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Will Obama go to Congress before attacking Syria?
Hotair ^ | 08/27/2013 | Ed Morrissey

Posted on 08/27/2013 9:07:17 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

The answer to that question is … probably not. Despite all of the handwringing by Democrats in the last administration about “imperial presidencies,” Barack Obama has exercised military powers unilaterally, especially in Libya, which was a war against Moammar Qaddafi in all but name. Based on the responses from the White House late yesterday, we can expect more of the same regarding Syria:

Carney also downplayed a role for Congress in reviewing or approving any strike plan. “I’m not going to speculate about a [presidential] decision that has not been made,” he said.

“I’m not going to itemize calls … [but] we are consulting with members of Congress,” he said.

Even less surprisingly, Obama will bypass the UN. Neil Munro notes that Obama criticized George W. Bush for not waiting for UN approval to invade Iraq, but the actions under consideration for Syria likely fall far short of a ground assault:

The use of chemical weapons is “a clear violation of an international norm,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday.

But the international norm was adopted by “a vast majority of nations … since World War I,” Carney said.

He did not say the norm was endorsed or enforced the U.N.

When asked by a reporter about the U.N.’s role, Carney punted.

“You’re getting in to a hypothetical about a decision that has not been made. … The president is consulting with the international community,” said Carney, pointedly omitting the U.N.

The UN issue just reflects a certain amount of hypocrisy, and is the lesser concern. The US has not ceded sovereignty to the UN; it is just a platform for multilateral diplomacy, albeit the most prominent. Bypassing Congress on the use of military force is another matter. The executive has the power to use military power for a limited time through the War Powers Act, which was meant for an emergency where national security is a concern, although the WPA has been used to justify all sorts of interventions over the last 30-plus years.

Libya certainly didn’t qualify as an emergency in regard to our own national security, and neither does Syria. The Libya intervention should have been instructive to Obama, too. Originally hailed as a success when the Qaddafi regime collapsed, it has turned into an utter disaster. We unleashed our enemies in the war on terror and provided them a failed state with which to launch offensives throughout Northern Africa. Spreading the political responsibility for that kind of risk would have been helpful, just as Congressional authorization for invading Iraq was for Bush when the war turned sour in 2006-7. And Congress would almost certainly have provided bipartisan cover for Obama on Libya in the spring of 2011 had he asked for it.

The same is true here on Syria, although perhaps somewhat less so after getting the high hand from Obama on Libya. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) thinks Congressional approval would get his colleagues to take foreign policy a little more seriously, too:

Monday, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the ranking member of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, said he hoped Obama would seek congressional permission before he acted in the region. Corker also confirmed that he was in communication with security advisers at the White House who were weighing their options for military intervention in Syria.

“They do not need an authorization, but I do hope they will come for one,” Corker said Monday during an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “If you look at foreign policy over the last long period of time, Congress has gotten a pass on all of these issues and the debate in Washington to me can be almost sophomoric and silly because we are not taking ownership over these decisions.”

The War Powers Resolution allows Obama to intervene in a conflict without a formal vote by Congress, but the law does require the president to get approval to stay engaged after a maximum of 90 days. Despite that, presidents have not always gone to Congress for approval after that time frame.

The WPA says 60 day, not 90; the additional 30 are for withdrawal if the President declines to consult Congress. The only two Presidents to my memory who didn’t go to Congress by that time are Obama and Bill Clinton, in Kosovo.

The White House is mulling over a plan that would involve at least a couple of days of combat against a nation which has not attacked the US, nor represents a direct threat to us at the moment. Unlike the initial rationalization about the use of force against Libya, there isn’t a ticking clock on such action to save a population from massacre. The White House has no excuse to eschew Congressional approval that would almost certainly be immediately granted to punish Syria for the use of chemical weapons, assuming that the strike was punitive, limited, and not designed to hand Syria over to al-Qaeda. Not only is there no excuse for not seeking Congressional approval, it’s political malpractice not to seek it, especially with intervention polling so poorly among Americans at the moment. Frankly, the go-it-alone strategy is inexplicable.

Update: The always-insightful Michael Ramirez offers his thoughts on this for the Investors Business Daily editorial cartoon today:

ramirez-branches

Also, be sure to check out Ramirez’ terrific collection of his works: Everyone Has the Right to My Opinion, which covers the entire breadth of Ramirez’ career, and it gives fascinating look at political history. Read my review here, and watch my interviews with Ramirez here and here. And don’t forget to check out the entire Investors.com site, which has now incorporated all of the former IBD Editorials, while individual investors still exist.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: china; congress; iran; lebanon; obama; randsconcerntrolls; syria; turkey; warpowersact
And if Obama by-passes Congress totally and unilaterally attacked Syria, what will Congress do?
1 posted on 08/27/2013 9:07:17 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

No reason not to. There’s no emergency and a Congressional resolution would give his plans a fig leaf of legitimacy.


2 posted on 08/27/2013 9:09:25 AM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: SeekAndFind

The whole thing is psychotic. Brit Hume’s tweet on twitter really nails it.

Brit Hume @brithume

UN weapons inspectors mission is only to find out IF chemical weapons used but NOT who used them. Are you kidding me?


3 posted on 08/27/2013 9:10:02 AM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: SeekAndFind

What ever he does it’s a sure bet it will be wrong his record of five years proves it.


4 posted on 08/27/2013 9:10:18 AM PDT by Vaduz
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To: cripplecreek

RE: UN weapons inspectors mission is only to find out IF chemical weapons used but NOT who used them.

So, who the heck is Obama planning to attack if we don’t yet know who used them?


5 posted on 08/27/2013 9:12:00 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

NO as the Dictator he will do what ever he wants to help the Muslim brotherhood take over the middle east and eventually Israel.


6 posted on 08/27/2013 9:12:48 AM PDT by ncfool (Obama's aMeriKa 2012 The land of entitlement for the 51% crowd.)
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To: SeekAndFind

What’s Congress?


7 posted on 08/27/2013 9:12:58 AM PDT by LucianOfSamasota (Tanstaafl - its not just for breakfast anymore...)
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To: SeekAndFind
So, who the heck is Obama planning to attack if we don’t yet know who used them?

What difference would that make? He just wants to look manly.

8 posted on 08/27/2013 9:13:36 AM PDT by Standing Wolf (No tyrant should ever be allowed to die of natural causes.)
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To: Standing Wolf

His wife looks a lot more manly than he does.


9 posted on 08/27/2013 9:15:38 AM PDT by chris37 (Heartless.)
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To: Standing Wolf

Then he needs to buy some new pants.


10 posted on 08/27/2013 9:15:44 AM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: SeekAndFind

Its like performing an autopsy to determine that someone is dead but not bothering to find out why.


11 posted on 08/27/2013 9:17:26 AM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: SeekAndFind
“They do not need an authorization, but I do hope they will come for one,” Corker said

My wrist goes limp just reading this.

12 posted on 08/27/2013 9:17:59 AM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: Standing Wolf

Obama already went to congress. His aide spoke with Boehner.

That’s good enough for POTUS.


13 posted on 08/27/2013 9:19:02 AM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (Make today a great day. Insult a liberal.)
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To: SeekAndFind
who the heck is Obama planning to attack if we don’t yet know who used them?

The Republicans, silly.

Haven't you noticed the pattern the last five years?

14 posted on 08/27/2013 9:20:51 AM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: SeekAndFind

0bama must think we’re stupid enough to believe Assad would use chemical weapons. The ‘rebels’ using chem on their own people in order to get the U.S. and Britain to fight their war for them is a good trade off, actually. Most of those ‘dead kids’ shown in photos aren’t really dead, either.


15 posted on 08/27/2013 9:21:19 AM PDT by CivilWarBrewing
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To: SeekAndFind

He needs no ones approval. He is The Chosen One. /sar


16 posted on 08/27/2013 9:21:32 AM PDT by animal172 (Calling Thomas Jefferson)
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To: SeekAndFind

Just trying to distract the American people from the “phony” scandals.


17 posted on 08/27/2013 9:23:04 AM PDT by Redleg Duke ("Madison, Wisconsin is 30 square miles surrounded by reality.", L. S. Dryfus)
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To: SeekAndFind
The sophomoric president is wagging the dog without a plan for what is going to happen next.

Every one of his schemes have backfired.

18 posted on 08/27/2013 9:23:48 AM PDT by oldbrowser (We have a rogue government in Washington)
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To: SeekAndFind

when will the left comdemn this coming war? Will Bruce Springsteen sing about in concert? Where are the anti-war folks? (crickets chirping)


19 posted on 08/27/2013 9:24:42 AM PDT by Blue Turtle
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To: ncfool
NO as the Dictator he will do what ever he wants to help the Muslim brotherhood take over the middle east and eventually Israel.

Absolutely & the Duma will follow in step. Go after these thugs that ruined this nation, Putin.

20 posted on 08/27/2013 9:26:04 AM PDT by Digger
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To: SeekAndFind

Of course we will kill some civilians....they are ALL civilians.


21 posted on 08/27/2013 9:31:24 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: SeekAndFind

He might as well. Congress has been blackmailed into submission. barry can do whatever the hell valerie pleases.


22 posted on 08/27/2013 9:36:03 AM PDT by Old Yeller (Who am I to judge homosexuals? That's what the Tony Awards are for.)
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To: oldbrowser
Every one of his schemes have backfired.

Every one of his schemes has worked splendidly ... for him and the barbarians on the other end of his BlackBerry.

23 posted on 08/27/2013 9:40:04 AM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: SeekAndFind

But what does Valerie Jarrett say about this?

The red line...

Now, is this “red line” the final one, or is a new one being drawn even as we consider the implications of what the famed John F. Kerry (who served in Viet Nam, you know) had said concerning the seriousness of the infraction?

Madeleine Albright had more clout as Secretary of State.


24 posted on 08/27/2013 9:40:16 AM PDT by alloysteel (Unattended children will be given a Red Bull and a free Kazoo. Reminds me of Congress...)
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To: SeekAndFind

Obama would make a really good Bond villan.


25 posted on 08/27/2013 9:48:29 AM PDT by Vince Ferrer
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To: SeekAndFind
 photo wagthedog_zps63a0b0be.jpg
26 posted on 08/27/2013 9:49:18 AM PDT by RetSignman (Standing my ground against group think.)
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To: SeekAndFind
“I’m not going to itemize calls … [but] we are consulting with members of Congress,” ("Sideshow" Carney) said.

Translation: "We're coordinating with McLame and Grahamnesty for the media propaganda blitz."

27 posted on 08/27/2013 9:56:29 AM PDT by TigersEye ("No man left behind" is more than an Army Ranger credo it's the character of America.)
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To: oldbrowser




This Message Not Approved by the NSA



28 posted on 08/27/2013 10:11:41 AM PDT by MeshugeMikey (Block Captain..Tyranny Response Team / al-Kilab Division)
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To: Vince Ferrer
il poochay?



This Message Not Approved by the NSA



29 posted on 08/27/2013 10:13:15 AM PDT by MeshugeMikey (Block Captain..Tyranny Response Team / al-Kilab Division)
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To: SeekAndFind
And if Obama by-passes Congress totally and unilaterally attacked Syria, what will Congress do?

The scum sucking dirt bags will join him in his perfidious treachery.

30 posted on 08/27/2013 10:14:27 AM PDT by Mark17 (Yesterday I couldn't spell it. Today I are one, a creepy a$$ cracker)
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To: EQAndyBuzz
Obama already went to congress. His aide spoke with Boehner.
That’s good enough for POTUS.

That's outrageous enough, EQAndyBuzz, but here's what's worse: it's probably good enough for our elected misrepresentatives in Congress, too.

31 posted on 08/27/2013 11:57:09 AM PDT by Standing Wolf (No tyrant should ever be allowed to die of natural causes.)
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To: SeekAndFind

“Will Obama go to Congress before attacking Syria?”

Is that by Martha’s Vineyard?


32 posted on 08/27/2013 12:00:14 PM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: cripplecreek
UN weapons inspectors mission is only to find out IF chemical weapons used but NOT who used them. Are you kidding me?

They are absolutely sure that chemical weapons were used and fairly sure Assad was responsible. That doesn't seem to be a high level of certainty.

33 posted on 08/27/2013 12:24:15 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Kill Obamacare not wound it.)
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To: CivilWarBrewing
Most of those ‘dead kids’ shown in photos aren’t really dead, either.

There is a history of this type of theater by Islamic fighters.

34 posted on 08/27/2013 12:28:57 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Kill Obamacare not wound it.)
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To: Vince Ferrer
Obama would make a really good Bond villain.

You know he'll be playing spades when the balloon goes up.

35 posted on 08/27/2013 12:34:22 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Kill Obamacare not wound it.)
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To: ncfool

Short answer: NO Why should he?


36 posted on 08/27/2013 1:17:46 PM PDT by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll)
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37 posted on 08/27/2013 7:03:19 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's no coincidence that some "conservatives" echo the hard left.)
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