|Chemical Warfare in Syria|
was even used against children.
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host
My friend and co-host on Constitution Radio, Dennis Jackson, has a saying. "For God so Loved the World, he didn't send a committee."
That kind of sentiment is exactly why the Framers of the United States Constitution placed the concept of a separation of powers in the Constitution, as well as a bunch of authorities for the President that do not necessarily require congressional approval.
Don't get me wrong, I don't believe in an overly strong executive. I recognize that, as Article I, Section 1 tells us, all legislative powers belong to Congress, so the President cannot legislate from the White House. There are many things he can only do if legislation exists first regarding particular issues. That's why Executive Order 11030, signed by President Kennedy in 1962, requires that an executive order must contain a ‘citation of authority,’ saying what law it's based on. (Gregory Korte, “Obama issues ‘executive orders by another name’,” USA Today, December 16, 2014; https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/12/16/obama-presidential-memoranda-executive-orders/20191805/ [accessed February 9, 2018])
That said, National Security and the power to "wage war" belong to the President, and to carry out those duties, the President of the United States does not necessarily have to consult with Congress before carrying out those duties.
Seton Motley, who fancies himself a constitutionalist, posted on Facebook,
He then followed up the inaccurate proclamation with,
While I respect the opinions of my fellow Americans, and I am willing to listen to my fellow conservatives about their feelings regarding the unfortunate reality of war, I have real difficulty with their statements when they try to say something is constitutional, or unconstitutional, and do so without having a full understanding of the original intent of the document.
Seton Motley's statement that attacking Syria was completely unconstitutional was, to use his words, titanicallly stupid.
Please understand, my argument is not about if the United States "should" have conducted airstrikes against Syria. My argument is if the Trump administration "could" have conducted airstrikes against Syria.
Mr. Motley's opinion about if Trump "should" have launched airstrikes against Syria largely runs in line with the Founding Fathers' assertion (George Washington's, in particular) warning against "foreign entanglements." The common belief among many of the Framers of the Constitution was that unless necessary to repel an attack, or if it is thought that the country is in eminent danger of attack, military operations should not be engaged.
During the John Adams presidency, when Britain and France were going at it, Vice President Thomas Jefferson desired that the United States get involved, or at least pick sides. Adams disagreed, using the foreign entanglements argument as his defense. From May to July of 1797 President John Adams appointed a peace mission to France in hopes to resolve the issue of American rights as a neutral maritime power during the Anglo-French war. It was the first of two such peace missions. While in the Spring of 1798 President John Adams declared a state of "quasi-war" with France, that ended in October of 1800 at the Convention of Mortefontaine, as did the Franco-American alliance of 1778.
Many people in today's political dialogue, using the "foreign entanglements" argument, will tell you that the power to declare war, listed in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, belongs to Congress for that reason, and the President may only act as Commander in Chief of the U.S. Military with a congressional declaration of war, or if we are directly attacked, or it is believed we will eminently be attacked.
The nice thing about studying the original debates surrounding the Constitutional Convention in 1787, the subsequent State Ratifying Conventions, and other documents from that time period, is that one may act as a sleuth and get to the bottom of the argument to discover what the Founding Fathers really believed, and authorized.
According to Seton Motley,
In response, I asked, "Show me where in the Constitution it says that?" I then added that the Constitution does not state what he claims, and I would prefer he does not claim the Constitution says something that it does not.
Seton Motley responded,
During my debate with Mr. Motley, I was in the middle of performing a number of tasks, including getting out the door for a Holocaust Remembrance event in Murrieta, California, so I was using the verbal function on my smart phone to debate with him. When I said "That is false," as I had earlier on a previous post, this time the auto-correct spelled it out to say "You are false." As you can see from the above Facebook post, Motley jumped all over my, from his point of view, bad grammar.
I responded, explaining that his attack, which basically said if my grammar is not perfect then my argument must not be valid, is a common liberal leftist tactic. The fact is, after over and over asking him where in the Constitution it says what he was claiming it says, he still could not come up with an answer.
Notice, I didn't attack his misspelling of the word "eminently" in an earlier post.
Then, he changed his argument.
He was trying to turn the tables on me. Suddenly, since Mr. Motley realized the Constitution does not say what he claimed, he decided to argue that it doesn't say what I claim it says, either, therefore, my argument must be invalid, and he wins.
Here's my argument in a nutshell. . .
Seton Motley never responded, after that.
-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary