I doubt the Obama White House was under any illusion that the country would erupt with biprtisan applause or offer uniform salutes of support when the decision was made to launch a military strike on Libya. But still, the reaction of Republicans is pretty amazing given the years they spent complaining that Democrats wouldn’t support George W. Bush on Iraq as a matter of simple patriotism. This Politico lede says it all:
After demanding for weeks that he be more decisive on Libya, not one candidate in the field of 2012 GOP hopefuls has expressed support for President Barack Obama since he began bombing the North African nation.
The GOP’s presidential prospects either sharply criticized the commander-in-chief this weekend or avoided weighing in.
The self-styled Churchillian figure Newt Gingrich has been typical of his peers, alternating between complaints that Obama didn’t act unilaterally weeks ago to attack Libya and snorts of derision about the slight strategic importance of that country to begin with.
Get used to it. People running for the 2012 presidential nomination are aware that the early-state caucus and primary voters who will determine their fate hate Barack Obama with a deep and abiding passion, and do not believe the president is capable of or even interested in action in the country’s interests. So the candidates will oppose him no matter what he does, and if he changes his mind to agree with what they said two hours ago, they’ll attack him for being weak or irresolute.
If there is to be any sort of real debate over the administration’s actions towards LIbya, it’s going to have to be mainly among Democrats.