Wednesday, June 15, 2011


John Boehner is saying that the involvement of U.S. forces in Libya without congressional approval violates the War Powers Act, and now ten members of Congress, include six mostly back-bench Republicans, have sued the Obama administration over Libya, with Fox News cheering the dissenters on.

As I said earlier today, I don't think this is the GOP going pacifist or isolationist, or even retreating in any significant way from its long-standing belief in periodically killing brown people for the greater glory of America; a lot of Republicans have just decided that if a war (or non-war) is initiated by a Democrat, it's liberalism by definition, and thus not a "real" war. And besides, the Libyan rebels all want to impose sharia law on Texas. Or something like that.

You'd think this might be risky for GOP -- a Republican is going to be president soon enough, maybe very soon, and it's quite likely that person is eventually going to want to kill some group of brown people or other. Wouldn't that future president want Obama to set a precedent that weakens the War Powers Act?

But, see, Republicans know they'll never need to do what Obama is doing right now. They know that the next time one of them wants to launch a military intervention, it'll be sold with whatever propaganda is necessary to terrorize the opposition party into supporting the assault -- babies thrown from incubators, secret meetings in Prague, smoking guns that we hope won't be mushroom clouds, whatever it takes. By contrast, in reference to Qaddafi, Obama won't even bring up Lockerbie.

I'm not saying this to defend what Obama's doing, but just to point out that he's too polite to take his own side in a propaganda war (though I suppose you could say, in reference to his legacy wars, that he will take Bush's). Republicans aren't so reticent -- if they want to fight, they'll sell the fight. They'll scare you and your children. They'll certainly scare any congressional dissenters into rubber-stamping whatever they want to do, so they'll never need to bypass the War Powers Act.

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