WASHINGTON—GOP officials claimed credit Thursday for the Libyan people’s liberation from Col. Muammar Qaddafi’s despotic 42-year rule, saying that without the Nixon administration permitting Qaddafi to take control of Libya in the first place, there never would have been a tyrannical regime to topple. “In 1969, Qaddafi staged a coup, abolished the monarchy, kicked out American forces, and demanded U.S. oil companies share more revenue or else face expulsion—had Nixon and his Republican appointees done anything at all to stop Qaddafi during this time, Libya wouldn’t be celebrating his downfall today, in 2011,” explained Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC), calling the Libyan uprising a clear feather in the GOP’s cap. “So once again, the Libyan people have only the Republican Party to thank, because without our brilliant foresight, there would have been no Qaddafi dictatorship, and without a Qaddafi dictatorship, there would never have been a reason for the uprising. Understand? Again, this is our accomplishment, and ours alone.” Before thanking reporters for their time, Graham quickly added that Barack Obama had failed on every level and will always fail on every level.