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Forum - GOP's cynical but correct political ploy regarding Libya

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Agent MattPosted: Jun 15, 2011 - 09:21

Genuine American Monster

Level: 70
CS Original

There is no doubt a lot of hypocrisy and political grandstanding going on with Speaker Boehner's demands that the administration explain how its mission in Libya doesn't violate the War Powers Resolution. But I think this is all a good thing. I even agree with this sentiment:

Boehner wrote: “Given the mission you have ordered to the U.S. Armed Forces with respect to Libya and the text of the War Powers Resolution, the House is left to conclude that you have made one of two determinations: either you have concluded the War Powers Resolution does not apply to the mission in Libya, or you have determined the War Powers Resolution is contrary to the Constitution.

“The House, and the American people whom we represent, deserve to know the determination you have made.”

He's given the administration until Friday to provide their legal reasoning, or the House may determine that the administration has violated the law.

This is a case of what's good for the goose is good for the gander. I don't care too much about why the House has suddenly decided to exert its prerogatives; I'm just happy they've finally decided to do it.

The point here is not whether the mission in Libya is morally justifiable. It's not about the wisdom of the mission. It's not about how well the mission is going. The point is that there is a law on the books that defines how the executive branch will behave towards and report to Congress when it decides to use military force abroad. The administration has not followed that law, and they have been unwilling to clearly articulate why they haven't followed it.

It's never good for any group or institution to flout the law with impunity. If the military action in Libya is too limited to qualify as military action under the War Powers Resoultion then the administration needs to explain how they came to that conclusion. And if they don't believe the Resolution is constitutional, then they need to argue that point in court. If the administration thinks that they've complied with the law, they may need to argue that in court, too.

It is not too much to ask for any administration to justify the use of our military in a foreign theater for more than 90 days. If Congress can't be convinced, then that should be the end of the story.

I said the same thing about Kosovo and I'd say the same thing about any Republican president who behaved similarly. Congress is supposed to authorize military action. For too long, they've abandoned their duties. They may have cynical motives for standing up to the president, but they have the right to do so.

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