When a President exceeds his Constitutional authority to send the American military into a new conflict without getting at least some approval from Congress, it’s understandable when patience starts to run thin in the nation’s capital. What’s not quite understandable is that it’s Barack Obama’s patience that seems most at risk:
President Obama and his aides appear increasingly angered by threats from Congress over the president’s authority to intervene in Libya.
Both in remarks the president made during his address on Afghanistan Wednesday night and in comments made by senior administration officials, the White House is losing patience with Congress.
With the House preparing to consider resolutions that would put a check on Obama’s authority in Libya, Obama took the time in a speech on a troop draw-down in Afghanistan to defend the U.S.’s role there.
“When innocents are being slaughtered and global security endangered, we don’t have to choose between standing idly by or acting on our own,” Obama said.
You know, that’s not a bad argument for intervention — and had Obama made that argument to Congress within 60 days of our military involvement in Libya, he probably would have gotten approval by wide margins in both chambers. He might still get authorization for military action there if he followed the War Powers Act and asked for approval, although Italy’s call for an end to airstrikes might mean a tough sell in Congress for continued operations. The refusal of Obama to make that case where it counts is simply mystifying — and the very kind of imperial act that Obama and his allies used to accuse George Bush of making with much less evidence for the charge.
If anyone’s patience should be the issue, it should be the patience of Capitol Hill in restraining themselves from cutting off funding for Obama’s Libya adventure. As The Hill reports, that patience has come to an end. The House may vote within days on ending the mission, a vote that Obama has prompted through his own obstinacy and inexplicable mishandling of the issue.
Note: Due to my travel schedule, I will have no OOTD tomorrow.
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