Accountability: Congress should take back its constitutionally mandated role in making military policy

Despite Newsweek's silly cover story this week on The Post-Imperial Presidency (for starters, Newsweek might look at plans for military expansion in Africa, the takeover of air facilities in Columbia, the exponential growth of our military presence on Guam, Obama's increase by many multiples in the use of pilotless aircraft in the undeclared invasion of Pakistan, the grotesque $680 billion 2010 DOD budget, the tens of billions of dollars in war funding Congress is poised to pass quickly this session, and the additional supplemental spending bill that will arrive early next year to support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan...), there really was some hope last year that, if he became president, Barack Obama would rein in the abuses of power that get tarted up in the rhetoric of unitary executive theory.

On the more limited matter of war making, in this video The Nation's political correspondent John Nichols "sheds light on the American founding principle that presidents cannot define the debate about wars -- and reminds us that it is up to Congress, not the Commander-in-Chief, to set the debate and the terms of war." As the White House pursues its escalation of the war in Afghanistan, Nichols points out, Congress can still do its duty, starting with support for a sensible "war surtax" that will make the wealthiest Americans pay more so that the cost of the war is covered by concurrent revenues.

See, also: Grijalva Pushes to Block War Funding (AfterDowningStreet.Org 2009-12-08, reprinted from Roll Call)

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails