If President Barack Obama is characterized in some quarters as too cerebral or too professorial compared with earlier presidents, he certainly shares his predecessors’ penchant for keeping tight control over foreign policy and particularly decisions of war and peace.
So it is in Libya, where the president acted without appropriate consultation with Congress.
The U.S. House has rebuked the president for failing to follow the War Powers Act, the law that requires congressional consultation after the country gets into a shooting war.
Cutting off the U.S. role, though, as the House proposed, isn’t particularly practical; the House, by its anti-Obama political attitude, effectively has passed the buck up to the Senate.
While the Senate is being more measured in its response, that body, under the leadership of U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., is willing to give after-the-fact authorization to the operations in Libya — but only after rebuking the president explicitly and likely denying support for ground forces in the Libyan civil war.
The actions by the Senate are especially striking as the elder statesman Lugar took the young Sen. Obama under his wing years ago. The president should feel the sting in the Senate’s statements.