Sunday, March 20, 2011

Yet Another Sign Of The Fall

It's sad to realize, but I didn't even think about this issue when I read about the start of U.S. military action against Libya:
The U.N. Security Council Resolution authorizing military force in Libya does not, on its face, compel U.S. involvement, but news reports (and common sense) suggest that American participation is likely. That has led to debates over whether the President is constitutionally empowered to order military action in Libya without Congressional approval, whether it be in the form of a declaration of war or at least some statutory authorization to use military force (my views on the substance of this new war are here).

Obama On Presidential War-Making Powers
I understand that there might be times when military action is required on short notice - far shorter than Congress can manage to decide in. That's not the case here. The Libya situation has been in the news for weeks now. The President could have asked for a preliminary authorization to use force, contingent on United Nations approval. That's what George W. Bush did before the Iraq War, albeit just barely.

This time, the President didn't even bother to ask.

What I find really sad about this is that I didn’t even think about this when I read that we’d started military action. It’s been so long since I can remember that Congress even asserted that it had this right that it’s scarcely worth thinking about anymore. Progressives don’t care, because it’s “our guy” doing the lawbreaking. Conservatives don’t care, because they’re not real conservatives, and they just loves them their defense spending even more than Democrats do.

As texan4hillary points out, President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton both said that a President could not take this kind of action without the consent of Congress when they were running for President.

So, you see, elections really do matter.

Even though we have a House of Representatives that’s controlled by the opposition party, whose leaders mostly can’t contain their contempt for the current occupant of the White House, there won’t be impeachment hearings on this apparent usurpation of Congress's power. That’s how far gone we are on this issue.

No wonder I didn’t think about it. It's like just about everything else in politics these days - the people who are supposed to care don't, and too few Americans seem inclined to make them.

1 comment:

Atlanta Roofing said...

This is all about timing. If the Libyan mission turns into a long war, than President Obama is in trouble. If the Rebels overthrow Gaddafi by Summertime President Obama is a hero.