While I didn't follow the election of Republican Sean Duffy (WI-7) as closely as the race in my own district, I do know he was not the "Tea Pary Candidate" despite what his foes will tell you. Beyond that, I did have some hope that his prominence might shine a positive light on larger families since he and his wife have six children. But after hearing him on Wisconsin Public Radio today, I can't help but wonder if he even understands his role in government.
On the Joy Cardin show Duffy said that he supported the President's actions in Libya, citing in particular the fact that the President had built a coalition prior to taking action. In our system of government, I would suggest that coalitions begin at home and work outward from there. Specifically, they begin in the Congress, where the power to declare war and the power to fund war reside. In the case of the Libyan action, President Obama has treated Congress like an annoying kid brother allowed to tag along while Barak, his French friend Nic, and their buddy Ban Ki-moon go off on some African adventure.
If you want to play amateur Con Law professor and tell me that missiles launched from sea and bombs dropped from the air don't amount to a declaration of war, I'll tell you at best that amounts to a technicality. What happens when the Congress has to vote to pay for the ongoing non-war Libyan operations? I got no sense from Duffy's comments that he would think twice about voting for the funding. This was after a ten minute discussion in which Duffy said that NPR needed to tighten its belt since we are facing severe fiscal challenges in this country.
Somehow, the Congress has gone from the first branch of the government to the worst branch. None of the blame for this rests with Duffy. But from what I heard from him today, I doubt that reversing this condition will begin with him either.