Yet it seems to me that right now we have a lot of issues going around in the world and our president appears to be laying back waiting for things to show up on his desk.
In the Illinois legislature state Sen. Barack Obama voted "present" 129 times. Today he seems to be voting present on two major issues, Libya and the budget. National Security Adviser Tom Donilon told reporters Thursday that the United States and other nations have "taken a range of steps . . . to squeeze Gadhafi, isolate him, really turn him into a pariah."
But the steps the United States has taken may well have bolstered Gadhafi's determination to crush the rebellion against his regime.
On the one hand we supported the United Nations resolution giving the International Criminal Court jurisdiction to prosecute Gadhafi and his minions. That means we have blocked off any escape route to a safe retirement.
On the other hand we have interpreted the Security Council resolution ordering an arms embargo as applying to the Libyan rebels as well as the Gadhafi regime.
Or at least that's the interpretation of State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley. An anonymous White House source said maybe the resolution doesn't apply to the rebels.
The White House has said the United States will send aid to the rebels and that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will meet with their transitional council next week.
Aid, not arms; a meeting, but (unlike France and Portugal) no official recognition. The president seems to be voting "present" once again.