The 2012 presidential campaign is just getting underway, and the likely Republican candidates--who have generally been slippery on the Libya question thus far--will not be able to dodge this one. GOP foreign policy elites, whom the top candidates either know well or have an incentive to impress, have mostly supported a forceful intervention. (See Bill Kristol's latest.) But polls are mixed, showing public support for a no-fly zone but not for actual military strikes, which now seem a real possibility ("all necessary means..."). This could also be a defining moment for Tea Party Republicans, who have alternately shown streaks of isolationism and hawkishness. Finally, what will we hear from Obama's Democratic allies in Congress--many of them exhausted by the foreign interventions of the past decade?
We need to get all of these on the record as soon as possible. A congressional vote is a good place to start.