Skip to comments.War Power Game - The coming constitutional crisis.
Posted on 02/20/2007 9:14:37 PM PST by neverdem
hile other House Democrats were pretending that their nonbinding resolution against the Iraq troop surge was of great import, antiwar champion Rep. John Murtha spoke the truth. It is not “the real vote,” he said in a webcast for the left-wing MoveCongress.org. That comes with Murtha’s imminent attempt to hamstring President Bush’s conduct of the war that may well spark a constitutional crisis.
There is a straightforward way for Congress to end a war: Cut off its entire funding. Congress has the power of the purse, the most important lever of legislative influence in the Anglo-American tradition. But House Democrats don’t want to wield this power because they’re afraid it will expose them to charges of defunding the troops. So they are resorting to an unconstitutional expedient instead.
Murtha wants to attach conditions on the impending supplemental appropriations bill to fund the war. He would require that troops have a year at home before redeploying, that they train with their own equipment before deploying and so on. Because the too-small U.S. military is under enormous strain, these conditions would be impossible to meet while still doubling the number of U.S. combat troops in Baghdad.
Murtha repeatedly says in the webcast that his proposals are meant to “protect” the troops. But he is frank about the not-so-ulterior motive of keeping more troops from heading to Iraq, explaining that “they won’t be able to do the work.” Because his provisions can be sold as guaranteeing the readiness and quality-of-life of the troops, Murtha believes that they “will be very hard to find fault with.”
Only if one ignores our constitutional scheme. The president, not Congress, is the commander in chief. Congress was never meant to, nor is it suited to, direct tactical military decisions, as Murtha seeks to do with his restrictions.
Arguably, his maneuver will be the most blatant congressional intrusion on the president’s war-making powers in the nation’s history. Congress choked off the Vietnam War in the 1970s, but only after U.S. ground troops were mostly already out of the country and chiefly as a matter of cutting off aid to South Vietnam.
Just as disturbing is Murtha’s cynical reliance on failure in Iraq as a political strategy. The plan aptly has been described by Politico.com as a “slow-bleed” antiwar strategy. The surge is the best chance of turning the war around. By hampering it, Democrats will ensure that the war continues to fail, and thus that domestic political support for it plummets to the point where Democrats feel safe in defunding it.
The subconscious logic of their position on the war has thus taken a subtle turn. It used to be that the war had to end because it was a failure; now it must fail so that it can end.
Democrats don’t see this distinction, since they simply believe the war is irretrievably lost. But they still pay laughably unserious lip service to the notion of success. Murtha says there’s no military solution in Iraq, that we can win in Iraq only through the political process — as if it has no effect on the political process whether Shia militias are murdering Sunnis unchecked or laying low to avoid the surge. In a howler, he maintains that if we leave, “al Qaeda’s going to disappear.” Maybe if we spread pixie dust and close our eyes?
President Bush will have no choice but to reject the Murtha restrictions should they reach his desk. But a veto is problematic. As Murtha points out, a veto means that Bush doesn’t get the continued funding for the war. He might have to sign the bill, take the funding and ignore the restrictions as an unconstitutional trespass on his powers. In that event, a cry to impeach him will go up from the increasingly powerful antiwar Left.
The result of the Democrats’ clever gambit could be a constitutional implosion from which no one — certainly not the country — will emerge a winner.
© 2007 by King Features Syndicate
I forgot the 'W' in the first word. Duh!
Well .. while the dems are playing poker .. Bush will be playing chess .. and he never loses.
Some of the troops in Baghdad have put together a site where military members can show support for the mission:
This site was launched about 1 week ago and already has over 500 signatures. I think there is a surge of support starting to happen in the USA for the mission.
Jack Benedict Arnold Murtha working to bring down America.
A soldier and milblogger discusses this article here:
Thanks for the links.
Bring it, Murtha.
Constitutional crisis resolved in a week which will see the Democrats revealed as the traitors they have always been.
Schedule it for the week we take out Izfahan and Natanz and eat al-Sadr's liver with some fava beans and a good chianti.
Roger Hedgecock pointed out what Lincoln did with 18,000 "peace" Democrats--the party of Lincoln should revisit how a president handles the special case of war.
So many congressmen, so few Yuri I. Nosenko Suites.
Just like Vietnam the far left wishes to defund the Iraq war leading to a costly retreat and defeat, followed by a bloodier war engulfing the entire Middle East, not to mention providing a haven for terrorists to conduct more attacks on America and her allies.
Murtha dishonors the uniform he once wore.
His roots in Viet Nam are planted deep in failure. And he knows nothing but how to fail so that is his agenda.
Anything that makes Bush a failure is a DemoRat strategy. Even if it means sacrificing our status as a nation that defends freedom.
Murtha is a political hack.
Some might say it's time to water the tree again.
If you worry the glue, it will never dry.
bump! bump! bump!
Ike Skelton D. Mo., the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and a very well respected proponent of the military, has pledged to make sure the troops have what they need to succeed. He is a big supporter of Gates and Patreas (he clashed often with Rummy). But the best news is that NO BILL that Murtha rams through his subcommittee is immune from change when it reaches the full Armed Services Committee. Sorry Jack and Nancy.
Murtha's plan causes no constitutional crisis, it's not even a strain. IT'S JUST INCREDIBLY STUPID AND DANGEROUS.
"To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;
To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;
To provide and maintain a navy;
To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;
To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress; "
"Well .. while the dems are playing poker .. Bush will be playing chess .. and he never loses."
But, he often surrenders - Medicare part D, No Child Left Behind, government spending, regulation, etc., etc., etc.
It wasn't Bush who "surrendered" - it was the lazy appeasement GOP in the House and Senate who wouldn't get out front and promote and support Bush's programs.
And .. Medicare Part D has been A HUGE SUCCESS - which is why the MSM is not talking about it anymore. And .. No child left behind has shown THE LEFT HAS NOT BEEN TEACHING OUR CHILDREN THE NECESSITIES .. but instead pushing their leftist and homo agenda.
Regulation ..?? What regulation ..?? Evidence please!
I will agree the spending got out of hand .. but it wasn't Bush who was "surrendering" .. it was the House and Senate leadership who did not take control.
Let's blame the real problem instead of just Bashing-Bush which seems to be the easy out for everybody.
I do not consider the creation of any new major entitlement program to be a "smashing success". And, Bush could have vetoed any of those huge budgets, and he didn't.
Promoting Failure - The Army gets the lead out.
Iraq Insurgents Use Chlorine in Bomb Attacks
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