Thursday, August 29, 2013

War Power Rangers.

Forget War Powers for a minute and take a look at what is the Constitutional responsibility of the Congress. The President maybe The Commander In Chief but only Congress has the right and the responsibility to declare war. That prerogative has been handed over lock, stock, and barrel to the Executive. It has been gladly abandoned so individual Congresscritters can fence sit on the issue of war and peace. Thus, if the conflict goes south in hurry they wash their hands of it,but if all goes well they can hop on the victory train as it pulls from the station.
Please note how irresponsible Congress has become by looking at our policy in Libya. Congress was almost not consulted at all, and then had nothing germain to say even when it was grudgingly consulted. Even after the policy in Libya was demonstrating serious holes and a general lack of cohesion, the only thing the opposition could do was put on a side-show about: Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi!
Not a serious critique was murmured, no after-action musings, no rethink of the Libyan adventure and definitely no re-examining of the interventionist logic that was the ultimate cause of the disaster. No, the deaths of brave men was used as a partisan football in the most craven way imaginable.
Instead of serious criticism of the policy there was a pointless food fight about who said what when and what, if anything, said was true. The opposition could only see the screw up in Libya from a narrow, distorted and ultimately useless partisan lens focused on transitory electoral politics. And when people who were not part of the hermetically sealed Fox News world ignored the high dungeon of the Elephants, the Republicans blew a gasket and continued to beat that dead horse until it was an unrecognizable pile of goo. So instead of doing their job as the opposition, e.i. offering not only a worthwhile critique of the Administration, but also offering a viable alternative, the Right flew off the rails, into the deep weeds, and then proceeded into the deep, dark jungle of fevered McCarthyite fantasy.
Thus I am of two minds here. Congress, in its role as the representative of people, should not only be asked “mother may I” it should be deeply involved in shaping the policy in Syria. It should be debating not when we should bomb, but if we should bomb at all. It should not be some superannuated rubber stamp to the executive. But with the lot of thumb-sucking mental midgets infesting the halls of Congress, especially in the House, we will not get the debate we need. We will instead get a political food fight with Team Red and Team Blue waving their flags, and the proceedings quickly degrading into a rugby scrum.
With Congress showing all the decorum and responsibility of a bunch of hyperactive five year olds fed large doses of Jolt Cola, even if Obama wanted the Legislature to perform its Constitutional mandate, and by that turn reverse the default of every president who ever drew breath, he could not in good conscious surrender to Congress his extra-Constitutional prerogatives. But, of course, Obama is unwilling to surrender on jot of his prerogatives, extra-Constitutional or not. He probably resents having to cede anything to Congress, as the “decision is his alone.”
Thus I look forward to the asinine grand-standing of Rand Paul and other base fools who have been able to get even more base fools to vote for them. I'm quite certain that Rand will be in full Tarzan yell when he approaches the dais to excoriate Obama for being a Black Democratic President. It will be great theater, totally besides the point, but a great chance for all the Paulites to drool over the son of their great prophet. It will be a wonderful dress rehearsal for Rand’s future role of sacrificial lamb to Hillary. I’m sure others will have their turn in the clown car that will be the debate over the bombing. Maybe Bernie Sanders will save the day with a modicum of gravitas, but that will be about it. Team Red and Team Blue will take their respective positions and the no-hold-barred-steel-cage match will commence. And you wonder why we can't have nice things.
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