Golfing While the Constitution Burns

Golfing While the Constitution Burns

Ben Johnson, The White House Watch


When Barack Obama and John Boehner played golf this weekend, they played
on the same team
. How appropriate.

Barack Obama has violated the Constitution’s war-making power – reserved by
Article I, Section 8,
to Congress – from the moment he sent American troops into harm’s way without
Congressional approval. He has been violating the War Powers Resolution since at
least the 60th day of that campaign. And he has violated the most
liberal reading of that act – the one Boehner has adopted as his own – since
this weekend. Yet despite the letter
Boehner authored last week, which the media presented as an “ultimatum,”
Obama has neither obtained Congressional authorization nor removed our troops.
letter weakly supplicated
“I sincerely hope the Administration will
faithfully comply with the War Powers Resolution,” but at least it seemed to set
this weekend as a definitive cut-off point.

The “deadline” has come and gone, and Obama has not answered the most burning
questions of the mission’s legality to anyone’s satisfaction. Instead, the
president has thumbed his nose at Congress in general, Boehner in particular,
and the American people at large, and the Speaker-cum-caddy has made no
meaningful response whatsoever.

Obama insists the American role in Libya is too diminutive to constitute
“hostilities,” so his action is perfectly legal. White House spokesman Jay
Carney repeated
his boss’s party line at Monday’s press conference, stating, “the War Powers
Resolution does not need to be involved because the ‘hostilities’ clause of that
resolution is not met.” However, soldiers in Libya are receiving an additional
a month in “imminent danger pay.”
American drones still rain missiles down
upon military targets. NATO is alternately
Muammar Qaddafi’s home
and killing the innocent Libyan civilians they are
purportedly protecting. (We had to kill the civilians in order to save them?)
NATO admitted (at
) one of its bombs went off target on Sunday, killing
nine civilians in Tripoli
, while allied bombs allegedly killed
15 civilians in Sorman on Monday

Not to worry, though; Defense Secretary Robert Gates said over the weekend,
in a confidence-builder worthy of Churchill, “I think this is
going to end OK.”
Gates, who once
the Libyan adventure, has pulled
a 180
on the matter.

Even Obama’s short-term fellow Illinois Senator, Dick Durbin, agrees
Libya more than rises to the level of hostilities.

So, too, we have learned, do the best legal minds of Obama’s administration
(not a coveted nor much-contested title, I assure you). In overruling
his own lawyers, Obama rejected the
considered conclusions
of Jeh C. Johnson, the Pentagon’s general counsel,
and Caroline Krass, the acting head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal
Counsel (OLC). The New York Times reported
it is “extraordinarily rare” for any president to overrule the OLC. “Under
normal circumstances, the office’s interpretation of the law is legally binding
on the executive branch.”

But then, nothing in the Obama administration transpires under “normal

Two former OLC lawyers outlined precisely how unusual the dismissal was….


Obama, the New Caesar

Obama, the New Caesar

June 17th, 2011

Jeffrey T. Kuhner, The Washington Times

President Obama has crossed the Rubicon. He now believes – and acts – as if
he is above the law; the Constitution no longer applies to him. This is the real
meaning behind the U.S. military intervention in Libya
. Mr. Obama is
abrogating the linchpin of our democracy: the rule of law.

is violating the War Powers Act
. Passed in 1973, the law clearly stipulates
that the commander in chief can only deploy U.S. forces for 60 to 90 days
without congressional approval. He must then receive authorization from
Congress. If he does not, he
is usurping legislative authority
and expanding
the prerogatives of the executive branch
– concentrating power in his
, especially the
most important act of all: war
. In short, by flagrantly
transgressing the War Powers Act
, Mr. Obama
has sparked a constitutional crisis

House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio
Republican, is demanding that the Obama administration explain why it has passed
the deadline
without seeking or getting congressional approval for the
Libyan campaign. The White House’s response: Get lost. The administration sent a
report to lawmakers defending the NATO-led Libyan war. For Mr. Obama, the War
Powers Act does not apply because U.S. forces apparently are not engaged in
“sustained hostilities” with troops loyal to strongman Col. Moammar Gadhafi.
Moreover, U.S. air and missile strikes are only being conducted in a
“supporting” role. Hence, there is no need to have congressional buy-in.

This is postmodern humanitarian interventionism. According to the liberal
apparatchiks in the White House, Mr. Obama can bypass Congress simply by
redefining “hostilities.” War is no longer war. It is whatever Mr. Obama says it
is – or isn’t. George Orwell warned that the perversion of language is the first
step on the dark road to authoritarianism.

Obama’s policy contravenes our national interest, is inept, immoral and
. This is why members of Congress are in open revolt. A bipartisan
group of lawmakers led by Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich, Ohio Democrat, and Rep.
Walter B. Jones, North Carolina Republican, have filed a lawsuit demanding that
the courts force Mr. Obama to end the intervention in Libya. They are right. It
is time Congress reined in an out-of-control administration. There is a growing
alliance between conservative constitutionalists and anti-war liberals…

In addition, the hypocrisy of the liberal establishment is stunning. For
years, progressives, such as Mr. Obama, railed against President George W. Bush.
He was denounced as a “fascist” dictator and compared to Adolf Hitler for his
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “Bush lied, people died,” went the slogan. Yet,
regardless of whether one supported those campaigns or not, Mr. Bush received
congressional authorization…


Save America; Get Outraged

Save America; Get Outraged

April 8th, 2011

Don Feder,

Where’s the outrage?
Given what Barack Obama is doing to the Constitution, the economy and our
future, the American people should be up in arms (metaphorically speaking, civility-hysterics
take note). Citizens should be marching on Washington with pitchforks and
flaming brands in hand (also a metaphor).
Every city should see demonstrations to make the most raucous Tea Party rally
look like Sunday night in Pierre, South Dakota.
Instead, it’s a mental fog as usual. Hey, the unemployment rate is now
(barely) below 9 percent! Wasn’t that a cold winter? Gee, I wonder what zany,
drug-induced thing Charlie
will do next?
So, while America burns, we fiddle with our iPhones and talk about the
upcoming HBO series about vampire bootleggers and Borgias duking it out in
Other than Tea Party activists, the public seems supremely unperturbed by
Obama’s relentless assault on America. The president’s March 21-27 approval
rating was 45 percent. At the same point in their first terms, Clinton’s
approval rating was only three points higher – Reagan’s three points lower. Both
were re-elected, you may recall.
It’s true that since Obama occupied the White House, his
party’s stock
has taken
a nose-dive
– a net
of 9 governorships, 7 Senate seats, and 60 House seats. But there’s no
guarantee that trend will continue.
The leader of the party that whines incessantly about the influence of money
in politics has announced he’ll spend $1 billion to win re-election….
Read more.

Live and Let Die

Live and Let Die

Posted By Nichole Hungerford On February 26, 2011 @ 6:09 am In Daily Mailer, FrontPage | 38 Comments

In his speech on the turmoil in Libya, President Obama used the phrase “international community” three times. He did not say the name “Muammar Qaddafi” once. By the time it was obvious that the dictator was slaughtering his own people, vowing to “cleanse Libya house by house” and “die as a martyr,” President Obama could not muster the fortitude to denounce the Qaddafi regime by name or articulate any action that would prevent the loss of human life. With all that is at his disposal to influence the ending of this bloodshed, the president has opted to allow America to stand by silently on the sidelines and watch the massacre unfold.

The president’s response to Libya was so milquetoast, in fact, that even left-wing MSNBC host Chris Matthews was left longing for a Reagan-esque “evil empire” moment. Even liberal commentator Eugene Robinson was moved to call for U.S. action in his recent column. The tone of the president’s remarks exhibited a bizarre disconnect as well. Notwithstanding the president’s great faith in the opinion of the “international community,” a despot like Qaddafi, who speaks earnestly in terms of political cleansing and martyrdom, surely cannot be rhetorically coerced to end his rampage, and he clearly is not sensitive — to say the least — about the feelings of the “international community.”

But the Obama administration is in the grips of a teachable moment. Since taking office, Obama’s goal has been to demonstrate to the world that the U.S. is a team player. To the Arab world in particular, he has sought to prove that the U.S. is not interested in exerting influence in the region, which is considered the source of Islamist discontent by the Left. This, the administration believes, will assuage anti-American sentiment and Arab belligerence, as the president has intimated over and over again in his overtures to the Muslim world. Now, we are witnessing the catastrophic repercussions of such a destructive posture: America is willing to forsake its unrivaled ability to stop monstrous violations of human rights in order to avoid offending the sensibilities of Islamo-fascists.

To be sure, the U.S. has faced similar decisions before. When a freedom-seeking revolt broke out in Hungary in October of 1956 against the U.S.S.R., the anti-communist rebel forces were led to believed the U.S. would come to their aid. In fact, this is one of the reasons the rebel Hungarians fought so successfully for so long against the Soviets. At various points, victory seemed achievable for the uprising, which would have changed the face of the entire Cold War. But President Eisenhower ultimately abandoned and betrayed the Hungarian freedom fighters — and the rebellion was savagely squashed by the Soviets. It is a regrettable and tragic chapter in Cold War history in general and in American foreign policy in particular.


One exoneration of Eisenhower’s policy that could be pointed to is his fear that an international war could have broken out over Hungary, since a nuclear Soviet Russia was a dangerous reality. For Obama, however, there is no such excuse. Numerous Muslim leaders have themselves denounced Qaddafi for the express reason that he is killing Muslims. Certainly, it is in the interest of protesters across the region that Qaddafi be held accountable, lest other autocrats get the impression that dissent can be crushed with impunity. Furthermore, Qaddafi has virtually no credibility in the international community — the Arab League, the African Union, the European Union, and the Islamic Conference have condemned his actions.

Rather, the inaction toward Libya we are seeing today is more reminiscent of the Left’s shameless reaction (or non-reaction) to the mass slaughter of the Iranian people by the Ayatollah Khomeini during the Islamic Revolution. After the pro-Western Shah of Iran (the Left’s bete-noire) was deposed, the Islamic revolutionary forces oversaw a bloody transfer of power. The silence from the Left on this massacre, which was precipitated by the Carter administration’s unconscionable undermining of the Shah’s regime, was deafening.

But what more could one really expect from the political faith? According to the leftist worldview, the U.S. is largely a pernicious force on the world stage and is the cause for the disdain that it attracts worldwide. This is Obama’s view. At this very moment in Libya, the U.S. could be intervening to support internal pro-Western (and pro-democratic) secular forces, while marginalizing the Islamist faction. Instead, the U.S. will stand by while the Libyan government kills its people, and, therefore, help fertilize the soil in which a more brutal Islamist regime will grow and replace it. This is the historical record of what leftist American administrations do in foreign policy — and we are now witness to the tragic and morbid example in Libya.