Boehner threads the needle:

“The President is the commander-in-chief, but the Administration has a responsibility to define for the American people, the Congress, and our troops what the mission in Libya is, better explain what America’s role is in achieving that mission, and make clear how it will be accomplished. Before any further military commitments are made, the Administration must do a better job of communicating to the American people and to Congress about our mission in Libya and how it will be achieved.”

But the president is visiting Brazil! He doesn't have the time to explain to the American people properly the war that he, and he alone, decided on. Why tell the public? Their permission is irrelevant; as is the Congress's. The Washington Times calls the war "illegal" without a Congressional vote.

The only forces on the right that will support Obama will be the neocons. But they will be merciless in attacking the haphazard, zig-zagging way the president has ended up here. It's win-win for them. They can say: Obama is finally taking our advice. But if you want military intervention without "dithering", vote for Palin next time.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.