The Spectacle Blog

Obama, Libya and the Left

By on 3.20.11 | 12:23PM

The relative silence of the anti-war Left about President Obama's commitment of U.S. forces to military action against Moammar Qaddafi's regime -- noted previously by John Guardiano -- has at least two prominent exceptions. Left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore was nearly apoplectic on Twitter yesterday:

It's only cause we're defending the Libyan people from a tyrant! That's why we bombed the Saudis last wk! Hahaha. Pentagon=comedy

And we always follow the French's lead! Next thing you know, we'll have free health care & free college! Yay war!

We've had a "no-fly zone" over Afghanistan for over 9 yrs. How's that going? #WINNING !

Khadaffy must've planned 9/11! #excuses

Khadaffy must've had WMD! #excusesthatwork

So give Moore credit, at least, for being consistently wacko. We might say the same for Andrew Sullivan:

I supported Obama against first Clinton and then McCain because I knew full well that both Clinton and McCain were unrepentant fans of presidential war-making powers and had both supported almost every war in their political lives. I wanted someone with more restraint. . . .
It's just brutal to have supported Obama's foreign policy for so long, only to see it morph into a multilateral version of McCain's so swiftly. The whiplash is jarring.

The jarring whiplash involved this December 2007 quote from then-candidate Obama:

"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."

While at least these two Obamaphiles have admitted that this isn't the Change they voted for, there is certainly nothing comparable to the "impeach-the-neocon-warmonger" furor we saw against Bush, as my blogger friend the Rhetorican noted:

What's missing? The ubiquitous sense of outrage in every nook and cranny of Leftie-dom that we couldn't stop hearing back in 2003, before troops even started packing for Iraq.

To which observation I replied:

True: The outrage is not "ubiquitous," but what are lefties like Michael Moore going to do? They got nowhere to go. They backed the most left-wing nominee in the Democratic Party's history -- yes, Obama is further left than McGovern or Dukakis -- and actually managed to get him elected. And the result is . . . ??
We're still in Iraq and Afghanistan. Guantanamo is still in business. Bradley Manning is stripped naked in solitary confinement. Now, another military adventure. You'd think that people who'd been so blatantly screwed over, bamboozled, sold out, ripped off and stabbed in the back would eventually wise up.
But then again: They're liberals.

Randall Jarrell once observed of liberals in the 1950s that "they would have swallowed a porcupine, if you had dyed its quills and called it Modern Art." Now we see that most of the anti-war Left will swallow even war, if you call it Human Rights -- and the president who wages it is a Democrat.

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