Victor Davis Hanson dings the president for failing to go to Congress before going to war against Libya:
One can argue about the need for consultation with Congress before using major military force. Most of us think the requirement is essential, with ample constitutional support. But the question takes on new dimensions if the commander-in-chief is a progressive, antiwar, Nobel Peace Prize--winning politician whose political career was predicated on demanding just such congressional oversight of presidential war powers -- and his vice president has strutted and boasted that he would impeach a president for doing just this sort of preemptive bombing against a Middle East country that poses no immediate threat to U.S. security.
Elsewhere at The Corner, John Yoo backs the president:
The Constitution does not give Congress the dominant hand in war, the Declare War Clause notwithstanding.
I love that last sub-clause. The Libya case is an interesting one because of the need for dispatch, as events on the ground made a Congressional debate moot. But to my mind, that kind of emergency decision is precisely the moment when deliberation is necessary. Deciding war in a rush and in secret is normally not a good idea. And Obama did not have to act urgently to save American lives or vital interests. He had to act urgently for purely humanitarian reasons.
And so we now have an executive branch claiming powers far, far beyond what the Founders or any prudent constitution would allow. The presidency becomes Angelina Jolie with an air force.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.