Decider Watch

Muravchik makes the neocon case for total presidential power:

Only strikes against Iran's nuclear facilities can forestall these terrible scenarios. This would not require a "declaration of war," an antiquated concept that has not been employed since World War II and rarely before. We would send no troops, conquer no land. Rather, we would act in pre-emptive self-defense.

At stake are supreme issues of national safety. The president alone, as Alexander Hamilton said, is positioned to operate with "decision, activity, secrecy, and dispatch." Of course, Congress can block presidential action, but in this case, most members will be satisfied to stand clear and let the president do what must be done.

I love the idea that the extremely clear Constitutional insistence that only Congress has the right to declare war is now "antiquated." Since when did the Founders believe that one co-equal branch of government should "stand clear" on a matter as fundamental as launching a war with unknowable consequences, possibly unleashing a wave of Islamist terror against the West, and shoring up one of the viler regimes in the Middle East? And why does such a war against the territory of another sovereign country require, at this point, "secrecy and dispatch"? Isn't it obvious that there are plans for attacking Iran? And after the last several years of diplomacy, sanctions and war, how can anyone talk with a straight face of "dispatch"?