I don't agree with President Obama's decision to militarily intervene in Libya, but it's a somewhat close call: I can easily see how reasonable people of good motivations can come to a different conclusion than I did. But I'm quite unhappy with how the process played out: Almost zero consultation with Congress, which does possess the Constitutional power to declare war. *
* Conservatives are noting that liberals aren't mounting anti-war protests, proving their Bush-era anger was largely an exercise in tribalism. Perhaps, but I note that I'm not seeing Tea Partiers scream angrily about the lack of Congressional consultation. Everybody's stupid, in other words.
My anger at the Bush Administration stemmed, in large part, not just from the stupid invasions and illegal torture that it ordered, but its underlying theory of governance that seemed to do away with the checks and balances provided by Congress. As bad as the Bush Administration was, though, it still sought Congressional backing before it invaded Iraq. In that sense, it showed more respect for the Constitution prerogatives of Congress than the Obama Administration did this week.
And I'm unhappy about that.
As a voter, I'm not certain what to do next. Do I vote for the party that favors an imperial presidency, or do I favor the party that favors an imperial presidency with somewhat less torture? I can't quite convince myself that both parties are exactly the same; the developments in Wisconsin in recent weeks show that one party is more committed to undermining both the rights of workers and the social safety net. I guess I'll take my militarism with a side of Social Security, thanks.
So I'll probably vote for Barack Obama in 2012, but only as a means of forestalling something worse. And I suppose it doesn't matter to him whether I vote for him while holding my nose or waving pom-poms. But I won't be giving any other kind of support to the Democratic Party. You get my vote, Dems, but you sure as hell don't get my allegiance.