This column presents facts regarding the United States Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Wisconsin State Constitution, and various other documents in reference to modern topics. Mark hopes to encourage interest in those works so that others can consider whether our government is practicing within its constitutional limits. In the last category, he may indicate his opinion. Mark is a resident of New Berlin. Readers are encouraged to visit the following sites for more information on the United States Constitution and Thomas Jefferson's views on politics and government.
According to FoxNews.com, September 6, 2013
As on-the-record opposition mounts on Capitol Hill to a Syria strike and President Obama prepares to make his case directly to the American people, the big question hanging over the stand-off is: If Congress votes "no," will the president go ahead with a military strike anyway?
The president and his aides are sending out conflicting messages. Reflecting the air of uncertainty around the whole Syria operation, both Obama and a top spokeswoman on Friday appeared to walk back the comments of a key adviser who suggested Obama would back down if Congress votes "no."
But the White House, in the end, left the door open a crack for the president to proceed with a strike even without congressional approval.
"There is no change in our position. As the president has said, he has the authority to act, but his intention is to do so with the approval of the Congress," National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said.
In what initially appeared to be a concession to the authority of Congress, Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken said Friday morning that the president did not intend to act without lawmakers' support.
"The president of course has the authority to act but it's neither his desire nor his intention to use that authority absent Congress backing him," he said on NPR's "Morning Edition."
The President vs. The Constitution
The Constitution: Article 1 - Section 8 (excerpts)-
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
We the People:
The clash that the president seeks is not just a “targeted military action” or “to send a message”. Attacking another country with military force is an act of war. Would it not be so if Syria fired missiles that could reach an east-coast city of the United States?
A Congressional declaration of war is a Constitutional compelling prerequisite according to Article 1, Section 8. Executing according to the will of Congress is not just a ceremonial courtesy. When President Obama addresses the people on television this Tuesday, listen for which article and section of the Constitution he claims gives him authority to declare war. But do not hold your breath – he will not be able to reference something that is not there.
The Obama Administration believes that the Assad regime should lose power for violating international norms. I believe a president should lose power for violating the U.S. Constitution. If the circumstances emerge, will the members of Congress have the patriotism and courage to enforce check and balances?