Austin Bay has one heck of nice piece over at StrategyPage about the Obama Administration’s handling of the whole Libya war which isn’t too flattering to either the Obama Administration or the ideological left, and mirrors exactly what I have been feeling about both the lack of seriousness by the MSM and the left on this whole thing. Basically Bay points out that instead of doing the right thing and challenging the need for the congressional approval as the War Power’s Act calls for, and thus strengthening the executive’s authority both morally and in regards to its relation with congress, Obama chose to vote “Present!”, play games basically, and all for a very shallow reason:
President Barack Obama has violated the 1973 War Powers Resolution.
That is a good thing. The War Powers Resolution was constitutionally dubious when it was passed — by a Democratic Party-controlled Congress intent on obstructing the powers of a Republican president. Instead of taking a principled stance against a questionable law, however, President Obama chose to mask his violation with cleverness — a corrosive, shallow cleverness smacking of the worst in partisan skullduggery.
Too bad. Tackling the War Powers Act would have strengthened the presidency as an institution and reinforced Obama’s moral authority. Democratic and Republican presidents have argued rigorous enforcement of the act leads to congressional micro-management of a war and erodes presidential prerogatives to the detriment of U.S. security.
The act forbids employing U.S. armed forces in combat for more than 60 days without congressional authorization or declaring war. The Libyan War’s 60 days ended May 20. Obama never sought congressional authorization. To do so would make him look, once again, like George W. Bush.
Get that? To actually make a stand against this resolution and actually fight the good fight, because of all the preceding BDS induced drama of the Bush years the left engaged in, Obama was forced to instead engage in slight of hand to hide what he was doing. How moronic. Where Bay and I differ however, is that I suspect this is done on purpose, and while they hope not enough people notice they are hypocrites, there is a little more to it. Democrats know their friends in the media will not call them to task like they would a republican, and hence, since this resolution proved a great political weapon they still feel might come in handy, they prefer to ignore it – like they do all other laws they straddle us with like paying taxes or only voting once, and then only when still alive too – so it’s around to beat another republican with in the future. It’s all about the rules for thee and not for me strategy that’s their MO.
Congress, where some democrats made a noise about Obama doing more Bush, might also end up having to slap him down. These democrats that were so preoccupied when it didn’t matter – where are they now, huh? – might have to take a stand to keep their credibility with the left. Added with the republicans tired of the double standards and wanting the rules to be enforced equally, this whole thing could spell disaster for him. Especially since as Bay points out when he says the right thing for Obama to have done was to challenge the law’s legality, but that Obama himself might then be in a catch 22:
Congress might also rebuff him since he has devoted so little public political effort to the war. A few legislators have raised the issue of Obama’s legal failure, but media outrage is missing, as are the usual arch-left moral seizures associated with American combat. No demonstrators, lathered in blood red paint, chant before television cameras. We hear no manic lectures from the ponytailed professoriate on the White House tyrant’s imperial arrogance.
For the good of American security, we should rescind the problematic law. Yet legislation to rescind might face a presidential veto, for Obama claims he isn’t violating the act.
So what’s the plan of action?
Which leads to the president’s corrupting cleverness. Rather than confront the resolution’s suspect demands, it seems Obama wants to keep the law for Democrats to wield as a political cudgel when Republican presidents wage war. Invoking it will prompt the profs to begin their lectures. Obama bases his claim the act does not apply to his Libya venture on word games that are as transparently silly as they are intellectually and morally dishonest.
Libya, according to Obama, is not even a war but a “kinetic military action.” If the stakes were not so serious — say, if the subject were basketball brackets rather than deadly war — we might chuckle at his buck-naked bravado. It recalls Lewis Carroll’s Humpty Dumpty. “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.” The Big O echoes the big egg that Alice discovered sitting on a wall, before his fall.
Bullshit. And he is getting away with it because the usual suspects in the MSM will not call him on it. Now if he had an (R) by his name, you can be certain that this would be part of every news cycle, but to protect Bush the second, the MSM is pretending it’s not happening. I guess it’s no longer patriotic to dissent, huh? In the mean time there is nothing to look at here anymore. Even if Obama has more wars than Bush did and is out-Bushing Bush at this stuff.