WAR POWERS ACT

President Obama is defending himself from critics who charge he violated the War Powers Act by providing aid to Libyan rebels. Conservative Republicans critics are up in arms at actions of a president of the United States who claims there is a threat to our security and then dispatches American troops to deal with the problem. Of course, these same Republican “critics” hailed Republican President George Bush for invading Iraq on grounds it contained WMD that posed a threat to our national security. In other words, when Republican presidents invade countries–Afghanistan, Iraq, Grenada– Republican conservatives are supportive and charge those raising alarm at these actions are not “loyal Americans.” I assume the critics now believe they are not “loyal Americans” because they refuse to support the president of the US.

The central complaint about President Barack Obama is his failure to create a new spirit within the Executive branch of government. He should have presented a rationale to Congress, asked for their support, and developed the idea of an Executive who works with the legislature to handle foreign policy issues. Of course, if the US was actually invaded the Executive has the right and responsibility to take immediate action without approval of Congress. That was NOT the issue in Libya.

Barack Obama is now charging whistle blowers with revealing secrets, he is expanding FBI powers to engage in surveillance, and now he wants even more power for the Executive. We need a powerful Executive, but we need limits to its powers. That is the essence of a democratic society.

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