Fighting Talk [John Derbyshire]Here's what the Constitution actually says:
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.
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.