Yes, House Repubicans are willing to help Gaddafi, if in doing so they can make trouble for Obama.

Would John Boehner and his caucus really help Gaddafi stay in power just for the pleasure of needling Obama?

Apparently. I’d like to hear what the Lockerbie families have to say about this.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

13 thoughts on “Patriotism”

  1. Many of the Republicans are acting with the motives that Mark ascribes to them. But some are not. And, as Don points out, there is a strong legal (and moral) argument on the side of those who are not.

    There are times when it is appropriate to address motives, especially when proponents are making weak arguments. This is not one of them. I agree with Don–Mark is out of line.

  2. It is pretty funny to watch Mark ascribe terrible motives to people he disagrees with, All The Time.

  3. Like the others here, I find this remarkably unfair to Boehner. Unlike the others here, that’s just fine with me. One of the problems with U.S. politics is that Republicans get a free pass for things that Democrats would be vilified for.

  4. Let’s see, we’re fighting and paying for an illegal war to remove Gaddafi.

    Has it been successful? What, I have to wait a Friedman Unit?

    Oh, I see, I should wait at least 10-20-30 years before passing judgment.

  5. Oh, I think Boehner’s motives are as bad as Mark says they are. I just object to the implication that opposing the war is supporting Gaddafi.

  6. Don is right. Does anyone think that Boehner would care about the War Powers Act if the President were a Republican?

    The irony is that, for practical purposes, at least with respect to fighting illegal wars, Obama is a Republican. Boehner’s opposing the war in Libya must pain him not because it might help Gaddafi, but because Boehner, like Obama, likes the U.S. to throw its weight around, make the Arabs hate us, and give taxpayers’ money to defense contractors.

  7. Can’t we heap opprobrium on both sides here? It’s pretty obvious that the Republicans who are oh-so-concerned about the War Powers act are almost all concerned only because the President is a Democrat. Just to take an obvious example, the Iraq War resolution they engineered imposed certain reporting-to-Congress requirements on the Bush administration that were completely ignored. The blatant hypocrisy of these Republicans, however self-evident and reprehensible, doesn’t mean that violation of the War Powers Act would be hunky-dory, and it doesn’t mean that it’s fair to accuse them of being pro-Gaddafi when the truth is that they’re just anti-Obama (and probably Gaddafi-indifferent, like most people). We didn’t like it when their side made similarly offensive and stupid accusations of those who didn’t agree with them, after all, and we were right not to approve of such a rhetorical tactic. Using it also reduces the credibility and moral authority of not only those who do so but even those who don’t but are often identified with them. So, don’t.

  8. Would Mark Kleiman really defend a blatantly illegal war, and toss the rule of law on the trash heap, just because he sees a partisan need to defend Obama? Apparently.

  9. For the very first time, I am in complete and unequivocal agreement with Mr. Brett Bellmore.

  10. Do calm down, Brett. I don’t see Mark defending an illegal war (accepting, arguendo, your conclusive assertion that it is illegal). I see him questioning the good faith of Republicans. And, given their track record on supporting undeclared and possibly illegal wars, Mark is right to do so. If you can show me a Republican who has been consistent on this point (in either direction), he is excluded from the judgement and has my respect for being, if nothing else, consistent. The rest of them? They have long since exhausted any benefit of the doubt, on this and just about every other point.

    And the rest of you — sheesh, learn to read. Brett’s status here as a sort of holy fool gives him an excuse. What’s yours?

  11. Two points:

    1) Congress has been abdicating its war powers authority for decades. So it’s inevitable that some President eventually drops the charade of consulting with it, and just goes ahead and does what he wants.

    2) It’s arguable that we haven’t yet reached that point. The Administration’s position is that they are in compliance, because US forces are no longer doing the shooting: we’re just providing intelligence and equipment to NATO.

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