Obama, the “Constitutional scholar” vs. Obama the CINC

posted at 10:41 am on August 28, 2013 by Bruce McQuain

As our Nobel Peace Prize winning president heads toward his third war, it’s useful to review his words of the past and compare them to his actions of today.

You may remember this:

[Candidate Obama] responded in writing to a series of questions regarding executive power from Charlie Savage, then of The Boston Globe:

Q. In what circumstances, if any, would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress? (Specifically, what about the strategic bombing of suspected nuclear sites — a situation that does not involve stopping an IMMINENT threat?)

OBAMA:  The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent.;

In those days, Mr. Obama enjoyed passing himself off as a “Constitutional scholar”.  His statement above isn’t equivocal or nuanced.  It’s a statement that clearly claims that what he is about to do as Obama the CINC is not authorized by the Constitution. Yet to watch the White House spin this, not only is he authorized, but he’s entitled to do it whenever he feels it necessary.

By the way, he wasn’t the only one making this argument:

Vice President Joe Biden, who voted for the Iraq War, agreed with Obama.

“The president has no constitutional authority to take this country to war… unless we’re attacked or unless there is proof that we are about to be attacked,” Biden said in 2007.

Biden, then a Democratic senator from Delaware, suggested presidential war-making was an impeachable offense.

Oh my, the “i” word.  I thought only GOPers slung that word around.  Another myth busted.

The point, of course, is that what Candidate Obama said was supposed to indicate how he would do things when he took office.  It was the whole purpose of the question.  To sound the man out about how he would approach a similar situation and what would guide his decision.  It was to let the voting public know where he stood on such matters.

We were all supposed to be convinced by his answer that he’d be guided by the Constitution and would rein in the use of “executive power”.  Subsequent history with Obama and his actions indicates we should believe very little of what the man says.  He has, time and time again, chosen to expand executive power – something he railed against in his candidacy – instead of doing the hard work of persuading and working with Congress to accept his agenda.

This situation with Syria is just more of the same.  The hypocrisy is stunning but really nothing unusual in politics today.  But it does leave one wondering what the man really, honestly believes and what principles guide him when he makes decisions.  At this point, the interim conclusion must be “not much”.

~McQ

Blogging at QandO


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Big deal. Like there are any Republicans who care enough about the integrity of the Constitution to actually do anything about this. Besides, if someone did try, uber-Republican McCain has Obama’s back.

beatcanvas on August 28, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Does anyone truly think that Congress will call him on the use of force without their approval? Heck, I’m sure that before the dust even settles that Congress will have approved, voted on, signed, stamped and delivered the approval wrapped in a nice bow to the WH. All retroactive of course.

Dr. Frank Enstine on August 28, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Quoting Obama is racist.

rob verdi on August 28, 2013 at 10:49 AM

Constitutional scholar was all hagiography. And yes, many things that he has done are impeachable, but it will take a huge body count or Obama making a faux pas about a celebrity for the media to notice.

mwbri on August 28, 2013 at 10:49 AM

They don’t even take away his credit card for going over the limit, Dr. Frank. There’s no way they have the balls to call him on something important like killing Americans (or letting Ambassadors be killed).

Wino on August 28, 2013 at 10:50 AM

But it does leave one wondering what the man really, honestly believes and what principles guide him when he makes decisions.

Obamunism

TarheelBen on August 28, 2013 at 10:53 AM

beatcanvas on August 28, 2013 at 10:47 AM

I hear, and I would like the Rs to be tougher, but Issa has tried and tried and it is either a yawn or vilification of Issa by the media. Until there is a preface cascade against Obama from the media, impeachment is not going anywhere. They would rather show Bobby Rush desecrating the House floor wearing a hoodie in honor of St. Trayvon. That is the media we have.

mwbri on August 28, 2013 at 10:54 AM

But it does leave one wondering what the man really, honestly believes and what principles guide him when he makes decisions.

Not really, it’s politics 24/7. If it weren’t, Valerie Jarrett would be out of a job and evolving wouldn’t be necessary.

antipc on August 28, 2013 at 10:55 AM

He’s authorized to do whatever he wants under the Enabling Act.

….oh,,wait!

wolly4321 on August 28, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Okay, we all know these guys are liars. I’m sick of people spending their time and energy regurgitating past quotes because they are never held accountable for anything they say. I want to know what Congress is going to do about it. They certainly have enough evidence to impeach this guy.

lea on August 28, 2013 at 10:56 AM

He was never a “Constitutional scholar.” He was a lecturer in constitutional law at U. Chicago Law School. Meaning he had a day job, and would come in to recite the conventional interpretation of various Supreme Court cases. “Scholar” implies someone who does original research — going back and reading the actual Founding Fathers’ writings, as well as those who influenced them. He’s done none of that, and quite frankly is contemptuous of the Constitution. He did not take his Oath of Office in good faith.

rbj on August 28, 2013 at 10:56 AM

I opposed invading Iraq and I oppose bombing Syria. You may not agree with me but I am consistent.

PS: I am not a pacifist nor an isolationist.

myiq2xu on August 28, 2013 at 10:58 AM

He has no choice. He is bound and compelled to exercise the Clinton strategy of shooting a few camels in the butt then declaring victory.

rplat on August 28, 2013 at 10:58 AM

OBAMA: The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

Until there was me. The boy king narcissist in chief.

Bmore on August 28, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Of course the elitist Baron Obama liked the magna carta when he (and his fellow liberal courtiers) wasn’t King but now that he’s King this rule of law thing is kind of a drag.

gwelf on August 28, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Bruce, Bruce, Bruce… don’t you know that Ed frowns upon people pointing out the hypocrisy of the left?

Shame on you.

Midas on August 28, 2013 at 10:59 AM

He did not take his Oath of Office in good faith.

Yep, he took that oath with a degree of mental reservation.

mwbri on August 28, 2013 at 11:00 AM

He was a lecturer in constitutional law at U. Chicago Law School.

He taught elective classes that are not tested on the bar exam, like “Race and the law”.

myiq2xu on August 28, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Obamunism

TarheelBen on August 28, 2013 at 10:53 AM

This.

Roughly translated to: Whatever will help me politically at any given minute.

dogsoldier on August 28, 2013 at 11:00 AM

I opposed invading Iraq and I oppose bombing Syria. You may not agree with me but I am consistent.

PS: I am not a pacifist nor an isolationist.

myiq2xu on August 28, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Only consistent in terms of opposing it no matter what the situation is – and there is no consistency between the two scenarios.

The US had an interest – and the Democrats agreed, by the way – in doing something about Iraq. There is no national interest in doing something in Syria; and it’s worse there because no matter what we do, we’re aiding very bad actors – there are no good guys in that scenario. Syria is a lose-lose proposition for the US.

Midas on August 28, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Did anyone notice the absolutism and swiftness in declaring Assad used chemical weapons? If only that absolutism and timeliness would be used with the IRS, Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the NSA, eavesdropping on journalists’ phones, etc.

mwbri on August 28, 2013 at 11:03 AM

Your arguments are moot. He will use the Syrian Electronic Army attack on an American institution The New York Times as a pretext to punish Syria. All in keeping with the War Powers Act.

meci on August 28, 2013 at 11:03 AM

But it does leave one wondering what the man really, honestly believes and what principles guide him when he makes decisions. At this point, the interim conclusion must be “not much”.

Take note, GOP. You want my vote in 2016, you better give me someone with principles, and who sticks to them.

I bring this up about GWB often. I disagreed with him on numerous issues. Same with my former Governor, Mitch Daniels. But with both men, you know where they stood. They told you what they wanted to do, and then they did it.

The simple truth? While I’d prefer a truuuuuuuuuue conservative candidate, I’ll even tolerate a squish, as long as s/he’s a consistent squish and I know where s/he stands.

You have this misguided notion of electability. What makes someone on the right electable is being someone who sticks to their principles.

Sorry, Marco…your 15 minutes are up.

Chris of Rights on August 28, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Everything King Barry says has an expiration date.

GarandFan on August 28, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Crickets from the lsm
Kudos for to henry for bringing it up with Jay

cmsinaz on August 28, 2013 at 11:10 AM

If I remember correctly, Joe Biden didn’t “suggest” it was an impeachable offense, he insisted it was an impeachable offense. Repeatedly. And he was claiming to be a “constitutional scholar” at the time too.

Fred 2 on August 28, 2013 at 11:12 AM

The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

The guy who said this is only doing so because he’s trying to undermine a black preznit.

I’m pretty tired of these KKK rodeo clown types subverting the power of the POTUS at every opportunity.

Bishop on August 28, 2013 at 11:20 AM

Verbaluce and Libfree….where for art thou?

Bishop on August 28, 2013 at 11:22 AM

Nothing but a sock puppet. A lying, marxist, dog-eating sock puppet.

HiJack on August 28, 2013 at 11:23 AM

Verbaluce and Libfree….where for art thou?

Bishop on August 28, 2013 at 11:22 AM

Fetal position and crying. We all know they don’t embarrass.

Bmore on August 28, 2013 at 11:23 AM

Spot on dog soldier

cmsinaz on August 28, 2013 at 11:27 AM

OBAMA: The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

I think that he’s honest here. Left unsaid, but self-evident in other speeches at the time, he would fundamentally transform the US. To do that he wouldn’t put himself under the constitution so mush as stand on it literally. But we knew that as early as his first few acts after taking office. I have the painting to prove that as my screensaver for years now with all the former presidents behind him in various poses of dismay or glee depending on their view of the constitution.

AH_C on August 28, 2013 at 11:35 AM

The words “constitutional scholar” appearing anywhere near the word Obama in the same week is rather offensive. He plays golf a lot, but he is hardly a golfer. He plays basketball, but I saw him miss 21 close in shots in a row. He claims to be a lawyer, but I doubt he knows the difference between a tort and a tart.

Windsweeping on August 28, 2013 at 11:36 AM

I believe that George Bush would have bombed Iran and eliminated their nuclear capability, had the Democrats not tied his hands. Between the Valerie Plame incident, code Pink with their “Bush lied and people died” mantra, and the Democrats constantly claiming that Iraq was Bush’s war, all of this, by the way, for political gain. Now comes “their” President and they’re utterly silent on the subject.

bflat879 on August 28, 2013 at 11:40 AM

What is the West’s real agenda? This is the unasked and unanswered question.

Clearly, the US, UK, and French governments, which have displayed continuously their support for dictatorial regimes that serve their purposes, are not the least disturbed by dictatorships. They brand Assad a dictator as a means of demonizing him for the ill-informed Western masses. But Washington, UK, and France support any number of dictatorial regimes, such as the ones in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and now the military dictatorship in Egypt that is ruthlessly killing Egyptians without any Western government speaking of invading Egypt for “killing its own people.”

Clearly also, the forthcoming Western attack on Syria has nothing whatsoever to do with bringing “freedom and democracy” to Syria any more than freedom and democracy were reasons for the attacks on Iraq and Libya, neither of which gained any “freedom and democracy.”

The Western attack on Syria is unrelated to human rights, justice or any of the high sounding causes with which the West cloaks its criminality.

The Western media, and least of all the American presstitutes, never ask Obama, Cameron, or Hollande what the real agenda is. It is difficult to believe than any reporter is sufficiently stupid or gullible to believe that the agenda is bringing “freedom and democracy” to Syria or punishing Assad for allegedly using chemical weapons against murderous thugs trying to overthrow the Syrian government.

Of course, the question wouldn’t be answered if asked. But the act of asking it would help make the public aware that more is afoot than meets the eye. Originally, the excuse for Washington’s wars was to keep Americans safe from terrorists. Now Washington is endeavoring to turn Syria over to jihad terrorists by helping them to overthrow the secular, non-terrorist Assad government.

What is the agenda behind Washington’s support of terrorism?

roflmmfao

donabernathy on August 28, 2013 at 11:45 AM

The boy king narcissist in chief.

Bmore on August 28, 2013 at 10:58 AM

RAAAAAAAAAACIST!!11!

Valkyriepundit on August 28, 2013 at 11:49 AM

I hear bandanas and tie-dyed shirts are selling out as the Libs ready themselves to head to the streets and protest….oh wait, we have a (D) at the White House….carry on….

hillsoftx on August 28, 2013 at 11:49 AM

He was never a “Constitutional scholar.” He was a lecturer in constitutional law at U. Chicago Law School. Meaning he had a day job, and would come in to recite the conventional interpretation of various Supreme Court cases. “Scholar” implies someone who does original research — going back and reading the actual Founding Fathers’ writings, as well as those who influenced them. He’s done none of that, and quite frankly is contemptuous of the Constitution. He did not take his Oath of Office in good faith.

rbj on August 28, 2013 at 10:56 AM

I don’t know, I would have to say that some of his interpretations of the constitution since he was elected have been pretty ‘original’… Does that make him a ‘Scholar’ by your definition??

azblondie on August 28, 2013 at 12:11 PM

Obama is a scholar of the Constitution like Stalin is a scholar on liberty. They know how to bring it down.

petefrt on August 28, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Constitutional scholar, President Barack Obama, stated: “57 states.”

HiJack on August 28, 2013 at 12:23 PM

For this President, it’s always the ‘ends justifying the means’….

Athos on August 28, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Valkyriepundit on August 28, 2013 at 11:49 AM

So I have been told my entire life. I guess I should mention that to some of my loved ones. ; )

Bmore on August 28, 2013 at 12:30 PM

But it does leave one wondering what the man really, honestly believes and what principles guide him when he makes decisions.

Revenge. Whatever the crackers are for he’s against. “Amen,” his followers exclaim — even the crackers (truly amazing).

RobertMN on August 28, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Three words that should never be used together in a sentence: Obama, Constitutional, and scholar.

Tater Salad on August 28, 2013 at 12:34 PM

But it does leave one wondering what the man really, honestly believes and what principles guide him when he makes decisions.

Let me be clear, the man makes no decisions without his handlers being involved. Sock puppet. The guy is nothing but a sock puppet. He came from nowhere, got his education paid for by who knows who, and he has had everything handed to him by either hook or crook. He couldn’t even decide which foot to put which sock on without his handlers being present. In fact, his mommy, I mean his wife, most likely dresses him every morning.

HiJack on August 28, 2013 at 12:42 PM

Yep, he took that oath with a degree of mental reservation.

mwbri on August 28, 2013 at 11:00 AM

…and purpose of evasion.

freedomfirst on August 28, 2013 at 12:50 PM

I could have sworn that I remember hearing candidate Obama say that we should meet with these nations and that he would during his first year in office? So Mr. Nobel Peace Prize is going to bomb them instead of meet with them.

Not that I think we need to talk to them or bomb them, but it goes to show you that he was willing to say anything to get elected and re-elected.

Where is the press to hold his feet to the fire?

tommer74 on August 28, 2013 at 12:51 PM

Constitution deconstruction scholar. Original theories and practice in rendering the constitution moot.

AH_C on August 28, 2013 at 12:52 PM

His statement above isn’t equivocal or nuanced.

Neither is Hillary’s. The GOP needs to stow this article away for future usage.

2. In what circumstances, if any, would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress? (Specifically, what about the strategic bombing of suspected nuclear sites — a situation that does not involve stopping an IMMINENT threat?)

The President has the solemn duty to defend our Nation. If the country is under truly imminent threat of attack, of course the President must take appropriate action to defend us. At the same time, the Constitution requires Congress to authorize war. I do not believe that the President can take military action – including any kind of strategic bombing – against Iran without congressional authorization. That is why I have supported legislation to bar President Bush from doing so and that is also why I think it is irresponsible to suggest, as some have recently, that anything Congress already has enacted provides that authority.

They should also note Biden’s remarks, which I put on another thread.

Presidential hopeful Delaware Sen. Joe Biden stated unequivocally that he will move to impeach President Bush if he bombs Iran without first gaining congressional approval.

“The president has no authority to unilaterally attack Iran, and if he does, as Foreign Relations Committee chairman, I will move to impeach,” said Biden, whose words were followed by a raucous applause from the local audience.

Patriot Vet on August 28, 2013 at 12:57 PM

but I doubt he knows the difference between a tort and a tart.

Windsweeping on August 28, 2013 at 11:36 AM

Or between a torte and a tort,for that matter.

totherightofthem on August 28, 2013 at 1:11 PM

His position evolved, you see.

spiritof61 on August 28, 2013 at 1:49 PM

Putting aside Quaid’s snark, Obama is a complete dope and knows nothing (worth knowing) about the constitution. Chicago hired him to lecture to dopey law school freshmen for race cache … not because he possessed any intellectual qualifications. “Harvard Law Review” and “black” were the only words they needed to hear.

Obama has been an affirmative action hire in every position he’s ever had. And affirmative action promotes incompetance, as we all know.

Jaibones on August 28, 2013 at 9:30 PM

McQuain…sorry.

Jaibones on August 28, 2013 at 9:31 PM