Skip to comments.Jim DeMint votes to end Iraq War
Posted on 12/10/2011 1:46:40 PM PST by rabscuttle385
James Madison, The Father of the Constitution, wrote: In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.
Enabling governments to control the governed has always been easy, as tyranny has long been mankinds default position: Virtually every regime in history has sought to increase its power. Obliging government to control itself has always been the hard part, and nations that value freedom have always tried to place limits on their rulers in recognition of the fact that governors are not always angels.
Most Americans, from the Founding Fathers to the current generation, would likely agree that decisions to wage war are probably the most important decisions our federal government makes. Madison noted that it was a fairly universal truth that the more powerful a governments leaders, the more interest there will be in going to war. The Constitution supposes, what the History of all Governments demonstrates, that the Executive is the branch of power most interested in war, and most prone to it, Madison wrote. [The Constitution] has accordingly with studied care vested the question of war in the Legislature.
Last week, Senator Jim DeMint studied the question of the nine-year-long Iraq War, and decided to end it. I dont mean end the Iraq War in merely the sense that President Obama now advertises bringing the troops home, ending hostilities, etc. Hell, President Obama starts and ends wars all the time (see: Libya) without even the pretension of seeking legal authority. Sen. DeMints support was for something much different and more significant: He voted to end the Iraq War by demanding that the president no longer be able to legally wage it.
The United States hasnt officially declared war since World War II. Korea, Vietnam, Somalia, Afghanistan none of these were wars officially, though the men and women who fought in them might beg to differ. President Bush took us to war with Iraq in 2003 in the same extra-constitutional manner: He went to Congress to get authorization, but still both Congress and the president apparently thought that the Iraq War wasnt important enough to merit an official declaration of war, as the Constitution demands.
When Senator Rand Paul offered an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act last month that would revoke the authorization given to Bush in 2003 regarding Iraq, only three Republican senators joined him: DeMint, Dean Heller of Nevada and moderate Republican Olympia Snowe of Maine. There were plenty of Democrats who voted for Pauls amendment. Of course, there were plenty of Democrats who were against the Iraq War from the beginning, though they were probably not motivated by limited-government considerations.
Sen. DeMint supported the Iraq War. Most Republicans did. Conservatives can now debate whether that support, in retrospect, was justified. But Sen. Pauls amendment was a debate over whether the Iraq War is still justified today. Pauls amendment was also a debate over whether giving the president of the United States carte blanche in Iraq is still justified. Only four Republicans said no.
It is DeMints vote that is the most instructive. Sen. Paul is a tea party champion who has always been upfront about his opposition to the Iraq War. While her vote was commendable, Sen. Snowe is not exactly a guiding light for most Republicans. Sen. Heller probably has the lowest profile of the four. But Sen. DeMint is a conservatives conservative. The right has long followed DeMints lead on most issues. Conservatives need to follow it on Iraq and executive power too.
If the Republican Party has any interest in limited government or the Constitution, the presidents authority to wage war in Iraq must eventually be revoked. As it stands now, this president and any future president will have the power to do whatever he likes militarily in Iraq without so much as consulting Congress. Many Republican members of Congress were rightly miffed that President Obama did not consult them before his recent military action in Libya. As it stands, Congress now gives any president free rein to do the same in Iraq. Forever.
For conservatives to dismiss war and foreign policy as the one area where presidents should have unlimited power is to dismiss the very purpose of our Constitutions system of checks and balances. As Madison recognized, the president should not be entrusted with the power to act unilaterally, especially when it comes to war.
Americans must choose between Madisons understanding of executive power and Obamas. Last month, Sen. Jim DeMint chose Madisons. His fellow conservatives must eventually choose too.
He is correct, now when will he revoke TARP.
Finally a senator with some common sense. This war should never have been started.
Follow Sen. DeMint on Twitter.
Congress gave themsleves an unconstitutional “out” when they passed the War Powers Act in 1973. They did so to limit the Presdient’s ability to commit troops for more than 60 days without their approval. The fact is that Congress already had that ability; its called the “power of the purse”. They can end ANY conflict by withdrawing the funding, but because they don’t want to deal with the political fallout of defunding “the troops”, Congress takes the easy way out. Its all about “checks and balances” and Congress’ “check” was their control of the money. Period!
Yep. No more nation-building!
Go in and kill the terrorists and leave. Period.
DeMint just voted for Iran to take over Iraq.
But I've seen many on FR lately. I guess you can brag about your cowardice if no one knows who you are, eh?
Not talking about DeMint......just the punks and cowards who roam FR these days.....
Good for DeMint.
And I salute Rand Paul for taking this stand.
Libertarians that follow the Paulite version of “foreign policy”. Not conservative, no, but a number of them are on FR.
Therefore, we [Free Republic] wholeheartedly support the Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive strikes on known terrorist states and organizations that are believed to present a clear threat to our freedom or national security.
"We fight them [Islamofacists] over there so we don't have to fight them over here" sounds like a winning strategy to me.
...starts and ends wars all the time (see: Libya) without even the pretension of seeking legal authority. Sen. DeMint's support was for something much different and more significant: He voted to end the Iraq War by demanding that the president no longer be able to legally wage it.
Now that we’ve withdrawn almost everyone we have there...what a brave stand!
I know, I like DeMint, but excuse me while I stifle a yawn.
The only cowards here are the ones who refuse to stand up against illegal, immoral wars of aggression.
The traitors are the ones who think that the U.S. government ought to act as a "global policeman," a role not mentioned anywhere in the Constitution, yet are unwilling to pay for it, in blood or in treasure, and would prefer to send others to die and make others - even the unborn - to pay. Even worse, these traitors leave the back door wide open for foreign invaders, all the while lying to the men and women whom they send to die in strange lands that they are "defending" their families, friends, and communities, when in reality they are being dispatched as mercenaries to serve foreign powers and foreign interests.
The best phrase I've heard describing them is 'liberal tightwads,' but 'cowards' also suits them well.
Refusing to protect this country from its enemies and from danger is the only cowardice here.....
Enjoy your hippie flower fest. :)
Your Senator and his colleague from Kentucky (you know which one I speak of, and it isn’t Mitch McConnell) are real patriots and statesmen.
It’s a darn shame that neither DeMint nor the Paul from Kentucky are running in 2012, but, irrespective of which flip-flopping, soulless statist pig (Gingrich/Romney or Obama) wins, I will sleep soundly knowing that there are actual patriots and statesmen in the Senate actively working to drain the Federal swamp.