You already know the background. The Wash Times calls it “a stunning rebuke” to The One, which is kind of true insofar as congressional challenges to executive warmaking power are rare yet not really true at all given that this was essentially a symbolic gesture with little hope of passing the Senate.
In fact, it was the vote on a second resolution that didn’t pass that was the more interesting of the two.
In two votes — on competing resolutions that amounted to legislative lectures of Mr. Obama — Congress escalated the brewing constitutional clash over whether he ignored the founding document’s grant of war powers by sending U.S. troops to aid in enforcing a no-fly zone and naval blockade of Libya.
Minutes after approving Mr. Boehner’s measure, the House defeated an even more strongly-worded resolution offered by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Ohio Democrat, that would have insisted the president begin a withdrawal of troops…
The Kucinich resolution failed 148-265. In a telling signal, 87 Republicans voted for Mr. Kucinich’s resolution — more than the 61 Democrats that did.
Still, taken together, 324 members of Congress voted for one resolution or both resolutions, including 91 Democrats, or nearly half the caucus. The size of the votes signals overwhelming discontent with Mr. Obama’s handling of the constitutional issues surrounding the Libya fight.
More Republicans voted for immediate withdrawal than Democrats did? Good lord. Granted, most of the Dems are just being good soldiers and protecting Obama in voting the way they did, and the GOP naysayers can/will frame their vote not as a serious attempt to undermine the mission but rather to pressure Obama into seeking proper authorization for it, but we’re a loooong way from 2007. But then, I think we already established that when the guy who won the Democratic nomination as an anti-war candidate three years ago decided as president that ladling a third war on the national plate was something worth doing.
Anyway, now that that’s done, the House resolution can go about quietly dying in the Senate and being thoroughly ignored by Obama. If we’re lucky, maybe we’ll get an indignant Rand Paul floor speech out of it, but I wouldn’t raise my expectations any higher than that. Only one thing is certain, my friends: That upcoming round of golf between Obama and Boehner is going to be even more awkward than thought. Exit question: Is this tantalizing tidbit out of Benghazi a pure coincidence, or something done at the behest of the U.S./European coalition to goose western public support for the mission? Probably a coincidence, I assume; that’s not the sort of thing that would earn the rebels extra goodwill among Europeans, at least.