Kevin Drum, formerly of the Washington Monthly
an "I'm not worthy" rationale that allows liberals to support the Obama administration's policy on Libya: "If it had been my call, I wouldn't have gone into Libya. But the reason I
voted for Obama in 2008 is because I trust his judgment. And not in any
merely abstract way, either: I mean that if he and I were in a room and
disagreed about some issue on which I had any doubt at all, I'd
literally trust his judgment over my own. I think he's smarter than me,
better informed, better able to understand the consequences of his
actions, and more farsighted. I voted for him because I trust his
judgment, and I still do."
Drum's argument isn't really an argument, just a gut feeling. There's no more point in building syllogisms against it than in trying to persuade somebody that scrambled eggs taste better than fried ones. He does, in fact, provide a cogent reason to oppose the kinetic whatchamacallit: Qaddafi "appears quite capable of holding out, or even outright
winning," which increases the chances that Obama will "escalate even further" rather than "accept a
stalemate or a loss."
If that happens, it will have consequences not only for American policy in Libya, or foreign policy generally, but for liberals' relationship to Obama. Those who, like Drum, rest their case for Obama on their convictions about his character, will have to question whether the president is really all that smart, informed, discerning or farsighted. If he isn't, the people who should be the president's strongest supporters will enter his reelection campaign, and prospective second term, viewing the incumbent as the least bad option, rather than "an evolutionary flash point for humanity," as one of his adoring throng said during the children's crusade of 2008. Whether Obama can be a successful president while being such a big disappointment to his core constituency is doubtful, at best.