Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Let's Play a Game – You're The President

President Obama

In light of so many saying Obama as started a conflict without Congressional authorization I thought we might try a hypothetical and see what you all think.

I want you to assume you are President Obama. You are weighing your options on a rapidly moving Libyan conflict. And while you are weighing your options the Senate, the body that advises and consents, jumps ahead of you and unanimously passes a resolution for a Libyan no-fly-zone, one that would be unilaterally enacted. Two weeks later the Libyan rebels, a good number of Arab states, the UN and your advisors are also now calling for a no-fly-zone. So you agree. As the UN is voting or shortly after you call over Congressional leaders and advise them of your decision. Saying OK I agree with your vote two weeks ago, except I decided I could not do it unilaterally nor do I want to be the lead dog for very long. Then within 48 hours of the decision per the War Powers Act you send an advisory letter to both Houses of Congress letting them know and laying out your case for this action. ( not sure you really needed to lay out the case since they had already vote yea)

So far you have done a decent job of not being an imperial President. The Senate wanted a no fly zone, voted for a no fly zone, but you were hesitant and didn’t feel it was the US’s job alone.

Now two weeks go by, the no fly-zone is full effect and the Senate, pundits and others  are all screaming hold on there sparky we were not advised, we did not vote.

So the question I would be asking myself if I were President would be wait just a damn second. That vote a March 1st was pure bull shit you really didn’t mean it. My meeting with Congressional leaders on the Friday that the  UN passed resolution 1973 didn’t happen and the letter as required by the WPA was never delivered? Next I would also be asking, well if you want another vote why haven’t you voted? It seems to me you have ceded your powers rather than I grabbing them.

So what do Moosers think?


  1. HappyinVT

    Maybe even some Dems.  I’ve followed the Rand Paul story at TPM and LGF and, while I think he doesn’t suport the nfz, I don’t see him running around the halls of Congress urging a (re)vote.  In fact, no one is urging a vote; Carl Levin mentioned it earlier in the week but they were going to wait for a classified briefing and I haven’t heard anything since.

    I think other (shall we say more pro-war and/or savvy) Republicans don’t want that vote to count since it is “non-binding” in case things go well and the president comes out looking good.

  2. …things could be resolved diplomatically by the end of the week. After the defection of Moussa Koussa to the UK last night, the Guardian is reporting that a senior diplomat is in London looking for a way out

    Mohammed Ismail, a senior aide to Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam, visited London in recent days, British government sources familiar with the meeting have confirmed.

    The contacts with Ismail are believed to have been one of a number between Libyan officials and the west in the last fortnight, amid signs that the regime may be looking for an exit strategy.

    (Meanwhile) A team led by the British ambassador to Libya, Richard Northern, and MI6 officers, embarked on a lengthy debriefing of Koussa (the former Libyan justice minister) at a safe house after he flew into Farnborough airport on Wednesday night from Tunisia.

    Government sources said the questioning would take time because Koussa’s state of mind was “delicate” after he left his family in Libya. The Foreign Office declined “to provide a running commentary” on contacts with Ismail or other regime officials. But news of the meeting comes amid mounting speculation that Gaddafi’s sons, foremost among them Saif al-Islam, Saadi and Mutassim, are anxious to explore a way out of the crisis in Libya.

    Meanwhile various tweets are coming in about other senior defections!/ksnavarra

    ALERT: Yesterday’s tweets CONFIRMED: #Libya defectors in #Tunisia are Shokri Ghanem, Abuzeid Dorda, Qassim Al-Zwai. Announced on AJE

    less than a minute ago via TweetDeck

    Karl Stagno-Navarra


    Senior #Libya defectors are reportedly engaged in desperate calls to #London and #Rome seeking safe passage and ‘immunity’

    less than a minute ago via TweetDeck

    Karl Stagno-Navarra


    Because of the retreat in the desert by the outgunned rebels, I was beginning to think my prediction of an early resolution was premature. Now I’m not so sure.  

  3. creamer

    He has an army, the rebels do not. I keep hearing the term “freedom fighters”, obviously they want to be free of Gaddafi, but I’m unconvinced there is a Adams or Jefferson in the group.

    The discussion has moved to arming the rebels, and of course training the rebels. If the administration wants to release some of the 33 billion in Libyan assests to purchase AK-47’s from somone else, I’m ok.If “trainers” are going in, it really needs to be somone else.

     I might also suggest that the longer Gaddafi is upright the more pressure builds on the administration to become more radical in its effort to remove him. Any bump he gets politicaly for reducing presence in Afghanistan goes away if the mad colonel is still in power.

  4. spacemanspiff

    If France wants to go in and do their thing that’s on them. But this isn’t as simple as we were told it would be and now we have no end in sight. Now they are talking about training and arming some random rebels? I hope we have NOTHING to do with anything else going on in Libya in the future.

    I’d say more but my opinion on this would not be that welcome here.

    I’m pissed.

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