Perennial congressional gadfly Dennis Kucinich completely lost his political screws when he even uttered the word "impeachment" of President Obama over his action in Libya. Kucinich has often been the lone, outraged voice, in blistering Obama on everything from his tax cut compromise with the GOP to his Afghan war policy, but the Libya outburst made no sense by even Kucinich's radical rhetoric standards.
No one disputes the legal, constitutional and political need of presidents to get approval from Congress when the issue is waging war. This obligation is clearly spelled out in the War Powers Act. And those congresspersons that made that point were right to make it. Kucinich and the handful of Democrats that rip Obama about Libya certainly know that there is virtually no possibility that Obama will blatantly abuse that power as Bush did in Iraq and Afghanistan and commit American ground troops to combat in Libya. That would be a gross violation of the provisions of the Act.
Obama backed the Libyan no fly zone because the United Nations Security Council by unanimous vote backed it. The House Foreign affairs and intelligence committees backed the action. The Arab league backed it. And nearly every humanitarian group around has backed it. But most important, he backed it because it's the politically and morally right thing to do. Kucinich and others would have screamed the loudest if Obama had done nothing and Gaddafi slaughtered thousands in a revenge blood lust rampage against the rebel groups. In his case, and that of every other dictator that's ever been under siege from their own people that almost always translates out to the slaughter of innocent women children and old folk, under the guise of restoring order. If Obama hadn't acted, he would have been even more loudly damned as being weak, indecisive and a chronic ditherer when it comes to making tough decisions on foreign policy issues.
He's already heard that slander endlessly from his GOP attackers. So the screams about the president violating congressional trust and prerogatives simply adds to the noise. Kucinich and some of Obama's severest critics among Democrats real goal is to send the message that they don't like a lot of what Obama does and they will pick at every little issue to dramatize their pique at him. They continue to hope that they can nudge Obama from his cautious, centrist stance they loath on issues a little more to the left. Libya is just the latest, and the most convenient way to do that.
Obama's UN no fly zone is a cheap, easy, and ultimately effective way to show that the United States can for a welcome change actually push nations to do the right thing when it comes to confronting a brutal, maniacal dictator who has absolutely no compunction about trampling on human rights, and that includes massacring his own people. Obama's willingness to take the right stand, in the right place, and in the right way has earned the U.S. the praise and gratitude of the millions that struggle against repressive, dictatorial regimes in the Middle East and are daily being met with bombs and bullets for their effort.
At any other time, Kucinich would lustily demand and cheer the action Obama and the UN took. The fact that he and few others don't, but chose to nitpick instead, tells us more about their ongoing political anger at Obama than any real concern over whether Obama snubbed his nose at Congress. Impeach Obama over Libya, you got to be kidding. When Kucinich uttered the word even Obama's Democratic critics howled at that delusional thought.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He hosts a national Capitol Hill broadcast radio talk show on KTYM Radio Los Angeles and WFAX Radio Washington D.C. streamed on The Hutchinson Report Newsmaker Hour on blogtalkradio.com and wfax.com and internet TV broadcast on thehutchinsonreportnews.com