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View Diary: War Powers Resolution is not optional (188 comments)

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  •  Or you don't (1+ / 0-)
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    The framers of the Constitution where faced with deciding how to deal with times of war in a representative democracy.  They realized that Congress, with hundreds of voices, couldn't direct the military.  No decision would be swift enough.  No action decisive enough for waging war.

    So they gave the President the job of Commander in Chief.  The military chain of command flows to him and him alone.  This allows for the decisions and actions needed by a military.

    To keep this from becoming a military state, they (the founders) gave Congress the job of declaring and funding war.  If the President gets out of hand, Congress's only recourse is to defund the military.

    By creating a standing army with seemingly endless funding, Congress has in effect created a constant state of war in which the President is free to do as he will with the military.  Any law or rule passed by Congress is at the President's discretion as "the decider."  (Congress would have to press it to the Supreme Court, but the Constitution trumps any act of Congress, the President is the Commander in Chief.)

    Congress's only constitutional recourse is to defund an action taken by the President they don't care for.

    •  They gave Congress the job (3+ / 0-)
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      shaharazade, TheUnknown285, blueoasis

      of creating all the laws which govern the use of our military.

      Granted, the President has a veto pen.  But it's Congress that writes the rules about when our military may be used.

      You keep repeating this Unitary Mantra, as if saying it frequently enough will make it true.  It doesn't.

      Mayan culture was strong enough to save the Mayan people from Mayan civilization.

      by JesseCW on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 08:49:29 AM PDT

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      •  My Point (1+ / 0-)
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        The point I've been trying to make (obviously I'm doing a poor job of it), is that it has been Congress that has given the Presidents (not just Obama) all the tools needed to abuse the Commander in Chief position.  Then they proceed to moan that the President isn't playing fair.

        If he isn't playing fair, cut off his spending and rein him in.  But Congresses past and present have lacked the balls to do that.  And we the people end up with a military state at home and abroad that nobody seems to be in charge of.

      •  Last Try (1+ / 0-)
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        I'm going to try one more time to express my thoughts on the subject in a way that conveys them to others.  This will be a longer post than I like to write.  But short posts are failing me at present.

        First, my understanding of the roles of Congress and the President:

        Congress has the responsibility to create, govern and regulate the military.  The greatest power they have is to declare war and fund it.  These powers traditionally (and likely legally and constitutionally) are strongest during peace time.

        The President is Commander in Chief.  During peace time, this is traditionally largely a ceremonial role.  At war, the President's power traditionally (and likely legally and constitutionally) trumps that of Congress.  This allows war to be waged without micromanagement by committee.

        Second, my opinion as it relates to this article:

        The Cold War and The War on Terror have propelled us to unprecedented military buildup  -- against often vague and nebulous enemies.

        Congress has willfully and joyfully funded massive buildups to fight these threats (and to keep the lobbyists checks coming).

        It is my view, that by funding, building and deploying the military as they have since the beginning of the Cold War, Congress has created a de facto state of war.

        What I've been trying to express in my posts is that, by creating this de facto state of war, Congress elevated the Commander in Chief's role above their own.

        And that role will continue to trump Congress's, until Congress creates an atmosphere where we aren't (or don't seem to be) at war.  An action I seriously doubt Congress has the will to undertake.

        While this atmosphere of war continues, (some portion of) Americans will continue to support things like the Patriot Act, the TSA, bombing Libya without consulting Congress, etc.

        Personal Note:

        I think the President is wrong to take action in Libya without consulting Congress.  My posts have been trying to express how his actions may be seen as legal, perhaps even appropriate, under the circumstances.  I still hate the circumstances.

    •  You're right. (0+ / 0-)

      That's why the foundings feared standing armies.

      "Now we are engaged in a great civil war testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure."

      by nklein on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 01:38:14 PM PDT

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      •  *founders eom. (0+ / 0-)

        "Now we are engaged in a great civil war testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure."

        by nklein on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 01:40:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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