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Crazy republicans.

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mucha mosaic

Crazy republicans.

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mucha mosaic
So I just stumbled over this in an attempt to learn constitutional law about declaring war. I know that this is a job reserved to the Congress of the US, but I wasn't sure exactly how this hung together.
I threw 'Congress declare war' into Google, as an initial search, and found, as the first result,
Congressman Ron Paul (R, Texas), whining about how Congress wouldn't declare war on Iraq and were violating the Constitution by not doing so.

My favorite part is the opening sentence:
Two weeks ago, during a hearing in the House International Relations committee, I attempted to force the committee to follow the Constitution and vote to declare war with Iraq.
Re-read that.
'follow the Constitution and... declare war with Iraq'.

because the Constitution does say 'in the event of a terrorist attack, the Congress of the United States shall declare war on a country that nobody likes very much, within a span of no greater than one and a half years', right?
I mean shit, I play loose and fast with interpretation of Constitutional law- I'm not a rigid interpreter by any stretch- but I don't think I see anything in the Constitution that says 'the Congress will declare war on Iraq'.
And the weirdest part? The pseudo-libertarian rantings about the UN taking over.

Hey Texans: d'you guys LIKE electing the deranged or something?
  • Wanna know the funny thing? He's insane. But he's also in part correct, though for drastically wrong reasons.

    The Constitution provides the US Presidency the authority to deploy the US Armed forces to take part in a conflict, but for no longer than 90 days without a Congressional vote. If that vote yields a 'No' on going to war, the forces MUST be immediately recalled. Not some of the forces, not with an 'exit strategy' - a total withdrawl.

    However, since the Korean war, the US presidency has made a habit of getting around that by calling deployment for 'assistance' or 'aid' purposes, because it's a 'police action' or some other verbal window dressing to avoid the vote.

    Did you know Congress never officially declared war against Vietnam? Which is why it's often referred to as the Vietnam Conflict...

    Retarded, I know. But true.
  • Thank you for posting the research; I'd been meaning to look into that myself. I mean, I knew we hadn't "declared war" since something like Korea, if that - wait, wasn't Korea a police action too? - but hadn't done the checking.

    And I think there is seriously something in the tapwater of Texas. It's probably something to do with the oil and the pollution.

    Now if only somebody could somehow get Congress to vote against war! But no, it doesn't work like that. They can call a war, but they apparently can't stop the president from having a couple of police actions every term.

    What I wish I knew is the legal definition of "war" and where "police action" or whatever stops. I mean, what does GWB get to do if it IS a war that he hasn't already done? Draft people? Stop loss in the military - wait, we're doing that - pushing weird shit through Congress - wait, done that - so what's left? Censorship? Rationing? Does he get to give the troops special ribbons? I seem to recall that the armed forces have made a few adjustments to their "in time of war" definition so that all these "police action" vets actually qualify for "wartime" benefits, medals and so on.

    If there's nothing to stop the Prez from doing whatever he wants but not getting to call it a "war" in name, then there's a serious loophole there. Sadly, I don't see people fixing that one any time soon.

    (Although knitting has taught me ways to fix loopholes, and the idea of a giant crochet hook coming down from the sky to give El Shrub a giant wedgie is very appealing.)
    • Korea was indeed a 'police action'.
      • so... that's no "war" since World War II?

        I seem to be trying to be surprised at this, and I should know better.

        I now feel ten times sorrier for Korean vets. What a shafting they got! Korea - The Forgotten War they call it, but nobody else has gotten to have a 'war' since then either, and now it's become status quo to have not-wars.

        Except the War on Drugs, Poverty, Porn, and so on ad nauseam. (Yes, Ashcroft declared a War on Pornography. Yeehaw.)
        • I want congress to force Ashcroft to unilaterally withdrawal all troops from any front in the War On Pornography.
          • From the article I saw, it did seem as if Ashcroft was serious about it, but it also seemed like a great assignment for single FBI guys - hey, I get to surf porn at work all day! As long as they don't actually do much of anything in this 'war', I'm okay with it.
  • t. rev

    You're letting your kneejerk hatred of Republicans lead you to a completely stupid misreading of the facts. Again.

    Paul's anti-war. Paul was fucking with the administration from the right. Pushing the constitutional requirement that Congress, not the executive branch, has to declare war is a way of a) throwing up another obstacle in the administration's path (albeit a minor one), and b) opposing the power of the executive branch on general principles.
    • Re: t. rev

      You're letting your kneejerk hatred of Republicans lead you to a completely stupid misreading of the facts. (insert facts here).

      Thank you! It's better to be wrong and have someone point it out than to be wrong and just run around being wrong.
  • Hey Texans: d'you guys LIKE electing the deranged or something?
    As a matter of fact, yes. Yes, we do. For a rather long time, it was the only form of entertainment in the state. Lots of folks outside of Texas know The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas as a screwball comedy with Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds. The movie was based on a play, though, which was a political satire.

    Y'see, the Chicken Ranch (the eponymous bordello) was on the way from Austin, where the Statehouse is, to Houston, where all the good bars and restaurants are. It was a convenient stopping place, and ended up as one of the places where the actual work of the Lege got done. The bars in Houston being the others. The Statehouse was for speechifying.

    As you might imagine, wacky hijinks ensued. Alas, the Chicken Ranch is no more. Which probably explains many of the current issues we have with our Lege.

    Besides, if we didn't elect morons and lunatics, what would Ms. Ivins have to write about? :)

    p.s. The anonymous gentlebeing is correct; the Congressman, while undeniably insane, (he got elected by Texans, didn't he?) was trying to make the Bushies look bad by forcing Congress to, as we said in the Old Country, shit or get off the pot. Alas, that trick hasn't worked in decades.
  • We've really never gotten out of a state of conflict with Iraq since 1991. That's why we had airplanes flying over Iraq enforcing a 'no-fly zone'-- why else would we not want a soverign country putting up airplanes in their own airspace?
    • Very true, though we have had the support of others in dealing with the situation until recently.
      BTW: a friend of mine pointed something out to me that seemed to play into something we both seem to morbidly like poking at. Adultery isn't covered by the Constitution of the United States, and perjury is only an appropriate description of false testimony given in a court of law, legally speaking, which didn't happen in this matter. So.. what crime was Bill Clinton impeached for? Because I can't find an answer to that.
      • As I recall, Paula Jones had a civil suit against Clinton (sexual harassment), and she made claim 'blah' in the suit, and Clinton gave testimony under oath that said 'not blah', but it turned out later that 'blah' was true after all. I don't remember any more of the details than that. Paula Jones's suit was thrown out, but when 'blah' was found later to be true, that got Kenneth Starr's attention (he was investigating Whitewater originally, IIRC), and that started the whole ball rolling.

        Now that I think about it, I think 'blah' had something to do with whether or not Clinton had had sexual relations with anyone else (other than Hillary, of course). I think that's how Lewinsky got dragged into it.
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