Rep. Michele Bachmann, continuing her drumbeat of criticism of President Obama’s policies and priorities, ripped his rationale Wednesday for intervening in Libya, arguing that it isn’t justified by any compelling national interest.

The Tea Party stalwart, riding a wave of national attention since aides said she may be on the cusp of a presidential run, also said she opposes giving military assistance to the rebels fighting Libya strongman Moammar Gadhafi, saying she believes al Qaida fighters have infiltrated their ranks.

“I would not have gone in” to Libya, Bachmann said on NBC’s “Today” show.

Bachmann said what she calls the “Obama doctrine” provides a misguided rationale for the United States “to enter into one country after another.” ~Minneapolis Star-Tribune

I don’t have any illusions that Michele Bachmann is antiwar as such, but this is exactly the sort of thing that Tea Partiers and Tea Party-aligned members of Congress needed to be saying from the beginning. It remains the case that there aren’t very many of them saying this, but it is encouraging that one of the better-known House members connected to Tea Party activists has decided to speak out against this war. Along with Rand Paul, Bachmann has become one of the more outspoken Tea Party Republican critics of Obama’s decision. As I have said before, the Libyan war is everything that Tea Partiers claim to loathe: it is unconstitutional, it is unnecessary, it serves no national interests, it could end up lending support to jihadists, it is a war waged to enforce a U.N. resolution, it has weak public support, and it is a war fought partly to strengthen a doctrine that subverts national sovereignty. If there is any military intervention that Tea Partiers absolutely should oppose, it is this one.

Bachmann has a reputation for occasionally saying inflammatory or misinformed things, and she may be staking out this position simply to oppose what Obama is doing, but what should give supporters of the Libyan war pause is that Bachmann is making far more sense on this issue than Obama and many of his defenders.

P.S. Sean Scallon’s profile of Michele Bachmann from the May issue of the magazine is well worth reading to understand Bachmann’s background and her relationship to the Tea Party movement.