Bipartisan House passes Boehner resolution demanding that Obama seek authorization of Libya mission

posted at 7:20 pm on June 3, 2011 by Allahpundit

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.


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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.

They know a real leader when they see one, and they saw what Israel’s leader did to Barry Soetoro.

SouthernGent on June 3, 2011 at 7:25 PM

I don’t care about it being a rebuke to the one so much as it being a rebuke to the executive branch in general. If Congress can’t stick up for their authority over the wars we fight, then how are they going to ever stand up to any of Obama’s extra-legislative maneuvering?

Daemonocracy on June 3, 2011 at 7:28 PM

“Days not weeks”.

Rebar on June 3, 2011 at 7:30 PM

My skin crawls just hearing that any Republican would support anything coming from Kucinich.

That being said, this vote showed us (again) what absolute hypocrites the Dems are on war issues.

walkingboss on June 3, 2011 at 7:32 PM

Is this tantalizing tidbit out of Benghazi a pure coincidence

Perhaps BHL got the messages mixed up with one from DSK, leaving one very confused New York maid….

calbear on June 3, 2011 at 7:33 PM

essentially a symbolic gesture with little hope of passing the Senate.

Help me out here. Every time the House does something good, takes a stand, you quickly point out it’s only SYMBOLIC (read worthless). What would you advise them to do…check with harry reid before crafting legislation/votes?
The House was taken over in a landslide/mandate fashion. Their constituencies understand the Senate is in socialist hands…but that doesn’t say do NOTHING.
AND, if the house refuses to fund the Libyan adventure…it doesn’t get funded…right???

winston on June 3, 2011 at 7:33 PM

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

What mission? Helping al Quaede sympathizers? Have you ever met a war for Muslims and Islam that you didn’t like?

HalJordan on June 3, 2011 at 7:34 PM

Good on them !!
Can we hear a DE-FUND threat in here, somewhere ??

pambi on June 3, 2011 at 7:35 PM

Looks like Barry finally got his “bipartisanship”.

GarandFan on June 3, 2011 at 7:38 PM

Welllll….no, Mr. President. We want answers beyond “I’m the President, Commander in Chief, and never mind your so-called War Powers Resolutions”.

By the by, a Gaza strip running all the way to Libya would be interesting.

Robert17 on June 3, 2011 at 7:40 PM

President Woodrow Wilson, a member of the pantheon of liberal-left political heroes even today, spoke on the eve of WWI of making the world “safe for democracy.” Almost a century later, George W. Bush and now Barack Hussein Obama have used very similar language in justifying their wars. Well they should, because their foreign policies are Wilsonian to the core. A genuine conservative would never support such extra-constitutional abuses of power and even more so not support American Blood and Treasure thrown away for Great Society Islam Nation Building.

HalJordan on June 3, 2011 at 7:43 PM

Everyone who supports this Libyan war is anti-American to the core.

HalJordan on June 3, 2011 at 7:45 PM

Hopey/Changey the CowBoy Warrior in Chief!

canopfor on June 3, 2011 at 7:49 PM

It’s not going to stop him. He’s gone rogue and has been for several years and they’re just taking notice now…

Too late guys.

katy on June 3, 2011 at 7:53 PM

It is interesting,with eight years of the Democrat Party,
and Anti-War MoonBats that have Demonized President Bush,
and the GOP,

Barack Obama has carried on the Bush Policies,and it appears,unlike Bush,Obama could care less what the MSM,
or Americans have to say,or think,for that matter!!

canopfor on June 3, 2011 at 8:02 PM

This is nothing more than the Spelunker of the House engaging in Boehner theater…

Gohawgs on June 3, 2011 at 8:06 PM

It’s sad that both resolutions didn’t get support from ALL Republicans. It’s sad that the GOP has strayed so far from the anti-interventionist ideals of Coolidge, Harding, and Taft and have decided to adopt the progressive nation building bullcrap devised by Wilson and FDR.

Nelsen on June 3, 2011 at 8:13 PM

Good. It’s about time President Jack@@@ realizes he’s not the party of one. There are laws he needs to abide by and thank goodness for Boehner and company telling him so. They should not have had to.

scalleywag on June 3, 2011 at 8:28 PM

What I don’t understand is why we can say we’re for the Libyan rebels but we can’t be for Syrians who are being murdered in the streets and tortured in the prisons. Who will stand for them?

scalleywag on June 3, 2011 at 8:30 PM

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.

…great…let’s get all the democrats we can on record for voting against the President needing Congressional Approval before launching a war against an oil rich country that did not attack us and posed no imminent threat.

….my what a long strange trip it has been from just a few years ago when these same liberals were yelling “no blood for oil.”

….Obama has been getting his butt handed to him up on the Hill as of late.
….0-97 on his budget…..
……Wapo/FactCheck smacking down his DNC leader’s bogus Mediscare talking points….
………….fellow democrats getting busted sending Weiner pics to young girls and indictments for Presidential candidates……
……the press starting to call the democrats out for not putting forward any plans of their own……

Economic news smashing the illusion of “Hope and Change.”

…and now Obama having to confront Congress about his Libyan adventure that was supposed to last “days not weeks”.

…..This may not make a lot of headway in the Senate…but it will definitely effect his standing with the left and Independents.Besides the Huffpo sheep that would praise Obama if he was clubbing baby seals while singing Freebird….the “intellectual left” will have a hard time swallowing this.
Now democrats are going to have to decide if they want to support Obama’s military overreach or stay in good standing with their constituents.

It’s going to be real hard walking around waving the peace sign when you support launching wars arbitrarily, and without Congressional consent, from the beaches of vacation resorts.

Baxter Greene on June 3, 2011 at 11:21 PM

Obama should use this as an opportunity to submit to Congress the Bolton doctrine.

“First, we must reverse course now and declare regime change to be our objective… Second, because Libya’s opposition leadership is still inchoate at best, we must identify anti-Gadhafi figures who are pro-Western and find ways, overt or covert, to strengthen their hands.”

Kaddafi has publicly VOWED to resume targeting civilian airliners.
Does any serious person doubt the sincerity of Kaddafi’s vow? Do you honestly imagine he will not attempt to “settle scores“? Are you willing to put innocent Americans’ lives at risk on some conceit that Kaddafi isn’t as evil as al-Qaedists like al-Awlaki?

Wake up, hand-wringers. The clock is now ticking, again.

If Americans learned anything from 9/11, it’s that we can’t afford to wait for terrorists to follow through on their threats.

America now has a duty to bring Kaddafi to justice; or justice to Kaddafi.

I don’t much care whether Kaddafi meets a Predator drone or Mussolini’s fate on a meat-hook. But Kaddafi (personally) must answer for his actions.

Mark these words: Anything short of a Kaddafi dirt-nap will be a grave mistake.

Terp Mole on June 4, 2011 at 9:15 AM

A more urgent question;

Is the deadly E. coli strain Kaddafi’s revenge?

FLASHBACK 2003: Kaddafi bragged about his bio-warfare attack on US Marines in Liberia

Terp Mole on June 4, 2011 at 9:29 AM

President Woodrow Wilson, a member of the pantheon of liberal-left political heroes even today, spoke on the eve of WWI of making the world “safe for democracy.” Almost a century later, George W. Bush and now Barack Hussein Obama have used very similar language in justifying their wars. Well they should, because their foreign policies are Wilsonian to the core. A genuine conservative would never support such extra-constitutional abuses of power and even more so not support American Blood and Treasure thrown away for Great Society Islam Nation Building.
HalJordan on June 3, 2011 at 7:43 PM

This.

The neo-Wilsonians need to go back to the Democrat Party from whence they came, and where they belong.

A Conservative Foreign Policy Comeback?

Republican Rep. Jeff Flake perhaps had the greatest insight this week: “There’s been disquiet for a long time. Republicans have been too eager to support some military ventures abroad. And this, (getting out of Libya) I think, is perhaps a little more consistent with traditional conservatism.”

Flake is right. Perhaps more than he realizes.

Known as “Mr. Republican,” in the mid-twentieth century, Sen. Robert Taft led the conservative charge against the prevailing Democratic belief that it was America’s mission to “make the world safe for democracy,” as defined by Woodrow Wilson and promoted by Franklin Roosevelt. In 1946, Taft said that the US went to war to “maintain the freedom of our own people… Certainly, we did not go to war to reform the world.” In 1957, author Russell Kirk would write in his “Ten Canons of Conservative Thought:” “In the affairs of nations, the American conservative feels that his country ought to set an example to the world, but ought not to try to remake the world in its image.” Despite neoconservative assertions to the contrary, many historians have noted Ronald Reagan’s distaste for prolonged military conflict and that he had the least interventionist policy of any president in the last 50 years. Wrote Pat Buchanan of his former boss: “Reagan did not harbor some Wilsonian compulsion to remake the world in the image of Vermont.”

Rae on June 4, 2011 at 2:07 PM

Rae sputtered: neo-Wilsonians need to go back to the Democrat Party from whence they came

Bravo. That’s a passable parroting of Dennis Kucinich. Louis Farrakhan couldn’t have aped it better.

Who the hell does he think he is?

Terp Mole on June 4, 2011 at 2:45 PM