He talked to the Arab League; they had time to get together and vote on it. He talked to the U.N.; they had time to get together and vote on it. But he had utter disregard and contempt for the most important body in the United States that represents the people, the U.S. Congress — utter contempt. He’s gone to NATO, he’s gone to our allies, he’s gone to the U.N., he’s gone to the Arab League, but he has not had one single minute of debate in Congress. To add insult to injury, he chose to go to war while in Brazil, while Congress was not even in session.”
— Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky)
And rather than allow such a debate, Harry Reid adjourned the Senate — leaving Sully’s shredded credibility flapping in the wind.
UPDATE: Greetings, readers of the Instapundit!