Does Peggy Noodnik Have A Point?

I know all you splendid readers think the hardworking staff is a noodnik for following Peggy Noonan’s Wall Street Journal Declarations, but here’s a question from her current column about “the decision to become involved militarily in the Libyan civil war” that’s actually worth considering:

I cannot for the life of me see how an American president can launch a serious military action without a full and formal national address in which he explains to the American people why he is doing what he is doing, why it is right, and why it is very much in the national interest. He referred to his aims in parts of speeches and appearances when he was in South America, but now he’s home. More is needed, more is warranted, and more is deserved. He has to sit at that big desk and explain his thinking, put forward the facts as he sees them, and try to garner public support. He has to make a case for his own actions. It’s what presidents do! And this is particularly important now, because there are reasons to fear the current involvement will either escalate and produce a lengthy conflict or collapse and produce humiliation.

Isn’t that a reasonable expectation? And if not, why not?

Your answer goes here.

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6 Responses to Does Peggy Noodnik Have A Point?

  1. Steve Stein says:

    Yes, I do think it’s reasonable. Polls show that he does have popular support for this action. I also think Congressional approval might have been nice (if not necessary), because whenever the President deploys military force, he’s doing so in our name.

    Legally it’s a bit more complicated when we act pursuant to a UN resolution (or a NATO resolution), so it’s not the US that’s attacking Libya, it’s the UN.

    But as a military action, it’s relatively minor – so far no ground troops (though missions like this carry a tar-baby effect). I don’t recall Reagan talking to the nation before US Troops invaded Grenada, or whether GHW Bush asked for public support before committing troops to Somalia days before leaving office.

  2. Fred Grosso says:

    I guess that during the Bush years her head was up her ass.

  3. Jim Mulligan says:

    I agree with the above comments. Plus it makes it easier too when Congress is in recess.
    Sort of like the move by Fidelity when the Gov. is out of town.

  4. profdaly says:

    Reluctantly, I have to agree with Peggy too. Bad enough that the executive can launch military action without a vote in Congress, but the approach taken by Obama last week was egregiously disrespectful of the American people. He should have come home, sat behind the big desk, and laid it all out for us. (And I even think it was probably the right thing to do, so it’s not that I oppose the decision.)
    Sheesh.

  5. Paul@01852 says:

    President Obama will address the nation Monday night @ 7:30PM

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