Monday, May 23, 2011

Obama's Lawlessness: "What War Powers Act?"

This past Friday was day 60 of our involvement in the questionable "rebels" in Libya and their fight against Libyan dictator Qaddafi.

Instead of addressing this issue, Obama has jetted off to Europe, regardless of the fact he is now fighting an illegal war and again breaking the oath he was sworn to uphold (Washington Examiner).
President Obama launched a U.S. war in Libya two months ago with no congressional approval. Under the Constitution and under the War Powers Act, which allows the president to wage defensive wars for up to 60 days without prior approval, Obama probably broke the law.
Now that 60 days have passed since the United States joined the hostilities, Obama's war is more clearly illegal. But nobody should expect this to matter to a president with a long record of disregarding legal and constitutional limits on presidential and federal power.

...Barack Obama ran against this imperial mind-set. On war powers, he said, "The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation."

More broadly, he declared, "No more ignoring the law when it's inconvenient. That is not who we are. . . . . We will again set an example for the world that the law is not subject to the whims of stubborn rulers."

Now that he's president, Obama apparently believes the inverse: Stubborn rulers should not be subject to the whims of the law.

We shouldn't be surprised, considering the truth behind the observation from a character in Robert Frost's poem "Build Soil": "[W]hat are wars but politics transformed from chronic to acute and bloody?" Obama is waging war the same way he has waged politics.

Obama in 2009 threw out bankruptcy law and precedent when he handed ownership of Chrysler to his political patrons, the United Auto Workers, publicly and privately threatening the creditors who objected.

Obama's National Labor Relations Board has gotten in the game by blocking Boeing from making its jets at its new factory in South Carolina.

This administration regularly flouts and bends its own ethics rules. Lobbyists fresh from Google and Goldman Sachs came to the White House and helped craft policies directly affecting their former employers -- sometimes in concert with their old lobbyist colleagues. H&R Block's chief executive officer joined the administration and drafted tax-preparation regulations that help H&R Block.

More importantly, Obama seems to regard the Constitution's limits as quaint. We see it in his rhetoric and his actions.

"There are some who question the scale of our ambitions," Obama said in his inaugural address, "Who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans." About these "cynics," Obama responded: "The ground has shifted beneath them .... the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply." One such "stale political argument" checking politicians' "ambitions" is apparently the notion that the federal executive's powers are limited and enumerated.
If we had a Congress that was really concerned about the rule of law, this should mean one thing: impeachment and removal from office.

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