Rand Paul Calls For Congress To Demand War Powers Authorization . . . John McCain Says Paul Is “Wrong” and Alone In The Senate

I have been discussing how the Congress is again willfully ignoring its constitutional duty on the declaration of war as our intervention in Syria expands.  Democratic leaders like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have fallen over each other to praise the attacks even though Congress never authorized the action.  Hillary Clinton was calling for attacks in Syria just hours before the attack, as she did in Iraq, Libya and other past conflicts.  The United States just attacked a foreign nation that had not attacked the United States.  It was done with little consultation and no authorization from Congress.  However, as with prior wars, the attacks remain politically popular so Congress is silent with the exception of a few members like Sen. Rand Paul.  Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) however has gone further to denounce Paul as simply “wrong” and virtually mock him as a nonentity in calling for such congressional authority.  He is alone in the Senate, McCain insisted, in his demand that Congress fulfill its Article I duties. It is a sad moment for those who believe in a textualist or formalist approach to constitutional powers.  All of those textualists who proudly embraced Neil Gorsuch are now apparently living constitutionalists as the subject turns to yet another war.

James Madison once said “the executive is the department of power most distinguished by its propensity to war: hence it is the practice of all states, in proportion as they are free, to disarm this propensity of its influence.” As shown by the Syrian strikes (and passivity of Congress) wars are popular and can bring accolades to “strong leaders.”  However, our politicians have shown that it is not simply the executive branch that is “most distinguished by its propensity to war” but also the legislative branch.  Politicians however want to enjoy the popularity of wars without shouldering the responsibility should the war go badly. Thus, few of our hundreds of military interventions have been the result of declarations or even specific authorizations.

 McCain, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, refused to even respond to Paul’s principled demand for congressional authorization by saying “I don’t really react to Sen. Paul.”  He added that Paul “doesn’t have any real influence in the United States Senate . . . I don’t pay any attention frankly to what Sen. Paul says.”

The same might be said about what Article I says.

245 thoughts on “Rand Paul Calls For Congress To Demand War Powers Authorization . . . John McCain Says Paul Is “Wrong” and Alone In The Senate

  1. Rand Paul on his worst day is 100 times the intellect John McCain ever was. There is a reason Trump and others have gotten away with calling McCain a Coward, it sticks. Edward Alvarez longest held Prisoner in Hanoi and author of Chained Eagle (His Time as Prisoner) had to be bought off with the position of Head of the VA in an agreement not to derail McCain’s Presidential Bid.

    • “Relax, ” said the night man,
      “We are programmed to receive.
      You can check-out any time you like,
      But you can never leave.”

  2. Oh yes he can! Now it’s being claimed Assad used White Phosphorus. Just in time, I’d say. What was going to be the excuse for the next (already planned in advance) bombings?

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-09/isis-attacks-us-led-base-southern-syria-assad-said-use-white-phosphorus

    P.S. You know who uses white phosphorus? We do. The Saudi’s do. We aren’t bombing them or ourselves yet. What is wrong? Some lives are more equal than others. Gosh, it almost makes me think there is no real concern for dead children.

  3. https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/04/09/sen-graham-assad-saying-f-you-to-trump-by-flying-from-bombed/22032671/

    “Here’s what I think Assad’s telling Trump by flying from this base: ‘F you,'” Graham said on “Meet The Press.” “And I think he’s making a huge mistake. Because if you’re an adversary of the United States and you don’t worry about what Trump may do on any given day, then you’re crazy.”

    (Article continues with the following)

    Graham said he supports the president’s decision to order the strikes, but wants to see more from the administration on Syria.

    “I’m glad Trump did this. He is no longer Obama in the eyes of our enemies but he needs to do more to close the deal. There’s a new sheriff in town,” Graham said.

  4. Roscoe – unless the Tomahawks are dropping leaflets, nobody is going to be able to read the advertising on the side of a Tomahawk. It was used by the British at the beginning of WWII, when they dropped leaflets on the Germans, rather than bombs. That was during the Sitzkreig.

    • “Roscoe – unless the Tomahawks are dropping leaflets, nobody is going to be able to read the advertising on the side of a Tomahawk.”

      That is correct on the receiving side.

      But on the launch side it would be different.

      Much like the NFL, first we would have the national anthem, then an on camera review of the players – I mean the cruize missiles – interview with the commanders and then the dramatic launch.

      I think the idea may have legs, not to mention support when our legislatures figure our how much this kind of advertising might reduce the deficit.

      I think this may be an idea we just cannot afford to pass up.

      The only question in my mind is where we are going to find 16 opponents a year.

      Well … I guess I will leave that question to the politicians = I am sure they will think of something.

    • Paul, Damn arrogant Brits. If they (and France) had formed an alliance with Russia early on to fight Hitler the war could have been averted – and the US wouldn’t have been dragged into it. But then, as now there is too much money to be made off war by the MIC and banks. And history is repeating itself.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/3223834/Stalin-planned-to-send-a-million-troops-to-stop-Hitler-if-Britain-and-France-agreed-pact.html

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