The deadline for President Obama to secure congressional authorization for the military operation in Libya went whizzing by Friday without such a vote, fueling lawmakers' concerns that the administration was flouting the law, but the White House insisted it was on solid legal footing...
Asked about the requirements in the law, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney cited the president's ongoing consultation with Congress and claimed his actions "have been and are consistent with the War Powers Resolution." He said the White House would continue to consult with Congress, adding that the administration would "welcome an expression of support" from lawmakers.
But sporadic attempts to cobble together language in support of U.S. intervention so far have not yielded a firm resolution in Congress. The House wasn't even in session this week.
Let's see what the Constitution has to say is the role of the president:
He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States. (boldface mine--Darren)
Agree with the law or not, is he faithfully executing it? Only a partisan can answer that question in the affirmative.
The president has gone beyond buffoon into far more dangerous territory.
Update, 5/21/11: Didn't you just know he'd try to play this reindeer game?
In an effort to satisfy those arguing he needs to seek congressional authorization to continue US military activity in accordance with the War Powers Resolution, President Obama wrote a letter to congressional leaders this afternoon suggesting that the role is now so “limited” he does not need to seek congressional approval.
The last president who tried the "it's not illegal if the president does it" game resigned prior to impeachment.
If the law is unconstitutional, and it could be, then a court should decide that, not the president.
Update #2, 5/25/11: Is the WPA good law?
President Barack Obama has violated the 1973 War Powers Resolution.Good law or not, it is the law.
That is a good thing. The War Powers Resolution was constitutionally dubious when it was passed -- by a Democratic Party-controlled Congress intent on obstructing the powers of a Republican president.
Instead of taking a principled stance against a questionable law, however, President Obama chose to mask his violation with cleverness -- a corrosive, shallow cleverness smacking of the worst in partisan skullduggery.
Too bad. Tackling the War Powers Act would have strengthened the presidency as an institution and reinforced Obama's moral authority.