The Final World On Lieberman-Kyl

More

(1) The resolution was non-binding and substantively different from the 2002 use of force resolution. Lieberman-Kyl has zero authority; it expresses senses, not findings.

(2) Obama's main substantive argument is about power and authority: should Congress give President Bush even a hint -- and Obama, looking at the intent of the initial sponsors, sees such a hint -- that the commander in chief has their permission to launch military strikes or continue to justify a large troop presence in Iraq on the basis of Iran's intervention in the war?

(3) Clinton's main argument is that she is a senator, and according to Obama's logic, anything that comes up for a vote could be interpreted or warped so as to give President Bush's actions the imprimateur of legitimacy. Clinton is on the Armed Services Committee; Iran's Revolutionary Guards are attacking U.S. soldiers; the biggest beneficiary of the Iraq war being ran, it's simply reality -- as Obama himself acknowledged -- that Iran's actions will in some way factor into decisions about when and where and how fast to move troops out. Clinton turned a sketchy resolution into a much better one, one that wasn't bellicose and gave no hints or winks to the White House. And, oh -- Obama didn't show up and argue this during the vote itself.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Did I Study Physics?

In this hand-drawn animation, a college graduate explains why she chose her major—and what it taught her about herself.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Video

What If Emoji Lived Among Us?

A whimsical ad imagines what life would be like if emoji were real.

Video

Living Alone on a Sailboat

"If you think I'm a dirtbag, then you don't understand the lifestyle."

Video

How Is Social Media Changing Journalism?

How new platforms are transforming radio, TV, print, and digital

Video

The Place Where Silent Movies Sing

How an antique, wind-powered pipe organ brings films to life

Feature

The Future of Iced Coffee

Are artisan businesses like Blue Bottle doomed to fail when they go mainstream?

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In