Obama: “after consulting the bipartisan leadership of Congress, I authorized military action”

I was reading the transcript of President Obama’s speech last night (as long-term readers of this blog may recall, I almost never watch televised speeches, preferring instead to read them), and this jumped out,

And so nine days ago, after consulting the bipartisan leadership of Congress, I authorized military action to stop the killing and enforce U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973.

Interesting turn of phrase, “after consulting the bipartisan leadership”. It implies that he went to Congress, when in fact he briefed them and then when ahead, when he was abroad.

And then Obama waited a full week to address the nation. James Jay Carafano,

This might have been an okay speech last week, when it was pretty clear that the right way forward was to minimize the commitment of the U.S. military, look after the best interests of Libya’s civilian population, and limit the spread of terrorism and instability throughout the region.

A week ago, too, the laundry list of what needed to be done was pretty clear: (1) Keep Qaddafi isolated until he is brought to justice; (2) establish a military presence to keep his forces from driving the opposition into the sea; (3) identify, support, and sustain a legitimate opposition that brings democracy to the country, rather than letting it become the next terrorist haven, and that looks after the humanitarian needs and the human rights of the people under its control.

If what needed to be done was common sense a week ago, hearing the president say it now hardly instills confidence.

All we really learned in last night’s speech is how that’s going to get done. The “international community” is going to do it.

Other than that,

it was yet another well-delivered, split-the-difference, mellifluous Obama speech that said essentially nothing of substance.

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