Remember when Obama was talking about the two wars Bush involved us in? If not he said, “The President does not have the power to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” Of course this was before he decided to drag our force over to Libya to bomb targets in support of rebeles we know nothing about.
Thankfully Rand Paul is calling Obama on this:
The Rand Paul resolution, co-sponsored by fellow Senate Tea Party Caucus member Mike Lee (R-Utah), says: “The President does not have the power to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” Senator Obama used precisely that language in a December 20, 2007 interview with the Boston Globe when he was campaigning for the presidency. President Obama neglected to mention any actual or imminent threat to the nation in his address to the American people on Libya March 18.
It should come as no surprise that various members in Congress aren’t happy with somebody calling out their leader on this. After all it was only bad to engage our forces in military action without Congressional approval when Bush did it. To this end Congress appears to be refusing to vote. According to Rand Paul:
Right now, my resolution has been basically taken off the table. For three days now, we’ve had no votes. And they’re not going to vote again today, maybe because I think they don’t want to vote on whether or not Congress should have this authority. They’re embarrassed that the President took them to war precisely with the same kind of reasoning that they’ve always criticized up here.
It is my belief that a majority of Congress is more than happy to let the President engage our forces without any overhead. This is a cowards move on their behalf as it is simply a way of avoiding blame when popular opinion moves against any of these engagements. Giving the President this kind of authority allows Congress to effectively say, “Don’t blame us we didn’t approve this engagement.” I also really like this quote by Rand:
There are some of us who have a respect for the Constitution who are worried about the precedent that is set by allowing a President to go to war with no debate, no discussion. He had time to go to the UN. He had time to go to the Arab League. He had the time to go just about everywhere in the world to ask for permission, except for down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Congress which the Constitution says he has to come here. And he went everywhere else but here.
Zing! So Obama went to everybody but Congress to get approval for this war? If nothing else I have to say I’m really liking the fact that Rand is willing to call the President on these types of things. For too long it seems members of Congress were unwilling to call the President on actions that shouldn’t have been taken or were embarrassing when taken.