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. Congress and the international community better do something right now. Obama, oops, Hilliary, oops I mean Trump, wants war with Syrian and N. Korea. Most of “we the people” do not want these wars. We don’t want to have WWIII. We don’t want our soldiers killed and we don’t want other nation’s people killed.

    What is i t with the oligarchy? They are completely messed up! We have real problems that need immediate attention. They could make money on doing something right for a change, such as building new infrastructure and alternative energy. There’s a desperate need for environmental clean up. Our people need work. Most of us want to live our lives in peace.

    it seems only more death and destruction will satisfy these people. Unfortunately, they own most of the international community and our congress. Trump is the new Obama. This time, at least a large number of his supporters are speaking up against his actions. But I really have no idea why the oligarchy and their minions don’t want to live a good life and contribute their skills to making the world a good place, not a crap pile. It’s just bizarre. Apparently, they are like the emperors of old. They want to preside as head cockroach over the dung pile. Who wants this for their life? Who wants this kind of thing for others? How depraved do you have to be to choose this kind of existence?

    1. Read 51 percent approved of the air strike… So maybe Trump has found a way to improve his standing in the polls. Just sayin…..

      1. I suspect it’s more than just his standing in the polls. He is getting Russia-Gate off his back and the cost to him -in the moment- is just a few scores of innocent lives in Syria. It’s a deal he couldn’t refuse.

        At this point, you will hear little or nothing further about Russia and Trump being in bed together by the main stream media. That will cease all together until and unless Trump tries to pursue his once upon a time (in a land called 350 million born every day) strategy of rapprochement.

      2. Astonishing. I would never have guessed the percentage of naive’ fools was that high.

          1. Sigh, you’re right. I’ve started to forget there was indeed a reason we put Trump in; to keep Obama III out.

    2. I suggest dropping the whole notion of”war”.
      Let’s call it strategic influential targeting. Might as well sell ad space on the munitions while we are at it.
      You know, Tomahawk Cruise missiles brought to you by Viagra. . .
      that kind of thing.

      1. A great idea Roscoe! Might as well have some sponsors. Get more money and really great exposure for corporations!

        Love it!

    3. Jill, re: ” They could make money on doing something right for a change, such as building new infrastructure and alternative energy.” I think COULD is the operative word here – why would they do anything that benefits the peasantry? Like the aristocrats of old they are living in an entirely different world. We don’t even have a decent train system!

      1. Patriot – so, according to you, the BLM are war criminals? That’s a stretch, even for you.

            1. Are they covering up or supporting the propaganda of the wars?
              If yes they are guilty too.
              Have you heard the BLM speak the truth of the wars?

              A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims… but accomplices — George Orwell

              He who does not bellow the truth when he knows the truth makes himself the accomplice of liars and forgers — Charles Péguy

    1. Patriot – you are aware that we have subs off the Russian coast that can wipe out Moscow. That is what Trump brings to the table.

        1. Patriot – cities do not have blood on their hands. However, the fact that you claim not to explain a lot of the conspiracy theories you spout.

  2. The Bedlam here is why you keep coming back, no? You’ve been sprinkled with a magic dust that keeps you coming back for more.

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

  3. It seems in the past I recall Presidents talking with leaders of both sides of Congress prior to action. Things happen so fast now, by the time everyone talked it over the situation would be different. But Rand Paul might considering proposing a time frame from notification to action. Though the President could always do what is best for the country.

    1. The time to do all that is well before hand. One idea for an ‘instant crisis demanding action within the hour etc. is have most of the possibilities gamed out and the steps to take in place. The other is delegation of authority which is another way of saying representative government. Here’s the catch Suppose the system pre-approved, called for two people plus the President. Present Pro Tempore of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House. Whoops ….One of those is Comrade Nancy Pelosi. two of them COULD be Pelosi and Schumer which means the plan would be a white flag above the Stars and Stripes. Obviously I’m doing worst case situation. But if we can have them third and fourth in line for succession AND we include the Vice President for four and one Justice for five ….Well. the question becomes who will leak the pending action first and fastest.

      All that aside the whole point in having a President whose Constitutional authority to act is summed up witha bit of it’s history in the following manner. Pay attention to the first sentence of the first para, center of the second para and center of the third.

      The Constitution vests the President with Executive Power. That power reaches its zenith when wielded to protect national security.[7] And federal courts in the United States must pay proper deference to the Executive in assessing the threats that face the nation.[8] The President is the military’s commander-in-chief; however Article One gives Congress and not the President the exclusive right to declare war. Nevertheless, the power of the president to initiate hostilities has been subject to question.

      According to historian Thomas Woods, “Ever since the Korean War, Article II, Section 2 […] has been interpreted ‘The president has the power to initiate hostilities without consulting Congress’ [….] But what the framers actually meant by that clause was that once war has been declared, it was the President’s responsibility as commander-in-chief to direct the war.

      Alexander Hamilton spoke in such terms when he said that the president, although lacking the power to declare war, would have “the direction of war when authorized or begun.” The president acting alone was authorized only to repel sudden attacks (hence the decision to withhold from him only the power to “declare” war, not to “make” war, which was thought to be a necessary emergency power in case of foreign attack).[9][10] Since World War II, every major military action has been technically a U.S. military operation or a U.N. “police action”, which are deemed legally legitimate by Congress, and various United Nations Resolutions because of decisions such as the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution or the The Resolution of The Congress Providing Authorization for Use of Force In Iraq.

      Time and distance has shrunk.Three elements are now important. Prior Planning, Prior Authority, and Trust.

      For the first time in a long time we have a Vice President who is capable of taking over the job. I won’t say that for McCollum or Rand and especially not for Schumer or Pelosi.

      Picking politicians only gets you politicians and polticians are unsuited to wars. even declarin them. We know this as their inability to accept responsibility for their every tasks is more than apparant – regardless of party.

      The answer? Be careful what you ask for when voting that idiot may be your son and daughters Commander-In-Chief when bullets replace ballots.

  4. I have watched John McCain on tv several times recently and am impressed by his mental ability at his age. I watched Rand Paul just now and was impressed by him. Both guys are thoughtful. They differ in views. But watching their two views on this issue is interesting. I think that we are lucky to have both of them in the Senate.

    1. You may be less impressed by John McCain if you consider his performance in Viet-Nam as a prisoner of war–but perhaps you are too young to remember.

  5. I think Congress benefits from POTUS not asking its consent, because it can support military action as long as it’s popular, and then claim they opposed it if it goes badly.

    I could be wrong, but it’s my understanding that the War Powers granted after 9/11 allows any POTUS to go after Al Qaeda without Congressional approval. For anything else, I think we need to obey the Constitution and get the politicians to take a stand.

    That said, Congress reminds me of the Senate in Star Wars, endlessly mired in debate, denying responsibility, and paralyzed in inaction. Congress needs to get its act together and stop its partisan bickering, and Trump needs to get Congressional approval. Obama having done the same thing, bombing and using drone strikes in country after country without the approval of Congress does not excuse it. We need to rein in the excesses that our people granted Obama and stop an uber Presidency.

    1. “I think Congress benefits from POTUS not asking its consent, because it can support military action as long as it’s popular, and then claim they opposed it if it goes badly. ”

      Yup ! Congress’ major philosophical concept is getting re-elected.

    1. Thanks for the post.
      Sometimes I feel like the Hillary supporters view her like she’s the reincarnate of Juan and Eva Peron and soon will rise from exile to gain her proper place on her throne.

      1. Roscoe, who gives a flying flip what pro HRC establishment dems think? The Demexits and Independents are growing in number and we will not support them. They have steadily lost representation at all levels and still refuse to get a grip. Problem they have with Tulsi is she won’t toe the line. As she has served in combat and is a WOMAN they can’t fling sexism, she’s also a “woman of color” so racism is out AND she is a Hindu to boot. They would love to shut her down.

    1. Roscoe re: “Reid is symptomatic of the disease that is the current Democratic Party” Spot on! they would love to destroy her.

  6. “He who would avoid blame and constituent anger when the gambit fails must avoid tough decisions. Let the guy up the street do it and then take as much credit as possible if it succeeds.”

    ~ Carved on the Frieze above the entrance of the U.S. Capitol

    1. Just a thought:

      “A tyrant…is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.”


      1. Latin America has had since 1885 precisely one interstate war lasting longer than a few weeks. They’ve had no shortage of tyrants in that time. The one war in question was the Chaco War between Bolivia and Paraguay. Bolivia had a constitutional president at the time.

        There haven’t been many interstate wars in Africa since 1960, either, their large population of autocrats notwithstanding.

  7. A lot of comments here. The topic has gotten folks attention. Hurry on down to Viet Nam. Or some dog damn place.

  8. It was all show, Dirtbag Donnie called his buddy Putin in advance, airfields in tack, Syrian planes on them in 24 hours, And Dirtbag Donnie is golfing again.

    1. Trump watched and learned from Barry from Honolulu. Barry from Honolulu knew how to vacation, par-tay, travel the world, and golf. And his sycophantic friends in the MSM let him get away with all of it. If only the MSM did their job when Barry was in office it would have been quite different. But when you are a Progressive and half black. then you are untouchable. As MC Hammer says, ‘Can’t Touch THIS.’ And Obama dam well knows it.

      1. Spot on Bob. Except that Barry is NOT a progressive – he is an Establishment Dem — much like a RINO. Why would the MSM hold Barry accountable since his actions satisfied the banksters and war profiteers who own them? If Trump continues to do what HRC wants him to do then they might lay off him too!

        Love that song – brought back some great memories.

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