Inquiring Minds Want To Know

Last year, when President Obama was mulling limited air strikes to punish Syria’s chemical weapons use, he stopped and decided it would need a Congressional vote. (I was critical.)

imagesNow we are doing air strikes in Iraq, which seems a bigger and open-ended effort, and even sending (dare say it) boots on the ground. Yet there is no whisper about any Congressional vote.

Can someone explain this to me?

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3 Responses to “Inquiring Minds Want To Know”

  1. Andrew Semeiks Says:

    Congress, notably the Republicans, has not spoken out for political reasons. Now, Obama owns this involvement and regardless how it turns out the Republicans will hammer Obama, and the Democrats, for Presidential constitutional overreach and/or for a weak and failed foreign policy. Politically there is no realistic way that the President can win in this adventure unless he passes ownership to the Congress.

    President Obama at first was inexperienced and now he is simply inept. He should go to Congress for their approval for this new military involvement in Iraq. Actually, constitutionally he must. He should go to Congress to get their support, and through them the support of the American people. This would show true leadership. He should also do this for politically smart reasons, to give him cover if things go wrong, and to hammer those who were opposed when things go right. He should also ask Congress for funding for this mission and additional taxes on the wealthy, who most benefit, to pay for it, again to his political benefit. Politics cannot be separated from governing and Obama has not shown many political smarts.

  2. Andrew Semeiks Says:

    Note that the President cannot even define who we are fighting in this new initiative. Is it ISIS, ISIL, or simply the Islamic State. Regardless, he is letting the opponents define who they are and so give them legitimacy.

  3. rationaloptimist Says:

    Thanks for your comments, rather longer than my original post. Actually, the President is NOT required to go to Congress for authorization on this, pursuant to the War Powers Act. He is required to notify them within a certain length of time. (The same was true re Syria.) Being serious, this differs from the Syria case because here, swift action was critical. I am not actually opposed to it; and sometimes a president should act without looking over his shoulder at Congress or the politics. My real point in the post, actually, was just to needle the President, yet again, for his handling of the Syria thing last year — which, as time goes on, is shown to have been even more stupidly disastrous than I thought at the time.

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