Even before Mr. Obama launched the first cruise missiles into Libya, I have been saying that adding yet another unnecessary war to our platter is a horrible idea. Further, since he did it without a congressional declaration of war, it is also illegal. But what’s a little illegality for someone illegitimately claiming the title of U.S. President?
Last week, House Speaker John Boehner had to scramble to cobble up a substitute resolution to prevent half his GOP caucus from joining with Democrats to denounce President Obama’s war in Libya as unconstitutional and to demand a total U.S. pullout in 15 days.
The author of the end-the-war resolution that seemed likely to pass was Dennis Kucinich. That Republicans would vote for a Kucinich resolution testifies to the anger on the Hill that Obama took us to war without congressional authorization and has treated the War Powers Act with manifest contempt.
Boehner’s resolution, which gives the president longer to comply with the act and involves no deadline for withdrawal, passed 268 to 145.
But Kucinich’s resolution, which would have cut off funds for the Libyan war, still garnered 148 votes, among them 87 Republicans.
Dennis Kucinich is somewhat the Ron Paul of the Left. While I disagree with him on many issues, he is a true anti-war Democrat, and I certainly respect his integrity and consistency – especially when compared to others who claimed to be “anti-war” while President Bush was in office, but suddenly changed their minds the moment Mr. Obama came into power.
While Boehner’s resolution is notably limp-wristed, it is encouraging to note that even the party of the neocons is being forced to take a marginally anti-interventionist stance to prevent defections to a truly anti-interventionist resolution.
On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution calling on President Barack Obama to explain to the American people his decision to engage the U.S. military in the ongoing NATO mission in Libya without Congressional authority.On March 18, Sen. Rand Paul and five Senate colleagues sent a letter to President Obama outlining the actions taken by the President pursuant to the War Powers Act and questioning whether he would comply with the requirements to terminate use of U.S. armed forces in Libya within the statutory 60-day period, which expired Friday, May 20. This request has yet received a response.
Repeated calls for the President to explain his decision to ignore the Constitution and continue to commit our military without Congressional approval have gone unanswered.
“As days turn into weeks and months, Americans are left wondering why their president refuses to answer the collective calls concerning the use of U.S. armed forces in Libya,” Sen. Paul said today. “The House of Representatives’ recent bipartisan resolution serves as another reminder of this – and it is long overdue that the Senate should take up the issue as well. Issuing a strong message to the President underlining his necessity to answer to the Legislative Branch – and the nation it represents – is the least we can do. If the president chooses to ignore his responsibility to the American people, it is our duty to enforce accountability.”
Buchanan ends his article with the following sentiment, with which I could not agree more.3
The return of the anti-interventionist right is welcome news. It may assure a real debate on foreign policy in the Republican primaries of 2012.