Did the Constitution Stop Obama?

Did recognition of the Constitution actually come into play influencing Obama’s decision to go to Congress for approval to bomb Syria?  This is a well-written piece I came across that gives a good explanation of what was/is involved.  Go to the link to read the entire article.

Obama’s history-defying decision to seek Congressional approval on Syria

Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard law professor who served as a Bush administration lawyer during the run-up to the 2003 Iraq war, wrote in the legal blog Lawfare, “The planned use of military force in Syria is a constitutional stretch that will push presidential war unilateralism beyond where it has gone before.” And liberal constitutional scholar Garrett Epps, writing for the Atlantic , concluded, “It’s pretty clear that an American attack would violate the Constitution.”

Virtually no one in politics, the press or the academic community expected Obama to go to Congress for approval. That isn’t the way the presidential power works in the modern era. It is a sad truth that whomever occupies the Oval Office invariably expands rather than trims back the Imperial Presidency. Obama himself has reflected this pattern with his aggressive enhancement of the National Security Agency’s efforts to monitor electronic communications.


35 thoughts on “Did the Constitution Stop Obama?

  1. Personally, i don’t think the president gives a fat rat’s tiddely-boomp about the Constitution. He just wants and needs a scapegoat to get out of this corner he’s put himself in. Talk about Buckyballs…

    • While he might not give a rat’s ass about the Constitution, he put himself between a rock and a hard place on this one;

      “No American lives are in danger and the national security threat is hard to identify. Not only is NATO not participating, but also neither are the Brits, the United State’s closest diplomatic ally. With Russia serving as Assad’s enabler, there will be no Security Council resolution or UN mandate.”

      “Every time a president employs questionable legal arguments to wage war, it becomes a valuable tool for the next Commander in Chief impatient with the constitutional requirement to work through Congress. That’s why it would have been so dangerous for Obama to go forward in Syria without a congressional vote or the support of the UN or NATO. It is as much of a slippery slope argument as the contention that Iran, say, would be emboldened with its nuclear program if America did not punish Assad’s chemical attacks.”

      Very few Americans are supporting this action. It’s a stretch to attack without the backing of the Brits or even NATO.

    • I’m not sure he wanted a scapegoat as much as he didn’t want to go through an impeachment that would have surely followed a decision on his part to bomb Syria.

      • This is what i wonder: if he goes through with his promise to act without congressional approval; will congress then proceed with impeachment hearings? It seems to take an act of congress to try and get congress to act.

  2. I’m with Kells and the Joeski on this one.
    But Florida brings up a good point and question….I’m not sure I quite understand why or what the squirrlely reason is. Perhaps the Fix is in Ala Reid and Boehner …. and this is all Pre-arranged cover for Obama by the usual Scumbag Democrats and the mostly progressive RINO GOP ???

    Notice we HAVEN’T heard anything from the Likes of Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan , McConnell and the rest of the Republican Quislings.

    BUT……They have managed to SILENCE…

    -IRS scndal….and the IRS is CONTINUING harrassing the TP !
    -NSA….and there are even MORE revelations recently
    -Ben Ghazi….similar to the NSA scandal
    -Fast and Furious….remains the most un-investigated case of Obama/Holder Gov’t Policy caused murder to date.

  3. I must agree with Kells also. This president has managed to distance himself from everything negative about his administration. Now he finds himself having to put up, or shut up, and his face is the only attachment to this thing.. So get congress involved so he can blame “Washington” for the cluster f*ck that is sure to follow.

  4. I got an email that said the only possible winners if it turns into a major war in Syria are Saudi Arabia and Qatar, regardless of which side is declared the winner of the war. They are ruled and controlled by one sect of Islam(Sunni) and Syria is controlled by a different one (Shia).

  5. Here’s an thought – if Congress disallows a war (they won’t, the military-industrial complex donates to all but three members of Congress), and if Obama goes through with the war anyway (he will, because he’s a warmonger), then the Congress could try to impeach Obama (they won’t, because the military-industrial complex will make it clear they will cut off the bribes/campaign contributions).

  6. The “do it now, already” caucus:

    This group includes Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).

    In a strongly-worded statement, Nelson said Saturday that “I support the president’s decision. But as far as I’m concerned, we should strike in Syria today. The use of chemical weapons was inhumane, and those responsible should be forced to suffer the consequences.”

    The “want bigger military action” caucus:

    This group is much smaller and is led by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), who said Saturday that they agree with Obama that a military response is necessary and that Congress should act as soon as possible.

    But then they went a step further: “We cannot in good conscience support isolated military strikes in Syria that are not part of an overall strategy that can change the momentum on the battlefield, achieve the president’s stated goal of Assad’s removal from power, and bring an end to this conflict, which is a growing threat to our national security interests. Anything short of this would be an inadequate response to the crimes against humanity that Assad and his forces are committing. And it would send the wrong signal to America’s friends and allies, the Syrian opposition, the Assad regime, Iran, and the world – all of whom are watching closely what actions America will take.”

    The “happy to debate the issue, reserving judgment” caucus:

    This is the largest caucus. Most lawmakers in this group, including Sen. Christopher Coons (D-Del.) and Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.), agree that the Syrian government’s action are deplorable, but that they will withhold judgment until the debate begins in earnest.

    “I will review the evidence and arguments with great care before deciding how I will vote on this difficult and important issue,” Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) said Saturday.

    Radel said that the administration will “need to answer questions on the national security threat facing America, how we prevent our troops from getting dragged into a civil war, and how we are going to prevent the loss of American lives. Finally, the administration must lay out a plan, the end goal and an exit strategy.”

    The skeptical caucus:

    A fair number of Republicans and Democrats in both chambers sit with this group.

    Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W. Va.) expressed a view Saturday that sums up the feelings of many congressional Democrats. “After over a decade of war in the Middle East, there needs to be compelling evidence that there is an imminent threat to the security of the American people or our allies before any military action is taken,” he said. “I do not believe that this situation meets that threshold.”

    Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) pointedly said Saturday that “The United States should only engage militarily when it is pursuing a clear and attainable national security goal. Military action taken simply to send a message or save face does not meet that standard.”

    The anti-military action caucus:

    This group stitches together an unlikely alliance of tea party conservatives and veteran liberal doves, many of whom still remember the consequences of the Iraq war debate.

    Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) is a leading GOP “no” vote, who has spent much of the weekend sharing his views on Twitter:

    In an interview Sunday on PostTV’s “In Play,” Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.) said that “I do have a bias against” supporting military action. “If I had to vote today, I would vote no. But I also expect to learn from the debate.”


      • A couple of comments:

        1. If the Congress could come together and agree on a symbolic strike (in and out) and hold him to it, I say no harm, no foul. It might even be good for the country and reintroduce the concept of working together. The polling data I saw a couple of days ago showed only a slim majority favoring intervention, but when the prospect of boots on the ground was taken off the table (cruise missiles only), the percentage in favor went up to almost 80%. I am against any involvement at all, and have let my elected “representatives” know my views. Everyone should do the same.

        2. I have been doing some research on how the “red line” came into being, and it looks like Hillary Clinton is the one who started it. It appears to me that Obama has tried to minimize the impact ever since. I don’t think anyone had a crystal ball, so I remain suspicious about who and why the chemical weapons were ultimately used. I believe Obama got painted into a corner and is trying to find a way out with the least amount of damage, but time will tell.

        I’m not sure what the connection is for the video. Everyone is entitled to dream.

        • Firtst you say you hope Congress gives Obama an out……then you say you’re OK with Obama Bombing Syria as long as it’s an “in and out ”

          Your conviction is about as solid as Obama’s “Red line” …………. If I remember correctly…..You indentify as a Libertarian right ???

          • I am an independent. Always have been, but I admire much of the Libertarian philosophy.

            I thought you might be confused by the apparently contradictory statements.I am against any involvement. We have not been attacked by Syria. However, our misguided foreign policy has placed us in a position where interlocking relationships require unecessary comments on and responses to world events, so in light of the reality of the current situation a limited symbolic strike to save face would not be the worst foreseeable outcome.

            • Rest assured….. I was NOT confused by your contradictions .

              “Independent” / Libertarian it is then ………………. Not that there’s any surprise in that …. but it’s good to hear it admitted to.

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