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Constitution? What constitution?

Posted by Richard on March 20, 2011

In October 2002, President Bush asked for and received a joint resolution of Congress, the Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq (Public Law No. 107-243), authorizing military action against Iraq. Libertarians like Rep. Ron Paul argued that it wasn't technically a declaration of war, which is what the Constitution calls for Congress to do (even though similarly-worded resolutions were considered sufficient to pass Constitutional muster going all the way back to the early days of the Republic). But he asked Congress before attacking, and Congress approved overwhelmingly (297-133 in the House, 77-33 in the Senate).

Today, our current Commander in Chief launched a massive attack on Libya. Without a joint resolution of Congress. Apparently, without even considering whether he needed permission from Congress. Apparently, President Obama believes that the permission of the United Nations is all he needs.

Leftist critics insist that the Iraq War violated international law. Set aside the validity of that claim for a moment. The President of the United States doesn't take an oath to uphold international law, he takes an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States. Obama went to war without so much as a gesture toward abiding by the Constitutional provision reserving the war-making power to Congress. 

Paging Cyndi Sheehan! Paging Code Pink! Paging International A.N.S.W.E.R! When can we expect to see massive anti-war demonstrations in the nation's capital and cities throughout the land? When can we expect a new tent city to be erected? When will we see the "Behead Obama" signs, the cries of "war criminal," and the calls for impeachment?

I'm not holding my breath. 

UPDATE: Bless her heart, my representative has voiced concern

DENVER – U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (CO-1) tonight issued the following statement regarding President Barack Obama's decision to begin military action in Libya without securing Congressional authority.

"I am concerned by President Obama's decision to commit U.S. forces in Libya without involving Congress. This action may require substantial U.S. resources. While there is no question that Gaddafi's regime is brutalizing the people of Libya, launching military action against another nation requires Congress be fully informed so we can exercise our Constitutional authority.

"I therefore call on Speaker Boehner to call an emergency session, returning Members to Washington, so the President may address a joint session of Congress and be given the opportunity to make the case for war."

DeGette seems to believe the Constitution merely calls for Congress to be "involved" or "informed" (I doubt that she believed that from 2002-2008). But at least she's saying, "Hey, what about Congress?"

UPDATE 2: Instapundit called it the blog comment of the day. I'd rank it much higher. It may be the single most perfect comment I've seen posted anywhere in a very long time. Go right now and read "What I like about Obama"!

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5 Responses to “Constitution? What constitution?”

  1. jed said

    Hey, is there where us folks NOT on the left get to chant “No Blood for Oil!”? Because I think it goes pretty well with “Drill Here! Drill Now!”

    Anyways, nobody, particularly not DeGette, should be the least bit shocked about this. Because, you see, the Constitution is important only when it supports your agenda. In DeGette’s case, it seems to be about separation of powers, which you know is important only when it’s your power which seems to be being stepped on.

    I hope that you’ve taken a moment to as your Rep. (you lucky son of a gun) where her concern for the Constitution was when she voted in favor of health care reform.

  2. rgcombs said

    Jed, don’t think for a moment I’m turning into a DeGette fan! I guess I should have used the tag on that “Bless her heart” comment. πŸ™‚

    She’s a hypocrite, of course. But she’s usually also what the Brits call a “back-bencher,” quietly going along with whatever her party’s leadership wants. I was just mildly surprised that she voiced any criticism or concern, however mild, about what the Anointed One was doing. I thought she was one of his adoring disciples.

  3. jed said

    I suppose it’s possible that the shoe polish has worn off the turd. (Yeah, I know there’s some well-worn common expression for expressing that sentiment; I just can’t think of it just now.) As for the reaction from the anti-war crowd, and other critics of Bush, I hear the silence howling. (… and the train won’t stop rolling …)

  4. rgcombs said

    “The bloom is off the rose.” But I kinda like your version. πŸ™‚

  5. Rick Shultz said

    Ahhh….Another well educated Jethro Tull fan! And with a paraphrase of some really rather prophetic lyrics at that. And there may indeed be “no way to slow down”. I like it. Perhaps a solution would be for “dear Mr. President….come clean for once and hit us with the truth.”

    (From:”Fallen On Hard Times”)

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