Sponsored Content
« Concerning Humps (genghis) | Main | How Much Have US Exports to Iran Really Risen? »
July 08, 2008

War Powers and the Iraq War

Baldilocks spotted the news this morning that foolish former government officials are proposing to further restrict the president's power to wage war. They acknowledge that the War Powers Act is largely unconstitutional, but then suggest that the an equally unconstitutional replacement be created. A "consultative process" must be in place for approving or disapproving "significant armed conflict" because (they claim) such a process does not already exist.

Oh, but it does. Article I, sec. 8 gives to Congress the power to declare war and Article II, sec. 2 gives to the President the power to wage it. There's your consultative process. Baldilocks skips the pretext and goes right to the real issue here: the Iraq War and the Democrats' inability to move legislation to stop it.

What was the purpose of H.J. Res. 114 (Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002)? Did the president require anything further?
After taking control of Congress in January 2007, Democrats tried to cap force levels and set a timetable for withdrawals. They lacked a veto-proof majority to put the restrictions into law, and the White House argued that such legislation would have violated the Constitution by infringing upon the president's role as commander in chief to protect the nation. Democrats disagreed, contending there was ample precedent.

The one surefire way for Congress to have ended the war was to cut off money for combat operations — a step most Democrats weren't willing to make because they feared doing so would have hurt troops in harms' way, or at least be perceived by voters that way.

The democrats didn't have enough votes to do what they wanted to do. And?

Perhaps I'm missing something.

She's not missing anything. Congress has the power to halt the war at any time. It just hasn't meaningfully exercised that power. Since they are so helpless, many Democrats and even many Republicans, including Ron Paul, Alberto Gonzales, and James Baker, have attempted to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the Iraq War by claiming that it is not a "proper" war. They are, each and every one of them, constitutionally illiterate on that topic. As Baldilocks points out, the AUMF is enough to declare war and periodic funding is enough to continue it. There is no need for the legislation to contain the "magic words" Declaration of War.

If you're interested, my discussion of AUMFs and declarations of war from last year is in three parts: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

digg this
posted by Gabriel Malor at 11:31 AM

| Access Comments

Recent Comments
Red Turban Someguy - The Republic is already dead!: "317 Speaking of apostate religious stuff, I keep r ..."

Archer: "My cod piece is full of eels.... ..."

Way, Way Downriver [/i]: "Story sounds great. Only way this movie could be ..."

gourmand du jour: "I have a great niece, age 12, very athletic, a tra ..."

Fool Otto: ">That's what the codpiece was for, silly. Enough ..."

ZOD: ">>"Hey, I saw this really great movie about Hollyw ..."

18-1: "[i]Speaking of apostate religious stuff[/i] We ..."

Oldcat: " IIRC, the disagreements at the Council of Nicaea ..."

naturalfake: "Tagline for "Babylon": BABYLON [i]Urine Ho ..."

Glenn John: "As a contrast to that moog girls video, here is a ..."

Christopher R Taylor [/i][/i][/s][/s][/b][/b][/u][/u]: "I love a good western. Hell I love a pretty medio ..."

Infidel: "I think the last time I was on a theater was for G ..."

Recent Entries

Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64