Parsing out the credit/blame for the success/legality of Obama’s Libya policy

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.” 

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Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by Eric Ferguson on 10/24/2011 - 11:12 am.

    All these many spellings for Gaddafi are Obama’s fault. Everything is Obama’s fault. If it’s good, but Obama did it, then it’s bad and it’s his fault. Next, I expect to hear Obama accused of shooting Gaddafi personally.

    And of taking too long to do it.

  2. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 10/24/2011 - 11:54 am.

    That 12th Commandment seems to be the overriding consideration, unless you’re a constitutional scholar. Somehow, I doubt that few of those whose press releases Eric read qualify as constitutional scholars.

  3. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 10/24/2011 - 01:43 pm.

    I don’t understand what Obama has to do with it?

    It started out back in March with NATO planes flying to protect a no-fly zone to protect civilians against Gaddafi’s air force, if you’ll remember. A humanitarian mission, they said, lasting days, not weeks. No need to involve Congress they said. NATO is simply protecting Libyan civilians. Even if it isn’t part of NATO’s mission.

    When asked directly, both Hillary and Obama said that the mission was NOT to remove Gaddafi. But if he wanted to leave, they wouldn’t stop him.

    Weeks passed. NATO ran out of air-to-surface missiles. Obama declared that Gaddafi “must go.” When asked if that meant we would remove him, Obama said no. We gave advanced armament to an unknown, unvetted “rebel force.”

    The rebels declared victory, then they didn’t.

    Finally, one day while Obama was out on the campaign trail, an army of Islamic fundamentalists found Gaddafi hiding in a drainage ditch and killed him.

    And Obama wants credit for what exactly?

  4. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 10/24/2011 - 02:02 pm.

    I thought ‘Gaddafi’ was another spelling of ‘Obama’.

  5. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 10/24/2011 - 03:27 pm.

    This morning, the Russian news bureau RT-TV (Washington? New York?) talked about our fondness for war — always to help achieve “freedom” and create “democracy,” of course.

    They showed John McCain pushing for more wars against “dictators all over the world,” and Mitt Romney declaring that “America must lead the world.” Iran would seem to be next, since the demonization phase has now been in progress for about a decade. And some Dems are as eager to keep the Military Industrial Complex as healthy and profitable as McCain and Lieberman.

    The old song was never more true: When will they ever learn.

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