The most consistent complaints we heard from Democrats during the Bush administration were over the Iraq war. Joe Donnelly voted “yes” to investigate a possible impeachment of President Bush over “lying” about Iraq. Donnelly also opposed and spoke against the surge that has been wildly successful in Iraq.
Now a Democrat is President. George W. Bush went to Congress to get authorization to use force in Iraq. Barack Obama committed U.S. military forces against Libya without Congressional authorization and then ignored the deadline to seek Congressional approval required by the War Powers Act. This brought about a rebuke from the House of Representatives. Given Donnelly’s history, you would expect him to vote with the majority, right?
Donnelly voted against a resolution, which passed 268-145 on Friday. Forty five Democrats voted for this resolution, including Donnelly’s fellow Hoosier, Pete Visclosky.
Principled people have differing opinions about the Iraq war and whether we should have invaded and forced regime change. But there is no question that this was a joint effort by President Bush and Congress. Obama’s military adventure in Libya, meanwhile, was decided by Obama alone, without authorization from Congress.
Donnelly’s double standard here is shameless. He claims to be the “most independent congressman” in Indiana on his YouTube page. If that is the case, then why is he casting such an obviously partisan vote defending the Democratic President’s indefensible military action against Libya?
Of course, hypocrisy is nothing new for Democrats on this issue. On December 7, 2007, Barack Obama said, “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.” So what changed, Mr. President?
This entire episode is a joke. Democrats, after spending eight years bitterly attacking President Bush, calling him a war criminal and calling for his impeachment, are now lining up behind Barack Obama for war against Libya depite the fact that there are no vital national security interests at stake and despite the fact that Obama has been far more aggressive than Bush in abusing his authority.
Joe Donnelly wants to be elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012. He does not deserve the promotion.