Senator Mark Udall has had so many different political personalities in the last couple of months, that his cognitive dissonance is beginning to shine through on his approach to Obama's war in Libya.
Seeing the writing on the wall from last cycle, Udall has been trying to play the fiscal conservative, foreign policy hawk, antiwar leader, and all-around bipartisan guy, all at the same time. Coming from the left wing of the Democrat party, Udall is clearly challenged in keeping all those different dispositions separate.
This split-personality is on display most clearly with Obama's war, sorry — time-limited, scope-limited military action — in Libya. He first came out supporting the war, but now is backtracking and qualifying his support for the war.
"Like all Americans, I deplore and condemn the violence against Libyans who are asserting their rights to basic freedoms. Colonel Qaddafi has been a brutal dictator and is viciously attacking his own people in order to maintain control, and he gave the international community no choice but to act. Importantly, the United States is acting in concert with the United Nations. France, Britain and other nations are joining us in enforcing the no-fly zone."
"[President Obama] has an obligation to provide Congress and the American public with ongoing updates and more details about the mission and the United States' role in enforcing the United Nations resolution. A protracted and deepening U.S. engagement in Libya is neither affordable nor is it in our long-term strategic interests. Ultimately this is not our fight…But in the end, it is the Libyan people who must determine their future. As we go forward, I have a number of concerns; among them: that the administration isn't sufficiently prepared to deal with the possible outcomes of this action."
It kind of reminds us of "I actually voted for that bill, before I voted against it."
Democrats are no doubt in a bit of a bind, rhetorically and philosophically, over Obama's actions in Libya. They don't want to trash Obama, while at the same time not appearing completely hypocritical on their criticisms leveled at President Bush over Iraq.
Hiding that hypocrisy is virtually impossible after Biden was found saying in 2007:
"And I made it clear to the President that if he takes this nation to war with Iran without Congressional approval I will make it my business to impeach him. That’s a fact. That is a fact.”
To the editorial boards of Colorado newspapers: Don't give Udall a free pass on this conspicuous foreign policy flip and flop. He has displayed that the pull of political expediency is driving his foreign policy stance more than an honest analysis of the facts on the ground.
Just because he got a free pass during his election to the US Senate doesn't mean he deserves the same on grave matters of American national interest.
Senator Udall can't have has antiwar cake and bomb it without Congressional approval too.