Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Respectfully, Senator Specter, shut the hell up...

...if you don't know what you're talking about. From CNN.com:

A Senate Republican on Tuesday directly challenged President Bush's declaration that "I am the decision-maker" on issues of war.

"I would suggest respectfully to the president that he is not the sole decider," Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pennsylvania, said during a hearing on Congress' war powers amid an increasingly harsh debate over Iraq war policy. "The decider is a shared and joint responsibility," Specter said.
Unfortunately, it appears that the Senator has never read the Constitution of the United States.

Well, let's give him a refresher. Article I, Section 8:
The Congress shall have power [...]

To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;
Article II, Section 2:
The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States;
In case you didn't follow that, Congress has the right to declare war and the President has command of the troops. In other words, the President determines the strategy.

Now, obviously presidential war power is not cut-and-dry, and Congress has long tried to secure more power than was initially granted by the Constitution (The War Powers Act comes to mind, and while I believe it to be unconstitutional it is the law of the land). Not since the Revolutionary War, however, has Congress tried to exert power over the way a war is conducted. They can choose to authorize it or not and they can choose to fund it or not—but trying to weigh in on military strategy is quite clearly beyond their power.

Perhaps Senator Specter should read the book listed above, as it might clear some thigns up for him—I'd be happy to send him my copy.


Pam said...

Specter is a joke. And you are correct in saying that it is not the "shared, joint" responsibility Specter and his pals are prattling about.

Dave Justus said...

While I disagree with Specter on what should be done, I don't totally disagree with him on how it should be decided.

While I certainly agree that the President has ultimate authority, at the same time he should take Legislative opinion into account, if for no other reason then if he fails to do so enough, he could force the legislature to simply stop funding with potentially disasterous results. Ideally, the Legislature should not feel that the only choice they have is to be totally on irrellevent unless they cut funding, that would be a poor situation for all of us.

Now, I happen to think that Bush has in fact listened and worked with the legislature here, so that is not an issue in my opinion.

Wyatt Earp said...

Of course, if the Dems were so against the war as they claim, they can cut off funding immediately. Curious that they have not yet done so.

And if I can paraphrase the Dixie Chicks, I am ashamed that Specter comes from my state.