Poor Newt Gingrich. Hopefully he’s out of traction now and fully
recovered from the self-inflicted whiplash stemming from his conflicting
views of what the U.S. military role should be in Libya. It sure was
spectacular to see Newt, as he vies for his party’s nomination to
challenge the president, twisted in knots as he tried to take both sides
of the debate.
You see, Newt was for the U.S. involvement in enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya before he was against it.
Newt’s embarrassing contortions exposed the fallacy of the right’s obscene obsession with undermining the president and hoping for his (and the country’s) failure at every turn. It demonstrated the shortcomings of the “Agenda of No” practiced by Newt and his Newtonian lemmings in Congress. And it revealed that the Republican’s “no reason” policy on Libya — meaning it isn’t based in reason — ultimately will fail as the president continues to outline his vision and his authority.
Sometimes the president is right, and you just can’t fault him for it. In this case, he carefully studied the situation, weighed his options, built international support for action, and then made a smart and correct decision to engage in enforcing the no-fly zone.
Sure, President Obama is being criticized from the left as well. Their beef is he didn’t consult Congress before deploying U.S. military assets. And that is OK; the question of executive authority in this area is healthily debated every time our troops are sent into harm’s way.
But the spectacle on the right is one to behold. First the president acted too slowly. Then too quickly. First he hadn’t consulted congressional leaders. Then it turns out that he had. And then he did again on a conference call. They said he couldn’t manage the situation while traveling. Then he did. Then they said he hadn’t explained it fully to the American people. Now he’s about to do that in an address to the nation this evening.
As they continue to blanket-criticize the president’s actions, congressional Republicans are coming across as petty, small and partisan. Tonight the president has another opportunity to connect with the American people, who are tired of the petty, small and partisan hissy-fits in Washington.
David Di Martino is CEO of Blue Line Strategic Communications Inc. The views expressed in this blog are his and do not necessarily represent Blue Line’s. Follow David: @bluelinedd.