Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Bush Esclates, Congress Fumbles

Congress talks about change, but the President continues ignoring the Congress. Ref

Only Congress, not the President, has the power to declare war. Congress has the power to declare the war over, and end all appropriations. The war in Iraq was never a lawful war; what was not lawful can not lawful continue, nor can it legally have started.

"I may not have succeeded in halting the war. But I did secure the right of Parliament to decide on war." -- Robin Cook

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The New Congress is learning the hard way: You may have power, but it is meaningless unless you assert it. There is no reason for the President to respond to Congress when Congress is doing nothing warranting a response. The powers of Congress have been stripped from the table; and Congress is not willing to deny the President the funds he needs to do what Congress does not want: Escalation.

Congress will have to make the President change by assertion all lawful options which We the People delegated to both House of Congress: The power to lawfully impeach, and hold the President to account for illegal conduct, malfeasance, and incompetence.

The way forward is to have an impeachment and for Congress to resolve that the war was not lawful; and that the appropriations for the illegal war will end. The President has no vote in Congress whether he is or is not legally challenged for war crimes. The President has not power to veto an impeachment.

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This President is not going to cooperate. Members of Congress, when they comprehend what they are facing – an alleged war criminal who does not plan to be held to account – may be ready to comprehend what is required.

This President, despite losing control of the Congress, plans to ignore the Congress. Does Congress have options? Indeed, but Members of Congress, when they take impeachment off the table, are asking the President to reciprocate where he is not required.

These are not issues of give and take; but power – that which is not asserted, is checked. The President is doing what the framers intended: To challenge the Congress. Congress, until it responds, can expect to look foolish, especially despite its majority.

To have a position of principle, one must be willing to assert that principle, not just against your peers in Congress, but against those who call themselves commanders and Chiefs will defy the principles in the Constitution.

There is one thing worse than a Congress that is a do-nothing Congress. A Congress, despite having won a majority to oppose the President, fails to organize itself to oppose the President.

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Yes, Congress could shut off funding immediately; but it does not.

Rather than believe the President can keep doing what is not legal; or that he can keep doing something Congress disapproves, Congress has the power to change the definition of what the President is doing. If the war is declared over – putting aside the issue of victory or defeat – Congress has the power to restart the appropriations based on a new authorization or non-authorization to use force. Congress also has the power to conclude that, in the wake of the impeachment, that the president’s actions amounted to fraud, and the original AUMF was not a legal basis for the President to compel action or continued illegal activity: The original evidence and basis for the war was based on fiction; and all Presidential action, legal or not on the back of that resolution and AUMF, are not legal. This is a power Congress alone has the power to enforce or not enforce.

Yes, Congress could vote to impeach right now, but refuses.

Until Congress acts to make the President’s actions in Iraq illegal, the President will not stop. The way forward is to find the conduct illegal, and remove the President from office. Until then, the President has no reason to stop, but whine, “We must support the troops; if you do not support me, and you are not supporting the troops.” Congress has no power to legally support unlawful warfare; nor does Congress have the power to assent to non-sense. It may choose to embrace absurdity, but it is not a legal requirement.

Yes, Congress has the power to prosecute the President for illegally invading Iraq, and using troops for illegal purposes. It does not.

Escalation is impossible if the President is impeached and removed from office. Until Congress declares the President’s conduct illegal – and removes him from office – the President will keep escalating; and Congress, refusing to assert its power, will talk about change, but keep rubber stamping more funds for an escalation that Congress does not supposedly want. Until Congress impeaches the President, it can claim it does not support escalation; but the net result is the Congressional support for an escalation. Until Congress removes the President, the escalation will continue, and the President will claim, “This is to support the troops” without being held accountable for the opposite: That the troops would benefit from a New Commander in Chief.

Congress chooses to talk about opposing the President, but the President ignores them.

Congress is confusing many things as a single package: War crimes, illegal war, the Constitution, the oath, the troops, and the President are not the same. Troops are tools of power; the Constitution is the framework; the President has a reasonability to lawfully conduct combat operations.

The events in Iraq are not combat for warriors, but issues of internal stability and civil war. Combat troops are not designed nor trained for civil wars, only insurgencies and conventions warfare. The President can talk about working with Congress while he openly engages in escalation. That is not cooperation, but defiance; the error is for Congress to not use its legal powers to do the only thing which will stop this President – lawfully removing him from office.

How far will the President go?

As far as the do-nothing 110th Congress is willing to let him go. They have the power, but refuse to assert it.

Time to find new leaders for Congress; and gather the evidence about why member of Congress refuse to check the illegal abuse of power.

We don’t need investigations. We need a New President.