Boehner’s pathetic statement about Obama’s action in Libya

BLS writes:

You’ve wondered what if anything the Republican leadership has had to say about Obama’s military action in Libya. Speaker Boehner has released this statement on the conflict:

The United States has a moral obligation to stand with those who seek freedom from oppression and self-government for their people. It’s unacceptable and outrageous for Qadhafi to attack his own people, and the violence must stop.

When exactly did we decide that we have to provide military support against every oppression in the world?

Boehner goes on to complain that Obama did not seek any approval or advice from Congress:

The President is the commander-in-chief, but the Administration has a responsibility to define for the American people, the Congress, and our troops what the mission in Libya is, better explain what America’s role is in achieving that mission, and make clear how it will be accomplished. Before any further military commitments are made, the Administration must do a better job of communicating to the American people and to Congress about our mission in Libya and how it will be achieved.

I agree with this sentiment. Yet Boehner has not considered that no military action is even acceptable. The Republicans are upset about the president’s failure to consult them, not with the military actions the president approved.

Boehner’s position thus falls in line with the Roger Simon article you posted. America has to do good. No rational analysis is necessary. If enough people think something is good, well then, by all means we have to do it.

I did not realize I could lose more faith in the Republican Party. There is no national interest here. There is no reason to be involved. And the Republicans don’t even insist on congressional authorization. Thankfully some Democrats and Republicans are complaining, but it will not be enough to stop this ridiculous foreign policy.

LA replies:

Boehner’s complaint about the president’s taking military action on his own motion without the authorization of Congress is pathetically weak. There are no teeth in it at all. This is tantamount to a total surrender of war-making power to the president.

As for the substantive reasons for the intervention, Boehner’s statement, “The United States has a moral obligation to stand with those who seek freedom from oppression and self-government for their people,” is as off-the-wall as anything ever uttered by William Kristol or Charles Krauthammer. It means that wherever in the world any group is arguably oppressed, the U.S. must send military forces to help that group. Then why don’t we send our forces to help scores of oppressed groups around the world right now? So Boehner’s statement is empty and thoughtless. He’s uttering a universal-sounding principal to justify this particular action, while not thinking about the actual meaning of that principle, which in reality he would never try to put into effect, because the principle, when its meaning is spelled out explicitly as I have done here, is mad. Neither Boehner nor any sane person would endorse it. Which means that Boehner was unable to find a valid reason to support this particular action. He could only support it on the basis of universalistic hogwash which he doesn’t really mean.

Why can’t we have leaders with brains and a grasp of reality? Why is it virtually a law of nature that Republican politicians (I leave aside the Democrats because they are a criminal party) are always so intellectually inadequate?

Speaking of laws of nature, maybe it’s time to revise the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Americans are created equal, endowed by their creator with an inherent inability to reason between the universal and the particular; and that Americans will therefore always express themselves in terms of universalist abstractions which they don’t actually mean and would never seek to put consistently into effect, thus making themselves look like fools and hypocrites, even as, based on the universalist abstractions which they whimsically apply to some particulars but not to others, they keep blundering into situations where they have no business being.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 20, 2011 08:05 PM | Send

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