The imminent collapse after 42 years of Moammar Gaddafi's brutal and capricious regime demonstrates that even a half-hearted U.S. effort can make a big difference. Mr. Obama insisted six months ago that U.S. participation would last only "days"; he kept the connection between military means and political goals murky; he fudged rather than comply with the War Powers Resolution; he was slow to recognize the Libyan opposition.
Greg Sargent today calls the Republican response to what's happening in Libya "incoherent," and maybe it is. Two years ago this month, Senator McCain was tweeting about his "interesting" meeting at Colonel Gadhafi's ranch -- a trip on which he and Senators Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman talked about providing "non-lethal defense equipment" to the Libyan government. Now that government is on its way out, and Senator McCain sounds ready for Syria to go next.
But as Rachel said on the show last night, the war in Libya does not fit neatly into Republican politics. "This is a military intervention that was multilateral, where America did not take the lead, in which there were no Americans killed, but the U.S. either did or is about to, it seems, get what it wants," Rachel said. America might be a long time making sense of this.