Free Markets, Free People

Obama’s soon-to-be illegal war–where’s the outrage?

I think we all know what would be the number one story today had we been this close to having this happen on the last president’s watch.

At issue: The 1973 War Powers Act, which says if the president does not get congressional authorization 60 days after military action, the mission must stop within 30 days.

The president formally notified Congress about the mission in Libya with a letter on March 21, which makes Friday the 60-day deadline.

See, here’s how this works … Congress makes the laws and the President signs them into being.  Everyone is obliged to follow them.  And that includes the President.  However, that’s not the case, or so it seems, with Libya.  Today is the last day of the 60 grace period for the President to get Congressional authorization and there has been no move to accomplish that.  Apparently the administration believes they’re above the law.

The irony, of course, is that it was Mr. Bush who was continually accused of waging an illegal war.  Yet it has been the last two Democratic presidents who are guilty of doing so:

But it is virtually unprecedented for a president to continue a mission beyond 60 days without a resolution from Congress.

"Make no mistake: Obama is breaking new ground, moving decisively beyond his predecessors," Yale law professors Bruce Ackerman and Oona Hathaway wrote this week in the Washington Post.

The only thing that comes close is President Clinton’s military effort in Kosovo.

He failed to get congressional approval before the 60-day deadline was up. His administration argued that Congress had effectively authorized the mission by approving money for it, and the Kosovo conflict lasted 78 days.

The Obama administration doesn’t have that option with Libya, because the Pentagon is using existing money. Congress never specifically funded the mission.

Now, the administration is trying to figure out what to do.

“Now?”  Now the administration is “trying to figure out what to do”?   And “what to do” is fairly straight forward – seek congressional approval for the continuation of the “kinetic event” or whatever it is we’re calling it this week, or stop our involvement.


More irony:

Rep. Brad Sherman, D-California, tells CNN he believes Obama is trying to "bring democracy to Libya while shredding the Constitution of the United States."

"He cannot continue what he is doing in Libya without congressional authorization. When a president defiantly violates the law, that really undercuts our efforts to urge other countries to have the rule of law," Sherman said.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, concurs.

"You could say, ‘Well, we have a good president, he’ll do the right thing.’ Well, someday you may have a president who does the wrong thing, and that’s why you have rules, because you can never count on people being good people," Paul told CNN.

Indeed.  The process and rules are only there for the little people I guess.  The President appears to believe he is above the law.

Finally, where’s the Congressional leadership on this?  Why isn’t Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Reid both banging the drum loudly and persistently while calling the president “incompetent” ?  After all, only an incompetent would just now be trying to figure out what to do, no?  And tomorrow will they declare the war “illegal” like it actually will be?

And where are McConnell and Boehner? 

Time to elevate this and get a little bit of a firestorm going boys.  If it were your side, you can trust that Pelosi and Reid wouldn’t be dawdling in their offices, they’d be attacking the lawlessness of the presidency.

Where are you, Congressional “leaders?”


Twitter: @McQandO


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26 Responses to Obama’s soon-to-be illegal war–where’s the outrage?

  • McQWhere are you, Congressional “leaders?”

    Where they normally are:

    (1) Soliciting money from lobbyists and campaign donors

    (2) Writing bills to favor those lobbyists and donors

    (3) Leaning on federal regulators on behalf of those lobbyists and donors

    (4) Yapping to their favorite reporters about how all of the country’s ills are due to the other party

    (5) Investigating trivial problems while vowing loudly to do something about them.  In fact, they spend quite a lot of time “vowing”, “promising”, “pledging”, “viewing with grave concern”, and (of course) “reaching across the aisle”.  It’s a pretty good aerobic workout, really…

    (6) Figuring out newer and better ways to do one thing while appearing to do another, like “cutting” the budget while spending more money

    (7) Ignoring real problems

    (8) Seeking reelection

    (9) Did I mention soliciting money?

    Gee whiz… I used to think that members of Congress don’t do anything, but I see from MY OWN LIST that they are quite busy.  So, it’s really unfair to expect them to have time to deal with a trivial thing like the War Powers Act and Libya, don’t you think?

    There’s no money in it for them…

    • You forgot worrying about if it’s okay for the NCAA to call it a ‘championship’ and investigating the use of enhancement drugs in major league sports.

    • They are busy. 60 hour weeks are common for congressmen and senators.

      Problem is, only an hour or two of that is spent on their duties as mandated in the Constitution. At least half, probably more, is spent in activities such as the ones you listed that is specifically off limits according to the Constitution, at least by me reading of it.

      Notice one of the side effects, by the way. Since they do work long, hard hours, and since they regard everything they do as critical to the welfare of the nation, they use that “important work” as their own mental excuse for why they deserve latitude in everything they do, from cutting line at the airport to storing cash bribes in their freezer. The rules they write are not for them or other members of the political class – only for proles like us.

  • We can’t have a Nobel Peace Prize winner actually starting a “legal war” can we ?

  • Outrage !   Who expects outrage ?  The Senate is on record just a few weeks ago rejecting the idea that the President had to go to Congress to wage war like that in Libya …

    Back in 2007, Senator Obama told the Boston Globe “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 (U.S.) nation.”
    Paul said he wanted the Senate to endorse Obama’s past words and thus establish that the president had overreached in authorizing the U.S. action in Libya last month without first obtaining Congress’ approval.

  • Outrage is only for when a Republican is in office. Rules are only for when a Republican is in office.

    Haven’t we covered this ad nauseum?

  • B H Ø  may be wrong for doing it, But we are letting him get away with it. Letting Clinton and Bushget away with it too, makes three strikes by my count. Øbama serves at our pleasure, not the other-way-round. From countless commissions of bypassing Congress, questionable executive orders, government takeovers of private businesses, bank bailouts, usurpation of state powers… you get the point, when does a responsible electorate step in and perform their solemn duty and impeach the bastard.

    • Letting Clinton and Bush get away with it too, makes three strikes by my count.


    • Impeachment is overrated

      • Badly. Lincoln established that precedent during the first Civil War by ignoring several Supreme Court decisions. A President can do any damn thing he wants as long as there are (1/3)+1 of the Senate who won’t confirm impeachment.

  • Just another day in the Obamanana Republic.
    Laws…!?!?!  We dun ned no stinkin’ laws…!!!

    • Yes we do, they’re just very selectively enforced!

    • You know like “I’m Shocked!  Shocked to find gambling going on in this establishment” and
      “Major Strasser has been shot!  Round up the usual suspects”

  • Its unfortunate but Obama will get away with this because of mistaken belief that the Congress is the recourse to address his deraliction. 

    It really needs to automatically go to impeachment and/or go to the Supreme Court.  Now he can head that off by going to Congress in time.  But its not up to Congress to decide what to do if he doesn’t approach them. 

    But its election season and the Republicans will absorb that role because it will grant them more airtime than a swift Impeachment. 

  • Let me guess why the media and the lefties don’t care…”You had your wars without asking us, so we can have ours.”
    Seriously, I guarantee you this is the meme if the GOP actually makes noise about this.

    • The Obami are floating a trial balloon–
      The US actually stopped the war weeks ago, see?  Now it is a UN operation.

      • So the Constitution allows us to lend our troops out to others who can do what they want with them without having to answer to Congress?!  Neat!

      • But the only reason they follow the UN is under Obama’s orders.  So if they wage war, its still under Obama’s authority.
        This can be challenge if certain people with an R next to their name grew a pair.

  • Where? Buried under that pile of manure that is their hypocrisy.

  • The War Powers Act is unconstitutional.  The republicans should take this to court and have it thrown out once and for all.

    • He’s not even compliant with the WPA.  Why even go there.  Its indefensible.

  • In the words of the late Richard Milhouse* Nixon; “When the President does it, that means it is not illegal.”

    *Does anyone else reflexively think of The Simpsons?

  • The modern left… with the intellectual capacity of a goldfish they don’t even need a memory hole any more. Orwell would despair, having reached the nadir of their cognitive dissonance it isn’t even worth writing a book about.