“Given the costs of a no-fly zone, the risks that our involvement would escalate, the uncertain reception in the Arab street of any American intervention in an Arab country, the potential for civilian deaths, the unpredictability of the endgame in a civil war, the strains on our military, and other factors, I am doubtful that U.S. interests would be served by imposing a no-fly zone over Libya.”
Why, it's Nixon's Favorite Mayor and Erstwhile Senatorial Surrogate Daddy to Freshman Barack "Hussein" Obama, Indiana's own Senior Statesman, Richard Green "Aren't Eagle Scouts Supposed To Tell The Truth?" Lugar, who also demanded that the President “first seek a congressional debate on a declaration of war.”
Sure, sure, that "potential for civilian deaths" is a dead giveaway. Still, the preteritio-minded among us would probably avoid mentioning that, since "Dick" Lugar assumed that Senate seat of his, shortly after the earth cooled, the United States has intervened militarily in Iran, Libya, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Lebanon, Grenada, Honduras, Iran, Libya, Bolivia, Iran, Libya, the Virgin Islands, the Philippines, Panama, Iraq, Somalia, Yugoslavia, Bosnia, Haiti, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yugoslavia, Macedonia, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Colombia, Iraq, Haiti, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and now Libya again without Dick Lugar demanding a war declaration vote, or much of anything else in the way of debate.
Not me, though. I'd like to point out that while, yes, Dick Lugar has supported every military intervention, crypto military intervention, quasi- proxy- and private-military intervention that's come down the pike since he got his sinecure, he did manage to mutter something under his breath about Bush the Dumber's Iraq II adventure being "perhaps a skosh hasty" a couple days before he voted for it anyway, and later he fearlessly reminded someone who bothered to listen to him that he'd been overheard saying just that. That was in 2005, when the whole thing was long since revealed as a bottomless pool of cess, after which Lugar voted to fund The Surge and went back to sleep.
Sure, some may call this hypocrisy, but I find it depressingly consistent. And allow me to point out that this is the United States Senate, where rubber-stamping Defense bills and blank-check military excursions is almost as popular as golf, semi-automatic weapons, and the perineums of copy boys. Dick Lugar is one of the longest-serving Senators in United States history. If he doesn't teach the younger members how to go along, our Traditions may be lost.
Plus it's entirely possible that Lugar imagines he was in the Senate in 1941, the last time we voted on a declaration of war. Shit, sometimes I have that feeling myself.
Local "news" organizations, however, have attributed Lugar's sudden, perimortem interest in Constitutional law to the re-nomination challenge posed by Teabagging State Treasurer Richard Murdock, whose reelection campaign ads--and by the way, when your State Treasurer runs campaign ads it is either time you seriously got the money out of politics, or considered abolishing Television--touted the fact that he had managed to earn interest on Indiana's accounts. And not just that, he said this as though it had never been done before, and he had accomplished it through some arcane process he'd invented. As far as I can tell I'm the only man in Indiana who saw in this a sign of the Apocalypse.
And here's the thing: when Dick Lugar was elected to the Senate they were still making Studebakers in South Bend. If Dick Lugar polled 105% of the vote I wouldn't find it suspicious. As much as I'd love to see Lugar's final act involve sinking under the weight of the wingnut faction he's pandered to his entire Washington career--and in mid-pander, no less--it ain't gonna happen. Lugar knows it ain't gonna happen. The local pundocrats know it ain't gonna happen. Murdock knows it ain't gonna happen. It's just a good way to create a little employment, always a good idea during a Republican administration, and a chance for Lugar to show his true colors for once, which was really all that was necessary. I'm sure his old pal Barack Hussein Obama understands why he's in the subject line of every one of Lugar's press releases these days. Like the old saying goes, scratch a politician, get a good reason to go get that finger disinfected.