Sunday, September 1, 2013

Words Fail Me Dept. (UPDATED)

It's not something humorous this time.

There are matters, especially political matters, about which I hate to be proved right:

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE UPDATE: Obama To Strike Syria; Seeks Congressional Approval. “Obama says he has the authority to act on his own, but believes it is important for the country to have a debate.” Hmm. That’s what Cameron thought.

When I first saw this, I blanched. The prospects for a Constitutional crisis were right there, in giant flaming letters with ruffles and flourishes, and I said so:

That is extremely ominous. It suggests -- rather strongly -- that Obama won't abide by an adverse Congressional verdict. That would be consistent with his arrogance and unwillingness to be balked. If that should come to pass, we'll see the end of the Republic enacted right before our eyes.

And what does the overnight news feed bring us?

In his Rose Garden remarks today on Syria, President Obama said that he will seek a vote of authorization from the Congress when it returns from recess (which is on Sept. 9).

He also said [he] has authority to bomb Syria without Congress' authorization. Here is the entire statement:

Donald Sensing continues:

In his statement, the president also said this: "Yet while I believe I have the authority to carry out this military action without specific Congressional authorization, I know that the country will be stronger if we take this course and our actions will be even more effective."

Let's parse that.

1. He means that he thinks he has authority as president to bomb Syria without going to Congress at all.

Well, in that case he may be right, in the sense that any president has the power to do what Congress doesn't oppose. Obama illegally sent US bombers against Libya in 2011 without Congressional authority; by any stretch, the president was both declaring and making war, the former power reserved to the Congress alone.

But history, and not just of this administration, shows that Congress will usually be pretty passive about that kind of thing. The White House does not have that power so much by delegation as by concession.

However, there is another twist to what Obama might have meant that would require him to believe this, which is,

2. He means that even if Congress votes against authorizing the Syria war, he can still order the strikes because he didn't have to ask Congress in the first place.

If Congress votes to withhold authority for the strikes and Obama orders them anyway, then beyond question we will have reached one of the most serious Constitutional crises of our history. Unless unmistakably halted by Congress, we will have surrendered the last vestige of representative, Constitutional government. It is not obvious, however, that this what the president meant. Let us hope not.

Hope, in the age of the Usurper, has become a feeble reed.

The Regime has systematically replaced our top commanders with political puppets: uniformed politicians loyal to Obama rather than to the Constitution or their military oaths. There is little reason to think they'll refuse Obama's unConstitutional order to act. What that would mean for the United States is devastating.

The great fear, of which few of us have dared to speak, is that the sequel will see our armed forces used domestically, in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act, to suppress "insurrection," meaning any unacceptably vocal condemnation of the Regime or dissent from its policies.

America had a chance to remove the Usurper from the White House.
We let it slip away unused.
The bill has come due.


UPDATE: Apparently, my fears are not mine alone:

The Obama administration begins taking its case for a strike against Syria to the American people Sunday morning, with Secretary of State John Kerry making rounds on morning television news shows.

It comes as Obama apparently is leaving the door open to moving ahead with a military strike on Syria even if Congress votes against it, adding to the confusion over the president’s evolving position.

The president, in a surprise decision Saturday, announced he would seek a vote in Congress on launching a military attack against the Assad regime.

One senior State Department official, though, told Fox News that the president’s goal to take military action will indeed be carried out, regardless of whether Congress votes to approve the use of force.

Other senior administration officials said Obama is merely leaving the door open to that possibility. They say he would prefer that Congress approve a military attack on the Assad regime, in response to its alleged use of chemical weapons, and will wait to see what Congress does before making any final decisions on authorizing military force.

Yet the possibility that Obama would move ahead without the support of Congress is sure to stir confusion among lawmakers, who had – for the most part – applauded his decision to seek their input first, though others claimed he was “abdicating his responsibility” by punting to Congress. It would raise questions about why he decided to seek congressional input at all, after having moved military assets into position immediately, and then waited days and possibly weeks for a debate in Washington.

Some have opined that Obama is merely looking for a way to shift the odium of a strike to Congress's shoulders should it approve, and to claim helplessness in the matter should it disapprove. That would have been preferable, certainly. As matters stand, we're looking at exactly what I dread most: a president who explicitly rejects the Constitutional separation of powers in favor of absolute, unchecked authority on his own part.

Yes, it would be an impeachment offense. But would the Democrats in the Senate see it as a conviction and removal from office offense? If so, would they finally rise to uphold their oaths of office to the Constitution, or would they behave as the hyperpartisan scoundrels we've come to know and despise?

Your guess is as good as mine, Gentle Reader. But the record of the Democrat caucus in the Senate is not encouraging.


Groman said...

The past five years has been like watching a car wreck in slow motion. We see it coming, we shout out a warning that is ignored and then we watch as the action unfolds. I've given up on talking about Obama except with the few relatives and friends who see him as I do; a severely flawed individual being used as the catalyst for our destruction.How typical of him to pretend to be decisive while waiting for congress to return from its recess. We can all see that he's going to do what he wants to do anyway. After all, our Republican leaders have been such stalwart defenders of the constitution why stop now?

YIH said...

As I discovered over at Vox Populi It's quite possible that Assad didn't use chem weapons after all.
It's possible 'the rebels' got them from the Saudis (who may well have gotten them from Libya) and those handling them didn't even know what they were - and you know, accidents happen.

Elijah said...

He doesn't need to use the armed forces domestically. The police forces are already being militarised and being staffed by thugs. Remember the armoured cars in the streets of Boston?

Anonymous said...

We don't have a two party system, we have those in power making decisions and spending the $$ of the "hard-working slaves" the dying middle-class. They are all in the sleeping in the same bed, so very obvious now, with the lack of any leadership by the Conservatives or "Republicans" and then brazenly exempting themselves from any of the laws that we have to abide by. Honest, hard working people are the real idiots, here, and load is getting too difficult for us to pull---excess and at the top and handouts everywhere else. How much bad behavior do we need to tolerate and how long does the list have to get, before SOMEONE with some leadership ability and courage starts the impeachment process?

Anonymous said...

I think the explanation for seeking Congressional approval is much more simple than stated. He is out of money! Check this web page:

Ronbo said...

I've read this book before!

It's titled, "World War II" and the leading role was played by Adolf Hitler, who, in September of 1939, ordered the German military (on his own authority) to invade Poland.

This September invasion led to declarations of war by England and France - and the beginning of a global conflict that in the end doomed Germany to defeat and occupation by the victors.

rickl said...

I'm thinking that it feels more like the summer of 1914.