War Powers or More Powers for Pelosi?
January 09, 2020
Just because you're elected to Congress doesn't mean you understand the Constitution. Back in 2011, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute was shocked to find out that less than half of America's elected officials could name the three branches of government. Nine years later, not much has changed. Today's Democrats still don't understand the difference between the executive branch and legislative branch -- or they'd stop trying to tell Donald Trump how to do his job. The president doesn't need a permission slip from Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to run the military. But based on the debate over this week's War Powers Resolution, that's news to her.
There's a reason the framers didn't put a committee in charge of the military. They wanted a civilian leader who could make quick decisions with the trust of the people. After some debate, they settled on the president. And for 228 years, that was just fine with Democrats. Now, with Donald Trump in the chair, they've changed their minds. They don't want the White House responding to national security threats. They want to be consulted first. Even with American lives on the line.
Iranian General Qasem Soleimani was responsible for the deaths of 608 Americans -- that's 17 percent of all U.S. casualties in Iraq from 2004-2011. But that wasn't the end of his bloodshed. Just last week, militants tried to storm our embassy -- all, Rep. Don Bacon (R-Nebr.) pointed out, at the hands of the general this president eliminated. "We warned [Iran] last month," he said on "Washington Watch." "We've been warning them all the way through. 'You attack our forces in Iraq -- we will fight back. And who better to do the actual person who is in charge?"
According to Pelosi: House Democrats. Echoing her army of extremists, who will oppose anything this president does -- including protecting U.S. lives -- she barked that the strike that killed Soleimani was "provocative and disproportionate." "We killed the guy who killed 608 Americans," Bacon fired back. "And she calls it 'disproportionate?' What does she need? Another 100 Americans killed? Another thousand? At what point is it proportionate to take out the guy who's killing Americans?"
The last thing we should be telling the president of the United States, any president of the United States, is that he can't act on the intelligence he has. Donald Trump is the head of our armed forces -- and as much as Democrats despise it, the same power that gave Barack Obama the authority to hunt down Osama bin Laden gave him the power to take out Soleimani. But unfortunately, the Trump administration can't even sneeze in the Left's direction without House Democrats opening a formal investigation. Under the resolution they're proposing now, Donald Trump would literally be required "to consult with Congress 'in every possible instance' before introducing United States Armed Forces into hostilities."
That's absolutely absurd. Especially, Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Mo.) argues, when he's dealing with a nation committed to exterminating people around the world. "In my judgment, Iran is the most serious military threat on the globe to the United States of America. And the reason I say that is because Iran is seeking military weaponry that puts them in an exclusive club. That club that has nuclear weapons and the missile systems needed to deliver them to various parts of the planet. And what has kept the peace amongst nuclear powers on the planet over the decades has been something called the mutually assured destruction doctrine. If we attack you, you attack us... It [would be], in effect, suicide to launch a first strike... It's a deterrent."
Let's not forget, he went on, the $150-plus billion dollars that Obama gave Iran in the so-called nuclear deal "was used build up the weaponry that's [killing] people in the Middle East [including American soldiers]... I don't believe that the current path that the United States is on is adequate -- and the world is on -- is adequate to stop the Iranians from doing what they believe [Allah] has commanded them to do... I hope that Iran will understand that we are serious under President Trump and that we will fight back -- which is unlike what any [previous] president in our country has been doing over the last 15 to 20 years, and perhaps their knowledge that we will fight back, at least in the short term, will force Iran to be a more reasonable and a more peaceful nation on Earth."
In the meantime, House Democrats seem intent on leaving America vulnerable just so they can pursue their personal vendetta against Trump. "Soleimani was a proper target regardless of the evidence that any new attack was imminent," NRO's Andrew McCarthy insists. "...This is not a close call. We are talking about one of the most notorious mass-murderers of Americans on the planet, the top combatant commander of the regime that proudly tells the world its motto is 'Death to America.' Why would we want to raise an abstruse question that would make eliminating such a monster more difficult?" Politics, that's why. Selfish, extremist, 2020 politics -- which, provides yet another defining contrast.
Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.