What happens when the legislature refuses to discharge its constitutionally assigned responsibilities?
“To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle,” George Orwell wrote in 1946. Here’s a corollary: The real scandal in any given system is usually the thing there’s no argument about.
We hear a lot of discussion about executive power and the military these days. The Internet is flooded with discussions of whether President Obama has the authority to send troops to Texas. The true constitutional crisis, however, is not Jade Helm, it’s Inherent Resolve, the so-called war against the Islamic State. I’m not hearing much about that
Almost exactly two years ago, President Obama proclaimed that the national interest required intervention in Syria to punish the Assad government for using chemical weapons against its own people—not only a war crime, but, Obama said, a “red line” for the international community. Shortly afterwards, though, Obama unexpectedly announced that he would first seek congressional authorization. “After careful deliberation, I have decided that the United States should take military action against Syrian regime targets,” he said on August 31, 2013. “Having made my decision as Commander-in-Chief based on what I am convinced is our national security interests, I’m also mindful that I’m the President of the world’s oldest constitutional democracy … And that’s why I’ve made a second decision: I will seek authorization for the use of force from the American people’s representatives in Congress.”