Please Cut the Crap

Can we knock this nonsense off:

A key Senate Democrat on Tuesday tamped down the suggestion by some in his own party that President Obama could be impeached for launching military strikes on Libya.

Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), a supporter of the U.S. mission in Libya and the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that if Obama’s actions on Libya are impeachable, then so are the acts of every other president since World War II who launched military operations without a formal declaration of war.

I think there are reasons to be concerned about Libya and our involvement, but can we please cut the crap? This isn’t an impeachable offense. This is not a sign of the Imperial Presidency. This is not just like Bush and Cheney. This is not Iraq. This is not a unilateral strike on a nation for no reason other than ginned up WMD arguments fueled by the fevered dreams of neocon warmongers. Just stop it.

313 replies
  1. 1
    Dave says:

    Amen. Apparently, Kucinich and the rest of the trolls never heard of the War Powers Resolution.

  2. 2
    4tehlulz says:

    OBOMBA PEACE PRIZE OIL BUSH ETC.

  3. 3
    mr. whipple says:

    I AM TIRED OF NUTS! I CAN’T FUCKING TAKE IT ANYMORE!

  4. 4
    Jim Pharo says:

    Sadly, I actually agree with Kucinich, but recognize that the current conventional wisdom makes this out of bounds. If brazen violation of the explicit terms of the Constitution isn’t a high crime, then I’m not sure what is.

    I’d have impeached Reagan for violating his obligation to faithfully execute the laws by going behind Congress’ back to get weapons to his friends the Contras.

    While Libya ain’t no Iraq, the law of unintended consequences has hardly been repealed. The truth is we don’t know what we’re getting into in Libya. Another sad truth is that neither the WH or the President’s allies in Congress are going to be able to explain so that most people will understand it.

    Were the Congress to authorize this military action, I’d be all for it. I see no reason why we shouldn’t help protect civilians from the evil of their bad rulers. And not just in Libya, but anywhere we our intervention can make a difference. I have no desire to act as the world’s policeman, but if no one else is doing it better that we do it than that no one do it.

  5. 5
    sal says:

    Impeachable, probably no, but Imperial Presidency yes. The fact that presidents have been doing it a while now doesn’t change what it is.

  6. 6
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jim Pharo: As of yet, this action has not violated the War Powers Act.

  7. 7
    Tractarian says:

    This.

    You can criticize Operation Odyssey Dawn for a lot of things – it doesn’t aim for regime change, it’s not clear who’s in charge, it has an unbelievably stupid name – but it’s a far cry from conducting a ground invasion of a stable, sovereign nation for reasons based on faulty and knowingly-embellished intelligence.

  8. 8
    Bulworth says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Which requires the President to get approval after 60 or 90 days?

  9. 9
    balconesfault says:

    As a rule, I’d welcome Congress showing some cojones and starting impeachment proceedings against a President for using force in a non-emergency situation without asking Congress to approve it. It’s not like Obama didn’t have plenty of time to request authorization to act on Libya to protect the revolutionaries.

    But let’s face it – right now it would just be one more instance of “we’re fine with it until the black guy does it”.

  10. 10
    T. Friedman says:

    This is not Iraq.

    Well, not yet. We won’t really know until we see how this very limited intervention to save teh civilians plays out. The next six months are crucial to the success of Operation Odyssey Dawn.

  11. 11
    Fuck U6: A More Accurate Measure of the Total Amount of Duck-Fuckery in the Economy says:

    The only thing I have heard about any of this is that the 60-day clock started yesterday.

    Didja ever stop to think that not everything said needs to be answered? Sometimes people can show themselves as fools without you getting a case of the vapours.

  12. 12
    Jim Pharo says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I don’t see how the War Powers Act squares with the Constitution. I think it falls squarely into the “nice try” category of unconstitutional legislation.

  13. 13
    Dave says:

    @Bulworth: 60 days approval and an extra 30 for withdrawal. Considering the lack of ground troops, Obama could use that 30 days to the end and “withdraw” on the last day. So legally, he has a 90-day window as of Sunday.

  14. 14
    Tractarian says:

    @Jim Pharo:

    So a UNSC resolution isn’t enough to repeal the law of unintended consequences, but a Congressional resolution is?

    Either this is a worthwhile, advisable action, or it’s not. Getting approval from the UN or Congress may aid its legitimacy, but it won’t make very much difference in terms of chances of success on the ground.

  15. 15
    soonergrunt says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I thought there wasn’t a War Powers Act but a War Powers Resolution, the primary reason for which is because neither Congress nor anyone who’s ever been President wanted to find out exactly what their limits were in that respect.

  16. 16
    bayville says:

    Couldn’t agree more.

    Unlike Afghanistan and Iraq, Libya is ruled by an evil, monster of a tyrant or hadn’t anyone heard.

    This is purely a peacekeeping mission, a’la Vietnam.

    Now, dust off those flags and yellow ribbons and show support for the Troops, Obama and the Freedom Bombing campaign.

  17. 17
    JR says:

    Levin both got the idea and missed the point. Yes, every President since WWII has done this sort of action, and yes, every President has acted unconstitutionally in so doing. The constitutional principle is that Congress starts our wars. The issue is whether Congress can properly delegate that authority to anyone else, such as the President.

    Now, that’s not to say that Congress should impeach the President anytime he acts without authorization. But they certainly could, if they wanted to reassert Congressional supremacy in war initiation. The Court certainly won’t step in, so it’s up to Congress whether to proceed.

    The thing is, by not acting against the President’s adventurism, Congress has basically reduced itself from the proactive force necessary to authorize a war (the Constitution’s design) to a reactive force that can pass retroactive judgment on a war’s wisdom. The latter model may well be preferable in a modern world where the US military routinely projects force around the globe, but it really doesn’t comport with the constitutional balance between the Executive and the Legislative branches.

  18. 18
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Bulworth: I believe it is approval within 60 days and 30 day withdrawal period if approval is not granted.

  19. 19
    Dave says:

    @Jim Pharo: Then blame Congress for passing it. And if anything, the arguments against its un-Constitutionality have been in favor of expanding the Executive’s authority and power.

  20. 20
    Tomjones says:

    I wish Dennis and crew would impeach Obama. Imagine the exquisite agony of the Republicans!

    On the one hand, to impeach Obama would satisfy their wildest fantasies.

    But on the other hand, they would be forced to endorse limitations on the warmaking ability of the Executive.

    How delightful it would be.

  21. 21
    Sly says:

    @Dave:
    Or the U.N. Participation Act.
    @Jim Pharo:

    Sadly, I actually agree with Kucinich, but recognize that the current conventional wisdom makes this out of bounds. If brazen violation of the explicit terms of the Constitution isn’t a high crime, then I’m not sure what is.

    The law relating to the authority to deploy military force is more than just the text of Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11. The President has broad authority by statue and treaty to deploy military forces, for either a limited time or as part of international agreements, without the need for Congressional authorization.

    Both the War Powers Resolution and the U.N. Participation Act were duly passed by Congress, and in doing so they gave the executive broad power to commit military forces to U.N. Security Council resolutions without a requirement to seek their approval.

    Disagreement over the wisdom of this is all well and good. But legality is another issue entirety. Until such authority is removed by Congress or the Supreme Court, it is the law of the land.

  22. 22
    singfoom says:

    It is very stupid that we just spent $100 million dollars bombing Libya. I don’t think it was necessary and I think we should have let other nations take care of it.

    However, to suggest that the strikes are impeachable is just silly.

    Plus, we all know we don’t impeach Presidents for actual important laws they break. It has to do with sexy time or it’s not impeachable….

    Nader and Kucinich are being stupid. The news networks are being stupid. It’s eerily reminiscent of March of 2003.

  23. 23
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @soonergrunt: You are correct. It is a resolution not an act.

  24. 24
    Zifnab says:

    This isn’t an impeachable offense.

    Well, dammit John. We’ve got to impeach him for something. And unless he starts getting frisky with interns sometime in the next two years, it’s never going to happen.

    This is not a sign of the Imperial Presidency.

    I don’t know if I’d say that. Maybe, “This isn’t a NEW sign”. Obama doesn’t necessarily get a pass just for exercising the same follies of his predecessors.

  25. 25
    wasabi gasp says:

    I AM TIRED OF NUTS! I CAN’T FUCKING TAKE IT ANYMORE!

    Lucky you!

  26. 26
    Dave says:

    @JR: President Obama is in compliance with the War Powers Resolution, passed BY CONGRESS over a veto. So are you arguing that the President is violating the Constitution by complying with a law passed by Congress to regulate the authority of the President as Commander-in-Chief to engage in a military action? Really?

  27. 27
    Admiral_Komack says:

    @Dave:

    Hey now!

    Kucinich is not a troll!

    He’s a Keebler Elf!

  28. 28
    jrg says:

    Kucinich just thinks that since he couldn’t impeach Bush, he may as well impeach the next Dem that comes along to prove a point. Fucking moron.

  29. 29
    Aneece says:

    Here, here. Although I think a UN mandate is more important. We spread the responsibility and the blame, and undercut the ability of d-bag dictators to concern troll/deflect attention from their own terrible governance. I would say that, in a small way, the UN resolution reduces the field of unintended consequences. It will be hard to recruit Mujahiddin around “Down with Benghazi, up with Qaddafi!”

  30. 30
    Jim Pharo says:

    @Tractarian: I think getting the consent of the people’s representatives prior to commencing war enhances its chances for success, so to me it’s not a mere process point.

  31. 31
    Jim Pharo says:

    @Dave: Can Congress pass a law repealing the First Amendment? According to your logic, they can.

  32. 32
    one_outer says:

    What a hilaroius argument. The one thing Obama does that isn’t impeachable is the one thing that actually gets a little impeachment play.

    He tortures. He sells out the interests of Americans to corporations that are literally killing them. He kills innocent people. He hasn’t closed Guantanamo. That’s more than enough. Just impeach him already. We could have done this a year ago.

  33. 33
    soonergrunt says:

    @singfoom: This.

    @Omnes Omnibus: Thanks. I remember hearing that it wasn’t a real law and thought “that’s insane” and then it was explained why it had never been passed as a law over the inevitable presidential veto, and I thought “that’s even more insane, but it makes sense in a weaselly, fucked up, completely sensible way.”

  34. 34
    Suck It Up! says:

    Going out with a ((((bong)))) huh Kucinich?

  35. 35

    I agree that this is not an impeachable offense, nor is it like the Bush/Cheney lies to get us into the Iraq War. However, I am left with one very important unanswered question: Why did the Obama Administration take this to the UN, but not our own Congress?

  36. 36
    balconesfault says:

    @Jim Pharo: It’s more like Congress passing a law that they themselves don’t have First Amendment rights.

  37. 37
    JR says:

    @Dave, I’m arguing that any statute which grants presumptive authority to initiate hostilities to anyone other than Congress–beyond the states’ and the President’s inherent constitutional authority to act to repel actual or imminent attack–is an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power. The Declare War Clause is in Article I, not Article II, for a reason.

  38. 38
    soonergrunt says:

    @Jim Pharo: I’m fairly sure that the Tomahawk missile doesn’t check for a AUMF/war declaration before it launches when the key is turned, but yeah, for more than that, it matters.
    Having said that, the President hasn’t done anything wrong in the legal sense. In the sense of getting us involved in somebody else’s fight in an Arab country mainly to assist European powers who want it done without paying for it themselves, to no good end for the US, yeah, he’s wrong.

  39. 39
    Can't Be Bothered says:

    @Jim Pharo:

    Ummm.. yes they can. And until and unless that law was deemed unconstitutional by SCOTUS it would be the law of the land. This is basic civics.

  40. 40
    Dave says:

    @Jim Pharo: That’s a strawman argument. Whereas the First Amendment is clearly laid out, there has always been a tension between the powers of Congress and the Executive as it pertains to how and who controls how military action is used by the United States. The War Powers Resolution was an effort by Congress to square that circle. President Obama is abiding by the law of the land. It’s not an impeachable offense and to argue otherwise is ridiculous.

  41. 41
    Tractarian says:

    @bayville & one_outer:

    Keep it up, guys. The more hysterical extreme pacifist liberals get, the more Obama looks like a reasonable, middle-of-the-road consensus builder, thereby perfectly positioning himself for a 2012 landslide.

    Keep it up.

  42. 42
    Dave says:

    @JR: Except Congress passed the resolution and it is considered the law of the land. And President Obama is abiding by it. So he is obeying the law as it currently exists. That is not an impeachable offense.

  43. 43
    Suck It Up! says:

    I am so amazed at how balloon-juicers are experts at everything. From acquisitions to war, you guys know it all.

  44. 44
    Tractarian says:

    @The Ancient Randonneur (formerly known as The Grand Panjandrum):

    However, I am left with one very important unanswered question: Why did the Obama Administration take this to the UN, but not our own Congress?

    Because Congress is a bunch of dicks?

  45. 45
    Joe Beese says:

    @singfoom:

    It is very stupid that we just spent $100 million dollars bombing Libya.

    Add another $30 million to replace that F-15E that just went down? Ka-CHING!

    But yeah, I’d much rather we impeach Obama for crimes against humanity for his drone bombing massacres in Pakistan.

  46. 46
    agrippa says:

    Please cut the crap is right. The US participation in this operation is legal.
    It may be unwise; one can make an argument for that. But it is legal.

  47. 47
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jim Pharo: No, Congress cannot pass a law repealing the 1st Amendment. Congress can pass a law that puts some restrictions on speech. If Congress does pass such a law, the law is valid as the law of the land until such time as a Court finds it unconstitutional.

    WRT the War Powers Resolution, no court has found it unconstitutional and I have my doubts that a court will ever touch the question. The Wikipedia entry on the WPR is actually rather good on the constitutional issues present with it.

  48. 48
    Bob L says:

    @JR: Levin both got the idea and missed the point. Yes, every President since WWII has done this sort of action, and yes, every President has acted unconstitutionally in so doing. The constitutional principle is that Congress starts our wars. The issue is whether Congress can properly delegate that authority to anyone else, such as the President.

    Before WWII – FDR had us in an undeclared naval war with Germany before the formal declaration of war. The US navy lost two destroyers to German u-boats before Pear Harbor.

  49. 49
    Admiral_Komack says:

    @The Ancient Randonneur (formerly known as The Grand Panjandrum):

    ‘Cause the Teabaggers would probably try to gum up the works.

  50. 50
    JR says:

    @Dave: There’s a reason we have a Supremacy Clause.

  51. 51
    agrippa says:

    @one_outer:

    Th Obama will not be impeached.

    Tractarian # 39 is correct.

  52. 52
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Tractarian: Actually, UN Resolution 1973 is explicitly worded to prevent another Operation Iraqi Freedom. NO invasion, NO occupation, NO reconstruction, NO boots on the ground.
    Gulf II(Operation Desert Storm) was the mil-op to depose Saddam and secure any WMDs he might have.
    OIF was the occupation and reconstruction of Iraq.
    aka the Epic Fail of the Manifest Destiny of Judeochristian/Westernstyle Democracy in MENA.

  53. 53
    Jim Pharo says:

    @Can’t Be Bothered: It is the duty and province of the Court to say what the law is (h/t Justice Marshall). Each branch must make its own determination of what’s Constitutional. The Congress would be well within its rights to determine that the President’s flouting of the Constitution was an impeachable offense. No need to seek any legal rulings from the Court.

  54. 54
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley: Operation Desert Storm took place in 1991.

  55. 55
    soonergrunt says:

    @Suck It Up!: Thank Google man. It’s all their fault.

  56. 56
    Dave says:

    @Jim Pharo: On the basis of what?? Following the War Powers Resolution that Congress passed? That’s not an argument – that’s just idiocy.

  57. 57
    soonergrunt says:

    @Joe Beese: Closer to $60 million today.

  58. 58
    Sly says:

    @The Ancient Randonneur (formerly known as The Grand Panjandrum):

    However, I am left with one very important unanswered question: Why did the Obama Administration take this to the UN, but not our own Congress?

    Time constraints, most likely. The reporting requirements and engagement window of the WPR were written under the notion that the President should have some ability to act immediately if circumstances demand it, but must eventually get Congressional authorization.

    In other words, I don’t think the administration wanted to sit on its hands while an authorizing statute made its way through Congress, considering that time wasted as pro-Gaddafi forces moved further east. They were not legally obligated to, so they didn’t.

  59. 59
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jim Pharo: Since the President is complying with the WPR which was passed by Congress, what grounds would Congress have to suggest that his actions are unconstitutional? Even if Congress repealed/withdrew the WPR, Obama’s actions were legal pursuant to it when he took them.

  60. 60
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Tractarian:

    Because Congress is a bunch of dicks?

    No, because conservatives are Death Eaters and Obama is a Muggleborn Mudblood.

    And from the Dangerrman

    Also, for those interested, “Odyssey Dawn” is the English translation for “Omar Al Mokhtar” (don’t ask me how that translation works or what this historical Dude did for Libya; something important, apparently). I would have preferred calling it “Operation Omar Al Mokhtar” as wingers heads would explode, but we could hose down the sidewalks, etc.

    I’m going to call it Operation Omar Al Mokhtar from now on.
    We can also get conservative heads to explode by explaining we are teaming with al-Qaeda and the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.

  61. 61
    Suck It Up! says:

    AND he’s raising money off of it! LOL!!!!!!
    ‘Obama or the Constitution?’ and about my re-election$$$$$$

  62. 62
    soonergrunt says:

    @Sly: Not only that, but he satisfied WPR by telling the Majority and Minority leadership.

  63. 63
    Yevgraf (fka Michael) says:

    @balconesfault:

    It’s not like Obama didn’t have plenty of time to request authorization to act on Libya to protect the revolutionaries.

    Hahahahahahahaha…

    The teabigots would have made it an awesome display of trailer trash wisdom – between “we cain’t af-FORD IT!” and the second guessing of the planning because “Obama is just a n****r and don’t know nuthin’ ’bout that thar mil’tary strategery”, it would have made clear the divide and double standards.

    If Bin Laden was smart, he’d manage to make his next terrorist acts against megachurches in the South, along with suburban malls in Dallas, Atlanta, Nashville, JAX and Cincinnati. That would be the final crackup for US activity anywhere.

  64. 64
    WarMunchkin says:

    War Powers Act allows a 48 hour grace period to give congressional notification, so it’s legal (which I did not know until this morning). That said, even if it’s not impeachable, it is epic dumbassery and, in the tradition of epic dumbassery, I plead for a Sense of the Senate resolution expressing such sentiments.

  65. 65
    Brachiator says:

    I think there are reasons to be concerned about Libya and our involvement, but can we please cut the crap?

    Sweet Baby Jebus on a shingle!

    Even some Democrats are nutz, and want to impeach Obama for presidenting while being black.

    How dare he do … presidential stuff. And without their permission.

    What a bunch of morans.

  66. 66
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: oops.
    mybad.
    Omnes is right, Desert Storm was Gulf I.

  67. 67
    Can't Be Bothered says:

    @Jim Pharo:

    If you’re arguing that Congress can impeach for whatever the hell they want, then you are correct. But you keep moving the goalposts. Each branch doesn’t determine constitutionality. That is the province of the judicial branch. Congress could state whatever reason they wanted for impeachment, including saying that military action is unconstitutional. However, I would find that odd as the SC hasn’t ruled against relevant acts that Congress itself passed.

  68. 68
    Google is your friend says:

    H.J.RES.542
    Latest Title: War Powers Resolution
    Sponsor: Rep Zablocki, Clement J. [WI-4] (introduced 5/3/1973) Cosponsors (14)
    Latest Major Action: 11/7/1973 Public law 93-148.
    Note: Public Law enacted over veto.
    ——————————————————————————–
    SUMMARY AS OF:
    11/7/1973–Public Law. (There is 1 other summary)
    (LATEST SUMMARY)

    War Power Resolution – Declares that it is the purpose of this Act to fulfill the intent of the framers of the Constitution of the United States and insure that the collective judgment of both the Congress and the President will apply to the introduction of the Armed Forces of the United States in hostilities, or in situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, and to the continued use of such forces in hostilities.

    Requires that the President shall in every possible instance consult with Congress before introducing United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into situations where imminent involvement is clearly indicated by the circumstances.

    Provides that in the absence of a declaration of war by the Congress, in any case in which the Armed Forces of the United States are introduced in hostilities, or in situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, such use of the Armed Forces of the United States in hostilities pursuant to this Act shall be reported within 48 hours in writing by the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate, together with a full account of the circumstances under which such hostilities were initiated, the estimated scope and duration of such hostilities, and the constitutional and legislative authority under which the introduction of hostilities took place.

    Provides that nothing in this Act is intended to alter the provisions of existing treaties.

    Sets forth the criteria for Congressional consideration of joint resolutions and concurrent resolutions introduced pursuant to this Act.

    Provides that this Act shall take effect on the date of its enactment.

    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/.....m&

  69. 69
    one_outer says:

    Of course he won’t be impeached. Should be, but won’t be. Just like the last however many presidents.

    Tractarian, as if whether or not he gets reelected matters. That’s kind of the whole point. This mineaswell be Bush’s third term. Who gives a shit?

    Wow, it’s been a long time since someone saddled me with the liberal label and even longer since I was called a pacifist.

    I would never be a liberal. Liberals are weak, unprincipled collaborationists.

    Also not a pacifist. Violence is not only sometimes but often justified. For instance, the American civil war didn’t go far enough in destroying the South.

    I am, however, way outside the mainstream but I hate the ‘E’word.

  70. 70

    I’m not being sarcastic or sneering when I say: I feel for the intelligent, thoughtful, responsible opponents of this action.

    So many idiots and freaks, writing nonsensical, self-congratulatory blather that could have written if they’d never heard of Libya until five seconds before they hit “post.”

    I’m sure if I went to righty blogs, though, I’d find just as many idiots and freaks doing the same thing on the pro-intervention side.

  71. 71
    liberal says:

    @JR:
    Excellent comment.

    I’m especially interested in this part: “The issue is whether Congress can properly delegate that authority to anyone else, such as the President.” My recollection of the Oct 2002 AUMF re Iraq is that it wasn’t equivalent to a declaration of war, but rather a delegation of that power to the president (could be wrong on that). And that’s a bad thing.

  72. 72
    Bob L says:

    Seriously guys, impeach Obama for an uncleared war is Tea Bagger stupid. America has fought so many undeclared wars in its history from the American Indians Wars, the Quasi War with France, Banana Wars in Central America, Vietnam and so forth that possibly Carter is the only president hasn’t done it. Heck George Washington fought an Indian War and put down a rebellion without referring to Congress.

    Not to mention that GW Bush did go to congress about Iraq. I guess it makes Iraq so much better.

  73. 73
    Bigol says:

    If the world was consistent this would be the headline today…

    http://herbegerenews.wordpress.....r-protest/

    Oh, and John, I don’t want to re-fight old fights, but your statement “This is not a unilateral strike on a nation for no reason other than ginned up WMD arguments fueled by the fevered dreams of neocon warmongers.” is false.

    Even if it was a lie, we had UN resolutions, more allies, larger coalition, support from congress, AND a vote supporting it.

    But I do agree with you, the president has the power as Commander in Chief to order troops when and where he wants.

    If congress wants to stop ANY president from having that ability, then all they have to do is stop funding an active standing military. Until then, shut up. He’s the Commander In Chief.

    Good luck with that…

    B

  74. 74
    liberal says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Since the President is complying with the WPR which was passed by Congress…

    Because Congress doesn’t have the power to delegate to the President authority granted to Congress by the Constitution. And it certainly doesn’t have the power to bind future Congresses in that manner.

  75. 75
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: You’re talking to a wall. You recognize that, no?

  76. 76
    liberal says:

    @Brachiator:

    Even some Democrats are nutz, and want to impeach Obama for presidenting while being black.

    That’s baseless slander. They’re suggesting impeaching Obama because they’re tired of the US engaging in undeclared wars. Just because it’s far, far less damaging to the US than Iraq was doesn’t mean it’s OK.

    As a matter of politics, it’s reasonable to assert that it’s not worth impeaching Obama, that it’d be unfair because Bush wasn’t impeached, etc etc, but to claim it’s not an impeachable offense is ludicrous, particularly given the concerns the Founders had regarding the Executive accrueing too much warmaking power.

    How dare he do … presidential stuff. And without their permission.

    The point is that “presidential stuff” doesn’t include usurping Congress’ power to declare war.

  77. 77

    @The Ancient Randonneur (formerly known as The Grand Panjandrum):

    Why did the Obama Administration take this to the UN, but not our own Congress?

    He didn’t. This wasn’t a US-sponsored resolution at the UN.

    I understand the reflex to put the United States at the center of events, to assume that we started this and are the driving force behind it, but this action actually represents a significant departure from the last few decades.

    Listen to the Republicans talking about Obama not “showing leadership” in “leading the world.” Why, he doesn’t seem to display enough enthusiasm, they’re telling us. They’re understanding something that a lot of people on the left are missing.

  78. 78
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Yevgraf (fka Michael): the reason that Qaddafi’s armored division is a smoking scrap lot outside of Benghazi and not embedded in the city center using opposition civilians as human sheilds is that Obama knew better than to go to congress.
    The Distributed Jesusland Congress would have happily stalled untill Qaddafi levelled Benghazi.
    Larison, Brooks, Douthat and Sully and the rest of the glibertarian boggarts are concern trolling the holy heck out of Operation Omar.
    Their worst fear is about to realized.
    Obama is going to succeed in a humanitarian coalition where conservative ideology totally failed.

    I think Saleh’s current Very Big Troubles are partly the result of Obama’s decisive action on Operation Omar. The generals and diplos started defecting immediately after the French and the Brits started bringing the rain.
    Simply epic concern trolling from Larison and Sully here.

  79. 79
    Dave says:

    @liberal: And you are missing the broader point here. There is an inherent tension on this issue between what authority the Legislative and Executive branches possess when it comes to the military and their use. The Constitution says only Congress can declare war, but it doesn’t say that only Congress can authorize military action. And that has been an ongoing issue. The WPR was an attempt to clarify that tension without having one branch impede on the other’s authority. It hasn’t been declared un-Constitutional. And until that happens – IF it happens – it is the law of the land. Obama is abiding by it. It’s not an impeachable offense.

  80. 80
    cyntax says:

    I’ve got a lot of reservations about this undertaking but that in no flippin way makes it an impeachable offense. And to suggest that it does is beyond unserious.

  81. 81
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @liberal: The President has constitutional responsibilities wrt national defense and foreign relations. Congress has responsibilities wrt declaring war. The WPR was an attempt to set out where the boundaries between the two sets of responsibilities lie and to set up procedures to negotiate any conflicts between them. Further, if Congress wants the WPR to have no further effect on the debate, it can eliminate it. Until it does, I don’t see how a President who does not violate its requirements can have Congress jump his shit.

  82. 82

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley:

    We can also get conservative heads to explode by explaining we are teaming with al-Qaeda and the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.

    I’m all for making wingers’ heads explode, but the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group split with al Qaeda while ago.

    Don’t worry, though, just the name will do it.

  83. 83
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): but I am a correct wall. The writing is on the wall.
    Qaddafi will either leave, or be isolated in Tripoli within two weeks is my prediction.
    I also predict Saleh will have to step down.

  84. 84
  85. 85
    liberal says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    AFAICT, that’s wrong. It’s entitled a “Resolution,” but my web search indicates it’s a statute, was vetoed by Nixon, and the veto was overridden by Congress.

  86. 86

    @JR:

    The issue is whether Congress can properly delegate that authority to anyone else, such as the President.

    Take a look at the Clean Air Act, and its authorization for the executive to decide such trifling matters as what counts as air pollution, what levels are safe, and what regulations will be imposed on industry. If Congress can delegate its power to regulate interstate commerce, and can decide to take back that delegated power at any time by repealing or amending the law, then it can delegate its other powers, or retain them as Congress itself sees fit.

  87. 87
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @joe from Lowell: oh yes, that is correct, but al-Qaeda is also calling for Qaddafi’s head.
    I didn’t mean to imply LIFG was part of al-Q, just that they share goals.

  88. 88
    Yevgraf (fka Michael) says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley:

    The reason that Qaddafi’s armored division is a smoking scrap lot outside of Benghazi and not embedded in the city center using opposition civilians as human shields is that Obama knew better than to go to congress.
    The Distributed Jesusland Congress would have happily stalled until Qaddafi levelled Benghazi.

    All opposition, all the time. If Obama got in front of a microphone this afternoon to announce that adults having sex with toddlers is an objective moral wrong, they’d come up with a way to complain about it. If he said he enjoys sunny days, they’d come up with a way to complain about it. If he said that consuming pure water is healthy, they’d come up with a way to complain about it.

  89. 89
    Stillwater says:

    @Yevgraf (fka Michael): If Bin Laden was smart, he’d manage to make his next terrorist acts against … suburban malls in Dallas, Atlanta, Nashville, JAX and Cincinnati. That would be the final crackup for US activity anywhere.

    Shhh. The secret beating heart of American Exceptionalism remains well hidden from the cave dwellers. Let’s not tip our hand. Not yet anyway.

  90. 90
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @liberal: FWIW I was accepting the correction as far as the title, but let’s not nitpick.

  91. 91

    …tamped down the suggestion by some in his own party that President Obama could be impeached for launching military strikes on Libya.

    The only person I know who suggested that was Dennis Kucinich and it’s not like anyone has ever paid any attention to him …

  92. 92
    liberal says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    The WPR was an attempt to set out where the boundaries between the two sets of responsibilities lie and to set up procedures to negotiate any conflicts between them.

    That’s irrelevant if the boundaries so set up aren’t consistent with the Constitution; Congress can’t amend the Constitution by passing a statute.

    Further, if Congress wants the WPR to have no further effect on the debate, it can eliminate it.

    Just because an act of Congress can impact the political debate is irrelevant to whether the procedures designed are constitutional.

    Until it does, I don’t see how a President who does not violate its requirements can have Congress jump his shit.

    Given the gravity of the president usurping war-making powers, the correct response is IMHO impeachment and removal from office. It’s fine if you want to argue that the constitutional division of power is essentially a dead letter now (given the lengthy history involved), and that nothing can be done; or that it’s not a high priority right now (given Bush got away with it in Iraq; and that the political alternatives to Obama are even worse, etc etc). But pretending that Congress can delegate its constitutional responsibilities to the president by merely passing a statute is ludicrous.

  93. 93
    Yevgraf (fka Michael) says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    The WPR was an attempt to set out where the boundaries between the two sets of responsibilities lie and to set up procedures to negotiate any conflicts between them.

    Not to mention the not so inconsequential issue that the WPR was designed around – that modern communications and tactics don’t necessarily allow for the leisurely consideration of what to do or not.

    The folks in Bengazi and other parts outside Tripoli didn’t have the time to await stemwinding speeches from Jim Demented or Patrick McHenry, or to listen to Dick Lugar dither.

  94. 94
    bayville says:

    BTW, how can I donate to the re-election campaign of the Noble Peace Prize Winner in chief?

    Hoping by his next term he will finally get around to bombing innocents in Iran, Venezuela and Round 2 in Eyerock.

  95. 95
    liberal says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    How is it nitpicking to ask whether it’s law or merely a Congressional resolution?

  96. 96
    Dave says:

    @Yevgraf (fka Michael): The way I always put it is “If Obama could walk on water, they’d ask why he can’t swim.”

  97. 97
    Fuzz says:

    @liberal:

    Actually it does, and it’s been explained above by several comments. He has the power to not only bomb a country but deploy ground troops there for 60 days before congress can do anything about it. You may not like this operation (and neither do I really) but he’s within his power to do it. And honestly I think congress would’ve approved it anyway.

  98. 98
    soonergrunt says:

    @Dave: And if he started swimming at that point, they’d complain that being wet is undignified to the Presidency.

  99. 99
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @liberal: Congress is not delegating its responsibilities. The WPR is an attempt to delineate where the presidential powers and Congressional powers wrt nation defense begin and end. I sense, however, that I am speaking to a wall on this as well.

  100. 100
    liberal says:

    @Dave:
    On the contrary, you’re missing the point. Just because something hasn’t been tested and shown to be wrong doesn’t mean it’s not wrong. And just because congress might prefer to delegate the war power to the president doesn’t mean it can. And just because the Founders have been dead for centuries now doesn’t mean their thoughts on executives getting their countries into unproductive, unnecessary, and dangerous wars are irrelevant.

  101. 101
    liberal says:

    @Fuzz:
    That’s only assuming the WPR is constitutional.

  102. 102
    Sly says:

    @bayville:
    LOLOLOL and the Vatican will make Obama a saint because we all know he feasts on the blood of Christian children!1

    Idiot.

  103. 103
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: lets bet on it Omnes. Are you a gambling man?
    ;)
    Do you recognize Sully and Larison as boggarts? Boggarts are very clever shapeshifters. In Professor Lupin’s class when I was a third-year, he told us that no one knows what a classic boggart looks like when its alone, because it takes its shape from the worst fears of its targets.
    These glibertarian boggarts like Sully and Larison that muggle america is infested with are actually much more subtle and specialized as shapeshifters. They take on the aspect of some shared belief of the targets, like Larison advocating non-interventionism and Sully hating on Palin and supporting gay rights.
    The test for glibertarian boggarts is simple and effective–level your wand at the boggart, cry veritas! and loudly declaim do you believe in the Free Market?
    Ususally they will just disapparate immediately, but you may need to use the Riddickulous charm and laugh very hard to get rid of them permanently.

  104. 104
    Pococurante says:

    How many times has Congress actually acted to either condemn or ratify the action?

    Missing in all the criticisms of Obama and past presidents is that Congress likes the current situation – they don’t have to take formal stands that affect their electability…

  105. 105
    liberal says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Just because it’s an attempt to delineate the respective powers of Congress and the President doesn’t mean they got it right. I’d think even a twelve-year old of average intelligence could understand that.

    As for your comment about speaking to a wall, I think you should look in the mirror.

  106. 106
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @liberal: Fuck it. Let’s impeach him. He simply followed the fucking law it is currently written, but since you disagree with the law, it is a perfect way to get take the first steps toward installing John Boehner as president. Woohoo! I’m in. Has someone set up a site where I can donate to the cause? Someone should get right on it.

  107. 107
    Sly says:

    @liberal:
    Unless and until the Supreme Court says otherwise, it is.

    It’s not like there’s a Constitutional God who comes down from the mountain every time Congress tries to make a law and shouts “THIS SHALL NOT DO!” when it is found wanting in His mighty gaze, and all the whimpering congresscritters scamper into the wilderness. There is a process for determining whether or not something is constitutional and, among other things, commenting on a blog isn’t part of that process.

  108. 108
    liberal says:

    @Pococurante:

    Missing in all the criticisms of Obama and past presidents is that Congress likes the current situation – they don’t have to take formal stands that affect their electability…

    Exactly. And IMHO that’s one of the major drivers of this issue historically. But just because it might be good for Congressmen to shirk their responsibilities doesn’t mean it’s good for the nation.

  109. 109
    Brachiator says:

    @liberal:

    That’s baseless slander. They’re suggesting impeaching Obama because they’re tired of the US engaging in undeclared wars.

    Oh, bullshit. Where’s the high crime and misdemeanor? Also, where is there any indication that Congress was not consulted?

    When did these weasels become such strict constructionists? Other posters have noted the precedents in which presidents took action without a formal declaration of war. “Just tired” is not a coherent basis for opposing Obama’s actions.

    As a matter of politics, it’s reasonable to assert that it’s not worth impeaching Obama, that it’d be unfair because Bush wasn’t impeached, etc etc, but to claim it’s not an impeachable offense is ludicrous…

    Given that no president ever has been impeached for this, I think I’m on pretty solid ground in saying that it is indeed ludicrous.

    particularly given the concerns the Founders had regarding the Executive accrueing too much warmaking power.

    Yeah, the founders were concerned, even as they deferred to almost every president, beginning with Washington on this. On the other hand, the Congress has had any number of opportunities to deal with this issue, and they typically waffle, despite war powers acts, etc.

    RE: How dare he do … presidential stuff. And without their permission.

    The point is that “presidential stuff” doesn’t include usurping Congress’ power to declare war.

    Unless the president does it and Congress goes along with it.

    And even here, I suppose that Congress could stop the action against Libya if they wanted to assert their power without any blather about impeachment.

  110. 110
    Common Sense says:

    Fucking Thomas Jefferson fought a war with Tripoli, and didn’t ask Congress first.

  111. 111
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley: You aren’t the person to whom the former Bella Q was referring. I am not arguing with you about anything right now. We actually are quite close to agreeing on this topic. Follow the links.

  112. 112
    Yevgraf (fka Michael) says:

    @liberal:

    And just because the Founders have been dead for centuries now doesn’t mean their thoughts on executives getting their countries into unproductive, unnecessary, and dangerous wars are irrelevant.

    Wow. You’re just as mendacious a fucking dumbass as any Federalist Society fascist in that you too believe in channeling dead guys for “what they meant”. In fact, your act is so in tune with their argument style, I figure that you’re sitting in some CATO, Heritage, Federalist Society or some other Koch funded think tank somewhere, trolling your ignorant shit out in public.

    The next argument you’ll be making is how the Constimatooshin isn’t a living document at all, and how the Founders were Deifically guided to create its words.

  113. 113
    Tractarian says:

    @one_outer:

    Tractarian, as if whether or not he gets reelected matters. That’s kind of the whole point. This mineaswell be Bush’s third term. Who gives a shit?

    Excellent. That kind of unhinged lunacy is just what I’m talking about. Keep it up.

  114. 114
    Dave says:

    @liberal: President Obama is following the law. Congress set up the law. SCOTUS has never declared it un-Constitutional. There is no basis for impeachment. Your argument is that Obama should be impeached by Congress for following a law passed by Congress, which is ridiculous. But yes, I sense we have reached the “brick-wall” moment here…

  115. 115
    liberal says:

    @Sly:
    Sure, in a practical sense, the USSC is the final word on all these questions. So? One can still speak of what one believes should be constitutional. That certain USSC decisions are wrongly decided. Etc.

  116. 116
    Fuzz says:

    @liberal:

    The supreme court (or any other court) won’t hear an argument from you based on the president’s foreign policy decisions, then it becomes ‘a political question’ and they won’t hear it. The president’s foreign policy decisions basically aren’t left up to the average person. If you think it’s unconstitutional, write your congressman.

  117. 117
    liberal says:

    @Yevgraf (fka Michael):

    You’re just as mendacious a fucking dumbass as any Federalist Society fascist in that you too believe in channeling dead guys for “what they meant”.

    Pathetic argument ad hominem noted.

    You don’t think
    (a) The Founders had such concerns,
    (b) Their concerns were, and are, justified?

  118. 118
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Dave: This is true. To the conservative Death Eaters Obama will always be a Muggleborn Mudblood, and unworthy of the High Office of Wizard-in-Chief. Like birthers in the Muggleworld.

  119. 119
    Dave says:

    @Common Sense: How dare that Founding Father not consult the original will of the Founding Fathers!

  120. 120
    liberal says:

    @Fuzz:
    In that case, the appropriate remedy is impeachment.

  121. 121
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @liberal: Yes, there are lots of laws that I think should not be law. You just can’t impeach someone for complying with them.

  122. 122
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: oh im sorry.
    hypersensitive i guess.
    ;)
    Did you like my glibertarian boggarts?

  123. 123

    @liberal:

    But pretending that Congress can delegate its constitutional responsibilities to the president by merely passing a statute is ludicrous.

    What’s ludicrous is not knowing that Congress does so all the time.

    It’s actually a radical libertarian idea to forbid Congress the power to delegate its powers. If every line of the Code of Federal Regulations, and every change therein, had to go through Congress, that would be a really terrific way to gut the modern regulatory state.

  124. 124
    liberal says:

    @Dave:

    President Obama is following the law.

    I’m not even sure that’s true; haven’t had time to read up on enlightening discussions (which wouldn’t include the uneducated apologias here.)

    Congress set up the law.

    Irrelevant if it’s wrong.

    SCOTUS has never declared it un-Constitutional.

    So? Doesn’t mean it’s not unconstitutional.

    There is no basis for impeachment.

    Just because a president hasn’t violated the letter of a statute doesn’t mean he can’t be impeached.

  125. 125
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Congress is bound by laws passed by previous Congresses until such time as they repeal the law. Impeaching someone for complying with a law passed by Congress just isn’t going to happen. The fact that you think the law is unconstitutional does not make following it an impeachable offense.

  126. 126
    Joey Maloney says:

    @Tomjones:

    But on the other hand, they would be forced to endorse limitations on the warmaking ability of the Democratic Executive.

    If you think the Republicans would pay the slightest bit of attention to this precedent the next time a Republican president wanted to bomb the shit out of some brown people somewhere, you’re dreaming. It’d be down the memory hole as soon as Obama was deported back to Kenyawai’i.

  127. 127
    liberal says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Wrong again. There’s nothing that says presidents can only be impeached for violating statutes. Furthermore, IMHO the impeachment power was created to remove presidents for political crimes. Which don’t always and everywhere involve abuse of statute.

    Look at the Clinton impeachment. What statute did Clinton violate? Sure, let’s stipulate that he lied; did it really rise to perjury? AFAICT, no. (Of course, in that case the impeachment power was improperly used, because Clinton’s actions weren’t a political crime, either.)

  128. 128
    Yevgraf (fka Michael) says:

    @liberal:

    You’re being willfully, deliberately and Conservatardedly obtuse. Obtuse gets no respect.

  129. 129

    BTW, how can I donate to the re-election campaign of the Noble Peace Prize Winner in chief?

    Hoping by his next term he will finally get around to bombing innocents in Iran, Venezuela and Round 2 in Eyerock.

    So glad I’m not on this guy’s side.

    This is the kind of idiocy I called out in my first comment. It’s nothing but an expression of identity as a Protest Person. If this jagoff suddenly discovered the Libya was located in central America, it’s primary export was clay figurines, and the proposed military intervention consisted of three guys with slingshots, his opinion wouldn’t vary a whit.

    When you don’t have to know anything about a question before deciding how to answer it, you should just keep your feelings to yourself.

  130. 130
    liberal says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Congress is bound by laws passed by previous Congresses until such time as they repeal the law.

    That’s just completely false.

    For example, Congress could put the filibuster rule into statute tomorrow, and the president could sign it, and it wouldn’t be binding on future congresses at all, because it would contradict the constitution.

  131. 131
    Dave says:

    @liberal: Your “argument” is ten pounds of stupid in a five pound bag. I’m sorry, but you are so off-base here it’s almost impossible to hold a conversation.

    You want the President to be impeached. That has to be done by Congress. Your rationale is that the President violated the Constitutional clause that grants only Congress the power to make war. Congress has passed a War Powers Resolution that authorizes the President to use military forces up to 60 days without an authorizing act provided he gives Congress 48 hours notice upon commencement of using the military. In fact, the WPR is a standing Congressional authorization of limited duration. The WPR has never been declared un-Constitutional. It has never been challenged in court. It is currently the law of the United States.

    President Obama has complied with the law. You want Congress to impeach the President for following the law, a law passed by Congress. If you cannot see the inherent stupidity in that, you are beyond hope. I just can’t decide if you are a CATO troll or a PUMA troll.

  132. 132
    liberal says:

    @Yevgraf (fka Michael):
    LOL. More ad hominem gibberish. Inability to reply to my point noted.

  133. 133

    Congress delegates its constitutional powers to the executive all the time.

    See the Clean Air Act, and the Code of Federal Regulations.

    (I’m going to keep posting this. Liberally.)

  134. 134

    Hello?

    Congress delegates its constitutional powers to the executive all the time.

    See the Clean Air Act, and the Code of Federal Regulations.

    (I’m going to keep posting this. Liberally.)

  135. 135

    Take a look at the Clean Air Act, and its authorization for the executive to decide such trifling matters as what counts as air pollution, what levels are safe, and what regulations will be imposed on industry. If Congress can delegate its power to regulate interstate commerce, and can decide to take back that delegated power at any time by repealing or amending the law, then it can delegate its other powers, or retain them as Congress itself sees fit.

  136. 136
    Johannes says:

    @Jim Pharo: Aye, that’d make for an interesting impeachment trial:

    HOUSE MANAGER BARBOUR: Isn’t it true, Mr. President, that you are guilty of High Crimes and Misdemeanors, in that you did flout the Constitution’s express requirement that Congress declare war before military action is undertaken?

    OBAMA: No, I followed the procedures laid out by Congress in the War Powers Resolution for use of military force in the absence of a declaration of war, intended to cover short term contingencies.

    HOUSE MANAGER: But that statute is unconstitutional!

    OBAMA: Sez you. But the Constitution doesn’t expressly say that the military can’t act in the short term in the absence of a Declaration of War–and the precedent to the contrary goes to the First Barbary War, in which Thomas Jefferson, my illustrious predecessor, sent a group of frigates to defend American shipping in 1801, informing Congress, in advance of a resolution authorizing longer-term military action, which issued the next year.

    HOUSE MANAGER BARBOUR: But the Constitution–

    OBAMA: Supreme Law of the Land. Yep. But the text is ambiguous, and Congress itself, precedent dating back to the Founders’ generation say I’m within my executive power, and nothing–not a single judicial decision, or anything you’ve pointed to says I’m so obviously in error, that I’m guilty of a High Crime and Misdemeanor. Even if I’m wrong, it’s clearly a good faith error–or should Jefferson, Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and a host of my predecessors have been impeached?

    HOUSE MANAGER BARBOUR: [mutters something “’bout them Duke boys”}.

  137. 137
    liberal says:

    @Dave:

    You want the President to be impeached.

    Not really. I’m claiming that executive actions that are tantamount to warmaking are impeachable acts.

    Congress has passed a War Powers Resolution …

    Again, Congress cannot bind future Congresses with an unconstitutional delegation of authority.

    The WPR has never been declared un-Constitutional. It has never been challenged in court. It is currently the law of the United States.

    So? Doesn’t mean it’s not unconstitutional, in the follow idealistic sense: “Would be found unconstitutional by a USSC that wasn’t populated with right-wing hacks.”

    You want Congress to impeach the President for following the law, a law passed by Congress.

    Doesn’t matter if the law is an end-run around the constitution. Furthermore, as I noted above, Congress doesn’t have to show that a president violated the letter of a statute to impeach him.

    If you cannot see the inherent stupidity in that, you are beyond hope.

    Look in the mirror. You need to actually learn and understand something about the impeachment power. Until then, you’ll just be spouting gibberish.

    I just can’t decide if you are a CATO troll or a PUMA troll.

    Given I voted for Obama in both elections in 2008, gave him money in both (primary and general—and most likely if not certainly more than you), and think this most recent disaster shows that Hillary certainly would have been a worse president than Obama…

    …and given that I despise so-called libertarians (see my blog comments throughout hte web where I label them crypto-feudalists)…

    …I’d say that’s a false dichotomy spat out of a very, very small mind.

  138. 138
    The Moar You Know says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley: I liek your new name.

  139. 139
    Brachiator says:

    @bayville:

    BTW, how can I donate to the re-election campaign of the Noble Peace Prize Winner in chief?

    If you can’t spell it correctly, you are precluded from donating.

    Hoping by his next term he will finally get around to bombing innocents in Iran, Venezuela and Round 2 in Eyerock.

    Innocents? This is as goofy as the spurious claim that we are just “protecting” civilians in Libya.

  140. 140
    Yutsano says:

    @liberal:

    So? Doesn’t mean it’s not unconstitutional.

    Then sue. Go to a federal court and get the War Powers Resolution declared unconstitutional. After your case is dismissed for lack of standing, maybe then you’ll get how basic civics works here. You don’t get the right to stand up and unilaterally declare a law unconstitutional. That’s the whole reason we have courts in the first place.

  141. 141
    Yevgraf (fka Michael) says:

    @liberal:

    LOL. More ad hominem gibberish. Inability to reply to my point noted.

    Boredom with your point, you insipid dumbass. Your opinions, thoughts and existence would be worth a pie filter if I wouldn’t have to make an effort to install the thing. As it is, I can insult you while maintaining a phone convo at the same time, so its all good.

  142. 142
    The Moar You Know says:

    So? Doesn’t mean it’s not unconstitutional, in the follow idealistic sense: “Would be found unconstitutional by a USSC that wasn’t populated with right-wing hacks.”

    @liberal: Holy fucking crap, you are so far off in the weeds at this point you can’t even see the road.

  143. 143
    Dave says:

    @liberal: Then stop arguing like some crypto-libertarian talking about the Founding Fathers’ will and the immutability of the Constitution. Because you sound like a fucking idiot.

  144. 144
    Sly says:

    @liberal:

    SCOTUS has never declared it un-Constitutional.

    So? Doesn’t mean it’s not unconstitutional.

    Yes it does, actually. Who gives a shit if you’ve made the personal determination that the WPR is unconstitutional? Unless you’re a Supreme Court Justice, you literally have no say in the matter other than having the indirect ability, along with every other voter, to appoint the Justices who actually make the binding determination. Anything else is purely an academic debate.

    The constitution does not interpret or enforce itself. It does not have a will of its own and the faculties to implement that will. I’m not exactly saying something controversial here.

  145. 145
    Yevgraf (fka Michael) says:

    @Dave:

    Then stop arguing like some crypto-libertarian talking about the Founding Fathers’ will and the immutability of the Constitution.

    I suspect that he’s not a crypto-libertarian. He’s a real-life libertarian, a true believer in everything that David Koch says he should believe at the moment. It is, of course, subject to change as libertarians are absurdly easy to lead, not unlike retarded sheep.

  146. 146
    OzoneR says:

    @sal:

    Impeachable, probably no, but Imperial Presidency yes.

    I think this is the exact OPPOSITE of Imperial Presidency. Imperial Presidency would have been “We’re going to bomb Libya, because we said so, and if anyone wants to come, then great”

    this is “I’m not going to do this unless one of you is in charge of it.” If anything, this is anti-imperalism.

  147. 147

    @Dave:

    I can understand getting frustrated with someone who’s either incapable of or unwilling to argue in good faith but can’t you at least appreciate the humor in the fact that the same person is whining about ad hominem attacks and others’ inability to respond to his “points?”

  148. 148
    PTirebiter says:

    Can we knock this nonsense off:

    Apparently not. Ours is a big tent, when Joe Lieberman skates, everybody skates.

  149. 149
    liberal says:

    Actually, I’m wrong about the WPR not being consistent with the Constitution. It was only the bastardized version being presented by the shills on this comment thread that was inconsistent.

    The text of the WPR states (among other things):

    (c) The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.

  150. 150
    Barb (formerly Gex) says:

    @Jim Pharo: Sadly, I half fear that a Roberts court might just let Republicans overturn the first amendment. Great thing for them is that would promote the second amendment to first place.

  151. 151
    OzoneR says:

    @liberal:

    So? Doesn’t mean it’s not unconstitutional,

    Actually, that’s exactly what it means. If we respect the authority of the judicial review, then when they say something is unconstitutional, it is, when they don’t, it’s not.

  152. 152
    liberal says:

    @The Moar You Know:
    Really? You’ll never, ever say “USSC decision X was wrongly decided?”

    I can’t imagine the summersaults you must be performing in your head.

  153. 153

    @liberal:

    Again, Congress cannot bind future Congresses with an unconstitutional delegation of authority.

    Of course not.

    But they can bind future Congresses with a perfectly constitutional delegation of authority, like the Clean Air Act or the War Powers Act.

    Although I’m not sure how a law that Congress can repeal any time it wants “binds” them.

  154. 154

    @liberal:

    Inability to reply to my point noted.

    Maybe he should just do what you’ve been doing, and just pretend that replies that blow your point out of the water don’t exist.

  155. 155
    Socraticsilence says:

    @Yutsano:

    This, I mean I think you could argue that its a violation of the delegation principles ala Chadha or the Line Item Veto- but arguing for impeachment on the grounds that the president is following a law passed by Congress and utilized by literally every single President since 1973 (the same principle was followed prior to being codified as far back as Jefferson and Tripoli) is ludicrous it would essentially criminalize not just abusive foriegn policy but any and all military actions sans congressional dissent- put it this way- without the War Powers Act there isn’t an Albanian left in Kosovo right now.

  156. 156
    liberal says:

    @OzoneR:
    Oh, OK.

    So that means you think every USSC decision regarding interpretation is correctly decided?

  157. 157

    @Yevgraf (fka Michael):

    I suspect that he’s not a crypto-libertarian. He’s a real-life libertarian, a true believer in everything that David Koch says he should believe at the moment.

    That’s probably why he’s so hostile to the concept of Congress delegating its powers to the executive through legislation like the Clean Air Act.

    The doctrine that Congress can’t delegate its powers is a radical libertoid concept, that they push in an effort to make the modern regulatory state impossible.

  158. 158
    liberal says:

    @joe from Lowell:
    You’re right; the WPR is constitutional. Unfortunately, it also forbids Clinton’s actions in Libya (see post above).

  159. 159
    liberal says:

    @Socraticsilence:
    I see. Issues in Albania are now determining what’s constitutional and what’s not constitutional.

  160. 160
    Yutsano says:

    @liberal:

    So that means you think every USSC decision regarding interpretation is correctly decided?

    You do recognize this point is irrelevant, non?

  161. 161
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @liberal: Google United Nations Participation Act if you want statutory authority.

    @liberal: I say that in my opinion such and such a case was wrongly decided quite frequently. At the same time, i recognize that I am not on the Court. There is a difference between what most people believe the law should be and what the law actually is. It helps to be able to recognize that difference.

  162. 162
    liberal says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Although I’m not sure how a law that Congress can repeal any time it wants “binds” them.

    Because, for one thing, the attempt at repeal could be vetoed?

    By your logic, Congress could pass a law saying that only 2/3 majorities can pass laws increasing taxes.

  163. 163
    Dave says:

    @liberal: It does no such thing. You cannot simultaneously argue the WPR is constitutional (and thanks for coming around finally) and then argue that it forbids what is happening in Libya. When Obama followed exactly what the WPR lays out as the actions to take to be following it.

    Your arguments are half-baked and completely disingenuous.

  164. 164
    liberal says:

    @Yutsano:
    It’s not irrelevant to what “should” be unconstitional.

  165. 165
    Barb (formerly Gex) says:

    @joe from Lowell: That is a very interesting angle on this. To put it that way, it sounds like this approach is way more preferable to the way we usually do it, taking the lead. I like the idea of the US cooperating with the global community rather than bullying it.

    This also seems to fit with a lot of Obama’s MO. He seems not to be making big swipes at things, but rather to gently nudge things so they start going the other way. I suppose others have compared it to how Reagan got the momentum swinging rightward.

    I’m going to think about that some more.

    Also, didn’t mean to give the impression I was attacking Catholics in that thread yesterday. I think we’re of the same opinion, but view it through different lenses.

    Cheers.

  166. 166

    @liberal: Among the “other things” of the War Powers Resolution is this:

    (b) Termination of use of United States Armed Forces; exceptions; extension period
    Within sixty calendar days after a report is submitted or is required to be submitted pursuant to section 1543 (a)(1) of this title, whichever is earlier, the President shall terminate any use of United States Armed Forces with respect to which such report was submitted (or required to be submitted), unless the Congress
    (1) has declared war or has enacted a specific authorization for such use of United States Armed Forces,
    (2) has extended by law such sixty-day period, or
    (3) is physically unable to meet as a result of an armed attack upon the United States. Such sixty-day period shall be extended for not more than an additional thirty days if the President determines and certifies to the Congress in writing that unavoidable military necessity respecting the safety of United States Armed Forces requires the continued use of such armed forces in the course of bringing about a prompt removal of such forces.

    Sixty days without authorization, and then another thirty to withdraw.

  167. 167
    liberal says:

    @Dave:
    No, dumbass, I changed my mind by looking up the text of the WPR, instead of listening to what shills like you have to say.

    Meaning, yes, the actual WPR is constitional and simultaneously forbids Obama’s actions.

    And no, the fictitious WPR referred to by commenters here isn’t constitutional and doesn’t forbid Obama’s actions.

    Though if you didn’t have the intelligence of 7 year old, I wouldn’t have to explain that.

  168. 168
    Yutsano says:

    @liberal: So go out, get a law degree, get appointed as a judge, then you get to make those decisions. Until that happens you’re just poutraging on teh Interwebs like the rest of us. And we reserve the right to respect your authoritah or lack thereof on this matter. Shorter me: you’re wrong.

  169. 169

    @liberal:

    Because, for one thing, the attempt at repeal could be vetoed?

    Yep, our legislative process includes the veto. And…?

  170. 170
    liberal says:

    @joe from Lowell:
    So? That doesn’t negate the part I quoted. Furthemore, it’s not inconsistent with it, because it would apply to the case of the US being attacked and the president acting in defense.

    IOW, you’re wrong.

  171. 171
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @liberal: Have you googled the UNPA yet?

  172. 172

    @liberal:

    No, dumbass, I changed my mind by looking up the text of the WPR

    Actually, it appears that you looked at only little, tiny bit of the WPR, and then didn’t bother to read the rest.

    Obama submitted his communication to Congress yesterday. Get back to me in 59 days, if we haven’t started to leave and Congress hasn’t passed an extension.

  173. 173
    Yutsano says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Doubtful. I can tell when someone is flinging poo just to be contrarian. I’m done with this lack of intellectual exercise, though I recognize that could be a moral failing on my part.

  174. 174
    Dave says:

    @liberal: Then your reading skills are next to non-existent. Or you decided to stop reading after the “Purpose” part of the WPR and ignore the rest of the resolution that lays out, you know, HOW IT FUCKING WORKS.

    You are a shill and an idiot. You have your opinion fixed and are trying to twist everything else around it. You are wrong a thousand times over on this. If you are so damned sure of yourself, file a suit to have it declared un-Constitutional. Better yet, ask Kucinich to file Articles of Impeachment and see how far that actually gets.

  175. 175
    Barb (formerly Gex) says:

    @soonergrunt: And that a real man would be on a speedboat.

  176. 176

    @liberal: the fictitious WPR referred to by commenters can be found here, starting in Section 1544.

    It’s sort of a continuum, with Section 1541 being an encyclopedia entry, 1542 being a travelogue, 1543 being magical realism…

  177. 177
    liberal says:

    @joe from Lowell:
    Means Congress has indeed bound a future Congress, and that future Congress cannot unbind itself by a simple majority.

    If you really think such a statute would be constitutional (OOPS…can’t even USE those words…since USSC hasn’t ruled on it yet), then I can’t help you.

  178. 178
    Barb (formerly Gex) says:

    @Dave: Didn’t you know? Any single citizen of the US can declare a law unconstitutional simply by thinking it so. This dude ain’t a liberal. He’s a nihilist.

  179. 179
    Admiral_Komack says:

    @soonergrunt:

    …and how undignified swimming in swimming trunks is.
    He should be swimming in a three-piece suit; it’s Presidential.

  180. 180
    Sly says:

    United Nations Participation Act
    Title 22, Chapter 7, Subchapter 16, § 287d

    The President is authorized to negotiate a special agreement or agreements with the Security Council which shall be subject to the approval of the Congress by appropriate Act or joint resolution, providing for the numbers and types of armed forces, their degree of readiness and general location, and the nature of facilities and assistance, including rights of passage, to be made available to the Security Council on its call for the purpose of maintaining international peace and security in accordance with article 43 of said Charter. The President shall not be deemed to require the authorization of the Congress to make available to the Security Council on its call in order to take action under article 42 of said Charter and pursuant to such special agreement or agreements the armed forces, facilities, or assistance provided for therein: Provided, That, except as authorized in section 287d–1 of this title, nothing herein contained shall be construed as an authorization to the President by the Congress to make available to the Security Council for such purpose armed forces, facilities, or assistance in addition to the forces, facilities, and assistance provided for in such special agreement or agreements.

    Article 42 of the UN Charter:

    Should the Security Council consider that measures provided for in Article 41 would be inadequate or have proved to be inadequate, it may take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security. Such action may include demonstrations, blockade, and other operations by air, sea, or land forces of Members of the United Nations.

    There’s your statutory authority under the War Powers Resolution.

  181. 181

    @liberal:

    Means Congress has indeed bound a future Congress, and that future Congress cannot unbind itself by a simple majority.

    Who said anything about a simple majority?

    You’ve made absolutely no argument for why the passage of a law delegating power, like the Clean Air Act, is in any way the slightest bit different than any other legislation, the repeal of which would also require the passage of a repealing-law, which could be vetoed. You do agree that Congress can pass legislation, don’t you?

    Anyway, I don’t need you to “help me.” I need you to read the War Powers Resolution and stop writing silly things.

  182. 182

    @Barb (formerly Gex):

    Didn’t you know? Any single citizen of the US can declare a law unconstitutional simply by thinking it so.

    Meanwhile, Congress can’t pass laws if repealing them would also require the passage of a law.

    I’m not exactly sure what to call “liberal’s” theory of government.

  183. 183
    Admiral_Komack says:

    @Dave:

    I think you’ve left a mark.

    Bravo, sir.

  184. 184

    @Sly: There’s a problem with this argument: the “special agreement” needs to be submitted to Congress.

    It’s in the section immediately before the one you quoted.

    At least, that’s my reading of it.

  185. 185
    Dave says:

    @Admiral_Komack: Sadly, I doubt it has taken and some more wonderfully nihilistic (to use Barb’s word) views of Constitutional law are forthcoming.

  186. 186
    Barb (formerly Gex) says:

    @liberal: I think the complaint is that you claim to be able to speak for dead people.

    @liberal: Some of us know the difference between an opinion and a binding legal finding.

  187. 187

    @joe from Lowell: Wait, my bad. Congressional approval is required for actions under Section 43.

    This action was taken under Section 42.

  188. 188
    Sly says:

    @joe from Lowell:
    Well, that would mean an article 43 agreement is necessary for an article 42 action. Then the entire structure of both the UN Charter and the Participation Act makes no sense at all.

    Article 43 pertains to permanent, on-call U.N. force, which doesn’t exist. It doesn’t exist because Article 43 has never been invoked. Because Congress has traditionally been against open-ended military agreements, and because the Participation Act was written and passed in 1947 (and thus Congress would not know that 43 would ever be invoked), it added language requiring their consent to provide military forces to what essentially amounted to a standing army of the U.N.

    EDIT: Nvm, you agree. :)

  189. 189
    Stillwater says:

    @Barb (formerly Gex): This dude ain’t a liberal. He’s a nihilist.

    No, he’s just pissed off. And I (for whatever it says about me) completely understand (I think, not to speak for him) what he’s arguing here. He’s mad as hell and not gonna take anymore of the unilateral warmingering from the executive branch. I think he understands all the laws in place, and power-tranfers, and stuff and things, even if he’s not expressing himself clearly. He just thinks its a sorry-ass way to conduct a democracy.

    And maybe he’s right. But it’s the way we conduct our democracy. And there are reasons for it being this way.

    Edit: Btw, I’m certainly not saying I agree that there is a legal basis for impeach the pres. over any of this. ANd certainly I’m not implying that the action was unilaterally undertaken.

  190. 190

    This is the stupidest argument I’ve seen ever. What happens on the Obama impeachment? To coin a phrase, WHAT’S THE FUCKING ENDGAME?

    Is President Biden going to bring our troops home from all foreign conflicts on magic flying unicorns?

    Or is the plan to impeach Obama and Biden? Because surely President Boehner will deliver those magical ponies of peace!

    Being liberal pisses me off sometimes. We are so sure that we are right 100% of the time on every issue, that we are willing to sell out our own side, even when nothing (legally) remarkable has happened.

    For the record, I’m not too keen on the Libyan action. I’m actually pretty pissed at Obama for authorizing it so quickly. But I’m certainly not willing to throw our side under the bus AGAIN so we end up with a larger Republican majority and presidency just to show them I’m pissed off.

    What the hell is that going to accomplish?

    That is the stupidest idea I’ve ever seen. Fuck Kucinich and all the purity trolls.

  191. 191
    Parallel 5ths (Irish Steel) says:

    @Yutsano: The boat! Why did you get off? We’ve got everything we need right here on board.

    Little Boots nearly siren-songed this sailor into Neptune’s bottomless embrace, but I stayed strong.

    I’m doubling grog rations for everyone.

  192. 192

    @liberal:

    So? That doesn’t negate the part I quoted.

    Of course it doesn’t negate it. Someone mouthing off so authoritatively about Constitutional law should be aware of the doctrine of reading different laws, or different passages of the same law, as being consistent with each other, if possible.

    Section 1544 doesn’t negate the War Powers Act; it implements it, describing how that restriction works.

    it would apply to the case of the US being attacked and the president acting in defense

    There is absolutely nothing in any part of the War Powers Resolution saying that the 60 days/30 days requirement applies only to the US being attacked. The exemption for cases when the United States is attacked is quite clearl listed as an exemption to the reporting requirement, and the timeline for reporting and action. In such a case (or in the other two exemptions, a declared war and an AUMF), the reporting requirement and the 60 day/30 day limit do not apply at all. But since this isn’t a case that falls under that exemption, the 60 day/30 day requiremet is how the law implements is restrictions on military action.

    YOU, Mr. Internet Comment Guy, don’t get to dictate how the War Powers Resolution is to be implemented. The War Powers Resolution does that itself.

    And you are flailing in your misreadings of it.

  193. 193
    Yutsano says:

    @Parallel 5ths (Irish Steel): What can I say? I see a massively stupid argument, I jump into the chum. I’m a good little salmon like that.

  194. 194
    Barb (formerly Gex) says:

    @Stillwater: I’m not reacting to the opinion, I’m reacting to the attitude. There’s no other way to take the MO of “if I think it unconstitutional, then it is” and apply it to this country and think anything else would result. I suppose instead of thinking he is equal to all other Americans, he would put himself on top. So maybe not nihilist, just a dictator. I’m pretty sure he’s convinced he’d be the benevolent kind too.

    You [liberal] just can’t keep insisting that because you think something is unconstitutional in the face of all the explanations why it IS constitutional and be taken seriously. Sorry.

    There are other ways to express the opinion you expressed. Such as the way you did. I have no objection to that. But running around screaming that Obama should be impeached is not fucking helpful.

    Edited for clarity.

  195. 195

    @Stillwater:

    I think he understands all the laws in place, and power-tranfers, and stuff and things

    It’s pretty clear he does not.

    He just looked up the War Powers Resolution for the first time, and then fumbled it.

  196. 196
    The Moar You Know says:

    Really? You’ll never, ever say “USSC decision X was wrongly decided?”

    @liberal: I say it all the time, but since I’m not on the Supreme Court there isn’t jack shit I can do about it save for curse my bad luck and move on.

    The law is the law. You are more than welcome to get politically organized, start a party or take over an existing one, win the Presidency and the Senate and then hold on to both of them for the 40 or so years necessary to get a majority on the Supreme Court that will vote the way you want them to.

    I wish you luck.

  197. 197
    Stillwater says:

    @joe from Lowell: Yeah I know. I was trying to be nice. I just think he’s so pissed he’s not thinking it through very well.

  198. 198
    Barb (formerly Gex) says:

    I guess I just don’t see how running around screaming that Obama acted unconstitutionally and should be impeached is a productive form of civic debate. I understand being angry. But really? Hey, maybe the Tea Party can pick up this ball and run with it for you.

  199. 199
    The Moar You Know says:

    @Parrotlover77: What you said.

  200. 200
    Dr. Seamus McFakely, PhD in Troll History says:

    “Liberal” is a PUMA troll and always has been. Just so we know.

  201. 201
    Karen says:

    @Zifnab:

    Well, dammit John. We’ve got to impeach him for something. And unless he starts getting frisky with interns sometime in the next two years, it’s never going to happen.

    At least we can stop the silly notion that Hillary Clinton would be more liberal and more dovish than Obama is.

    But yes Zifnab, since they can’t impeach him for being African American while being President and his kids are well behaved and his marriage to Michelle is solid, which means that type of scandal would never happen. The FDL brigade and that part of the Democratic Party already hated him for not waiting his turn and daring to run so this is just more of the same.

    As many things that Hillary Clinton had done in her campaign that I loathed, at least after she used the euphemisms for race, she finally said the words that Obama was “unelectable” because no white person would ever vote for him.

    It’s excreable but at least she vocalized the sentiment that the FDL brigade and company have been thinking the whole time but could never admit so they trump up any reason to impeach Obama. The boy has cried wolf yet again.

    Well if Obama is like Bush, Jane Hamsher, Kos and that wing of the Democratic party are like Ron Paul and the tea party. Both groups hate Obama so much that outside of hiring someone to take him out, they’re reduced to nitpicking every single thing he does in the hopes that some of that shit they throw will stick.

    And just for you Corner Stone: PUMA.

  202. 202

    Liberal,

    It’s like the FISA law, which states 1) the government has to get a warrant from the FISA court for certain wiretaps, and 2) the government must apply for that warrant no more than 48 hours after the wiretap begins.

  203. 203
    John says:

    @OzoneR:

    You don’t seem to understand what the Imperial Presidency is. It has to do with the relationship between the president and congress, not the relationship between the president and foreign states.

    On the whole, though, I’d like to know if these people arguing about Obama being impeached also believe Truman should have been impeached in 1950? If not, that seems like pure hypocrisy – Truman committed far more US resources to Korea, without any congressional authorization, than Obama has done here. If so, it seems like all you’re saying is “the imperial presidency, which has existed for at least 61 years, is an unconstitutional usurpation of congress’s war-declaring authority, and every president who engages in military action without a formal declaration of war should be impeached.” This is a consistent and supportable position, I guess, but I don’t see what it has to do with practical politics.

  204. 204

    @Barb (formerly Gex):

    I guess I just don’t see how running around screaming that Obama acted unconstitutionally and should be impeached is a productive form of civic debate.

    Productive?

    The most important thing to Protest People is their self-image as Protest People.

    Shouting about impeaching Obama “produces” the warm, fuzzy feeling of being a brave dissident, and that’s the point.

  205. 205
    Barb (formerly Gex) says:

    @joe from Lowell: Damn. I thought I was pretty liberal myself, but it seems I’m just a sellout pragmatist after all. ;)

  206. 206
    Shoemaker-Levy 9 says:

    can we please cut the crap?

    Yes, we should cut the crap. Obama will not be impeached.

    This isn’t an impeachable offense.

    But yes, it’s an impeachable offense. But going back to the first question, since the Constitution is just a piece of paper under glass we should cut the crap and not waste time talking about impeachment. We should concentrate on trying to minimize the stupid and atrocious things our leaders do and leave the meaningless abstractions in the National Archive where they belong.

  207. 207
    Huckster says:

    He must be impeached because Greenwald sez he must be impeached.

    See how simple that is?

  208. 208
    CF Oxtrot says:

    Stick with the program, boys. Donkeyphile ’til death. ONWARD LIBERAL SOLDIERS!

  209. 209
    Tonal Crow says:

    John, that’s the most nauseating thing I’ve ever read here. Whatever happened to demanding that our leaders obey the Constitution? And where does the Constitution permit the President to decide to wage war absent a dire emergency? Somehow I can’t find that power.

  210. 210
    TimmyB says:

    This is not a sign of the Imperial Presidency. This is not just like Bush and Cheney. This is not Iraq. This is not a unilateral strike on a nation for no reason other than ginned up WMD arguments fueled by the fevered dreams of neocon warmongers. Just stop it.

    Of course its a sign of an Imperial Presidency. He didn’t go to Congress for permission to bomb Libya.

    It is like Cheney and Bush, because its an attack on “some one we don’t like in an oil country who does the same shit as our allies.” What makes Kadaffi different than the Saudis or our man in Yemen? What makes his civil war different from others? Answer-Not a thing, other than he does not do as we tell him to.

    Concerning unilateral strikes, when was our last one? Iraq Wars I & II weren’t unilateral. Neither was Afganinstan. We have allies who will say and do as we ask. Plus, we can bully others. That doesn’t make our strikes better.

    BTW–Our latest Iraq war propaganda also had a human rights element to it, in addition to WMD lies. Certainly the Bush administration found Iraqis who were quite public in proclaiming that Saddam was a mad man and we needed to invade to take him out. Kinda like Libya, no?
    We would be pretty hard pressed to find some Iraqis who in hind sight think we made things better, but that’s how war goes.

    Should Obama be impeached? Of course not. But every day he is showing himself to be little better than Bush.

  211. 211
    Dave says:

    @Tonal Crow: @TimmyB: Jesus fucking Christ…it’s called the War Powers Resolution. Obama followed it. It’s being done through the UN. Why is this so damned hard for a subset of the Left to get through their heads??

    You don’t have to like it. Hell, there are decent arguments to be made for and against it. But “un-Constitutional” and “Imperial Presidency” are not two of them.

  212. 212
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Tonal Crow: Please explain how the Constitution is being violated.

  213. 213
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Tonal Crow: @TimmyB: Jesus fucking Christ…it’s called the War Powers Resolution.

    To the extent that the War Power Resolution authorizes a President to wage war absent a dire emergency, it’s just unconstitutional.

  214. 214
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Please read Art.I s.8 cl.11 slowly. Then read it again. Then tell us how it empowers the President to declare war.

  215. 215
    Will Reks says:

    @liberal

    As you know, you go to war with the Supreme Court you have, not the Supreme Court you might want or wish to have at a later time.

  216. 216
    Dave says:

    @Tonal Crow: No it’s not. It will be if the SCOTUS says so. Until then, it is the law of the land and the President followed it.

  217. 217
    Cris says:

    @Karen: At least we can stop the silly notion that Hillary Clinton would be more liberal and more dovish than Obama is.

    I’ll allow that I don’t know shit, but who ever said this? My personal objection to Hillary was that I expected she would be more hawkish than Obama. I mean, she voted for the AUMF. Set aside whether I was wrong — who exactly was saying she would have been a dove?

  218. 218
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Tonal Crow: Define war as used in that clause.

    ETA: Further, when did Obama declare war? A declaration of war is something different than commencing hostilities.

  219. 219
    TimmyB says:

    @TimmyB: Jesus fucking Christ…it’s called the War Powers Resolution. Obama followed it. It’s being done through the UN. Why is this so damned hard for a subset of the Left to get through their heads? You don’t have to like it. Hell, there are decent arguments to be made for and against it. But “un-Constitutional” and “Imperial Presidency” are not two of them.

    No where did I claim Obama was violating the Constitution. I said Obama was like Bush, and he was expanding the Imperial Presidency. If you think Obama isn’t expanding the powers of the President, then supply some evidence showing he is not increasing them. Good luck with that.

  220. 220
    OzoneR says:

    @Cris:

    I’ll allow that I don’t know shit, but who ever said this?

    you’d never heard of MyDD, have you?

  221. 221
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @TimmyB: I would say using powers that currently exist rather than expanding them. I will agree that he is not giving authority back; on the other hand, I really had no expectation that he would.

  222. 222
    OzoneR says:

    @Dave:

    Why is this so damned hard for a subset of the Left to get through their heads??

    Because they’re busy competing with teabaggers in the race for “most willfully ignorant Americans.” they’ve been losing badly.

  223. 223
    OzoneR says:

    @TimmyB:

    He didn’t go to Congress for permission to bomb Libya.

    He didn’t to, Congress gave up the need to be notified about things like this in 1945 and again in 1973.

  224. 224
    ColeFan says:

    This is not a sign of the Imperial Presidency. This is not just like Bush and Cheney. This is not Iraq. This is not a unilateral strike on a nation for no reason other than ginned up WMD arguments fueled by the fevered dreams of neocon warmongers. Just stop it.

    Says the guy who didn’t see through Bush, Cheney, the neocons, and the WMD propaganda back when it fucking mattered.

  225. 225
    Medicine Man says:

    You can make a pretty good argument that this is why you don’t exhaust your country on multiple costly wars of choice, so that you have gas in the tank when an opportunity like this comes along. A couple of months of bombing, some training from special forces and armaments sent overseas, all to remove a guy who has been an enemy of the US for more than four decades. That’s pretty much the business end of a successful deterrence strategy. Contain him, remove him if you get the opportunity, and let the next guy who wants to follow in his footsteps think about how that worked out.

    Lots of hyperbole flying around about the intervention in Libya. People need to calm down. We’ll find out soon if Obama is going to get log rolled into some stupid escalation by the ‘bomma boys’ of DC.

  226. 226

    @liberal:

    There’s nothing that says presidents can only be impeached for violating statutes.

    Really?

    From Section 4 of Article Two of the United States Constitution:

    The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.

  227. 227
    sapient says:

    I wish the impeachment fetishists would turn their attention to Clarence Thomas.

  228. 228
    ColeFan says:

    @sapient:
    Who’s he bombing?

  229. 229

    @Tonal Crow:

    To the extent that the War Power Resolution authorizes a President to wage war absent a dire emergency, it’s just unconstitutional.

    Could you please point out to me where the Constitution forbids Congress from authorizing the president to take military action in conditions other than a “dire emergency?” That phrase certainly isn’t found anywhere in the document.

    While the authority of Congress to authorize war, such as it did in the UN Participation Act and the War Powers Resolution, is quite easy to find. Any “dire emergency” limitations placed on this power, newly discovered by you, would vault you to the highest levels of constitutional scholarship.

  230. 230
    JR says:

    So, is now a good time to point out that just because something a President does is impeachable doesn’t necessarily mean he should be impeached? :)

  231. 231

    @Tonal Crow:

    Please read Art.I s.8 cl.11 slowly. Then read it again. Then tell us how it empowers the President to declare war.

    Duh, which part of “shall not be infringed” don’t you understand? I’m so smrat!

    Congress invoked its war powers when it passed the War Powers Act and the UN Participation Act.

    Just like it invoked its regulatory powers when it passed the Clean Air Act.

    In both cases, it invoked its powers in a way that gave the president some latitude, and it retains its ability to pass new laws, using its war powers, revoking that latitude.

  232. 232
    cleek says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    other high crimes and misdemeanors.

    “misdemeanor” didn’t mean the same thing in the 1700s as it does today. think more “abuse of power, damaging the office, violating public trust” and less “petty crime”.

  233. 233

    @JR:

    Well, other than the fact that no one here has presented a compelling case that this is impeachable…Yeah.

  234. 234

    @TimmyB:

    If you think Obama isn’t expanding the powers of the President, then supply some evidence showing he is not increasing them. Good luck with that.

    What is this, a joke? In order to show that Obama was “expanding” presidential powers, his use of air power without a specific Congressional action would have to go beyond what previous presidents have done. Hell, this isn’t even the first time a president has sent planes to bomb Libya without a Congressional action recently.

  235. 235

    @ColeFan:

    Who’s he bombing?

    Nope, not seeing the word “bombing” in the Impeachment Clause.

    When Nixon was impeached, Congress specifically refused to impeach him for the Cambodia bombing, even as they passed all sorts of other articles.

  236. 236
    cleek says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    When Nixon was impeached,

    Nixon was not impeached.

  237. 237

    @cleek:

    Nixon was not impeached.

    Correct, if you insist on being pedantic.

  238. 238
    Billy Bob Tweed says:

    Impeachable? That’s a non-starter. Nevertheless, the guy I voted for – Our President – is yet another War-Pig.

  239. 239
    Admiral_Komack says:

    @Dave:

    “Jesus fucking Christ…it’s called the War Powers Resolution. Obama followed it. It’s being done through the UN. Why is this so damned hard for a subset of the Left to get through their heads??”

    Because.
    They.
    Don’t.
    Want.
    To.

  240. 240

    @cleek:

    Nixon was not impeached.

    Whoops, sloppy language on my part.

    The impeachment proceeding passed out of committee and sent onto the House. It was the committee that passed a bunch of the articles but rejected the one regarding the Cambodia bombing.

  241. 241
    cleek says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Correct, if you insist on being pedantic.

    a thread where people are arguing about the specific meanings of legal and Constitutional language seems like the most appropriate place to be pedantic about the specific meaning of a legal term.

  242. 242
    OzoneR says:

    @liberal:

    So that means you think every USSC decision regarding interpretation is correctly decided?

    No, but I respect their rulings until they decide otherwise, and where I disagree I argue for a Constitutional amendment. Why is that a problem?

  243. 243
    OzoneR says:

    @cleek:

    Nixon was not impeached.

    I assume he meant in the articles of impeachment. they were being drafted when he resigned.

  244. 244

    @cleek:

    Apples and oranges, cleek. As joe wrote in his reply, the charges had passed out of committee. The impeachment proceedings were about to commence when Nixon resigned, nipping the impeachment process in the bud. That’s the apple: An internet commenter not originally clarifying the meaning of what he wrote. Orange: Interpretation of the Constitution by the SCOTUS.

    joe from lowell, afaik, is not making a ruling as a Supreme Court justice.

  245. 245
    Mnemosyne says:

    You guys are missing something fascinating in liberal’s argument — apparently, if someone takes action to enforce a law and that law is later found to be unconstitutional, you can then indict/impeach that person for following that law.

    So apparently sending US troops on a UN mission in accordance with current US law is an impeachable offense, but a bill of attainder is A-OK!

  246. 246

    No no, cleek is right.

    Impeachment is done by the House, not by the committee.

  247. 247
    cleek says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    nipping the impeachment process in the bud

    right. and therefore, no impeachment occurred.

    if i make like i’m going to step on your foot, but you pull your foot away before i can actually do it, i didn’t step on your foot.

  248. 248
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @cleek: You are totally correct on that point, both foot-wise and Nixon-wise. JfL was right that the Cambodian incursion would not have been a part of the articles that were in process.

  249. 249
    Tonal Crow says:

    On the first try this got put into moderation, then it just vanished. Hmmm. Let’s try again, shall we?

    ——

    @Dave: @joe from Lowell: @Omnes Omnibus:

    On the Constitutionality of a President commencing hostilities without congressional authorization or an imminent threat to America’s security, I refer you to Prof. Barack Obama, Esq., who, asked about whether the President could unilaterally bomb Iranian nuke sites, answered:

    The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

    But this time is different, right? Jesus H. Kee-rist on a Piece of the True Cross made into a crutch, it’s time to stop the special pleading for Obama.

  250. 250
    ColeFan says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    You’re a cutie pie. Now back to sapient’s attempt to change the topic: what has Clarence Thomas done to warrant impeachment, given the extremely high bar you fellas have set for impeachment?

  251. 251
    Cris says:

    @ColeFan: He put a pubic hair on my coke can.

  252. 252
    OzoneR says:

    @Tonal Crow: FOR CHRISSAKES, THIS IS NOT UNILATERIAL.

    NOT UNILATERIAL

    How much clearer does this need to be?

  253. 253
    ColeFan says:

    @Cris:

    He put a pubic hair on my coke can.

    But did he do so unilaterally?

  254. 254
    Tonal Crow says:

    @OzoneR:

    @Tonal Crow: FOR CHRISSAKES, THIS IS NOT UNILATERIAL. NOT UNILATERIAL
    How much clearer does this need to be?

    Um, please read what Obama said again. The question is not whether the hostilities were unilateral in the sense of the United States acting without other nations’ approval, but whether the *President* acted unilaterally — that is, without Congressional approval — in authorizing the hostilities. Get it?

  255. 255
    Brachiator says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    I refer you to Prof. Barack Obama, Esq., who, asked about whether the President could unilaterally bomb Iranian nuke sites, answered…

    Get back to me when Justice Barack Obama writes the majority Supreme Court opinion on this issue.

    It ain’t special pleading to note that what candidate X says is not the same thing as what President X does once in office.

    And again, this is not to write in blind support of what is happening in Libya, but to note the nonsense of impeachment talk.

  256. 256
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    Um, please read what Obama said again.

    Um, I did. In fact, I followed it back to the original story in the Boston Globe. There is absolutely NO discussion by Obama about whether or not the president can participate in a UN action without Congressional approval. It’s only about unilateral — as in, the US by itself — action.

    You can keep pretending the UN resolution doesn’t exist, but it makes you look like an idiot who doesn’t understand English.

  257. 257
    OzoneR says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    whether the President acted unilaterally—that is, without Congressional approval—in authorizing the hostilities. Get it?

    He HAS Congressional approval, as part of the WPR and the United Nations Participation Act. Congress gave the Presidency the approval in 1945!

  258. 258
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Brachiator: Hahahahaha. You made a funny.

    And yes, it’s special pleading to refuse to hold a candidate to his or her significant campaign positions without a good reason. And there isn’t a good reason here. Whatever the laudable humanitarian goals supporting intervention in Libya, the President was obliged to get Congressional authorization before commencing hostilities. Whether his willful failure to do so is impeachable is a different question. But it is certainly not “nonsense” to raise the question. What’s nonsense is to reflexively defend his crystal-clear 180 on the constitutionality of a President unilaterally authorizing hostilities.

  259. 259
    ColeFan says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    There is absolutely NO discussion by Obama about whether or not the president can participate in a UN action without Congressional approval. It’s only about unilateral—as in, the US by itself—action.

    From said article:

    Q: In what circumstances, if any, would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress? (Specifically, what about the strategic bombing of suspected nuclear sites — a situation that does not involve stopping an IMMINENT threat?)

    A: The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

    As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent.

    Yes, he is very much talking about congressional approval here. He makes one exception for acts in self-defense (please, please try to convince a sentient creature that Muammar is an “imminent threat” to the US). In fact, nowhere in his entire answer to that question does he mention the UN.

  260. 260
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    Here. Learn something before you look like even more of a fool.

    Either that, or explain how you can call a UN action taken in conjunction with Britain and France a “unilateral” move by the US.

  261. 261
    OzoneR says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    the President was obliged to get Congressional authorization before commencing hostilities.

    and he has it, and we told you he has it, and you’re still not listening.

  262. 262
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Mnemosyne: You make me laugh. But thanks for the link, the relevant portion of which reads:

    2. [QUESTION:] In what circumstances, if any, would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress? (Specifically, what about the strategic bombing of suspected nuclear sites — a situation that does not involve stopping an IMMINENT threat?)

    [ANSWER:] The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

    As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.

    As for the specific question about bombing suspected nuclear sites, I recently introduced S.J. Res. 23, which states in part that “any offensive military action taken by the United States against Iran must be explicitly authorized by Congress.”….

    Nothing whatsoever in there about whether the action is unilateral in the sense of the U.S. acting alone, only about whether it’s unilateral in the sense of the President authorizing hostilities without explicit Congressional authorization.

  263. 263
    OzoneR says:

    @ColeFan:

    In fact, nowhere in his entire answer to that question does he mention the UN.

    The question didn’t mention the UN. Certainly if the UN Security Council approved an attack on Iran, the President would have the authority, but that’s such an unlikely scenario, why would he have thought of it?

    If UN Security Council approved an attack on Iran’s nuclear plants, which we all know they would never do, he wouldn’t need Congressional approval. If he decided to do it himself, which is what the question was asking, he would.

  264. 264
    Tonal Crow says:

    @OzoneR: Sorry, but the War Powers Resolution is not authorization for this adventure, nor is the 9/11 AUMF, nor is the legislation that made us a member of the U.N. As candidate Obama clearly understood, but those of you reflexively defending his unconstitutional adventure refuse to understand.

  265. 265
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    Sorry, but the War Powers Resolution is not authorization for this adventure, nor is the 9/11 AUMF, nor is the legislation that made us a member of the U.N.

    Why not?

  266. 266
    Tonal Crow says:

    @OzoneR: That, frankly, is idiotic. Of course Obama would have mentioned such an important exception to the constitutional requirement that Congress explicitly authorize the commencement of hostilities, if he had understood it to have existed.

  267. 267
    ColeFan says:

    @OzoneR:
    All hail the fucking Emperor then.

    John Cole, these are your peeps! You guys deserve a President Palin/Huckabee/Gingrich/Bush III.

  268. 268
    Tonal Crow says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-: ‘Cuz, among other things, candidate Obama clearly indicated that it would not be. But that was then and this is now, so shut up, right?

  269. 269
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    Nothing whatsoever in there about whether the action is unilateral in the sense of the U.S. acting alone, only about whether it’s unilateral in the sense of the President authorizing hostilities without explicit Congressional authorization.

    Uh-huh. You keep digging that hole.

  270. 270
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    Of course Obama would have mentioned such an important exception to the constitutional requirement that Congress explicitly authorize the commencement of hostilities, if he had understood it to have existed.

    Because he’s going to remember and make note of ‘important exceptions’ in a Q&A with a newspaper. At least I can console myself with most of my fellow Americans not being quite as pedantic as you.

  271. 271
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    ‘Cuz, among other things, candidate Obama clearly indicated that it would not be.

    Cite ‘other things’. Also cite where he clearly defined ‘unilateral’ as in flexing his executive powers and not as in going in without UN approval.

  272. 272
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, too, notice this wording by Candidate Obama:

    It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action. (emphasis mine)

    Why, it’s a completely clear declaration that he meant that the executive can never, ever act without Congressional consent! Impeach! Impeach!

    Once again, I am suspecting that Tonal Crow’s reading comprehension skills are not particularly strong.

  273. 273
    OzoneR says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    Of course Obama would have mentioned such an important exception to the constitutional requirement that Congress explicitly authorize the commencement of hostilities, if he had understood it to have existed.

    Oh, of course, the first thing that would pop into a Senator’s mind when quickly answering a question like that is the extremely unlikely exception of a UN resolution.

    Just because he didn’t bring it up, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. If he gave you ever exception to every rule that exists in the law, he’s still be talking.

  274. 274
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Mnemosyne: The Humpty-Dumpty rule knows no distinction for left or right, and Lewis Carroll sighs grumpily in his grave.

  275. 275
    Tonal Crow says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-: Yeah. Because he’s a law professor, because he’s running for President, because the topic is central to the Presidency, because it was on everyone’s mind, because Dubya was such a failure in this area, and because the newspaper explicitly asked about “[i]n what circumstances, *if any*, would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress?” (emphasis added).

    So let me ask: if it’s “pedantic” to hold the President to his major campaign positions, is it also unpatriotic?

  276. 276
    OzoneR says:

    @ColeFan: Is that supposed to be a response. Look, I didn’t sign the damn UN Charter, that happened 35 years before I was born and I didn’t pass the War Powers Resolution. Hell, I wouldn’t have even voted for it if I was in Congress then.

    Seriously, chill the fuck out.

  277. 277
    OzoneR says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    if it’s “pedantic” to hold the President to his major campaign positions

    It is when you’re twisting his words to fit your agenda to hold him to a promise he never made or has kept.

    He did not attack Libya without Congressional approval. They gave him the approval in 1945 and in 1973.

  278. 278
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    Of course if we go by a certain definition of ‘unilateral’, then:

    Clinton is guilty all over the place.
    Carter is guilty for Eagle Claw.
    Johnson is, well, that’s an easy one.
    Kennedy is guilty for Vietnam and the embargo of Cuba.
    Truman is guilty for Korea.
    Roosevelt is guilty for taking on the Kriegsmarine.

    Wow, that’s a lot of impeachments we missed out on.

  279. 279
    Svensker says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-:

    Wow, that’s a lot of impeachments we missed out on.

    Can we do, like, retroactive impeachment? Cuz that would be, like, awesome.

  280. 280
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Tonal Crow: No, its pedantic to want him to list every possible exception to the clause in an interview with a newspaper. Or to mind-read that he had a different definition of ‘unilateral’.

    But what do I know? IMPEACH ROOSEVELT! NO WAR FOR BRITISH OIL!

  281. 281
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Also, too, notice this wording by Candidate Obama:
    It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action. (emphasis mine)

    Why, it’s a completely clear declaration that he meant that the executive can never, ever act without Congressional consent! Impeach! Impeach! Once again, I am suspecting that Tonal Crow’s reading comprehension skills are not particularly strong.

    You should apply for a position in Fox “News”‘s advanced propaganda techniques division. The sentence you selectively quoted was preceded by the very important context:

    …the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.

    Anyone who actually wants to understand what candidate Obama said would realize that the “preferable” language refers only to the case in which the President authorizes hostilities in self-defense of the United States.

    This is made crystal clear by the first paragraph of his response, which reads:

    The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

  282. 282
    OzoneR says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-: Eisenhower and Iran, Guatemala?

  283. 283
    OzoneR says:

    @Tonal Crow: I see this is getting no where. If you can’t see that the fact that Congress ALREADY, LONG AGO, GAVE THE PRESIDENCY THE AUTHORITY TO ACT IN THESE SITUATION, there is nothing I, or anyone, can do to possibly change your mind.

    Like a teabagger, your mind is made up, irregardless of the facts.

  284. 284
    Tonal Crow says:

    @OzoneR: So Obama can constitutionally order the military to invade, say, Mexico?

  285. 285
    TimmyB says:

    This is not a sign of the Imperial Presidency. This is not just like Bush and Cheney. This is not Iraq. This is not a unilateral strike on a nation for no reason other than ginned up WMD arguments fueled by the fevered dreams of neocon warmongers. Just stop it.

    Says the guy who didn’t see through Bush, Cheney, the neocons, and the WMD propaganda back when it fucking mattered.</

    No shit.

  286. 286
    Tonal Crow says:

    @TimmyB: This place is a veritable hotbed of Obama fanboys. They just cannot stand substantial criticism of him, no matter how well-merited.

  287. 287
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    because it was on everyone’s mind

    Really? It was on everyone’s mind to wonder if it was okay for the president to act in conjunction with other countries after a unanimous UN resolution was passed?

    That’s so weird, I remember it being on everyone’s mind to wonder if the candidates thought it was okay for the president to act — what’s the word? — unilaterally and decide to start bomb bomb bomb, bombing Iran without any kind of approval from anyone. But, hey, if you remember it as everyone being worried that the UN might approve a resolution introduced by other countries that we would then respond to in conjunction with them, then I guess that must be what really happened.

  288. 288
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @OzoneR: Iran and Guatemala were CIA ops, but the five-star general who coined MIC took six months to get an armistice signed in Korea and left troops there in perpetuity. Sure, we can add him too.

  289. 289
    Karen says:

    @Cris:

    I’ll allow that I don’t know shit, but who ever said this? My personal objection to Hillary was that I expected she would be more hawkish than Obama. I mean, she voted for the AUMF. Set aside whether I was wrong—who exactly was saying she would have been a dove?

    No one actually said that Hillary is a dove. But when FDL and Kos and GG complained about Obama not taking the troops out fast enough or that he was in favor of torture and how much better Hillary Clinton would be, that kind of implies that HC would never do any of that. If I took too big a leap based on what I felt was implied, I apologize.

  290. 290
    OzoneR says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    So Obama can constitutionally order the military to invade, say, Mexico?

    if the UN Security Council approves a resolution to invade Mexico, or if Mexico attacks France and NATO invokes Article 5 or if Mexico attacks New Zealand and we invoke ANZUS’s Article IV…yes.

    Congress ratified all of those treaties, by a supermajority even, and when they did, they gave approval.

  291. 291
    OzoneR says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    They just cannot stand substantial criticism of him, no matter how well-merited.

    you’re “criticism” is no where near well-merited, it has been easily refuted and you have still ignored it. I really don’t care about Obama, don’t care if he wins, loses to another Democrat, don’t care…you seem to. It’s like you have an axe to grind against him. If you have an axe to grind against Obama, I get it, a lot of people do, he won and that pisses a lot of people off, but go grind it somewhere else or on some other issue and stop acting like a teabagger and ignoring facts. Or even better, get help. Your irrational hatred of him is clouding your mind.

  292. 292
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Tonal Crow: When all else fails, declare victory.

  293. 293
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Mnemosyne: The question was whether the Constitution permitted the President to initiate hostilities without explicit Congressional approval. Candidate Obama clearly stated that the Constitution permitted that only to defend America from imminent attack. He said nothing whatsoever to the effect that a U.N. resolution is a constitutional substitute for explicit Congressional authorization. Indeed, he implied the opposite — and also a well-merited mistrust of Dubya — saying that he had introduced a congressional resolution that would required that “any offensive military action taken by the United States against Iran must be explicitly authorized by Congress.”

  294. 294
    OzoneR says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    He said nothing whatsoever to the effect that a U.N. resolution is a constitutional substitute for explicit Congressional authorization.

    So what? Laws aren’t written by candidates. Regardless of what he said, didn’t say, meant to say, the law says he still has the authority.

    You blew your whole argument when you use the term “Obama fanboy” Seriously, just stop now.

  295. 295
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Meh. I think Tonal Crow is probably right about the difference between the candidate statement and what he’s doing as president. But this goes back to the John Kerry thing that was apparently a disastrous embarrassment but made sense to me: to wit, the difference between the notion that the senate gives a president a certain authority he can exercise, on the one hand, and how a particular senator would exercise that authority as president, on the other.

    Some senators don’t necessarily believe that presidents should have certain kinds of authority. But senators who become president would be handicapping themselves not to use the full spectrum of the authority they have been granted.

  296. 296
    Mnemosyne says:

    I have a feeling that some of the self-declared Constitutional experts here don’t remember Article VI, Sec. 2:

    This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding. (emphasis mine)

    Almost like following the terms of a treaty is not only legal, but actually required, innit? But that can’t be so, because Constitutional expert Tonal Crow assures us that following the terms of our treaty with the UN (and in this case NATO, also, too) is an impeachable act.

  297. 297
    OzoneR says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Who could forget how the leftnuts wanted that Imperial Presidency when it means (temporarily) getting rid of DADT!

    “But even if he shouldn’t have the authority, HE DOES AND HE SHOULD USE IT!!!”

  298. 298
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Mnemosyne: Treaties are enforceable only to the extent that they are consistent with the Constitution. Thus, a treaty provision purporting to abrogate, say, the 4th Amendment is just invalid (though the remainder of the treaty, if any, might be severable and thus still enforceable). But I’m not surprised some of the fanboys around here don’t know that.

  299. 299
    OzoneR says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    Treaties are enforceable only to the extent that they are consistent with the Constitution.

    No, this is false. This is what the Bricker Amendment aimed to do in the 1950s, but it never passed. If treaties were only enforceable in which they’re consistent with the Constitution, we wouldn’t be signing any of them. I’m not surprised that someone who uses the term “fanboy” didn’t know that.

  300. 300
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    Candidate Obama clearly stated that the Constitution permitted that only to defend America from imminent attack. He said nothing whatsoever to the effect that a U.N. resolution is a constitutional substitute for explicit Congressional authorization.

    In point of fact, he said nothing at all about the UN, and neither did the person asking the question. The question about what the executive is supposed to do when the UN and other treaties are invoked by our allies was not even implied in the question.

    So, by your standards, the Iraq War was completely legal, yes? After all, Bush did have the approval of Congress to go, and international treaties can be safely ignored, so there was no problem with our invasion. But participating in a UN action after a resolution is passed — impeach! Impeach!

    Treaties are enforceable only to the extent that they are consistent with the Constitution.

    So our treaty with the UN is unconstitutional? Weird how it took us 50 years and multiple actions in conjunction with the UN to figure that out.

  301. 301
    Tonal Crow says:

    @OzoneR:

    @Tonal Crow: Treaties are enforceable only to the extent that they are consistent with the Constitution.

    No, this is false. This is what the Bricker Amendment aimed to do in the 1950s, but it never passed.

    No, this is false. See Reid V. Covert, 354 U. S. 1, 15-19 (1956). Money quote:

    Article VI, the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, declares:

    “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof, and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; . . .”

    There is nothing in this language which intimates that treaties and laws enacted pursuant to them do not have to comply with the provisions of the Constitution. Nor is there anything in the debates which accompanied the drafting and ratification of the Constitution which even suggests such a result. These debates, as well as the history that surrounds the adoption of the treaty provision in Article VI, make it clear that the reason treaties were not limited to those made in “pursuance” of the Constitution was so that agreements made by the United States under the Articles of Confederation, including the important peace treaties which concluded the Revolutionary War, would remain in effect. [Footnote 31] It would be manifestly contrary to the objectives of those who created the Constitution, as well as those who were responsible for the Bill of Rights — let alone alien to our entire constitutional history and tradition — to construe Article VI as permitting the United States to exercise power under an international agreement without observing constitutional prohibitions. [Footnote 32] In effect, such construction would permit amendment of that document in a manner not sanctioned by Article V. The prohibitions of the Constitution were designed to apply to all branches of the National Government, and they cannot be nullified by the Executive or by the Executive and the Senate combined.

  302. 302
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Mnemosyne: No, I do not believe that the Iraq war was constitutional. I don’t believe that any war (other than, possibly, in very exigent circumstances) is constitutional unless authorized by Congress in a Declaration of War (no, not an AUMF) pursuant to Art.I s.8 cl.11. Also Bush lied us into Iraq.

    Further, to the extent that any treaty — with the U.N., Argentina, or the Martian Federation — purports to create authority for something that the Constitution prohibits, it’s unconstitutional. See http://www.balloon-juice.com/2.....nt-2490785 for Supreme Court authority on that point.

    So our treaty with the UN is unconstitutional? Weird how it took us 50 years and multiple actions in conjunction with the UN to figure that out.

    Public school segregation was not found to be unconstitutional until 90 years following the end of the Civil War.

  303. 303

    I’m hereby proclaiming “Somebody is wrong on the Internet!” on this thread. I’m wagering on @liberal, but I could be persuaded otherwise by more smartass comments!

  304. 304

    Oh, and BTW, from Mr. Tbogg:

    Every year in Happy Gumdrop Fairy-Tale Land all of the sprites and elves and woodland creatures gather together to pick the Rainbow Sunshine Queen. Everyone is there: the Lollipop Guild, the Star-Twinkle Toddlers, the Sparkly Unicorns, the Cookie Baking Apple-cheeked Grandmothers, the Fluffy Bunny Bund, the Rumbly-Tumbly Pupperoos, the Snowflake Princesses, the Baby Duckies All-In-A-Row, the Laughing Babies, and the Dykes on Bikes. They have a big picnic with cupcakes and gumdrops and pudding pops, stopping only to cast their votes by throwing Magic Wishing Rocks into the Well of Laughter, Comity, and Good Intentions. Afterward they spend the rest of the night dancing and singing and waving glow sticks until dawn when they tumble sleepy-eyed into beds made of the purest and whitest goose down where they dream of angels and clouds of spun sugar.
    __
    You don’t live there.
    __
    Grow the fuck up.

  305. 305
    General Stuck says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    I don’t think you can clarify what a declaration of war should look like without at the same time considering the purpose for this article 1 power to permit the CiC exclusive Art. 2 authority and executor of conducting warfare. Which in any case, and in any terms would in effect, and only, free the Executive branch to conduct said warfare in it’s constitutional capacity. So semantics and terms are not what is important, imo, it is the permission by congress, that matters. And how it is worded is not all that relevant.

  306. 306
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    Public school segregation was not found to be unconstitutional until 90 years following the end of the Civil War.

    Ooh, good answer. If something completely unrelated was found to be unconstitutional, that proves that making treaties with the United Nations is unconstitutional! Snap!

    And as long as you completely ignore the actual Constitution in favor of the one in your head, I suppose you may be right.

  307. 307
    eric says:

    @Jim Pharo: I think Kucinich is trying to force Republican members of Congress into either supporting impeachment and explaining why other Presidents weren’t impeached for similar reasons in the past; or not supporting impeachment and having to explain why it’s fiscally responsible and off the table to their tea party base.

  308. 308

    @cleek:

    Not to linger (I had to run off to work before I could flesh it out), but joe was correct in spirit if not by the letter. Anyone who lived through it or knows the history knows what joe meant. You were picking a nit rather than disproving joe’s point, which was that even that very liberal (relative to today, of course) House committee didn’t include charges related to the unilateral bombing of Cambodia in the proceedings to impeach Nixon.

  309. 309
    OzoneR says:

    @Tonal Crow: Reid V. Covert does not take into account legislation that accompanies treaties as was done in the United Nations Participation Act of 1945.

    You didn’t go to law school, did you?

  310. 310
    mclaren says:

    Of course this is an impeachable offense and it’s obviously a sign of the Imperial Presidency. In fact, we no longer have a president — merely an emperor.

    Our current emperor happens to be well-spoken. Unless we do something, our next emperor may make a horse a senator, marry his sister, and force senators’ wives to prostitute themselves to the public.

    “Caligula for President” is only a matter of time.

  311. 311
    Tonal Crow says:

    @OzoneR:

    @Tonal Crow: Reid V. Covert does not take into account legislation that accompanies treaties as was done in the United Nations Participation Act of 1945. You didn’t go to law school, did you?

    So now your argument is that mere legislation can override the Constitution? Did you even read Covert, let alone follow its reasoning?

  312. 312
    gex says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): Insist? This is BJ. Damn right we demand pedantry!

  313. 313
    gex says:

    @OzoneR: I’ll need to see the vault copy of that act.

Comments are closed.