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The US Consitution is clear. Congress must declare war. The War Powers Act is an unconstitutional overreach, since the Constitution says nothing about the ablilty of Congress to give up its responsibilities.

Any President who invokes the War Powers Act to begin a war without prior Congressional approval is committing a grave moral error against the Republic. It is a moral error as great and far-reaching as the use of chemical weapons by a dictator against his own people, because innocents will die as a result. The process must run its course, or the action has no moral standing. That is democracy. I assumed you supported that when you ran for President.

Mr. Obama, those of us who are interested in a return to Constitutional government are pleading with you not to go to war merely using the War Powers Act. You must restore our former respect for our own laws and processes by submitting to Congress a resolution for war and asking for a declaration of war. Anything else submits to the defeat of Contitutional government. You have the power to restore it.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (10+ / 0-)

    Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

    by OregonOak on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:31:43 PM PDT

  •  What constitutes a war? For instance-- (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sixeight120bpm

    There's trade war

    Economic war

    Cyber war

    Does Congress have to declare those as well?

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:36:03 PM PDT

    •  Semantics. We know what war is. (5+ / 0-)

      You are being, respectfully, merely obtuse. You know what war is.

      Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

      by OregonOak on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:38:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm being legal. One airstrike is probably not (7+ / 0-)

        going to be called a "war" by any stretch of the imagination, and no one, and I mean no one is going to take anyone seriously who says it is.

        Of COURSE I'm talking semantics. That's what these laws are all about.  There are very narrow definitions of what a "war" is according to the WPA, and it gives the President a whole lot of leeway to define a war on his own terms.

        Case in point--Korea was never a "declared" war.  Ever.  It was a UN police action.  Even now, you will never hear people on the TeeVee machine say "Korean War".  They always say Korean "Conflict".  Because it was technically not a war.

        And the three examples I gave in the earlier comments are very much so wars.  There are just no immediate casualties--no body counts.

        "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

        by zenbassoon on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:59:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Pearl Harbor (4+ / 0-)

          In the case of Pearl Harbor, one airstrike seemed to suffice. When there is talk that the ships we have in the Mediterranean have enough firepower to take out the entire list of military targets, I think we are talking an act of war on the United States part any way you look at it.

          Obama should consult Congress before taking action, because if he doesn't Republicans will likely try to impeach him for it.

          To Fight is To Win.

          by FogBelter on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:09:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No they won't. Because if they do, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Justanothernyer

            they acknowledge the limits of Presidential power. Which is what they don't want to do in case one of them wins and they want to exercise twice as much power.

            "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

            by zenbassoon on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:13:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That is the problem, ZB. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LilithGardener

              They WILL exercise the power once in office. We are seeing the frequency of war by the US increase with each passing decade. That must be checked, now. Obama can do it and have a moral cause to win in the bargain. I think he would get his Declaration of War by Congress, in short order.

              Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

              by OregonOak on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:18:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Republicans play "Heads I win, Tails you lose." (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Aspe4

              They will attempt to impeach Obama if he attacks Syria without consulting Congress, and, if they get the White House back, the Republican President will attack without consulting Congress and then use the corporate media to gin up sentiment amongst the American people that those who stand against the Republican President are traitors.  They kind have got that game down, and the American people haven't called them on it yet.

              Also, the MIC has been wickedly smart, because there are Defense related industries in practically every district in the United States, so there is a definite economic benefit for Democrat and Republican politicians alike in war time ... morality aside.

              To Fight is To Win.

              by FogBelter on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 10:32:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  That, and the Japanese declaration of war (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NonnyO
          •  Pearl Harbor wasn't a war, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dr Swig Mcjigger

            it caused the US to formally enter the war by declaring war on Japan (in symmetry to the declaration that Japan made against the US).

            And Pearl Harbor was hardly "an airstrike."

            •  Pearl Harbor was an attack that initiated a War (0+ / 0-)

              And I'm fairly certain when you attack targets with planes that is an airstrike.

              To Fight is To Win.

              by FogBelter on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 12:22:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  A state of war existed, but it had to be declared (0+ / 0-)

                by Congress for the United States against Japan according to the Constitution for the President to act. That was, and is, proper Constitutional principle. The commander is hemmed in by the will of Congress no matter how dire the situation may be.

                Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

                by OregonOak on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 04:02:48 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  I would classify "one airstrike" (0+ / 0-)

          as an egregious act of war. What else could you call it? A sovereign nation using military force to strike another sovereign nation.

          Isn't that war?

          Constitutionally, only Congress may declare war. Not the President, not the military, not the fucking NSA, CIA, DEA, FBI, or any of the alphabet soup departments. CONGRESS.

          Dum Spiro Spero - While I Breathe, I Hope (SC's state motto)

          by SCVeteran on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 09:50:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  All very true. However, I'm afraid that train's (3+ / 0-)

    left the station and is now hurtling down the track out of control.

    Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity -- George Carlin

    by ZedMont on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:37:19 PM PDT

    •  I disagree. It hasn't left until the shooting (2+ / 0-)

      starts. Pelosi and Reid and Boner need to get together and say this in no uncertain terms to Obama privately. I wrote both my senators on this, and so far, no public statements.

      The War Powers Act is not settled law. It has never been tested in court. Obama owes it to the Republic to restore that part of the Constitution, or future Presidents will do what George Bush did, and we will head for Extinct Empire Status.

      Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

      by OregonOak on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:08:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If we have given up demanding what is True.. (2+ / 0-)

      then what in the hell are we doing here? Might as well sign the Mortgage papers over to the Chinese. They have mastered the art of False. IF we dont do what is TRUE,  we have already lost the moral legitimacy needed to go to war, and the collapse of the Empire is merely accelerated by the action of going to war under an unconstitutional statute.

      There is no winning a war which has not been debated, stands and argments on the record, and the public has gathered in some consensus. That is true. We better relearn how to appreciate true, or this place is going down. On the other hand, we can recover if we just FOLLOW the LAW with no weaseling and whining. We have become an entire nation of weaseling whiners, and its time to knock that shit off.

      Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

      by OregonOak on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 10:42:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wiki War Power Resolution (2+ / 0-)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    The War Powers Resolution of 1973 (50 U.S.C. 1541-1548)[1] is a federal law intended to check the president's power to commit the United States to an armed conflict without the consent of Congress. The resolution was adopted in the form of a United States Congress joint resolution; this provides that the President can send U.S. armed forces into action abroad only by authorization of Congress or in case of "a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces."
    The War Powers Resolution requires the President to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action and forbids armed forces from remaining for more than 60 days, with a further 30 day withdrawal period, without an authorization of the use of military force or a declaration of war.
    Its the law .

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. H.

    by indycam on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:43:26 PM PDT

    •  There is no provision for Congress (5+ / 0-)

      to nullify its responsibility to declare war. Declare means that it must be done before the fact of war. The Congress may SAY the War Powers Act was to prevent Presidential warmaking, but in fact, it codifies it.

      The US Constitution, prior to the War Powers Act, is clear. You must go to Congress with a Resolution for war, have it debated and Congress must declare war. There is no going to war FIRST, and then asking Congress to approve. There is no.. well, you go ahead, and then we will tell you to get out. Not Constitutional. Not transparent, Not Democracy.

       Congress cannot decline at that point, politically after a war has started. They know this. The War Powers Act merely gives them political cover. It is an Unconstitutional sham. They are shirking their Constitutional duty and piling disrespect and ignorance on the Constitution.

      This is the reason the country is in trouble. The words we live by are gerrymandered into the opposite by lawyerly interpretation which subverts their meaning and intent. We have to get over this obfuscation and be clear and logical, and transparent, or we are just another Empire waiting for its fall.

      Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

      by OregonOak on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:01:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So , as the Head of the U.S. military , (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        johnny wurster

        he can't move until Congress tells him ok ?
        And if they say no , he can't move at all ?

        If s/he sees something that needs doing today and doesn't have time for a Congressional debate and voting for a declaration ?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/...

        On at least 125 occasions, the President has acted without prior express military authorization from Congress
        The United States has formally declared war against foreign nations five separate times, each upon prior request by the President of the United States. Four of those five declarations came after hostilities had begun.
        125 vs 5 ?

        "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. H.

        by indycam on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:29:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes. Right. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sparhawk, LilithGardener

          There may be a way around that "immediate threat" legally, but in this case, are you willing to argue that the threat is so imminent that the President can ignore Congress for 30 to 60 days? After that, there are already 30 to 60 news cycles, and the President would always get what he wanted. It is a done deal after 60 days of war. A President engaged in war   would IGNORE the War Powers Act at that point with lives on the line in harm's way. That is not democracy. That is the behavior of Imperial Rome or Imperial Germany in 1914. I thought that is what we existed to show it was an artifact of the past. If not, lets just do away with the pretense of democracy. Lets stop saying it, because it just isnt true any more.

          Make him wait. Make him go through the Congress. Its the law. No half-baked statute can override the words of the Constitution on  matter of war and peace. I oppose Empire, and with a War of Choice every  decade now, I think its time for a responsible President to rein in the Imperial Presidency and the American Empire. If we dont we will certainly go broke as all Empires do. Its just true that power cannot be used with impunity without the moral consideration and consent of the governed who will staff the armies and navies and pay for the bill and the medical and retirements of the war.

          Let's do this one right, for once.

          Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

          by OregonOak on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:42:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  ... (0+ / 0-)
            It is a done deal after 60 days of war.
            Without funding ?

            The President can start when needed sans approval .
            Congress can stop it by failing to fund .
            No declaration = no money .

            Make him wait. Make him go through the Congress. Its the law. No half-baked statute can override the words of the Constitution on  matter of war and peace.
            vs
            On at least 125 occasions, the President has acted without prior express military authorization from Congress

            I'm sorry but you are suggesting we do things in a very old fashion way that was good in the days of buggy whips .
            The world has changed and the laws have also .

            Unless you have a legal way under your old system
            to launch bombers , sail subs , open silo doors and do a counter attack ...

            "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. H.

            by indycam on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:55:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  People are still People.. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LilithGardener

              they make decisions the same old way they did, they have the same emotions and needs, they are as fast, and as slow. Those are the constraints on time. Not your fancy ass technology which is SUPPOSED to be under the control of human beings with all the aforementioned characteristics.

              Your argument is glib, but you do not recognize how stable human personality and ability is over time. That is the issue, not throw weights and silo doors. Those things do not operate automatically, but at the command of human beings. unless you are suggesting that this is not the case. That the technology has taken over and now human leaders are merely following some technological imperative. If that is the case, then we need the Constitution restored more than even I made the case for. We are in Desperate need to return to slow deliberation of life and death issues, and you make my case for me.

              Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

              by OregonOak on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 10:08:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Dude , (0+ / 0-)

                Glib ?
                I'm deadly serious .

                You are overlooking the reality of the modern world where things happen at a pace that can't be ignored .
                If you say to the President , you can't do things that need to be done until you get permission from congress , you are saying to the world , do what you want and if you can do it quick enough the U.S. will not respond because the CIC can't make a move until he has permission from congress .

                Those things do not operate automatically, but at the command of human beings. unless you are suggesting that this is not the case.
                My point wasn't that they are or are not done automatically , it was that the president needs to be able to do those things on his call whenever it needs to be done . He can't wait for congress to say ok , launch the bombers , open the silo doors , sail the subs . If the President waits for congress to give the ok , the nukes might have destroyed congress , the white house etc etc etc .  

                "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. H.

                by indycam on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 07:38:24 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  If the threat is THAT bad, then violate the (0+ / 0-)

                  Consitution, save the country and then, face the consequences. Thats what Lincoln did. He saved the country, and later, repaired the Constitution. You would first destroy the Constitution in CASE the worst happens, and then, live with its destruction while promoting the worst because our enemies will be right in accusing us of being just another Germany intent on Perpetual War. You base your restraint on the Personality of the President! That is NOT rule of law. That is rule by Personality Cult, otherwise known in the civilized world as a Non-Democracy, perhaps an Elected Dictator. I dont want to live in such a place, do you?  Bad bad reasoning, and bad bad politics.

                  This situation doesnt even APPROACH that case. I dont know why you want to argue from absurd extremes in cases of where it is not Imminent Threat. Why? Because you are not able to discern the large from the small. You are not proportionate in your ideas. Thats all I can say. You dont pay attention to the ideas which matter in favor of the ones which are so passingly remote that should they happen, we have MUCH bigger problems than the survival of the Constitution. That is clearly not the case here. I do not understand minds like yours. You are obtuse and disproportionate. You argue like a sophomore and I beg your pardon.

                  Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

                  by OregonOak on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 04:11:45 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  And if in the meantime, while we're (0+ / 0-)

            waiting for this gridlocked Congress to act, if Assad decides to gas some more people, so what?

            •  We have never been in control of Assad. (0+ / 0-)

              He should be made to sweat a few days while we debate this and get the go ahead with the support of all Americans in favor of humanitarian war. That's me. The founders recognized democracy as slow and tedious in an emergency, and yet I think you would see how fast and efficiently a democracy can work when there IS a crisis. If its slow, then it means there is no crisis. If its fast, that means the public perceives a crisis. That is how democracy works. It is what we fight and die to preserve, and I want to see it used to justify all the innocent dead created by the last undeclared wars. Otherwise, we should just declare the New Empire and be done with talk of a Democratic Republic, and those of us in favor of democracy will have to go to some other country and oppose the New American Empire. Many already have. I havent given up, yet.

              Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

              by OregonOak on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 07:01:03 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Re (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NonnyO
          he can't move until Congress tells him ok ?
          And if they say no , he can't move at all ?
          Correct, you win the prize.
          If s/he sees something that needs doing today and doesn't have time for a Congressional debate and voting for a declaration ?
          Too bad, so sad.

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 10:08:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry , that doesn't work . (0+ / 0-)
            Too bad, so sad.

            The president needs to be able to move at a moments notice .
            Once again , nukes are launched against the U.S. ,
            the missiles are in the air , there is no congressional declaration of war , would you have the president get on the phone to congress that is out of town on a break ?

            "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. H.

            by indycam on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 07:58:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I oppose this War of Choice against Syria, but the (3+ / 0-)

      President does have the right to do as he wishes, as foreign policy is the purview of the Executive Branch.

      I'd be willing to bet that if the Legislative Branch (the only party with standing?) brought suit against the Executive Branch on the War Powers Resolution, the Supreme Court would rule in his favor.  Which is precisely why the Legislative Branch won't sue.

      All that said, nothing is at stake in Syria.  It makes as much sense as Iraq.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

      by PatriciaVa on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:04:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And I am in favor of striking Assad. (2+ / 0-)

        BUT I want to see the US act perfectly Constitutionally, with no weasel words, no obfuscations, no lawyerly parsing of the US Constitution, and no shading the truth of the matter when they go before Congress and in a day or two, make the case and Congress decides. I guarantee the media more eyeballs than a shooting war video. I guarantee the President a win, and I guarantee that those who oppose war now will be persuaded to support the devestation of Assad's War Machine, and Iran's influence in Lebanon and Iraq. We need friends. We need moderate Arab voices on our side, and this is the perfect combination of humanitarian and foreign policy congruence since Clinton went to Serbia with F-16's. He also should have gotten a Declaration of War.

        Paradoxically, if a nation as powerful and determined as the US DECLARES, BEFORE SHOOTING, with full public and Congressional support, it is very likely that the opposition will start to fragment. Give THEM some hours and days to think this over. I think Assad's boys will start looking for a way out, literally, out of the country. A Declaration of war is also a functioning Democracy's the best way to PREVENT a shooting war and win anyway.

        Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

        by OregonOak on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:51:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm a Living Constitution guy (2+ / 0-)

          Not a strict constructionist, so what you see as "lawyerly parsing" is probably what I see as the correct way to go about interpreting the Constitution.

          •  Its an evasion. Its dishonest. It has bankrupted (0+ / 0-)

            the country. It has turned us from a Republic to an Empire with 345 military bases around the world and power that no one man should have access to, because that power corrupts each and every one of them. It is undemocratic, and it is the one fact of law in America which will  eventually cause the entire house of cards, the Empire, to fall.

            Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

            by OregonOak on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 06:11:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  And I am a Living Contitution guy. (0+ / 0-)

            BUT a statute passed by a bare  majority of Congress which overturns a Consitutional requirement is not valid unless the Constitutional requirement is overturned or amended. That was never done. The issue of War Powers was weaseled for the convenience of the Perpetual War advocates and Military Intelligence Industry because everyone knows that once started, a war cannot simply be stopped. It flies in the face of common sense and experience and reason. This gives the President a carte blanche for starting a war and then demanding it continue. That is what needs to be reversed. It must be debated, agreed upon and vetted and THEN begun.

            This law has corrupted every good man who sat in the Presidency since it was passed, and now we have a major war AT LEAST every decade.

            No one said Democracy was easy. Its just that Non-Democracy leads to dead people, dead law and dead empires. Don't forget that. That is why we exist as a Republic, to do the right thing no matter how difficult it is.

            Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

            by OregonOak on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 06:45:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  A Resolution is not a Law (0+ / 0-)

      Constitutionally, there can be no constitutional or legal war without CONGRESS voting to go to war.  This is why AUMF to give Dumbya "power" to send the US military to go after a little gang of criminals hiding in in the mountains of Afghanistan was unconstitutional, as was his and Dickie's power grab to use that same AUMF to change directions and illegally and unconstitutionally invade Iraq without a just reason to do so.  [This is one of the reasons why both Dumbya and Dickie should have been impeached, besides their lies, and lies to cover previous lies.]

      There can be NO legal or constitutional war without Congress voting on it.

      There is NO PROVISION in the US Constitution that allows Congress to temporarily or permanently abrogate the process of declaring war by allowing a president to do so.  Read the US Constitution in its entirety.  Presidents do NOT have war powers.  The Constitution just says he "shall be Commander in CHief.... WHEN CALLED."  Nothing REQUIRES Congress or We The People to even ask a president to act as CiC.  We do NOT elect CiC's.  If we did, the US would be a military dictatorship.  We elect presidents for a civilian and secular government that has a secular Constitution.

      Article II, Section. 2.

      The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States;

      [Technically, Constitutionally, We The People - the civilian population - are to control the military via our Congressional representatives, which is why there can be no legal military coup in the US, even though in recent years the civilian elected "leaders" have appeared to cater to the wishes of the corporate military-industrial complex.]
      US Constitution, Article I
      Section. 8.

      The Congress shall have Power ...

      To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

      To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

      To provide and maintain a Navy;

      To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

      To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

      To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

      [That latter "stuff" about the militias is what pertains to the first part of the Second Amendment that mentions militias ["A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State...,].  We did not have a standing army at the time the Constitution was written; that came later.  Each local community had its own local militia, and there were lists of men Able to Bear Arms who would do self defense drills periodically when they were not busy with building houses or barns or planting or harvesting, etc.  ATBA lists are one of the things genealogists use when doing research on New England families.  I have several ancestors on ATBA lists from the arrival of the Mayflower forward.]

      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:34:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'll ask you the same questions (0+ / 0-)

        I have asked others .
        When the president needs to act at a moments notice ?
        Nukes are in the air , what do you do as president ?

        "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. H.

        by indycam on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 09:24:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Call an emergency session of Congress (0+ / 0-)

          However, nukes are NOT in the air, it takes a while for them to get here, and they can be blown up before they reach the continental US since there is radar to track these things.

          i.e.  Don't panic.  Don't act irrationally.  [That was Dumbya's role, and he was very good at throwing temper tantrums and getting others around him to run around in circles like chickens with their heads cut off trying to squawk "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!"  How did they know any different with their heads cut off and no eyes to see with?]

          Rules for avoiding stress

          I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

          by NonnyO on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 01:20:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Eh ? (0+ / 0-)
            However, nukes are NOT in the air,
            So your idea of a response to my question is to say "nukes are NOT in the air" ?

            How about answering the question asked ?

            Call an emergency session of Congress
            Nukes are in the air , flight time is short at best , 15,000 mph , there is no time to call an emergency session .

            Do you launch in response before congress says ok ?

            and they can be blown up before they reach the continental US since there is radar to track these things.
            You will find that perfection isn't to be counted on . Not all warheads will be blown up / knocked down .

            "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. H.

            by indycam on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 01:40:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  "What ifs" ... (0+ / 0-)

              ... are imponderables in which I do not engage.

              I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

              by NonnyO on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 01:46:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  So you will not answer ? (0+ / 0-)

                I'll answer , there are times when the President must take action , tying his hands by saying he must get congressional approval first is going to be a problem .

                If you are going to talk about what the rules should be ,
                don't say you can't speak about what the rules should be because of imponderables .

                Lets say a U.S. fleet is steaming along in international waters when they come under an attack from a nation .
                The call goes to the Oval Office , does he have the power to say go to war right then and there or does he need to say , hold on I'll go check with Congress when they get back from vacation ?

                "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. H.

                by indycam on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 02:02:48 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  How do you expect... (0+ / 0-)

                  ... anyone to take you seriously when we all know full well there are layers upon layers of radar and such that can detect rockets and missiles and planes and ships, and whatnot and that if they set off a rocket to get anywhere near the US we can blow it out of the sky with a countering missile or, failing that, the planes right behind it with heat-seeking war heads...?

                  Really, there is no need for going off the deep end over imponderable scenarios and 'what ifs' that will not happen.

                  If you need war so desperately, go to another country where wars and skirmishes are a fact of everyday life and join their military.

                  It is the US that is illegally dropping bombs on other countries, remember..., not the other way around.

                  Where were you during the Bushista years when he threw out the 'what if' scenarios... and lied about other situations that proved to be lies..., and all the illegal and unconstitutional war situations were all fucked up and wrong, wrong, wrong.

                  We are all older, sadder, our country is a helluva lot poorer and we are deeply in debt..., but I don't think you are wiser for having come through the Bushista years and not learned that there should never be a rush to go to war over imponderable 'what if' situations that are set up to make wrong decisions because military-industrial, oil, and mercenary corporations are demanding we rush into another illegal and unconstitutional war without just cause (the only ones who want wars because of they make record-setting profits).

                  We've seen this movie before.  It does not end well - and because Obama continued the Bushista policies and retained the fuck-up nitwits that ran the Bushista war and military departments, some of that has not even ended, in spite of the "we're going to change things" rhetoric.

                  Here's a realistic question:  When are we going to have peace and prosperity that comes with peace?

                  I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

                  by NonnyO on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 02:52:31 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Excuse me ? (0+ / 0-)
                    If you need war so desperately
                    When did I call for war ?
                    Where were you during the Bushista years when he threw out the 'what if' scenarios... and lied about other situations that proved to be lies..., and all the illegal and unconstitutional war situations were all fucked up and wrong, wrong, wrong.
                    I argued against going into Iraq . I said it was the wrong thing to do , I listened to Hans Blix . I said before it started that bush was an asshole .
                    I was in the office when shock and awe came on the tube , I announced that the idiot has started his war .

                    You are confused as to what my position is .
                    You have got it all backwards .
                    You have jumped to wild conclusions .

                    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. H.

                    by indycam on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 03:10:05 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  You have got to be joking ! (0+ / 0-)
                    How do you expect...
                    ... anyone to take you seriously when we all know full well there are layers upon layers of radar and such that can detect rockets and missiles and planes and ships, and whatnot and that if they set off a rocket to get anywhere near the US we can blow it out of the sky with a countering missile or, failing that, the planes right behind it with heat-seeking war heads...?
                    Fantastic fantasy , nothing what so ever to do with my question , but good fun to read .

                    The question isn't about "a" missile ,
                    the question is about a nuke attack
                    with war heads doing 15,000 mph .

                    the planes right behind it with heat-seeking war heads
                    Got a link for that ? Show me a heat seeking missile shot from behind at a nuke warhead catching up and knocking down a nuke warhead .

                    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. H.

                    by indycam on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 03:17:25 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Check the time stamps . 2:28 vs 2:52 (0+ / 0-)

                    http://www.dailykos.com/...

                     When the reports came back from Iraq (3+ / 0-)

                    they were definitive imho , the U.N.s Hans Blix said there was nothing to go to war over . I don't fault the U.N.

                    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. H.

                    by indycam on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 02:28:38 PM PDT

                    NonnyO on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 02:52:31 PM PDT

                    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. H.

                    by indycam on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 03:25:11 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Nonny.. no. We dont have that capability.. (0+ / 0-)

                    and never have. When nukes are launched en masse, it is game over. All we can do is launch a similar number before they are destroyed and destroy the other country as well.

                    Get off the game boy and research nuclear war, nuclear disarmament, Mutually Assured Destruction, and the results of the Space Based Initiative to date. You will be mighty disappointed to see what a knife edge we live on even today.

                    Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

                    by OregonOak on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 04:16:41 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  What's a game boy? (0+ / 0-)

                      Is he fun? ;-)  [Joking.  I took all games off my 'puter and would never have a computer game in my home.  It is a computer game, right?]

                      As a child through the cold war and a first-year Baby Boomer, I was born and raised 75 miles, and downwind, from an air force base, plus their state had missile silos.  We always knew that "if the bombs came" and someone was aiming wrong we were dead.  I don't recall that we actually ever had the Civil Defense drills everyone else talks about.  The whole idea was just ludicrous because we knew we'd be hit directly or within minutes if the AFB was struck..., but someone made money out of making CD shelters (somewhere else; no one I knew made one), and people who make bombs and missiles made money by making more of them.

                      Ditto the whole thing with MAD.  If all your family and friends are dead, who gives a damn if you survive to live in a world that remains radioactive for the next bazillion years?  If someone survived in a bomb shelter, where are they going to grow food if the ground is contaminated for hundreds of thousands or millions of years?  They'll starve.  Where will they go if they get out?  The car wouldn't work, and besides which, no one is alive who has gas to use for a trip.

                      I've been sitting back laughing about the 'what if' questions because while I still plan to live to age 100 in spite of my health issues, that's only 33 more years from now at my age, so I don't deal in 'what if' situations.  Reality and right now matters, not 'what ifs.'  I'm not saying 'don't be prepared.'  I'm saying keep our wits and do normal precautions, but realize there are those who won't.  Do what we can and don't worry about the rest.  [It's like a trip: Wear seat belts, make sure the tires have correct air pressure, there's a fresh oil change, battery is working, radiator is full, gas tank is full, have a map so you know where you're going if the destination is not familiar, look at the map so you can plan your rest/meal stops in urban areas, make sure you have a current driver's license and registration, add medical info in your wallet in case of an accident, pack your bags, etc., then go an enjoy the ride..., but don't obsess about preparations and don't refuse to go or inflict your fear on someone else because "something might happen."  If a drunk driver or a texting driver hits you and kills you, at least you have taken all normal precautions for a safe trip even if it ends in death for you because some schmuck was stupid or careless.]

                      I think (no matter what, more war or not) the US political "leaders" will remain stupid and in the pay of corporations, banksters, and Casino Wall Street, and they'll probably break treaties again and bomb places we have no business bombing.  That's the likely scenario..., because Obama will want to look tough and able to "defend our country" in front of his Repuke pals who he hopes will appreciate his image of himself as a bipartisan compromiser.  The only way we can hope to avoid being stupid as a nation is if the Repukes wise up and decide to oppose Obama out of their normal contrariness and decide (finally!) we can't afford to engage in another illegal and unconstitutional war (at least it would mean opposing Obama for the right reasons for a change).

                      If we do bomb someone, it will make us poorer as a nation - again.  What credibility we could have started to gain back when Obama was elected all fell through when he continued on with the Bushista policies which diminishes us as a nation.

                      If Obama had done what he campaigned about and stopped both the illegal and unconstitutional wars and spearheaded an effort (in the first two years with a Dem majority) to repeal the unconstitutional AUMF, Patriot Act, MCA '06, FISA fiasco, and not even introduced MCA '09 which "strengthened" MCA '06, we might have been able to turn the Bushista years around and become relevant as a country again.  As is, without the repeal of those laws and without getting out of the wars we are already in, we're nothing but a fascist nation because corporations have taken over so many of our government's duties (including NSA which was outsourced to Booz Allen Hamilton - now there's a 'what if' situation - why can't they stop a war if they've got all the electronic communications of virtually everyone, and if they do, why can't they hack into computer systems to stop any missiles from being fired? Etc.).

                      As is, we've lost our credibility, lost all respect of other nations who matter, and our reputation is shot..., on top of the fact we're broke because of the unconstitutional and illegal Bushista - and now Obama - wars of choice based on lies for the sake of oil.  (Hillary would be useless because to look tough she'd use the military in Africa "to protect American interests there" - as she said we should do at the Benghazi hearing.)

                      I want peace.  My generation lost people in Vietnam; I lost high school friends (small high school & community; everyone knew everyone else) who were nice and the hope of their local community who had the potential of being pillars of the community when they became full adults.

                      Since that fiasco ended, I just sit and shake my head at the utter futility of it all every time the talk of war comes up again and again because it's all about offensive wars that break treaties, cost us money, cost lives for no good reason, and they do not talk about defensive war.  It's so useless, so stupid, so senseless, and all that comes of war is sadness and death.  Worse: there is NO GOOD REASON for us to get involved in someone else's fight.

                      People are talking like war is inevitable, and they're resigned to more war.  Why?  The price is too high if our politicians and our nation are nothing more than tools to be used by corporations, banksters, and Casino Wall Street.

                      I'm old, so if I die it doesn't matter.  If young people die..., it matters.  They have a better chance of living to a ripe old age and having good memories if we do NOT engage in offensive, dishonorable, illegal, immoral, unethical, unconstitutional wars of choice based on lies for oil (or whatever commodity will give corporations a profit somewhere in the world).

                      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

                      by NonnyO on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 06:02:04 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I repeal my snarky comment. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        NonnyO

                        All due respect to your age and experience, and I think we agree. But I do want liberals to stand for respecting the Constitution. No more Presidential War Powers Wars. He and all that follow must use the words of the Constitution and go to Congress for a Declaration of War. He owes the country that much.

                        Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

                        by OregonOak on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 07:08:53 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I think we do agree... (0+ / 0-)

                          THIS is the important and over-riding part because it's what I stand for, too:

                          I do want liberals to stand for respecting the Constitution.
                          Legislative, Presidential, and Judicial duties and responsibilities are laid out clearly and succinctly in the Constitution using elegant elementary language that everyone could understand in the late 18th century, from an illiterate (but otherwise intelligent albeit uneducated) person listening to someone read it from a broadside to those with a college education.  Parts of it are nothing short of poetic prose.  The US Constitution and the modifying Bill of Rights are are documents I profoundly respect.  If our legislators and each president followed the precepts laid out in the Constitution, we'd actually do quite well as a country.

                          It makes me weep buckets of tears to have seen the Constitution so abused since the SCOTUS decision of 12 December 2000 when they installed Dumbya in office, and every year after that the Bushista administration dealt blow after blow after blow - all unconstitutional and illegal - and Congress Critters of both parties (ugh - esp. Democrats) did not lift a finger to fight against them but went right along with them.  With every new lie that brought an onslaught of more cognitive dissonance before the Iraq invasion, my poor brain was screaming "Why? Why? Why?!?"  [I was still trying to recover from spinal surgery so pretty much a captive audience.  It was after that when I got my first computer and later discovered my political voice, such as it is.  I have since turned my TV off.  I can no longer deal with the stupidity.]

                          We also agree on these:

                          No more Presidential War Powers Wars. He and all that follow must use the words of the Constitution and go to Congress for a Declaration of War.
                          Each of our federally elected politicians take an oath to the Constitution - not to a person or place.  The Constitution.  IF they abide by their oath of office, they can't go wrong.

                          BTW, my thoughts on what I think our Congress Critters will do vis-à-vis potential war... I desperately want to be wrong about what I think they will do regarding potential war in Syria.  Over the last 13 years, neither Dems nor Repukes have a good track record on anything other than illegal and unconstitutional war and giving corporations, the military-industrial complex, oil, mercenary, insurance, medical, and pharmaceutical corporations, banksters, and Casino Wall Street everything they want.  I want the Congress Critters to hold the president's feet to the fire and make him obey the Constitution and for them to turn him down regarding going to war or even a military strike - and, while they're at it, live up to their own oath of office for once.  (It wouldn't hurt my feelings if they repeal the unconstitutional AUMF, too.)  If they do something logical and stop a war in its tracks, or stop even aiding anyone else in their wars (really, we can't afford it!), it will make me deliriously happy to be wrong and I'll gladly make a large humble pie and eat it all.

                          Thank you for being a gentleman, OregonOak.  :-)  Oak is just about the only tree to which I'm not allergic.  All conifers and most deciduous trees are on my pages of allergies, along with various flowers, grains, weeds and foods.  I've been tested on oak twice and no reaction.  :-)  You also live in a wonderful state for beauty.

                          Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding and should, therefore, be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties which may make anything mean everything or nothing at pleasure.
                           ~ Thomas Jefferson
                          I hope that we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.
                           ~ Thomas Jefferson, 1816

                          I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

                          by NonnyO on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 11:48:31 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  I'm not advocating for war , (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        NonnyO

                        I'm talking about the rules for the President .
                        I say he has to have the power in his hands .
                        I'm not saying he should use that power now .

                        You got the two things mixed up .

                        "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. H.

                        by indycam on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:59:12 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  We agree on one thing: (0+ / 0-)
                          I'm not advocating for war
                          Our constitution is a flexible document.  We now have audio and video conferencing, email, and twitter (there must be some way of getting secure connections that can't be hacked by a corporation's employee hired to collect data for NSA - or CIA, or FBI, or ATF or anyone else).  If a president would ever truly need instant approval, he can get the heads of each house of Congress to canvas the members of their houses and arrive at a consensus, all done via electronic communications, and they could affirm their votes in person once they all meet in the Senate or House.

                          I can't think of any situations, however dire, that need power coalesced in one president's hands.  That would make each president an "elected" dictator (that slippery slope would quickly lead to changing the constitution to provide for a dictator for life).  Better to refer back to the Constitution and the duties and responsibilities as laid down by the Constitution.

                          As long as our elected individuals abide by the Constitution and their oath of office to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution," it remains a "living document" that actually works as it was designed to do by our Founding Fathers.

                          I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

                          by NonnyO on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 12:13:35 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Sorry , this will not work . (0+ / 0-)
                            If a president would ever truly need instant approval, he can get the heads of each house of Congress to canvas the members of their houses and arrive at a consensus, all done via electronic communications, and they could affirm their votes in person once they all meet in the Senate or House.
                            First , doing all this , even if it works perfectly , will take time . If it goes less than perfect and people want to debate the issue , much time will be taken up by this process .
                            As long as our elected individuals abide by the Constitution and their oath of office to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution," it remains a "living document" that actually works as it was designed to do by our Founding Fathers.
                            You want to go back to all of the problems with the original Constitution ?
                            The Constitution and Slavery:
                            Provisions in the Original Constitution
                            Article I, Section. 2 [Slaves count as 3/5 persons]
                            Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons [i.e., slaves].
                            Article I, Section. 9, clause 1.  [No power to ban slavery until 1808]
                            The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.
                            Article IV, Section. 2. [Free states cannot protect slaves]
                            No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.
                            Article V [No Constitutional Amendment to Ban Slavery Until 1808]
                            ...No Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article.
                            The President must be able to use the armed forces of america at a moments notice .
                            If that was not possible , whats to deter bad actors from striking and withdrawing before Congress can approve the use of force ?
                            Congress is not always in session , bad actors would wait until the congress was away and then do what they wanted knowing that the President could not respond for quite awhile .

                            Lets say tomorrow Syria starts attacking Israel , the president needs to be able to tell the armed forces , go go go .

                            "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. H.

                            by indycam on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 08:40:01 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

        •  If Nukes are in the air, Indy, game is over (0+ / 0-)

          already. All we can do is launch a retaliatory strike, and destroy the other half of the world. That has been the case since 1959, and is still the case today. No act of Congress OR the President is germaine under your fantastic sophomore scenario. Thanks for contributing, though.

          Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

          by OregonOak on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 04:14:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  ... (0+ / 0-)

        http://en.wikipedia.org/...

        The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (officially, the Southeast Asia Resolution, Public Law 88-408) was a joint resolution that the United States Congress passed on August 7, 1964, in response to the Gulf of Tonkin Incident.

        It is of historical significance because it gave U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson authorization, without a formal declaration of war by Congress, for the use of "conventional'' military force in Southeast Asia. Specifically, the resolution authorized the President to do whatever necessary in order to assist "any member or protocol state of the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty". This included involving armed forces.

        "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. H.

        by indycam on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 09:29:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The US has NOT been attacked (0+ / 0-)

          ... by Syria or Libya or whoever the hell the MIC wants the US to drop bombs on without just cause to get us into another illegal and unconstitutional war for which we'd have to borrow money to pursue instead of spending money on our own people our own infrastructure, our own country within our own borders.

          I hear "war" being said with increasing panic.  WTF?  Why?  WHO will benefit from our being engaged in another illegal and unconstitutional war?

          Cui bono???

          Why the fucking rush to go to war...?  To die sooner?  Fine.  You go and do the fighting, then if you're so eager to jump in the grave.  Meanwhile, don't go rushing off to war without anyone attacking us and without knowing the situation first.

          You do know the whole Gulf of Tonkin thing was hyperbole, right?  At age 67 I'm old enough to remember all that; I lost high school chums in Vietnam.  Mercifully, my relatives made it back okay, but the friends we went to high school with who died because of that whole murderous fiasco were nice people and irreplaceable.  Vietnam was another of those illegal and unconstitutional wars fought for no reason anyone can deem a "just cause," since they didn't attack the US.

          Soooo...... your point is...?

          "War" by Edwin Starr.  One of the songs that's the anthem of my generation.
          Same song, Vietnam War photos added.  Pay attention to the lyrics of the song.

          The Dirty Fucking Hippies Were Right (original version)

          I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

          by NonnyO on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 01:45:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Um, how is the War Powers act (0+ / 0-)

    an unconstitutional overreach when the act was passed by Congress?

    You can assert it's bad law, and you may be right, and it may even be in contravention of the Constitution (as the AUMFs that got us into Afghanistan and Iraq may be) but you cannot credibly call it an 'overreach' since it's the framework that Congress gave the President to operate within.

    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

    by raptavio on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:52:38 PM PDT

    •  The Congress may not turn over its responsibility (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk, LilithGardener

      in a Statute. This is not merely a refinement of the Constitution, the War Powers Act nullifies Congressional Responsibility. We have to restore the concept as written, or the public will see this administration as another in a long list of shysters and conmen using power however they see fit without debate and with impunity. Its time for that to stop, LONG past time for it to stop. Obama has the power in this moment to stop it. He can shock everyone and restore the original meaning and reduce the Imperial Presidency to its Constitutional size. He would also probably get what he wants. If not, its not right. Democracy will have spoken.

      And that is the issue. How much do you love Democracy in a Republic, and how much do you love the Power of the Imperial Presidency?

      Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

      by OregonOak on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:05:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The power is and has been Congress's. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        johnny wurster

        They do not need the President to act, and in this environment, they would be less, not more, likely to act on the President's behest.

        I do not believe every military action requires a formal declaration of war, and I do not believe the Constitution was ever intended to require it. However, it would be preferable to have a mechanism by which the President needs to consult Congress (even a subset thereof) prior to taking the proverbial safety off, except in dire circumstances (imminent or actual invasion, for example).

        "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

        by raptavio on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:09:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Lawerly. But not true. The Constitution is clear. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sparhawk, LilithGardener

          You are not.

          Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

          by OregonOak on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:19:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Constitution is much less clear (0+ / 0-)

            than you would like to believe.

            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

            by raptavio on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 05:46:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  We can make it clear by demanding it. (0+ / 0-)

              Or we can do what the Republicans do, and interpret it any way they please and disrespect the Rule of Law. It is up to us. I had hoped there were more people on this site with an ethical backbond, but I was wrong.

              Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

              by OregonOak on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 06:13:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And that's where you went off the rails. (0+ / 0-)

                Having a spine means accepting the reality in front of you and then working to make the change you want based on that reality.

                "I reject your reality and substitute my own" is spinelessness. "The constitution is clear if we demand it" is just another form of the same. No. It's not. Centuries of jurisprudence say it's not. Accept that reality and then figure out a way to your goal (putting greater restraints via checks and balances) that doesn't begin with denying the framework in which you must work.

                Or, you know, call anyone who doesn't deny reality the same way you do spineless; see how that works out for you.

                "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                by raptavio on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 07:48:52 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The War Powers Act must be tested and (0+ / 0-)

                  destroyed, and can be if Obama ignores it and goes back to the Constitution and asks for a declaration of war. There is no REQUIREMENT that a President invoke the War Powers Act. However, he is required to follow the US Constitution. I do not see how you do not follow that legal logic. Spinelessness is merely being lazy in intellectual rigor and going with the easy path, because, well, it is easier. And you will get what you want. More unilateral wars by more Presidents until we are totally bankrupt, with no credit even from China and Japan. Your end game looks pretty bleak from where I stand. My end game restrains Presidents in cases of  non-emegency to acting with the Consent of the Governed. I want to live in that country, not the Imperial USA I have lived in since Reagan.

                   That is called leadership for change. Thats what I voted for.

                  Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

                  by OregonOak on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 04:22:16 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  And you are continuing to careen off the rails (0+ / 0-)

                    by making really unfounded assumptions about what I want, along with making legal claims that simply do not hold water. You're right about one thing, however: The War Powers Act hasn't been challenged and ruled on by the SCOTUS. However, I can't see much of a way for the POTUS to challenge it except by doing exactly what would be a bad thing to do - try to exceed its restrictions on his actions. I don't think either of us wants him to do that.

                    All roads lead to Congress if you want the rules to change. Sorry you can't accept that, and sorry that your response to being told that is to attack me.

                    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                    by raptavio on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 04:34:54 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The President can ignore the War Powers Act. (0+ / 0-)

                      And go to Congress for a Declaration of War. If he gets his wish, Congress must fund it and run on it. If he doesnt get his wish, he must abide by the decision unless the situation becomes so dangerous he may invoke the War Powers Act. It is a last resort remedy. I do not understand how you think this is out of the track. It is logical, legal and puts the onus on Congress to put up or shut up, and makes clear that the War Powers Act may not be used for trivial reasons by future Presidents.

                      The President has the power to force Congress to act, or decide. This is the time to use that power and re-establish democratic governance in the area of war and peace.

                      You have never shown how these legal claims do not hold water, but you are filled with invective for those of us who want the President to act strictly Constitutionally.

                      Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

                      by OregonOak on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 07:14:15 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You have never shown (0+ / 0-)

                        how your legal claims DO hold water, and you're the one making them; the onus is on you. However, start with Prize Cases.

                        The President choosing to go to Congress for a declaration of war (or even an AUMF) is not going to help the underlying problem, because that doesn't put any real constraints on the President's power -- the next President, or even this President next time, would not be any more constrained than he is now. Again, the only way to really restrict the President's war powers is to go through Congress -- and that means repealing or altering the War Powers Act.

                        "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                        by raptavio on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 07:33:45 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  The way to alter the War Powers Act is to NOT USE (0+ / 0-)

                          IT. Make it obvious that it is uneccesary to the waging of war and damaging to us because it make its too easy for irresponsible Presidents to invoke it. If Obama were to say.. "Ladies and Gentleman, for a long time I have considered the War Powers Act of 1973 to be unconsitutional. It has led Presidents into hasty and unsupported wars with no end, and of dubious benefit. In accordance with my promise in 2008, I am asking Congress to consider this resolution and approve a Declaration of War against Syria. At a later time, we can debate the abuse of the War Powers act on the making of war in the last 40 years, but for this action, I need the support of the Congress and the American people. I am asking for your support on making sure chemical weapons are never used on civilians anywhre in the world. I expect Congress to act swiftly with a decision. I will not invoke the War Powers Act unless an imminent emergency occurs and the fate of the nation is at stake. In this case, today, a Contitutionlly required Declaration of War is the only legal course allowable. God Bless you and good night."

                          This is legal. This is moral. This restricts the use of the Act to specific times and sets it on a course to extinction. This is effective in curbing Presidential warmaking.

                          I thought liberals on my side would approve of a principled stand which can work to lasting benefit.

                          Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

                          by OregonOak on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 07:48:07 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  What part of (0+ / 0-)

                            "Not using it will not constrain a President from using it next time" are you not understanding? The President declining to use it does nothing -- NOTHING -- to restrict the use of the Act except by the President's -- this or the next one's -- continued choice. It would be foolhardy to regard that as a solution.

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 07:50:55 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I dont understand how you dont understand process. (0+ / 0-)

                            This is how leaders create doubt that a law is useful or necessary. They ignore them and go back to previous law which is not in dispute. The War Powers Act has ALWAYS been in dispute because of the harms it has caused.

                            Obama can and should lead this way. Use the laws which are legal and show how the War Powers Act is unnecessary and must be repealed. It is what a Constitutional scholar was elected for, and its why I voted for him, twice.

                            Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

                            by OregonOak on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 07:53:54 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Please provide an example (0+ / 0-)

                            of how any law was ever repealed because a President declined to use it in favor of a more restrictive one.

                            Just one.

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:07:03 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  More restrictive for Presidents, yes. (0+ / 0-)

                            But less restrictive for the good of the republic. The point of being President is to accomplish the people's business, not to continue to enlarge Presidential Power. That is our problem. If Obama is half the man he campaigned as, he will understand that he has an obligation to try to kill the War Powers Act before it kills us in endless wars.

                            I do not know of a precedent. Lincoln had no precedent, and Roosevelt had no precedent for many of the problems they faced. They did well by breaking precedent, and all great leaders do. Obama has the chance right now to be a great leader. I do not expect people to understand this completely, but this is the job of political leadership. Great political leadership. It is novel and new, and yet, I think it will work. And it will wrong foot the Republicans.

                            Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

                            by OregonOak on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:15:16 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So you're telling me (0+ / 0-)

                            I don't understand process, yet you admit that there is no precedent for the process you're prescribing.

                            I think I'm done here.

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:19:05 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well, you may not get the art of politics (0+ / 0-)

                            Its not about precedent. Its about what is right. If you cannot see that, there is something wrong with your thinking. You are a mere technocrat. I am interested in something new to change the Republic. You dont have to listen, but I think many creative political types are listening. They do not know how to break out of the gridlock leading us down to the ashpit of history, and this is one creative way to do it.

                            Thanks for reading, even though your sarcasm and condescension was barely tolerated.

                            Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

                            by OregonOak on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:35:59 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  There is definitely something wrong (0+ / 0-)

                            with the thinking of one of us.

                            I'll take my degree in political science over your continued insistence I just can't recognize the brilliance of your political analysis because my thinking is deficient, thanks. And I'm really done with your obduracy.

                            End of line.

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:39:38 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Excellent. Good luck being all progressive and (0+ / 0-)

                            stuff. Maybe punching keys on a keyboard is more your line.

                            Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

                            by OregonOak on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:45:36 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

  •  "Shall" = non-delegable responsibility (4+ / 0-)

    Note that the Supreme Court did not let Congress give the President the line-item veto for budget bills.

    And it should be called a "declaration of war," not a weaselly "authorization for the use of military force."

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:55:57 PM PDT

  •  At least a few Senators agree... (5+ / 0-)
    “I urge the Administration to continue to exercise restraint, because absent an imminent threat to America’s national security, the U.S. should not take military action without Congressional authorization,” Sen. Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., said in a Tuesday statement.

    Murphy encouraged the Obama administration to consider the possibility that a small-scale military strike against the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad could lead the U.S. into a broader and less predictable conflict.

    “Before engaging in a military strike against Assad’s forces, the United States must understand that this action will likely draw us into a much wider and much longer-term conflict that could mean an even greater loss of life within Syria,” Murphy said.

    Senator Kaine said basically the same thing.

    "Politics is what we do, politics is what we create, by what we work for, by what we hope for and what we dare to imagine." -Paul Wellstone

    by WellstoneDem on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:57:15 PM PDT

  •  Did congress authorize Iraq strikes in 98? or (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnny wurster, Aspe4

    Libya in '86? cause it's looking like those two are the apples to apples comparison of what might happen in Syria.

    •  Those are the dangerous Precedents (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk, LilithGardener, Aspe4

      which Obama can nullify now. He must for the future of thewarmaking power, because guaranteed, there will be a future President like Bush who cannot RESIST a good shooting war. He can forestall our decline further into Empire. We must restore the Constitutional Republic, and this should be the opening shot to do it. Another opportunity missed? Maybe, unless he can be persuaded there is a better way for a Republic to commit its men, money and blood.

      This encapsulates what is wrong with America. We cannot stand up for the simplest truths. We prefer to cleverly avoid all the lessons of the past, weaseling out with more and more clever interpretations of what is obvious, and doing exactly the opposite. It will be our undoing, and right now we can stop that slide into half lies and the love of power.

      I want the US to stand up and be a Republic again.

      Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

      by OregonOak on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:16:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama should put this in Congress' lap. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener

    For the Republicans are looking for an excuse to start impeachment proceedings.

  •  Just for grins . (0+ / 0-)

    A nuke strike is in the air .
    We are not at war , the President has no authority to go to war ?
    Do you launch a return volley of nukes
    or do you get congress on the line and say may I ?  

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. H.

    by indycam on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:35:59 PM PDT

  •  That ship sailed long ago (4+ / 0-)

    Presidents have waged military action against other nations 125 times in our history without express prior congressional authorization.

    The longest war in U.S history -- 46 years against the Apache Nation -- was undeclared.

    •  I understand your point, (0+ / 0-)

      but the Apache Nation wasn't really a nation, as the term is commonly used. No central government, uniformed army or fixed borders. North Korea was and that was when the ship sailed. I daresay nobody on this site was alive the last time a President went to Congress for a formal Declaration of War.

      The free market is not the solution, the free market is the problem.

      by Azazello on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:57:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That is the past. The past is not prologue. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk

      And if the President had had to go to Congress and Declare War against the Apache, I think the public may have forced him to consider other alternatives short of racial genocide. You make my case for me. That is exactly the point. War with impunity always results in a wrong war for the wrong reason against the wrong enemy. Always. Lets END that string of insanity now.

      Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

      by OregonOak on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:57:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would agree (0+ / 0-)

        That waging war without the support of Congress is unwise, if for no other reason than because it often results in political blowback.
        It didn't help either Truman or LBJ. Reagan's foray into Lebanon blew up in his face and Grenada did nothing for him either.
        However, the possibility of political blowback doesn't make it unconstitutional. For instance, the power to declare war is clearly not absolute. There are exceptions. If the United States were to be attacked tomorrow, no one would suggest that the president would not have the authority to strike back until he got Congress to reconvene and declare war.

        •  This is one of the exceptions? Really? (0+ / 0-)

          Or are you arguing a rhetorical point in the abstract. Because I am not. This is the case which the Constitution clearly covers, not the "emergency" exceptions covered by the War Powers Act.

          Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

          by OregonOak on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 10:35:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Elsewhere in this diary (0+ / 0-)

            you argued that Congress did not have the authority to abrogate its constitutional authority to declare war by passing the War Powers act but now you cite it.

            •  I cite the faulty reasoning used to rip up the (0+ / 0-)

              letter and spirit of the Constitution. It is bad law, and should not be used in this instance, and perhaps likely, ever used. It is the reason the US is seen as a renegade state. We place too much corrupting power in the hands of one man and hope for the best. That is what Germany did, and they learned the hard way that true Democracy, with checks and balances robust and intact is the only way to survive with moral legitimacy. We are cutting our own throat by continually using the War Powers Act as an excuse to support our only growth industry, war.

              I have no doubt that the President would get his declaration of war. Then it is our duty to see who in Congress supports the Constitution and who supports Empire with impunity. That is called Democracy, and we havent had it for so long, we forgot what it is for.

              This is the heart of the American problem right now. Not enough honest people and too many con men and semantic shysters to understand plain English. Obama has a chance here to turn this around forever here. If we press him, he will do it. If we are cowardly parsers of faulty law used by Conservatives to build Military Empires, we take another step toward eventual oblivion. This is the critical issue of our day. Can we restore democracy, or do we march on in favor or Totalitarianism Lite? We know where that ends when we get a Republican or Libertarian in office.

              Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

              by OregonOak on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 06:36:02 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  With this grand-standing nutbar Congress? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quaoar, doroma, truong son traveler

    Who knows WTF they would decide. We have a congress full of Kindergarteners...We are expected to feel better about this if those Bozo's decided on it? I don't think it's going down like that.I seriously don't think it does any good for anyone. I know having it their decision will sure leave me not real secure and confident of a good outcome. Frankly, I would feel better if Obama made the decision himself...rather than them.

    •  Then you give up on democracy. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk, Aspe4

      Congress has ALWAYS been a whoopdedoo nutbasket parade. Give them something real to debate, and i think you will see the nuts jump the basket really quickly. Nothing like a debate on war and peace to separate out the serious from the grandstanders. This is exactly the point of serious debate.

      Lets practice some real democracy and show the world we are not afraid of it, as many people appear to be even on this site. We are in serious trouble if people cannot even support debate in Congress on war and peace.  We are lost for sure.

      Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

      by OregonOak on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 10:00:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The US Constitution (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Azazello, truong son traveler

    is a dead letter.  It carries about as much weight and influence today as the Soviet Constitution did in 1953.

    Clap On, Clap Off, The Clapper!

    by ActivistGuy on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 10:01:13 PM PDT

  •  Repeal the "Patriot" Act" (0+ / 0-)

    because -- chemical weapons, blah-blah-blah, TERROR

    Righteousness is a wide path. Self-righteousness is a bullhorn and a blindfold.

    by Murphoney on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 03:08:46 AM PDT

  •  Oh, geez (0+ / 0-)
    It is a moral error as great and far-reaching as the use of chemical weapons by a dictator against his own people
    Yeah, a president ordering on his own authority retaliation against a regime that uses chemical weapons with the goal of deterring further use of chemical weapons is exactly like using chemical weapons in the first place.

    Sorry, but I have to wonder whether you are arguing for this course of action because you guess (rightly I think) that this particular gridlocked Congress won't agree to let Obama do anything, no matter what. And that's the result you prefer because you'd rather see us stay out of it.

    Am I incorrect?

    •  Its because I want to see us return to a Republic (0+ / 0-)

      instead of an Empire, and stop seeing Presidents corrupted by the immense power at their fingertips. I don't care WHO it is. I argued the same thing when Bush went to war. I argued the same thing when Clinton went to war. This cozy little arrangement between Congress and the President to suspend checks and balances for the survival of an Military Empire run amok is producing a major war every decade and bankrupting the country, both morally and financially. It is now our only growth industry. We have become Germany, 1914. Our sense of entitled aggression is never satsified. Democratic checks and balances, a debate, a process must return, or we are doomed to fail.

      We must demand that it stop. Now. This is how Empires overreach and fall. I cannot believe Obama does not see this as a Constitutional Scholar or whatever he has been fashioned as in the propoganda.

      Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

      by OregonOak on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 06:20:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I support the attack on Assad (0+ / 0-)

      But...  want to see the checks and balances restored in accordance with the words and spirit of the US Constitution. I want to live in a Republic, not an Empire.

      It can be done in this case. Time is on our side, and there is no reason a leader like Obama cannot restore our credibility in the eyes of the world by asking for and getting a Declaration of War  by the US Congress.

      We could become a nation of moral laws again instead of small minded lawyers rationalizing everything we want to do for our own power.

      That is the greatest risk America faces at the moment. Not too little power, but the use of too much power with rash impunity. Obama should rein in the Imperial Power of the Presidency. It may be the last chance.

      Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

      by OregonOak on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 06:50:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Technically (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cfm

    it doesn't say that Congress must declare war only that it gives Congress the exclusive power to declare it. It says nothing about whether it has to do so in order for a military action to be valid.

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