Front and Center

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Becoming President Can Make You Hypocritical

We’ve seen it many times. Candidate runs for President and says “I will do A, B, and certainly C.”  They then get into office…and suddenly, a few of those promises are conveniently forgotten.  With the recent actions in Libya, President Obama has joined the club.

First, a few quotes from then-Senator Obama about the US and military actions:

The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.

Then-State Senator Obama on why the US shouldn’t go into Iraq, circa 2002:

“I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted U.N. inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity … But … Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors …”

Fast forward to 2011. Quaddafi is no threat to the US. They only produce 2 percent of the world’s oil. But not only are we participating in Operation Odyssey Dawn against Libya, we did so without Congressional advice and consent. A complete 180-degree turn on both counts, no?

Links:
“Q and A with Presidential Candidate Obama”

“From Iraq to Libya, Obama Becomes a Hypocrite”

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2 responses to “Becoming President Can Make You Hypocritical

  1. Kurt March 23, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    One word makes a huge difference. In this instance, that word is “unilaterally”. Obama was right then, and he’s right now. The no-fly zone was first called for by the Arab League. Of course we were behind the scenes, but they were out front. As a member of NATO, and the UN Security Council, the US had to take part in this action. Congressional leaders were briefed 24 hours prior to the initial action.
    Nothing to see here.

    • HalFrontandCenter March 23, 2011 at 4:49 pm

      Briefing Congressional leaders and getting Congressional approval are 2 different things. Even members of Congress are complaining. And while you may have a point about “unilaterally” he still failed his own “imminent threat” test.
      Oh, and the US didn’t go into Iraq unilaterally. And it was plain from day one that we would have other countries going with us.

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