Congress Isn’t Doing Its Job

enator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

Obama is claiming, dubiously, that he has the unilateral authority to fight ISIS. Even if that were true, Drum sees good reason to get Congressional approval:

If Obama is truly serious about not sending combat troops into ISIS-held areas in Iraq, then let’s get a congressional resolution that puts that in writing. Let’s get an authorization for war that spells out a geographical area; puts a limit on US troop deployments; and specifically defines what those troops can do. … It forces the president to explicitly request an escalation and it forces Congress to explicitly authorize his request. At the very least, that prevents a slow, stealthy escalation that flies under the radar of public opinion.

Why Andrew Napolitano wants Congress involved:

[W]ar often has surprise endings and unexpected human, geopolitical, and financial consequences. A debate in Congress will air them. It will assure that the government considers all rational alternatives to war and that the nation is not pushed into a costly and bloody venture with its eyes shut. A congressional debate will compel a written national objective tied to American freedom. A prudent debate will also assure that there will be an end to hostilities determined by congressional consensus and not presidential fiat.

Rand Paul, for one, is speaking up:

“It doesn’t in any way represent what our Constitution dictates nor what our founding fathers intended,” Paul, a likely 2016 presidential contender said on Fox News. “So it is unconstitutional what he’s doing.

“He should have come before a joint session of Congress, laid out his plan—as he did tonight—and then called for an up or down vote on whether or not to authorize to go to war,” Paul added. “I think the President would be more powerful [and] the country would have been more united.”

But Keating won’t be surprised if Obama chooses to go it alone:

It’s certainly valid to argue that just because ISIS have proven themselves to be more Kobe than jayvee, it doesn’t mean that airstrikes in Syria are a prudent policy. And there’s a good debate to be had about the role of Congress in authorizing military action in an age of asymmetrical threats and drone warfare. But let’s not kid ourselves: Shooting first and asking Congress later has become the rule, not the exception.

(Photo: by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)