I agree with DougJ that the new reality is interventionism in coalition form using mainly airstrikes, in places chosen by a more-or-less arbitrary standard, no matter what neo-isolationists have to say. But, even though it’s like farting in a strong breeze, I’d like to add that Congress has yet again failed to play its Constitutional role in the war on Libya. The War Powers Act, which as far as I’m concerned was already a slide down the slippery slope of imperial Presidency, is pretty specific about the circumstances under which the President can take unilateral action: “under attack or serious threat”. Muammar Gaddafi has neither attacked us, nor he a serious threat.
Of course, I really am just wasting electrons typing this, because most Members of Congress think that it’s a cute trick to push responsibility for possible failure onto the shoulders of the President. That’s why those moral cowards have an approval rating hovering somewhere south of Sarah Palin, and just north of the Catholic priests. Obama is getting a lot of criticism for jumping into this Libyan adventure, but we’re so used to Congress being a non-player in war debates that their non-role is scarcely mentioned. I just wanted to mention it, before we move on to further discussions of cruise missles and civilian casualties.