Before U.S. Tomahawk cruise missiles began to rain down on Muammar Gaddafi's air defenses, the only conversation that President Obama had to have was with his senior advisers.
They, and they alone would decide whether a country founded as a democratic republic would engage in what George Washington would have likely viewed as a "foreign entanglement" – using 21st-century ordinance against a sociopath with a history of violence and a worse hat fetish than Sammy Davis Jr.
Obviously, in 200 years the United States has evolved from a rebel-with-a-cause into a world power, and additional involvement in world affairs has become part of the cost of doing business.
There is also a good argument to be made that after the terrible mistake of the Iraq invasion, the US can do some good by putting an end to the murderous Gaddafi in Libya, as part of an international coalition made up of Arab and African countries, blessed by the United Nations.
Yet, that does not change the fact that congressional support for this operation was as important as an appendix or a Newt Gingrich marriage vow.
Obama and his people simply knew they could ignore the people's representatives and safely rely upon a militarized culture primed to support an attack on an Arab nation. Particularly one the US had already thrown down with only a generation ago.
It is this fact that makes author, syndicated columnist and talk radio host David Sirota's new book, Back To Our Future, not only a fascinating read about the culture of the 1980s, but a manifestly important work in helping explain why the United States does the things it does today.
From involvement in a civil war in Libya to allowing a madman sans background check to saunter into his local arms bazaar and purchase a high-powered firearm for an attempted assassination of a congresswoman.
The latter being easier than say, finding plutonium for your DeLorean in 1955.