Over at Smart Politics, the blog of the U of M’s Humphrey School, Eric Ostermeier has a kinda funny, kinda pitiful post about analyzing all of the press releases put out by members of the U.S. House after the death of Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi (spelling?)
Cutting to the punch line, very few Democrats and only one House Republican could bring himself to give even a backhanded compliment to Pres. Obama for the U.S. role in bringing about the end of the Gaddafi era (eons?). And even that one didn’t really.
It’s a funny post about an awkward situation. Presidents have been disrespecting the constitutional war powers of Congress for many, many decades, and Congress has seldom done more than grump about it. Obama moved the disrespect to at least a recent high by refusing to seek any input or approval from Congress before committing U.S. military might to its odd, limited role in the overall odd NATO role in facilitating Gaddafi’s demise. This led to a number of liberal Dems giving only backhanded compliments to Obama and some took the occasion to give fresh rebukes.
Repubs have historically been a bit less offended by the incredible shrinking congressional war powers. But their situation was mostly guided by the new 12th commandment of the Republican Party: Thou shalt not speak well of anything done by President Barack Obama.
So, Ostermeier found, after reviewing all of the press releases (53) celebrating the demise of Gaddafi, some congratulating the Libyan people, some saluting the work of the U.S. military, that only six Dems and one Republican felt able to direct any praise toward the Obama Administration for its role, and the one Republican took extra effort to make sure it was clear that his praise was not for Obama personally.
Leonard Lance of New Jersey was that one Repub, and his press release said:
“Confirmation of the death of Muammar el-Qaddafi is a tremendous victory for our U.S. Military, our NATO allies and most important for the people of Libya who for too long have endured his terrorist regime and long record of brutality. The Obama Administration, especially Secretary Clinton, also deserves credit for their work on this issue.”