Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Bush is completely insane

Two statements made today:
...Bush added to partisan tensions by charging in a veto message sent to Capitol Hill that Democrats were acting out of their constitutional bounds by trying to legislate a troop pullout that would begin this year.

He said the legislation was unconstitutional because "it purports to direct the conduct of the operations of the war in a way that infringes upon the powers vested in the presidency by the Constitution, including as commander in chief of the armed forces."

The Constitution gives Congress authority to approve the U.S. budget and lawmakers in the past have used that power to force changes in foreign policy.

Reid was dismissive.

"For him to talk about something being unconstitutional, that's a little unusual, and I don't want to get into the other things that have been done with this administration which have clearly been unconstitutional," Reid said.

No shit. This is even worse:

"Either we'll succeed, or we won't succeed. And the definition of success as I described is sectarian violence down. Success is not, no violence. There are parts of our own country that have got a certain level of violence to it. But success is a level of violence where the people feel comfortable about living their daily lives. And that's what we're trying to achieve. So, what does that mean?"

From the White House press briefing afterward:

Q: How do you define an acceptable level of violence? I mean, how can that possibly be defined?

MR. SNOW: That's a very good question. I don't have an answer.

Ha, I don't think Tony Snow was prepared for that.

UPDATE: Just like McCain and so many other Republicans who demanded timelines and precipitous troop withdrawals of U.S. troops during military missions in the 90s, Bush did it too.


Xanthippas said...

Well, I suppose it's fair to give Bush some credit for trying to define "success", which up to this point has remained deliberately undefined. Unfortunately, his definition is one that is probably impossible to meet unless we are willing to stay in Iraq for another 10 or 20 years. Which of course shows that he's learned nothing, and refuses to accept the will of Congress, and by extension, the will of a clear majority of Americans.

Julie Pippert said...

What's the goal in Iraq, again?

And this? "...success is a level of violence where the people feel comfortable about living their daily lives."

It should chill my blood but I thought about it further, and well, the US isn't exactly violence free (understatement of the year) so maybe we mean "live as we do" again.

Anyway I'm surprised Bush had any time to define any level of success what with his busy schedule of appearances on things like American Idol so he could somehow take credit for the $70 million the entertainers scrummed up, as if he had any part of it.

Excuse my bitterness. And in a first time comment, no less.

Nice blog. I'll have to bookmark it.

jedi4375 said...

I hate to agree with the President, but Congress does not have the consitutional authoirty to coerce a President into a war plan that is an alternate to the Pentagon plan for success. I don't agree with what Congress is doing today.

The Congress does however have at its disposal a greater weapon. It was given to them for such an occasion.

The Congress can send a clean bill that supports our troops. During that time the can also vote to repeal the War Act passed to give the President authority to commit our troops.

I believe we should go for the jungular and support Congress in repealing the war powers act given to this president by revoking the Authority to go to war.

It has never been done, but constitutionally speaking it is sound and within the frame of checks and balanced that the framers gave in case of a rouge executive branch.

adam said...

The intent of the Constitution is clear: Congress was given the responsibility to determine when we should go to war, and the only time the President can unilaterally commit troops (outside of a delegation of this power by Congress, which is the main cause of our current situation) is if are attacked or in some other situation that constituted imminent danger to the United States. Furthermore, Congress controls the purse strings, so they have every right to require conditions as to how the President can get and may use such appropriations. It is a pretty radical interpretation of the President's "commander-in-chief" role to say that he can unilaterally commit us to indefinite war and Congress doesn't have a role after they give the OK in the first place.

The War Powers Act was passed by Congress during the 70s to codify in statute limitations on how long a president can commit US forces somewhere without Congressional authorization. However, in regards to the war in Iraq, this authorization was given to the President in the Iraq War Resolution passed in October 2002.

Several have suggested repealing this authorization, but this would have no real effect on war policy. The Gulf of Tonkin resolution was revoked yet the Vietnam War continued for 2 more years. Though the end was already set, the last step the Congress took was to indeed prohibit any funds for the continuation of military action in southeast Asia.

Xanthippas said...

I'm pretty much on board with that sentiment. Repealing the authorization is a nice legalism, but it most certainly does not mean that the troops will come home. But the Bush administration has no choice but to respect funding limitations, and Congress have every right under the Constitution to control the general limitations of the war authority they've delegated to the President. Ending the war in Iraq is solely a matter of politics at this point.