Saturday, June 25, 2011

Res Ipsa Loquitur

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives delivered a rare rebuke to Barack Obama over his involvement in the Libyan war on Friday by rejecting a resolution to authorise the US mission.

It is an embarrassment for the president to have a vote go against him in time of conflict and reflects the disenchantment in the US over yet another war. The vote is primarily symbolic but members of Congress sympathetic to Obama and the US role in Libya said the danger was that it could leave the Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, with the impression that support for the war is collapsing.

  UK Guardian

Okay, I don’t care if he’s embarrassed. Let’s have a look at that traitorous business of leaving Qadafi “with the impression that support for the war is collapsing.”

The Democratic-controlled Senate is unlikely to mirror the House vote.

The House ignored pleas by the secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, on Thursday against voting it down. Obama argues that he does not need congressional authorisation because the Libya mission is not a full-blown conflict.

If the Senate approves, the House vote is moot. Indeed, why would Qadafi even care if support for the war is collapsing? If the president doesn’t need congressional authorization, then it doesn't matter, now does it? Ooooh, boy, Americans don’t like the war, Congress won’t authorize it, so…’s going to stop? Not if the president doesn’t give a rat’s ass whether anyone likes it or “authorizes” it. The threat to Qadafi is not from the American people – nor apparently from Congress in this now lawless land. The threat to Qadafi is from Obama.

Now here’s the odd thing to me…

House speaker John Boehner said: "I support the removal of the Libyan regime. I support the president's authority as commander-in-chief, but when the president chooses to challenge the powers of the Congress, I, as speaker of the House, will defend the constitutional authority of the legislature."

Indeed, Obama could have all the “authorization” he could possibly want if only he would ask for it, permitting the Congress to still assume some authority. So, what’s really important to him here? Pressing the war in Libya or asserting executive power? The situation speaks for itself.

....but hey, do what you will anyway.

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