05 November 2007

The National Pixie Counsel Strikes Back

Of all the dumb things people I disagree with say -- obviously, an innumerable list -- this may be the agonizing nails on the chalkboard worst:
Fighting Talk [John Derbyshire]

David: Is it really correct to call Ron Paul an "anti-war" candidate? He's not against war, which is what "anti-war" means; nor even against this Iraq war, which is what we all suppose it means in today's context. He just thinks that the U.S.A. ought not go to war without a declaration of war from Congress. Which is, after all, what the Constitution says.
Here's what the Constitution actually says:
Article I, Section 8: The Congress shall have power ... To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water.
It does not say that "Congress shall have the power to invoke the powers of our dark Lord by enacting the ritual words of power 'The United States hereby declares war.'" Congress has authorized every war we've been it; it has recognized it, funded it, passed resolutions about it and threatened to walk away from it. It has declared war in every sense but the ritual (other than in five specific cases). When the Framers wanted officials to use a particular form of words, they said so; what they wanted from the war powers clause was to make clear that Congress must agree to our waging a war. When Congress makes clear it does agree, by, say, authorizing the use of force in advance of the war, it is silly and childish to suggest that it hasn't done what the Constitution requires.

3 comments:

Bret said...

Well, we all have our hot buttons, I guess. I can't say that one is very high on my list of annoyances.

jim hamlen said...

I don't recall how Paul voted in 2002, but I wouldn't be the least surprised if he voted in FAVOR (despite his record as a curmudgeon).

If so, did he think he was voting for another disingenuous resolution (like those from the late 90s)?

Would he (and other "purists") feel better if Congress had included the words "This is war and the US military is going to kill bad guys all around the world" in the resolution?

David said...

Jim: Paul was one of six Republicans who voted against the resolution, knowing exactly what it meant.