Friday, August 30, 2013

Congress, call your office (and find your spines!)

Oh, the irony.  We colonials threw out the British in part over the idea of 'no taxation without representation.'  A couple centuries later, their Parliament seems more responsive on the question of war and peace than our own:
In a humiliating defeat for the British leader likely to damage Cameron's hopes of being re-elected in 2015 and set back traditionally strong U.S.-UK relations, parliament defied Cameron by 285 to 272 votes.
Commentators said it was the first time a British prime minister had lost a vote on war since 1782, when parliament effectively conceded American independence by voting against further fighting to crush the colony's rebellion.
The British Parliament spent Thursday slugging it out over Syria. The U.S. Congress stayed away. For the fourth straight week.
If you want a rousing debate over whether the United States should launch a military strike against the Syrian regime, you’ll have to head overseas or surf the Internet and find a British site.
“In Great Britain, Prime Minister David Cameron has called the House of Commons home from vacation to deliberate over the use of force in Syria,” said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, while “in Washington, D.C., crickets are chirping.”

Read more here:

Of course, our own Dear Leader still believes he can light the fuse, with or without our British cousins.  He just needs to make up his own mind, apparently:
“The views of Congress are important to the President’s decision-making process,” the White House said in a statement after the call, “and we will continue to engage with Members as the President reaches a decision on the appropriate U.S. response to the Syrian government’s violation of international norms against the use of chemical weapons.”

Important?  Under our long-neglected, shredded Constitution, the President DOES NOT GET TO DECIDE whether the country goes to war!  In his role as 'commander in chief,' (which refers to only the military, not the nation as a whole!), the President is permitted to respond to attacks and imminent threats.  Syria falls in neither category

This condescending, "thank you for your input" attitude toward the legislature is illustrative of this Administration.  Unless Congress strongly asserts their authority, we might as well concede the crossing of the Rubicon, where we have rule by the First Citizen, not a republic of the people.

Congress, you've been AWOL on the budget for years, now.  If you can't be roused to action by the question of war or peace, why do we bother to have you?

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