Dweebs in Space

WSJ Opinion Journal:

To understand why the Founders put war powers in the hands of the Presidency, look no further than the current spectacle in Congress on Iraq. What we are witnessing is a Federalist Papers illustration of criticism and micromanagement without responsibility.

The Founders gave war powers to Congress, dweeb. Article I, Section 8, paragraphs 11-14; see Findlaw. And if you want a Federalist Paper, try #69, by Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton made it clear that the President, as Commander-in-Chief, was to have much less war power than that of a British king. The declaring of war and the raising and regulating of armies and navies are powers given to Congress.

The President is to be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States. In this respect his authority would be nominally the same with that of the king of Great Britain, but in substance much inferior to it. It would amount to nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the military and naval forces, as first General and admiral of the Confederacy; while that of the British king extends to the DECLARING of war and to the RAISING and REGULATING of fleets and armies, all which, by the Constitution under consideration, would appertain to the legislature.

The dweeb at WSJ continues. He both upbraids the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for the non-binding resolution it passed yesterday and taunts Congress that if it really believed the Iraq War is so bad it should do something more drastic, like cut off funds.

By passing “non-binding resolutions,” they can assail Mr. Bush and put all of the burden of success or failure on his shoulders.

I ‘spect that was the idea. It’s Bush’s War, dweeb. I’m hoping that if Congress can pass one non-binding resolution it will go on to something bolder.

Minority Leader John Boehner is even asking Speaker Nancy Pelosi to create another special Congressional committee to look over the general’s shoulder. It’s a shame Ulysses S. Grant isn’t around to tell them where to put their special committee.

I believe the point of the committees is to look over Bush’s shoulders, not the generals’, and I ‘spect General Grant would have been OK with that. Right now I don’t have time to look up what precedents there might have been during the Civil War and what Grant thought about them.

Anyway, the dweeb continues,

In addition to being feckless, all of this is unconstitutional. As Commander-in-Chief, the President has the sole Constitutional authority to manage the war effort. Congress has two explicit war powers: It has the power to declare war, which in the case of Iraq it essentially did with its resolution of 2003. It also has the power to appropriate funds.

But Bush obtained that resolution on false pretenses, which as far as I’m concerned renders it null and void. The Iraq War we got was the result of a bait-and-switch. And while the President has the authority to manage the war effort, he does so with a military raised and managed by authority of Congress, and he goes to war only by the authority of Congress. To claim that a President can trick Congress into one war resolution and then treat that resolution as a carte blanch to make war as he pleases for the rest of his administration is stretching things a tad.

Glenn Greenwald has more.

16 thoughts on “Dweebs in Space

  1. Bush has declared himself the sole decider so he gets to take full responsibility for the success or failure of the war. I’m sure those big broad Texas shoulders can handle that. If not, there’s Jack Daniels to help. By the way, he was very calm in the SOTU speech. Was that Jack or Valium?

  2. We live in sickening and corrupt times when maroons like this dweeb above cannot even get the basics of the Constitution right – correction – will not – get the basics of the Constitution right, and when privileged idiots like Brooks below get a large megaphone at the newspaper of record.

    Thank God for the Internets, and for this blog, and for real journalists like Amy Goodman and Democracy Now! How sad for all of us that the truth is so marginalized and so obstructed by those with a vested interest in perpetuating stupidity.

  3. To claim that a President can trick Congress into one war resolution and then treat that resolution as a carte blanch to make war as he pleases for the rest of his administration is stretching things a tad.

    Yah think?

  4. Maha, I don’t cut Congress as much slack as you do – in fact I see them as complicit when they agreed to the Iraq invasion. There were plenty of people here and in the rest of the world who spoke out against the invasion, pointing out the illegality of it for one thing not to mention the problems of occupation which would ensue.

    True, Congress was lied to, but to pass off their complicity as simply a matter of not having the true facts is disingenuous big time.

    I suggest that those who signed on to the invasion did so because they thought not doing so would be political suicide – and then they all got down on their knees and prayed that it wouldn’t be as disastrous as the opinions of others suggested it would be.

  5. I see them as complicit when they agreed to the Iraq invasion.

    Of course.

    I suggest that those who signed on to the invasion did so because they thought not doing so would be political suicide – and then they all got down on their knees and prayed that it wouldn’t be as disastrous as the opinions of others suggested it would be.

    I think that’s exactly right. I believed so at the time.

    It’s not that I cut them slack; the fact is that the political climate has changed.

  6. If I have a lobotomy, and remove everything I learned in 12th Grade American Government class, can I write for the Wall Street Journal too?

  7. One thing Congress could do that would force the argument into the forum of the Supreme Court would be to repudiate the war resolution on the grounds that it was passed on assumptions that proved to be false and the conflict we are in bears no resemblence to the war that was authorized. Nothing in the Constitution says congress can or can NOT revoke authorization for a war. If Congress was sustained by the SC, it would change the status of the conflict and give Congress the whip hand.

  8. Lets make this real simple for the dweeb and the rest of his band of merry thieves. Congress MUST rescind the AUMF.NOW!This power was upon congress to grant and now that it has been used in a reckless way, and as Maha points out it was given based upon false pretenses, they must now take it away.Period.

    The AUMF has been used AGAINST the American people one to many times…ENOUGH….Congress needs to step their happy asses up and clean up the MESS that the AUMF has unleashed .
    So bleep marching to get them to end the damn war…I DEMAND a end to the AUMF that unleashed this monster on us and I will accept no less.IF this AUMF gives bush all these super human powers then congress best to put bushs ass back in check.NOW.
    He has proved he lacks the sound judgement needed to handle the responsibility that comes with an AUMF …..

    All other talk is just bullshit.It is time for us all to demand an end to all this now…RESCIND the AUMF….Call your representatives every damn day and demand it.Tell them to take the power BACK that the constitution grants them …

    The congress giveth and the congress taketh away.. it IS that simple…if bush veto’s then folks we have a constitutional crisis the public can all see…lets play hard ball…isn’t the country worth it?

  9. Glenn Greenwald blogged yesterday about the toxicity of Lieberman’s rhetoric where he (Lieberman) uses the phrase, “giving comfort to the enemy”, which is the traditional definition of treason. I noticed that the dweeb incorporated that same wording in his written departure from reality.
    I love this enemy thing, the invisible entity who listens to our every word and who conducts their warfare in the minds of men… The bible has one of them, he’s called Satan….and he scours the earth to and fro seeking for whom he will devour, sort of like our enemy in Iraq.

    What’s a burden of success? I don’t know what the dweeb means by that, but I’ll guarantee that’s one burden that Bush will never have to carry.

  10. In the future it would be wise for all authorizations to have some kind of sunset or reconsideration clause. All of the reasons given turned out not to be true or have already come to pass. Lies half truths and propaganda, Cheney style over easy.

    Here is a video showing our troups staying in the Humvees while a Shia army unit goes “Rodney King” on a Sunni. Originally found at Raw Story, it’s a Channel Four story. 9:11 long and well worth watching.

    Keep in mind that this is the plan for our surge, and that the meat grinder is about to get busier. There are many such videos if you can bear to look.



    This is nothing compared to the videos that will downloaded from the YouTubesque sites in the months to come throughout the muslim world from Morocco to Indonesia with jihadist call to arms.

    There are so many disturbing elements from our soldiers’ complicity to our presence there at all that I leave them to Maha.

  11. let’s play hardball? if only. the pathological inability of most democratic politicians to play anything resembling real hardball is the source of my general ambivalence about most of them. Muslim Sharia law is incompatible with any sense of “freedom” or “liberty” that any Amercian would recognize. Totally cutting off funding for a war that now places american soldiers in mortal danger indefinitely while foreign nationals decide which “kind” of muslim law will rule iraq should be a no-brainer. Instead? Non-binding resolutions.

    When will democratic politicans grow enough spine to call a guy like Gonzalez, with his “creative” interpretation of the privilege of habeus corpus, what he is: a counter-revolutionary to this republic?

    When the president opens his mouth and says something as insulting to the intelligence of anyone paying attention for the last sic years that “we’ve never been stay the course, George” why wasn’t the next vocalization out of George’s mouth “Sir, that is a lie, and you know that is a lie.”

    When the president gave a textbook definition of a lie to explain why he did not announce the dismissal of Rumsfeld to the american people before a midterm election, why is there no individual present to inform the decider to his smirking face that he has given a textbook definition of a lie in public? I mainly remember the jocular chucklings of Dan Froomkin about it the next day.

    So long as these bare-assed assaults on our republic’s constitutional principles do not garner equally as bare-assed equity with authoritarianism and dictatorship, the decider will push his advantage at every turn. There is only one way to deal with a bully.

  12. Must read “Going for Broke” by Andrew Bacevich, professor of history and international relations at Boston University and a member of the Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy, in the January 29, 2007 edition of American Conservative. He calls the situation in Iraq part of the “Game of the Middle East” and makes it clear that since FDR we have played this game and that it isn’t in our interests to play it any longer. He doesn’t say so in the article, but the conclusion I come to after reading it is that now is the time for Al Gore. He’s the only one I know of with the vision and the foresight and the know-how to free us from our dependency on Persian Gulf oil and therefore out of the Middle East. Truly, now, a man for his time.

  13. “He’s tried this two times — it’s failed twice,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) says of President Bush’s escalation plan. “I asked him at the White House, ‘Mr. President, why do you think this time it’s going to work?’ And he said, ‘Because I told them it had to.‘” Pelosi reportedly then asked, “Why didn’t you tell them that the other two times?“

    The surge is a faith based initiative! Oh now I feel much better.

    Copied from ThinkProgress

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