House Republican Concerned Fighting In Libya Could Spread To Africa

Tom Marino (R., Pa.) needs a geography lesson:

Rep. Tom Marino, R-10, Lycoming Twp., said he supports Mr. Gadhafi’s removal but said Mr. Obama should have consulted Congress before acting.

Instead, the president’s action raised questions about whether he violated the constitutional provision that gives Congress the power to declare war, or the War Powers Act, Mr. Marino said.

“The bottom line is I wish the president would have told us, talked to Congress about what is the plan. Is there a plan? Is the mission to take Gadhafi out?” Mr. Marino asked. “I think he’s fumbling through this.”

Mr. Marino, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said he hopes to ask questions of administration officials at a committee hearing today. He questioned whether humanitarian reasons are good enough for intervention.

Where does it stop?” he said. “Do we go into Africa next? I don’t want to sound callous or cold, but this could go on indefinitely around the world.”

Apparently, membership on the Foreign Affairs Committee does not require one to actually know anything about foreign countries.


FILED UNDER: Africa, Congress, US Politics, World Politics, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. mantis says:

    As much as I like laughing at dumb Republicans, I think Marino was really talking about ground troops. So by being “in Africa,” he’s talking about how we’re “in” Iraq and Afghanistan. I don’t think he’s confused about which continent Libya is on.

  2. Ernieyeball says:

    ‘No person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the age of 25 years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.” USCon. Art. I Sec. 2 Par. 2

    These are the Constitutional requirements for members of the House of Representatives.
    Shall we amend the Constitution to require a High School Diploma, a College undergraduate degree? Grad school? What?

  3. ej says:

    it might also be he was reffering to subsaharan africa. Northern africa for geopolitical purposes is usually lumped in with the middle east. How many times in recent months have egypt, tunisia, etc been included into this term?

  4. TG Chicago says:

    Or he might have meant “further into Africa” or something. This is a minor slip of the tongue. If we agree that it’s silly to harp on Obama’s 57 states flub, then we can agree that this is nothing to get worked up over, either.

    (I’m assuming these were not prepared remarks. If they were, then that’s kind of a dumb mistake, but still strikes me as a bit of absent-mindedness than anything truly stupid.)

  5. MarkedMan says:

    TG Chicago may well be right. Although it is awfully tempting to throw him in with the Republican know-nothings of the past. Can anyone help me remember the Republican Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee who took it as a point of pride that he didn’t have a passport and had never been outside US borders? Was it Jesse Helms?

  6. Franklin says:

    Agreed that it’s likely a slip of the tongue or one of the other explanations. Good thing Sarah didn’t say this or Doug would’ve, um, enjoyed it very much.

  7. Socrates says:

    It’s not a slip of the tongue. Where’s your evidence for that?

    He doesn’t know that Libya is in Africa.

    How is that in any way surprising?

  8. mantis says:

    It’s not a slip of the tongue. Where’s your evidence for that?

    You want evidence that someone misspoke? Seriously? What form would such evidence take?

  9. Colin says:

    “membership on the Foreign Affairs Committee does not require one to actually know anything about foreign countries.”

    How the heck did you think Joe Biden qualified for the Senate’s equivalent of this House committee!

    Neither geography nor geology are necessary for this committee. Just check out the Democrat congressman who was worried that the island of Guam would capsize if more Marines were re-stationed to the U.S. territory from bases in nearby foreign countries!