Saturday, May 14

"War Powers Act? It was really more of a suggestion."

I find it both amusing and a bit sad when arguably smart, educated people think they can solve a serious problem by passing a resolution or law, when all human experience shows that the person(s) or problem the law seeks to compel will totally ignore said resolution or law.

There are more examples than I have space to list: Laws against drugs, against criminals carrying guns, against corruption by members of congress, and finally--the War Powers Resolution.

I'd like to look at the last one because it's the most recent and stark illustration of
  • the double-standard by Democrats/liberals in using the law to bind Republican presidents while cheerfully ignoring violations by a president of their party; and
  • the unwillingness of congress to force Democrat presidents to obey U.S. laws;

The War Powers Resolution was an effort by congress to prevent future disasters like the Vietnam war. It recognized that although the Constitution makes the president commander in chief of the military, responsible for the prosecution of wars, the same Constitution plainly and clearly reserves to congress alone the power to actually declare war.

Ostensibly, some members of congress wanted to eliminate a "slippery slope" of the type that ensnared the country in Vietnam--an incremental increase in commitment that eventually resulted in weeks of combat with losses of 150 troops per week. (It's also been claimed that the real intent of congress was to stick it to then-president Nixon.)

Accordingly, congress passed a 'resolution' defining the circumstances under which the president could commit American troops without getting a formal declaration of war from congress. This resolution recognized that the president needed to be able to commit troops immediately--without consulting congress--if the nation was attacked, and didn't impede that ability. It also explicitly recognized that the president might feel the need to send troops into brief combat to neutralize an "imminent threat" to the U.S. This too was left open.

What the resolution made the law of the land was that if the president sent troops into combat operations overseas, without a declaration of war from congress, he was obliged to either seek such a declaration from congress, or else begin to withdraw all U.S. troops 60 days after initial operations. All troops were to be out of the combat zone within 30 days.

There is no record of King Barack seeking a declaration of war to send U.S. aircrews into combat in Libya. Which happened 60 days ago. Furthermore the Obama regime has shown no sign of pulling our air assets out of Libya.

So we're left with an amusing little piece of trivia: Congress passed what certainly seems to be a law--one that on its face seems to obligate the president to do certain things. But for Democrats, liberals and "progressives," laws are only for suckers, or for public relations, and the Hussein regime decides which ones it will obey.

And it shows no indication that it has any intention of obeying the War Powers Resolution.

And so our national arc away from "a nation of laws" into a nation of whatever the powerful can get away with continues.

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