The Former American Republic

Halfstaff

A milestone is, in a way, a gravestone:

Levin said he would talk to Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid about prospects for getting a vote on a resolution officially authorizing US deployments in support of UN-backed operations in Libya. "The president said he'd welcome it and I think it would be helpful. It'd show public support for the effort. And that's always useful," said Levin, who underlined that a debate would also give voice to congressional opposition.

So the only vote held will be a retroactive attempt to rally behind the president, and happens only after the president has given the go-ahead. Just a reminder:

The Congress shall have the power ...

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

This is a constitution specifically designed to make warfare rare. But we now live in a permanent war, and each time it ebbs, a president comes in to add to the fire. When you have that kind of power, the temptation to use it can be overwhelming. I know that the Congress has ceded its Constitutional responsibilities in this respect to the president in recent times. But the Constitution is clear enough - and has not been amended. And its essential abeyance for so many years is one reason this republic has become an empire; and an empire requires an emperor. If a man like Obama succumbs to this temptation, the ball-game is over.

For those who wanted change after eight years of war in Arab countries, the joke is on us.

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

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