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View Diary: Tammy Duckworth on Syria (295 comments)

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  •  What's her position on the Executive Branch (20+ / 0-)

    making military decisions all on its lonesome? That's hard to tell too.

    The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 11:13:06 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Yes that is very confusing. (5+ / 0-)

      'I support his authority to take action, but I'd have serious questions if he took action w/o congressional approval.'

      If you don't support prior to congressional approval then you can't support his authority to take action right?

        •  That is how I read it, also. n/t (8+ / 0-)

          "It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion." Oscar Wilde, 1891

          by MichiganGirl on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 11:47:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  OK, that's a helpful gloss, but I'd like to have (7+ / 0-)

          that from her, or her office--unless you, Militarytracy, are from her office! :-)

          The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 11:49:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, I'm not...sorry (4+ / 0-)

            Just know how my family views the President's power to strike without Congressional approval.  This house has been very very upset that Congress was not called back and debating this. This a creepy use of the Presidential power that is his to use to keep our nation safe.  

            She speaks very much like most active duty that I know on this.

            •  It is intensely disturbing. (5+ / 0-)

              Even Bush sought an AUMF.

              The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

              by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 12:01:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I call it the new Presidential power (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                SouthernLiberalinMD, Aspe4

                Where you throw your hands in the air and say, "Fuck it, I'm doin this!"

              •  Honestly? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                highacidity

                I have agreed with, quite literally, every single thing you have ever had to say here on DKos but you did NOT just say that even Bush did a better job of this.

                The two situations are in NO way comparable.

                •  What I'm saying is restricted to the (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Aspe4

                  Constitutional aspect of this. The rule of law part.

                  Bush did more to remain within the rule of law than Obama is currently doing.

                  And I don't like AUMFs or the way we deal with Presidential powers over military actions. I think they're way out of line. And I think the 2002 AUMF gave away too much of Congress' power--I agree with Robert Byrd on that one.

                  But Congress was in session, there was a debate and a vote and authorization given. As opposed to the President just deciding while Congress was in recess that he should go bomb Syria without doing anything but informing Congress that he was going to do it.

                  Remember that the first media coverage of this was from someone in congress who remained anonymous, who said that the WH "wasn't seeking permission. It was just to inform."

                  To me, that speaks volumes.

                  And that's what's comparable. The legal, political, Constitutional framework of how we decide on military action. And Obama is doing a worse job with that even than Bush did. So far. I hope he changes course soon.

                  The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

                  by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 01:30:05 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  If fabricating 'evidence' and (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    417els

                    artificially stoking fear by raising the terror watch to Orange every time that 'evidence' was presented is playing by the rules then, yup, Bush was way more in line than Obama.  

                    If Obama feels strongly about this, can you blame him for being wary of the current Congress and its ability to act honorably?

                    •  It's nothing to do with how a particular President (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      wonmug, native

                      feels about a particular Congress. You respect the other branches and the division of powers. The reason you do that is that, if you don't, you might set a precedent for all who come after, a precedent which could possibly alter our system of government in a bad way. As Bush arguably did for Obama. Obama would probably never consider going it alone to this extent if the last President hadn't steamrolled Congress and the UN to the extent he did. And so it goes.

                      Next President, whether it's a Republican or a Democrat, will inherit vastly expanded powers. This does not follow partisan lines. And the country suffers for it, whether the man in the Oval Office--or the woman--wears a red or blue jersey.

                      The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

                      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 05:09:11 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  It isn't precident breaking (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        native

                        Truman bypassed Congress to go to war in Korea. Johnson and Nixon bypassed on Vietnam. Pappy Bush bypassed them on Panama. Clinton bypassed them on Kosovo.  

                        •  So you think Bush did not dangerously expand (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          koNko

                          the powers of the Presidency?

                          The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

                          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 06:35:57 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm not sure I get your question. (0+ / 0-)

                            Plenty of presidents before Obama used military force without Congressional approval. For Obama to do it would not be game changing. Presidents had this power long before Bush came along.

                            Under the War Powers Act, the president has 90 days after introducing troops into hostilities to obtain congressional approval of that action. This dates back to irritation over the way Johnson and Nixon handled Vietnam.

                            I realize that I am in the minority here but I am not knee-jerk opposed to the action Obama is considering as long as he waits for the UN Inspectors' report. I am not okay with a world where chemical weapons are fair game. That actually does have long term implications for us. As a side note, I'm not okay with the world shooting itself up either, but, sadly, there is no international law against that.

                            To be honest, I am completely stunned by the sudden faith this community has in Congress given its track record since Obama got elected. I guess we don't support any of Obama's attempts to use his powers to go around them on gun control or judicial appointments either.

                        •  And also, I don't think any of those decisions (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          koNko

                          were good ones.

                          The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

                          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 06:43:37 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm not arguing the merits of those actions (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            highacidity

                            simply stating the reality that what Obama is proposing is not new.

                          •  It was arguably ill-advised in all those cases (0+ / 0-)

                            for the Executive to proceed alone.
                            If the Executive had taken the decisions to Congress, it's possible, though not certain, that some of those decisions would not have been made. And in at least one case (Vietnam) our country would have been far better off if they had not been made.

                            To answer your other comment here, the President's ability to unleash our military force, which at this point is incomparable, is a power arguably unlike any other; or, to put it more accurately, the power of the Executive Branch to kill, whether through war, non-war military actions, or kill lists, is the most dire of its powers and the most necessary to restrain if one is interested in maintaining a country that obeys the rule of law and respects the rights of all citizens (including those who have little power).  The Founders knew that. It's one of the points on which they and I--and apparently, a majority of our citizens, even in this dark time--agree.

                            The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

                            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 08:47:33 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

              •  Well I see the president... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                SouthernLiberalinMD

                ...making the same mistakes as Bush just another attempt at bi-partisanship  /snark

                We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

                by delver rootnose on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 03:49:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  So call Boehner, Reid and ask THEM (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SouthernLiberalinMD

              why they are not calling for an immediate return to D.C. They can do it without Presidential approval. Every moment they don't tells me that vacations are REALLY important to them.

              Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
              Economic
              Left/Right: -7.75
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              by Bud Fields on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 02:04:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Nice tea leave reading (12+ / 0-)

          Shouldn't require deciphering to understand her statement but it does.

          Lousy statement imo.

          •  True (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SouthernLiberalinMD

            And I'm going off the complaints I'm hearing around me why this is troubling to some active duty and the families, to include this family.

          •  And laying it out there (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SouthernLiberalinMD

            Hey Mr. President, don't think this is all your call, that pisses people off :)

          •  I really wish someone from her office would (0+ / 0-)

            clarify it.

            I hate hit-and-run diaries. We used to have a policy about that. Apparently now there's some reason why we allow Democratic officials to get away with it.

            The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 06:37:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Never applied to celebrities or organizations (0+ / 0-)

              So me the case where a public figure or organizational account has ever been disciplined for hit and run.

              It's not a hard rule on the site and I can't think of an instance since I've been a member where it has happened.

              For that reason, when commenting in such diaries I never expect a personal response and don't make more than one to the diary proper, I have greater expectation to get a response in the discussion threads and put more effort there.

              •  Actually, there was a time when it was (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                delver rootnose, koNko

                gently suggested to elected officials that they stick around at least for a few minutes and engage with at least 3-4 comments.

                I have seen John Kerry, Howard Dean, and others do so on this site. But not for a long time. Now nobody does it.

                The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

                by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 10:29:52 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, Dean is one (0+ / 0-)

                  And I would add some public figures that are more in the activist mold such as Jesselyn Radack and Michael Moore post here occasionally and engage, particularly Jesselyn, who seems to be quite attentive after posting.

                  I really learned the hard way after posting one very long and painstakingly researched comment to a labor leader here, who (or who's worker bee) tends to answer 2-3 comments per diary early on and always one's that agree with him.

                  Should not have worked so hard; no response, but plenty of grief from others.

                  So I try not to expect too much.

          •  Can I have your opinion on (0+ / 0-)

            My comment here.

            Specifically, would you agree with my understanding of the Constitution and if not, why not?

            I think this is a very important test of the continuing relevance of the Constitution in terms of how both the Executive and Legislative branches treat both the law and their responsibilities under the law and to uphold it in every respect, including as might be the case, Executive Orders and Acts of War.

            So appreciate your opinions.

      •  Legal authority of the president is confusing (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        trumpeter, Ahianne

        while her statement is crystal clear. To me anyway. There are many precedents for the president to order military action without prior congressional approval. Constitutional law experts might argue the fine points but the fact remains that every president in the past 70 years have used/assumed that authority with little more than hand wringing and clucking from Congress. She says she supports his authority. She also says she does not support a strike absent proof such action is not "imperative to our national security". How much more clear could this statement be?

        My trained eye sees the professional soldier in her statement that is now tempered by a new responsibility as an elected representative. The military is a mostly rigid hierarchy where what the commander says goes regardless of how ill advised, stupid, or dangerous his orders might be. A good commanders demands fierce debate and concrete analysis when planning operations. It can be an ugly evolution up until the commander makes his decision. At that point everyone gets on his side, learns his part, and executes the mission. In short, shut up, salute smartly and do your assigned task.

        I see that in her statement. I also see someone who realizes she is not directly in the president's chain of command but is in a co-equal/parallel role. That doesn't mean that I doubt she will publicly work against the president should he take precipitous action. I suspect she will shut up (publicly), salute smartly, and do her assigned task which is to exert what small influence a congress person has on an overly powerful executive branch embarked on a foolish course.

        I don't know her, I can never know what is in her mind, but that is what I see in this statement. And I could also be completely full of shit.

        Time makes more converts than reason. Thomas Paine, Common Sense

        by VTCC73 on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 12:19:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not necessarily so black and white (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        highacidity

        I'm not a constitutional scholar but I have heard a couple debate the underlying issue in both legal and historical terms, and both (one liberal, one conservative) were is 100% agreement on how it should work and how it best works:

        - When the country is under attack or imminent threat of attack, the President has executive power to direct a military response without the consent of Congress as the Commander in Chief sworn to protect the nation.

        - In situations where there is no imminent threat or the imminent threat has been responded to, or where the US would initiate a preemptive war, Congress must approve an Act of War.

        Just my opinion, but this case fails the smell test for a Executive Order because the USA is not under attack or anything remotely resembling that so there is no urgency to take action under law.

        I think the White House knows they are on shaky ground here because they have already framed this as an issue of "National Interest" and (strangely if under siege) stated the response would be limited and calculated to "punish" a transgression of International Law (that, incidentally, the US is not responsible or authorized to unilaterally enforce).

        So how I interpret the diary is Duckworth intends to exercise her duty as a member of Congress to proceed with the process to consider, debate and vote on an Act of War should  the President request this.

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