- To the anonymous person who bought us the bottles and washcloths, thank you. It is appreciated greatly.
- Oh, DUH.
- Remember, if they can get you to ask the wrong questions, they don’t need to worry about the answers. “When it comes to Congress’s ability to stop the Obama administration from ignoring the debt ceiling, legal experts note that the first obstacle standing in its way is the question of standing, or whether a certain party has the right to sue over an issue in the first place.” The first obstacle is not the question of standing as party to a lawsuit, the question is will Congress do their Constitutionally mandated job of impeaching the President for breaking the law regarding the debt ceiling. The smart money bets against Congress.
And now, a special rant against Charles Krauthammer. He wrote this piece the other day, in which he said
No president should accept — and no president from Nixon on has accepted — the constitutionality of the WPR, passed unilaterally by Congress over a presidential veto. On the other hand, every president should have the constitutional decency to get some congressional approval when he takes the country to war.
Constitutional illiteracy is scary, no? The War Powers Act is constitutional, because it was passed in a manner prescribed by the Constitution and outlined the understanding of Congress in regards to what constitutes War, and what constitutes an acceptable period of time to ask the Congress for a declaration of war. Nothing in it impedes the President’s ability to act as Commander in Chief, provided he does not make war without the consent of Congress.
Which is exactly what Obama is doing.
Mr. Krauthammer goes further in his cranial-rectal inversion:
Problem is: No one declares war anymore. Since World War II, we’ve been involved in five major wars, and many minor engagements, without ever declaring war.
The problem is, historical distortion is a much bigger concern than Constitutional illiteracy, since the former is the source of the latter. He is right insofar as the Congress no longer writes up declarations of war – but they do write up Authorizations for the Use of Military Force, which are declarations of war in fact, if not in law. Further, whenever the Congress authorizes funds for war, they are declaring that a state of war exists.
Personally, I think they should have the stones to declare war every time they authorize funding for war, but that’s a topic for the post on Congressional testicular fortitude. He continues:
The power to declare war has become, through no fault of anyone, archaic and obsolete. Taken literally, it is as useless as granting Congress the right to regulate horse-and-buggies.
Oh yes, the ol’ “it’s too old to bother following anymore” argument. This is the same argument that says the second amendment doesn’t apply to modern firearms because the founders couldn’t envision Saint Browning’s inventions, so you should leave gun law to social scientists anyway, since they’re so much smarter than you. “We don’t need to declare war anymore because war moves too fast for Congress to do anything anymore, so we should just leave the warmaking power to the President. He’s smarter than us anyway.”
We need, therefore, some new way to fulfill the original constitutional intent. The WPR was a good try, but it failed because it was the work of Congress alone, which tried to shove it down the throat of the Executive, which, in turn, for over three decades has resisted it as an encroachment on the inherent powers of the commander in chief.
Bad news Mr. K, but the Chief Exec had his opportunity to say something, said it, and was overruled. He doesn’t get to pick which laws he’s going to obey and which he won’t. If he does, the proper response by Congress is to remove him and replace him with someone who respects the law.
Krauthammer suggests a three-part means of dealing with the war powers “problem”: define what a declaration of war looks like and means, define how special operations are to be carried out and who needs to know, and “require retroactive authorization by the full Congress within an agreed period” (emphasis added). The War Powers act already does the first two. It says that the President must seek their approval within 60 days, and withdraw within 30 days after if he doesn’t get it. Special Operations typically can be done within that period, so while they are dangerous, there’s still political “cover” available in bulk, just like the politicians like it.
The third part, required authorization, removes Congress from the decision approval process without amending the Constitution. When FDR gave his declaration of war speech on December 8, 1941, he specifically asked that Congress declare that the state of war had existed since the previous day. That’s as retroactive as a declaration needs to be, and still allows the Congress to disapprove and stop the President if necessary. Congress is the superior branch, since it has more itemized powers than the President and since he needs to ask their approval (ideally before) going to war. They should not feel obligated to approve his every whim.
What the “hawks” are asking for, through Krauthammer’s piece, is to be allowed to shred the Constitution with their talons by redefining the President’s Commander in Chief powers to include declaring war. It is as despicable as the left’s attempts at social engineering via Constitutional relativism, and I can’t imagine why the mothers of this country’s soldiers would allow the Congress to willingly abrogate their representation in the matter.