September 1, 2013

"How do you ask John Kerry to be the fall guy, go on all the Sunday morning talk shows, and try to cover up for your own leadership mistake?"

Asks Meade, in the comments to "How do you ask a man to be the [first] man to die for a mistake?" — which was yesterday's post, titled after Meade's rewrite of Kerry's famous question, " How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?"

So, we watched the talk shows today, and in addition to Kerry, on "Meet the Press," there was Rand Paul, and just about the first thing he said was:
... I think it's a mistake to get involved in the Syrian civil war. And what I want would ask John Kerry is, he's famous for saying, "How can you ask a man to be the last one to die for a mistake?" I would ask John Kerry, "How can you ask a man to be the first one to die from a mistake?"
I'm not saying Rand reads the Althouse blog, but hi, Rand. Rand was remarkable — or seemed remarkable in contrast to Kerry, who preceded him — because he listened to the questions and appeared to think in real time and then verbalize actual answers.

Kerry filibustered, evading David Gregory's questions, such as "If Congress says no [to an attack on Syria], the president will act regardless of what Congress says?" Nonanswer: "I said that the president has the authority to act, but the Congress is going to do what's right here." Note the "I said," like he's already answered and now he's forced to repeat himself.

Somehow I started feeling sorry for Kerry, having to be the one to go around to all the talk shows. And he looked so weary. He looked awful, weirdly different from usual, like something wasn't right. His hair was fine. (It's a wig, right?) But his eyes were mismatched, and he kept sticking out his tongue like this:

Untitled

Is there some tongue-out disease going around this week, some virulence of chapped lips? (Cf. "21 Obnoxious Photos of Miley’s Tongue.") That particular shot was taken immediately after he said the words "the American people," which annoyed Meade so much that he backtracked to pause it so I could photograph it.

What I really want to do, now that I have the transcript, is go through and find all the ways Kerry managed to say that the President needs to go to Congress and doesn't need to go to Congress. I'll update this post and show you soon.

ADDED: Here's how Kerry avoided saying the President needed authority from Congress:
Now why go to Congress? Because the United States of America is stronger when the Congress of the United States representing the people and the President of the United States are acting together. And the president wants that strength represented in this initiative….

The issue originally was, "Should the President of the United States take action…?"… There was no decision not to do that. And the President has the right to do that…. The president then made the decision that he thought we would be stronger and the United States would act with greater moral authority and greater strength if we acted in a united way….

He believes we need to move, he's made his decision. Now it's up to the Congress of the United States to join him….

I hope and pray it will be seen as careful deliberation, as appropriate exercise of American constitutional process. The United States is strongest when the Congress speaks with the president….

[To the question: “If Congress says no, the president will act regardless of what Congress says?”] I said that the president has the authority to act, but the Congress is going to do what's right here.
I was intrigued by the phrase "American constitutional process." If the President can act on his own — and almost did — then what "constitutional process" is in seeking approval? That's the only time Kerry mentions the Constitution, and note how quickly he shifts to assertions about what makes the United States "strongest." He seems to say the Congress should go along with the President to make the country strong, but the Constitution has the safeguard of the separation of powers, and it's only because Congress operates independently that the conjunction of presidential and congressional power yields strength. Congress can't produce strength in the country by becoming compliant to the President. Though that does make the President stronger, the President is not the country.

65 comments:

Bob Ellison said...

"...go around to all the talk shows." We imagine Susan Rice and that guy Ginsburg rushing from studio to studio in Times Square, frightfully early on a Sunday morning. Not how it works. Good thing nobody makes news in the wee hours on Saturday night.

David said...

Lovely picture of Kerry.

My first thought on seeing it was of Michael Douglas.

Rob said...

I believe that, like many lizards, Kerry smells with his tongue.

wildswan said...

If someone killed an American ambassador and we did nothing - then would we lose credibility?
If we suddenly dumped an ally who was a corrupt dictator in his twentieth year of being a corrupt dictator - would we lose credibility?
If we publicly insulted an old reliable ally - would we lose credibility?
If we stood by while the Moslem Brotherhood burned Christian churches and shot Christian priests - would we lose credibility?

Well, as far as I know it is the position of the White House that if a President allowed any of those (admittedly unlikely) things to happen or even if he allowed all of them together, none of them would affect American credibility or prestige. And so I think the same is true of doing nothing about Syrians killing each other.
And I think the President would mess up any action Congress did authorize just as he messed up the killing of Bin Laden by exposing methods and the names of secret operatives. And he messed up the good results of the surge in Iraq. And he instantly stabbed Kerry in the back when Kerry advocated Obama's own policy of launching an attack on Syria. And he'll stab the military if Congress approves an attack. So even if getting into Syria was a good idea it would not be a good idea under this President.

YoungHegelian said...

Susan Rice & her career were sacrificed to cover up the incompetency of her higher-ups with more political cover (i.e. the Clinton machine).

Who, pray tell, is looking out for at-end-of-his-career John Kerry? Just another sacrificial lamb for an administration that can't find their butt cheeks with both hands.

Lydia said...

I think it's his real hair, and that he's proud of it. Remember him saying this about himself and the silky-pony guy during the 2004 pres. campaign --

"Of their Republican opponents, Kerry said: 'We've got better vision. We've got better ideas. We've got real plans. We have a better sense of what's happening in America,and we have better hair'."

RiverRat said...

He looked and sounded less intelligent when I served on rivers in 'Nam with in Vietnam but is the same narcissistic coward he's always been.

I can guarantee one thing: There was no "Christmas in Cambodia" as he was tied to the same dock in Nha Be, outside of Saigon, on the 24th and 25th of December and drinking "Carling's Black Death" in the O Club next to me.

He was complaining about the summer cruise, (Viet Nam remember) being cut short to send him "up river" where his elitist ass might actually be shot at.

I said in it '04 and I'll say it again..."Sink Kerry Swiftly"

RiverRat Tom Mortensen.

edutcher said...

I'm guessing this is payback for the Winter Soldier.

Sometimes those old Klingon proverbs really do fit.

Titus said...

As a Bay Stater I say it was really fricking weird to see Kerry out there pimping war.

This is incredibly unpopular in Masshole as we are extreme liberals based off our huge multicutural population, voting patterns, education levels and high salaries. Sorry red staters but we are very smart and really wealthy.

We haven't heard a peep from Warren either which is incredibly awkward.


Obama screwed up big time and there will be no action whatsoever in Syria, which makes me happy.

Our country is fricking broke and getting involved with some other countries problems doesn't concern us. If they threaten us or Israel maybe but otherwise they need to just kill each other off, like they do in many other countries throughout the world.

vnjagvet said...

Thanks for your service, Tom. And thanks for helping to reveal Kerry for the fraud he is in 2004.

Original Mike said...

My wife wondered where Kerry's wrinkles had gone.

It was clear that Kerry's primary talking point, to be uttered at every opportunity, was that Obama had made his decision. I'm unclear what that decision is, but it's abundantly clear that, by God, the president has made it.

Kelly said...

I was at my moms house and she called me to come look at Kerry's eye and wanted know what I thought. She said it looks like he has Bell's palsy. I thought maybe a swollen eye from allergies or a Botox treatment gone awry.

jr565 said...

The president doesn't need authority, unless he actually declares war. Even though Obama was a hypocrite to bypass the War Powers Act when he attacked Libya, the fact is every president that we've had since The War Powers Act was put into law said it was unconstitutional.
And both Reagan and Clinton, and Obama bypassed it when engaging in their military operations.

Michael K said...

Kerry is a walking talking exemplar of why the public didn't trust Democrats with foreign affairs for decades. Now the next generation is learning what their parents should have taught them.

Jim Gust said...

Wasn't Kerry the architect of the "global test" for American intervention, back in 2004? Whatever happened to that?

jr565 said...

WHy isn't anyone asking Kerry as to whether this action passes the Global Test?

Why isn't anyone asking whether a coalition of 37 or so countries is more or less than a coalition of 2 countries. Does the fact that the second country is France make the number of coalition partners irrelevant?

I'd like all of the old talking points brought up again, and I'd like to see the people who made said talking points actually defend them, or admit that they were stupid points to begin with.

averagejoe said...

Young Hegelian, Susan Rice did not sacrifice her career, she was rewarded for her loyalty by being appointed National Security Adviser. I bet you'll sleep better at night knowing our ever-vigilant president relies on the sage counsel of this wise and circumspect party loyalist.

averagejoe said...

Young Hegelian, Susan Rice did not sacrifice her career, she was rewarded for her loyalty by being appointed National Security Adviser. I bet you'll sleep better at night knowing our ever-vigilant president relies on the sage counsel of this wise and circumspect party loyalist.

Hagar said...

How many "allies" have taken damage for supporting Obama - or thinking they were supporting him - in the Middle East so far?

I think most of the Congress critters are busy trying to think of ways to distance themselves from this Typhoid Mary, while avoiding the appearance of "not supporting the President abroad."
He certainly is not making it easy for them.

RecChief said...

"He seems to say the Congress should go along with the President to make the country strong, but the Constitution has the safeguard of the separation of powers...."

But that is what Obama supporters want. Every time I hear him/them talk about an obstructionist congress, this is the result they are hoping for. A compliant congress at worst, a rubberstamp at best.

Presidential over reach regarding the power of the office is nothing new, but this president has taken it to a new level. The problem is that so many in congress don't seem to mind.

bpm4532 said...

It's the art of being on both sides of the issue so you can claim being right and everyone else wrong. Something Kerry has experience with.

Sayyid said...

"Though that does make the President stronger, the President is not the country."

There's a lot of confusion about that right now on the left.

For example, apparently no one told that to the copy-editors at my hometown paper, the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Right now their website is running the completely inane headline "Citing sarin use, US seeks Congress' OK for action."

Scott said...

I do not understand when government officials say they have a "right," Kerry's statement that the President has the "right" to act without Congressional authority. Government officials have responsibilities and authorities as laid out in the Constitution and implementing legislation. I've been a military officer and student of the interagency -- there is nothing in any law about government officials, either political appointees or career professionals, having "rights" to do something. There's a lot of "shalls," "musts," "mays," "is authorized to," "is delegated as the decision authority for . . .," etc., but there're no statements of rights. It just galls me when our elected and appointed officials are not precise in language. That's the slope to Orwellian/Carrollian constructions, where words mean precisely what the speaker means, no more and no less.

Robert Cook said...

This is Kerry's betrayal of the Winter Soldier hearings. As I've said, Kerry's motives may even have been self-serving then--he certainly had to be contemplating entering into politics, and given the tenor of the times, he may have been savvy enough to see that anti-war creds would serve him as well or better than war vet creds would (which may have been his entire reason for enlisting to go to war)--but he was on the right side of things in that period.

Now...he's a hollow man, like virtually everyone in Washington. The transcript of his nonsense verbiage is the record of a man lying to the public, knowing the president doesn't have rightful authority to order a military strike against another country without Congress's approval, yet asserting otherwise. If Congressional approval is not required, if it is merely a matter of theater, of making America appear "stronger" because we're all in (coerced?) agreement, then the bigger cat out of the bag is that our government is not headed by a president but a king, an absolute ruler whose whim and word becomes law.

wef said...

Why bother trying to analyze the incoherent blather of this botoxed sociopath? His constitutional BS is unintelligible, because he is just throwing stuff out hoping something will stick.

Worst political class since the civil war.

Molly said...

I noticed the eyes, and I think they weren't like that in his 04 presidential run.

"Strabismus can be a sign of significant neurological concern, especially when it is of sudden onset."

http://content.lib.utah.edu/utils/getfile/collection/ehsl-nam/id/857/filename/858.pdf

Next week's headline today: Kerry resigns for health reasons.

TPS said...

I am glad the President is seeking Congressional approval for another foreign war. I wish he had a year ago, or even a week ago. However . . .

If I was a member of Congress, of either party,and jealous of that body's Constitutional prerogatives (as the Founders believed they should and would be), I would ask the President this series of related questions to see where he stands on these issues, and then make the statement that follows:

Questions: If a foreign country fired missiles from its ships and planes into our country, whether a half dozen or 200, would the USA consider that an act of war? If so, why? If not, why not? If it is war in one direction, it is surely war in the other. Assuming the answer is in the affirmative, that such an act would be considered a clear "declaration of war" against our country, then why would your plan to fire missiles into Syria and bomb that country with our air force NOT be an open act of war against a foreign power engaged in a civil war?

Put another way in historical context, if the British in 1862 had sent its navy to shell the Union coastline or sink Union ships, would the North and President Lincoln have considered that an act of war?

Statement: "Your first position a week ago was you did not not require Congressional approval to bomb Syria, but now you are seeking Congressional approval to do just that. But you have also simultaneously announced that you are reserving the right to attack Syria even if Congress refuses to give its approval. Unless you can offer the American people a clear and convincing case why you are assuming this fence-straddling position, the only logical position for Congress to take is to deny your request. Otherwise, what else can we as lawmakers conclude other than you are coming to Congress to seek cover for your actions in case something goes wrong.

Captain Nerd said...

Actually, I wonder if he hasn't had a mild ischemic attack. Those can have multiple symptoms, including confusion and facial effects. I hope he's smart enough to notice, or at least listen to someone who would tell him how he's looking. Some people live (for a time) in denial of medical issues, especially men. I almost died from a ruptured appendix because I didn't want to be embarrassed at the hospital if it wasn't something serious...

Koblog said...

So that's what a President Kerry would have looked like....

jr565 said...

Ultimately this is about Iran. We are trying to hold Iran to account for their Nike program. And what do we ha w to fter them? tough words that are either backed up or not backed up.
If we can't hold Syria to account after the president puts down a red line and threatens reprisals then Iran knows that we similarly will not back up our words with action.
And so we will get more chemical attacks and Iran moving ever closer to nukes.
This also applies to our allies. Do we back up our words with action, or are we a paper tiger?

Mark Trade said...

Not to put you down, Ann, but I think it's more likely that someone on Rand's staff reads the more libertarian-friendly Instapundit. Then again given your long association it's hard not to read Instapundit without Althouse or vice versa.

jr565 said...

"If Obama is hesitating on the matter of Syria, then clearly on the question of attacking Iran - a move that is expected to be far more complicated - Obama will hesitate much more, and thus the chances Israel will have to act alone have increased," Israeli Army Radio quoted an unnamed government official as saying."
And I'm sure if/when that happens the left will call Israel warmongers and attacking Iran for no reason. But it would be as much because we, and by we I mean us, and the International community, didnt back up our words with actions.
This is a lesson for republicans reluctant to wage war. Your calls to not get involved may have the effect of increasing the likelihood of a more serious war down the road. That's usually the case.

jr565 said...

"If Obama is hesitating on the matter of Syria, then clearly on the question of attacking Iran - a move that is expected to be far more complicated - Obama will hesitate much more, and thus the chances Israel will have to act alone have increased," Israeli Army Radio quoted an unnamed government official as saying."
And I'm sure if/when that happens the left will call Israel warmongers and attacking Iran for no reason. But it would be as much because we, and by we I mean us, and the International community, didnt back up our words with actions.
This is a lesson for republicans reluctant to wage war. Your calls to not get involved may have the effect of increasing the likelihood of a more serious war down the road. That's usually the case.

Iraq ultimately became a war because we kept refusing to back our words with adefinitive ctions. Resolutions wereassed, bombs dropped sanctions passed. Even when we get to the FINAL CHANCE people still back down and don't back those words up with action. At a certain point, you either cede the argument to your enemy or you deal with them once and for all.
Either Syria gets its way and gets away with its actions, and Iran is emboldened and Israel realizes it has to act alone, or,we hold Syria to account.
Frankly, I think we should be doing more than just limited bombing. Doing half assed measures now is almost worse than doing nothing.

But the republicans, of all people, should not suddenly pretend, that what happens in Syria is irrelevant to our foreign policy, or is not part of the war on terror.

Ann Althouse said...

Look closely at the part. That's a wig, to my eye. Don't you think?

Andy Warhol wore wigs. Be out and proud as you wear that wig hat on your head.

setnaffa said...

Amazing how now that Mr Mom-jeans has crapped his pants he wants the GOP to wipe his arse.

And his sycophants are eager to tell us why the GOP "must" agree to support al Qaeda vs Hezbollah and the Russians.

I think the President and his cabinet need to be tested for illegal drug use.

EDH said...

Kerry had that eye in the (in)famous "Reporting for Duty" pictures.

Not sure about the wig, though. He's always had a thick head of hair, and there are all those windsurfing photos.

Hagar said...

Charles Lane of WaPo said the worst thing that could happen is that Congress passes this resolution the White House has given it to pass and then Obama does nothing.

I don't know if that is the worst or not, but it certainly is a likely possibility.

I do not think Congress should get into the weeds of specifying what it "authorizes" or not; especially not with a bait and switch artist like Obama. By all means have "vigorous debate" and "consult," but the end response ought to be the President does not need our "authorization" to conduct foreign policy, which seems to be all that this is about according to the President's own statements.

Ameryx said...

For those who adhere to the theory of "body language", tongue thrusting indicates deception. See, for instance, this analysis of Gary Condit's interview by Connie Chung.
"The most disconcerting body language cue occurred when he stuck out his tongue. The tongue thrust can be a sign of deceit and of aggression. The media has told us that Gary Condit has a temper. Sticking out his tongue was an indication early in the interview that he was trying to suppress it. However controlled the rest of his body appeared, his anger came out more than once with this cue. In all my years of reading body language, this is the first time I have seen this cue repeated so often in such a short time period. And I rarely see it in a planned interview."
Source: http://www.expertmagazine.com/articles/conditinterview.htm

Ameryx said...

For those who adhere to the theory of "body language", tongue thrusting indicates deception. See, for instance, this analysis of Gary Condit's interview by Connie Chung.
"The most disconcerting body language cue occurred when he stuck out his tongue. The tongue thrust can be a sign of deceit and of aggression. The media has told us that Gary Condit has a temper. Sticking out his tongue was an indication early in the interview that he was trying to suppress it. However controlled the rest of his body appeared, his anger came out more than once with this cue. In all my years of reading body language, this is the first time I have seen this cue repeated so often in such a short time period. And I rarely see it in a planned interview."
Source: http://www.expertmagazine.com/articles/conditinterview.htm

Tom said...

Althouse, how do you feel about men wearing wigs while also wearing shorts?

Anyway, I think Rand comes across as incredibly thoughtful in most interviews and in his filibuster. It's remarkably different than most politicians I've met or watched on TV. There's just a different level of comfort and he seems very prepared for where his interviewers are trying to take him (especially after the civil-rights act debacle on Maddow a few years back). I don't know how he comes across in-person. It's nice that libertarianism now has a coherent voice. He may be too radical for the presidency for some people, but I think he's going to be a force in introducing libertarian ideas to the mainstream.

Bob Ballard said...

In examining Kerry's picture, he looks like he's had a mild stroke . Right eye drooping and tongue extended. He looks exhausted as well. - Bob Ballard

Bob Ballard said...

Kerry looks like he's had a mild stroke with the right eye wandering and drooping. He looks exhausted as well.

Terry Gain said...

I noticed an area on the left side of Kerry's face - rectangular in shape- where the tissue appeared detached from surrounding tissue. He also looked like he's on mood altering drugs.

Michael K said...

I agree his eyes look weird. The left is larger than the right and it almost looks like a glass eye.

David said...

Kerry uses Botox.

That may have more to do with the droopy eye than a stroke.

Unknown said...

---But the republicans, of all people, should not suddenly pretend, that what happens in Syria is irrelevant to our foreign policy, or is not part of the war on terror.

Suddenly its about Republicans! Sure it is.

BTW Syria can’t be part of the war on terror because President Obama has clearly told us that the war on terror is over. Osama is dead!

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/05/23/obama-global-war-on-terror-is-over

Rand Paul has it right for several reasons...

Republicans learned from Iraq that even when Democrats voted for military action, 6 months later they will turn and call the effort immoral, war crimes, etc. Now Obama (as Lucy) wants to again get Charlie Brown Republicans to kick the football. United!!!!!!1!

As Democrats pointed out repeatedly, Iraq was costly in blood and treasure, and whatever strategic achievements Bush won were immediately pissed away by Obama (Syria would be slightly different picture if we had a base in Iraq wouldn’t it?)

We are broke, our military has been sequestered. After Iraq, it is clear to many of us that our enemies like to lure us over and over into military action in various with the goal of bleeding us. And with each military adventure, duplicitous Democrats can paint Republicans as war-mongers. Imagine! Winter Soldier Kerry leading the charge for another intervention.

Lets keep our powder dry and our restock our Tomahawks and bunker busters for Iran.

Obama will just have to suck it up regarding his yokel red-line move, just like Cameron did in Britain (first vote against a Prime Minister in what 300 years?)

MadisonMan said...

Some people live (for a time) in denial of medical issues, especially men. I almost died from a ruptured appendix because I didn't want to be embarrassed at the hospital if it wasn't something serious.

Reminds me of this.

Biff said...

It's more than just botox, though botox is almost certainly part of the odd appearance. Kerry had fairly major plastic surgery in 2012, before the DNC convention. There are a handful of photos on the net from shortly after the operation, when the bruising from surgery was very visible. He also had at least one other cosmetic surgery a few years before that. If you look at pictures of Kerry from around 2002 versus 2012, you'll notice that his eyes are shaped differently

Biff said...

PS. Probably the most dramatic change is his jawline. He used to have a very narrow chin and jaw, but no longer.

David Davenport said...

We are trying to hold Iran to account for their Nike program.

Nike program? Is Iran making counterfeit athletic shoes?

MayBee said...

Too many facial fillers.

jim murray said...

Kerry is another empty suit in an administration of empty suits. His lips are probably dry because of all the lying he does. Obama is a coward and uses women and womanizers to shovel his s##t.

Robert Cook said...

"The president doesn't need authority, unless he actually declares war. Even though Obama was a hypocrite to bypass the War Powers Act when he attacked Libya, the fact is every president that we've had since The War Powers Act was put into law said it was unconstitutional. And both Reagan and Clinton, and Obama bypassed it when engaging in their military operations."

Sending American military forces to fight abroad is a de facto declaration of war. The Constitution reserves the power to declare war for Congress for the express purpose of prohibiting the President from becoming as a king, sending soldiers to fight wars abroad at whim.

The War Powers Act is not unconstitutional, it's simply redundant. The Constitution already establishes what the War Powers Act spells out.

Every president who has sent military forces to war without prior Congressional declaration of war has acted unconstitutionally.

Marty said...

Kerry is referring to the same constitutional process that empowers the President to re-write the health care law or determine when the Senate is in recess.

If he wants to bomb, he bombs. If he wants Congress to give him cover, he goes to Congress. Whatever he wants, he won ten election so he's King, err, President.

It's the "L'etat c'est moi" clause, surely you've heard of it.

Roux said...

He looks like he's using botox. WTF....

lge said...

How do you ask a relentless, life-long self-promoter and opportunist to trim his sails to the prevailing wind when the fad for attacking Middle-Eastern countries arises? Easy!

RebeccaH said...

Is Secretary Lurch having a stroke in that photo?

Ruth Anne Adams said...

The John Kerry puppy-tongue lick has been observed here since October 2004 (see #2)

grackle said...

Lip-licking is a side effect of some antipsychotic drugs.

jr565 said...

Unknown wrote:
Rand Paul has it right for several reasons...

Republicans learned from Iraq that even when Democrats voted for military action, 6 months later they will turn and call the effort immoral, war crimes, etc. Now Obama (as Lucy) wants to again get Charlie Brown Republicans to kick the football. United!!!!!!1!

That just shows the democrats are horrible. It doesn't mean that republicans have to be.
My guess is Rand wouldn't really be on the war on terror bandwagon anyway. But if you are, then Syria is a big part of that war. And we shouldn't, as republicans pretend that somehow we are supposed to remain neutral when Syria gases it's people. This is the same Syria that Iran uses as a proxy and helped undermine our efforts in Iraq.

So, if republicans argue, like Mccain, that he's against the bombing because it's not strong enough, that's one thing, but if they argue that it's not our business, or that it has nothing to do with us or the war on terror, then they are full of it.

THis is about American credibility as much anything else. Obama is the fool for putting down the red line in the first place (though, considering Syria's actions it's understandable). But now that Syria calls our bluff, we need to enforce our words, or suffer the consequences.
Repubs, who have always been the party of strong defense, should not, in an instance of pique or trying to get one over on Obama, derail his ability to actually hold Syria to account.
This also shows why waging military action short of war should be a presidential perogative and not in the hands of congress. Because there are too many cooks in the kitchen if congress does it.

jr565 said...

The last declaration of War by Congress was World War II. We've had alot of conflicts since then, some of them we now view as wars even.
Meaning the president has been able to engage in military actions without having to have congress declare War.
And president Obama already bombed a country without consulting Congress, namely Libya. He shat all over the War Powers Act then, why suddenly is there a question on his part as to whether he needs to consult congress.
And, every president since the War Powers Act was passed has called in unconstitutional both democrat and republican alike.
Obama doesn't have to consult congress unless he is going to do a total all out war. But he should consult congress, like Bush did, because he doesn't want to look like a hypocrite and a fool, which he does and which he is.

Rob McLean said...

I think the President and his cabinet need to be tested for illegal drug use.

And if they're not taking any, they need to start, immediately.

RiverRat said...

Syria


This is a lose/lose conflict but from a strategic policy perspective, especially regarding Iran, if I were C-in-C, I'd probably take out Assad and let Allah and Shia Syrians sort out the Jihadis opposing them.

Remember Obama's call for Mubarak's resignation? How long did the Islamists last...a year? Syria is probably secular enough to react in a manner similar to Egypt. If we didn't have to consider Iran...I'd led the Shia and Sunnis in Syria sort it out under their own rules of engagement.

If it later takes humanitarian intervention to save civilian lives or defend our allies and our economic interests in the region...so be it!

It's a good step for Israel and a major warning to Iran. Putin won't like it...but he doesn't like anything we do anyway. China...they know who's filling their rice bowl and it ain't Syria.

Why is it everyone is talking about being forced to say "yes" or "no" to Obama's request for political cover. He didn't ask about leaving Iraq or Afghanistan. He didn't ask about bombing Libya. Why then does he need a yes or no on Syria? Americans of both parties seem opposed from what I see in the polls.

It's clear he believes he can do this on his own authority and everyone seems to agree, so:

Why yes or no? Why changes to the resolution? Why not be like Obama?

Vote "Present" by sending a firm "No Comment!"

P.S. One additional thought. What is going on in Syria and Iraq is essentially an intramural religious war. Our primary strategic concerns really are 1.) Stopping proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, biological, and, chemical) and 2.) Avoiding disruption of the flow of oil to the industrial world.

RiverRat said...

Any nation which is majority Islamic will never be a Democracy or Constitutional Republic. They will be Military Autocracies, Theocracies or Monarchies...without major religious reform...which means never. This is what Bush had wrong in Afghanistan and Iraq. The reasons for going were valid (yeah, even WMD's now in Syria) but the reason for staying was wrong.

Robert Cook said...

"The last declaration of War by Congress was World War II. We've had alot of conflicts since then, some of them we now view as wars even. Meaning the president has been able to engage in military actions without having to have congress declare War."

No, it just means our executives have acted unconstitutionally, usurping power reserved solely to Congress. They "have been able" to do this not because it is permissable but because Congress has failed to oppose the executive in his lawlessness. Also, as I just said in another thread, none of our post-WWII conflicts were necessary.

"And president Obama already bombed a country without consulting Congress, namely Libya. He shat all over the War Powers Act....Obama doesn't have to consult congress unless he is going to do a total all out war."

Complete fiction. There is nothing in the Constitution which permits the president to go to war without obtaining a declaration of war by Congress if the war is not "total all out war," and nothing that says only "total all out war" is the only time Congress must declare war before we may commit troops to military engagement.