Matthews: Congress needs to “save the President’s hide” by voting for war

posted at 4:01 pm on September 4, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

To be fair, Chris Matthews isn’t actually endorsing this argument, but suggesting that it’s the only reason Democrats have to back up Barack Obama’s demand for military strikes on Syria.  In fact, once you get past the blizzard of colorful analogies Matthews fires off to set up his argument — including a strange compliment to Joe Scarborough for hitting all the “erogenous zones in this fight” in his set-up — Matthews in fact deplores the “wicked” conundrum that Obama has imposed on his party:

“Let’s go all the way down to the final stretch here,” Matthews said. “You’ve got [John] Boehner trying to corral enough votes that he can at least dribble out a few of them, and Pelosi stuck with the challenge of a minority caucus where she has to deliver a majority vote. You’re watching Boehner there dribbling out a few votes here and there, as the clock ticks down to zero, and she has to make up the difference. If you have the Hastert Rule in effect, I don’t think you even have this vote, but apparently it won’t be in effect.”

“So you’ll have minority Republican vote, and Pelosi’s going to have to make up the difference with the minority caucus. She’s going to have to come in with a supermajority of Democrats to support their Democratic president. This is a wicked position they have put her in. Maybe she can meet the standard. But I don’t know whether [Chief of Staff Denis] McDonough and the president walking along the south lawn the other day were thinking about the endgame.”

“I think the Democrats are going to be forced to sacrifice men and women who really, really don’t want to vote for this,” Matthews concluded. “They’re going to have to vote for it to save the president’s hide. That’s a bad position to put your party in.”

That’s not exactly a tingle-fest, and furthermore, Matthews is correct.  This is the credibility argument rather than an argument that strikes would have the intended effect and that our policy is sound and well-applied.  Note well that Matthews didn’t even bother to offer that as an argument for Democrats to support another military intervention, the most unilateral by America since capturing Manuel Noriega from Panama.

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

That’s 2 men that will do anything to stay on TV.

faraway on September 4, 2013 at 4:02 PM

Reuters Top News ‏@Reuters 1m

Senate panel passes authorization for use of military force in Syria http://reut.rs/1a7sR9T
=============================

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/04/us-syria-crisis-usa-vote-idUSBRE9830XG20130904?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter&dlvrit=992637

Reuters Politics ‏@ReutersPolitics 34m

U.S. Senate panel passes authorization for use of military force in Syria by 10-7 vote http://reut.rs/14jsGrg
Retweeted by Reuters Top News
================================

https://twitter.com/Reuters

canopfor on September 4, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Isn’t saying that someone has a “hide” racist? Right?

BJ* on September 4, 2013 at 4:04 PM

F’off, Tingles…

We have to fight the war in order to find out what is in it. Onward to Damascus! Yeeeeaaaaarrrrrrggggghhh!! ->


Senate-crafted Syria resolution riddled with loopholes for Obama

#No2Syria

Resist We Much on September 4, 2013 at 4:06 PM

This is the credibility argument rather than an argument that strikes would have the intended effect and that our policy is sound and well-applied.

Umm WHAT credibility? That was squandered quite some time ago. They’ve all been laughing at barky for years. Now they have him cornered and are poking him with sharp sticks and calling him names. It’s beyond laughingstock. Pure derisive mockery. Enjoy.

Harbingeing on September 4, 2013 at 4:06 PM

This just doesn’t feel right without Jim McDermott traveling to Damascus. Where have you gone Jim McDermott? Assad needs you.

rw on September 4, 2013 at 4:07 PM

Poor tingles

As soon as he goes on air for his show, he’ll change his tune since it just passed in the panel WITH boots on the ground in the resolution

cmsinaz on September 4, 2013 at 4:07 PM

They are merely looking for a distraction from bad news, including Republicans, even if that means some are going to die. They are all loathsome.

rickv404 on September 4, 2013 at 4:07 PM

Wasn’t there a thread with these two duds already?

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2013 at 4:09 PM

Good one Canopfor

cmsinaz on September 4, 2013 at 4:10 PM

erogenous

I saw that word and I had to look it up just to be sure I was seeing what I thought I was seeing. Chris Matthews talking about “erogenous zones” makes me feel kind of ill.

NotCoach on September 4, 2013 at 4:11 PM

What happened to the other Matthews/Joe the Fool thread?

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Can someone please paint “Nancy Pelosi”, “John Dean” and “Senator Barack Obama” on the first 3 missiles launched….and aim ‘em at a baby’s milk factory…

hillsoftx on September 4, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Tweets All / No replies

Reuters Top News ‏@Reuters 5m

Senate panel approves resolution on Syria military strikes http://reut.rs/1a7tDUA
=======================

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/04/us-syria-crisis-usa-idUSBRE98311O20130904?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter&dlvrit=992637

canopfor on September 4, 2013 at 4:13 PM

Ed, can we get the photo of Kerry dining with Assad up. Very nice.

kunegetikos on September 4, 2013 at 4:14 PM

What happened to the other Joe/Matthews thread?

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Got it – here it is

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Who are ones who voted for the senate resolution? I haven’t found a news article who names them. Thanks.

Mirimichi on September 4, 2013 at 4:18 PM

Ed, can we get the photo of Kerry dining with Assad up. Very nice.

kunegetikos on September 4, 2013 at 4:14 PM

Kerry flopped before he flipped.

‘I was for Bashar al-Assad before I was against him.’

- Secretary of State Genghus François Kerry

Resist We Much on September 4, 2013 at 4:18 PM

Operation ObamaEgoFark

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2013 at 4:19 PM

Sure, why not help out the guy who’s been b!tch slapping you for the last five years just for the sake of saving his ego. And when they don’t you’ll have a good reason for labeling them racists.

GFY Chrissie.

antipc on September 4, 2013 at 4:20 PM

This would be hy-lair-ee-us if it weren’t so damn depressing that the U.S. in now just as much a laughingstock as Dreamy McMompants.

tru2tx on September 4, 2013 at 4:20 PM

Matthews understand that Obama has exposed the party. The Democrats have made their nut over the last decade deriding Bush and the GOP for their rush to involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as their prosecution of those wars. Now the Democrats must back this Syrian War because Obama has played all of their political capital. Those who wish to preserve the brand must back Obama’s plan because publicly, the manner Obama has handled Syria and foreign policy in general, looks like the consummate display of ineptitude and bumbling.

Obama’s handling of the Syrian situation has been deliberate. People assume he made a colossal mistake, but I’m inclined to believe that this has been the White House’s plan all along.

If Obama treated Syria the same way he treated Libya there would have been a tremendous hue and cry over his once again bypassing congress to embroil the United States in yet another war in the middle east.

By laying out his ‘red line’, which he knew one side or the other would cross, and waiting for it to be crossed, then, threatening to move unilaterally, insisting that he has the authority to do so, backtracking and then saying he will ask for congressional authorization, Obama forces the Democrats to not only approve a new war, but to push for it on his behalf and the behalf of the party itself, ironically, countermanding their own professed liberal/progressive ideology. Thus, Obama achieves his goal, to involve this nation in a war in Syria with the goal of removing the ruling regime and allowing an organization like the Muslim Brotherhood or Al-Quaeda trained, infiltrated, and sponsored rebels to take over with his own party backing him to the hilt and approving of the war.

This nation pumped trillions of dollars into the Afghanistan economy to date. This nation pumped trillions of dollars into the Iraq economy to date, Egypt has received many millions of financial aid since it’s regime change, which Obama facilitated.

If a president wanted to change the balance of power in the middle east in favor of various Muslim factions while simultaneously pumping vast sums of American tax dollars into the region, all with his own party forced to back his deliberate destabilization of the region and instigation of a new war, it couldn’t have been better managed.

thatsafactjack on September 4, 2013 at 4:21 PM

Senate committee votes for resolution authorizing use of force in Syria

Ten senators voted in favor the resolution: Seven Democrats — Chairman Bob Menendez, Sens. Barbara Boxer, Jeanne Shaheen, Tim Kaine, Ben Cardin, Chris Coons and Dick Durbin; and three Republicans — Sens. Bob Corker, Jeff Flake and John McCain.

Republican Sens. Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ron Johnson, John Barrasso and James Risch voted against the resolution, and were joined by Democratic Sens. Tom Udall and Chris Murphy.

Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts — who took the seat of former committee Chairman John Kerry when he became Secretary of State — voted “present.”

steebo77 on September 4, 2013 at 4:23 PM

They’re going to have to vote for it to save the president’s hide.

Going to war to save the credibility of a Nobel Peace Prize recipient.

rbj on September 4, 2013 at 4:23 PM

And where are the Leftist worrywarts who decried the cost of going into Iraq?

The crickets, my friend, are blowing in the wind…

ajacksonian on September 4, 2013 at 4:24 PM

Secretary of State John Kerry said at Wednesday’s hearing that Arab counties have offered to pay for the entirety of unseating President Bashar al-Assad if the United States took the lead militarily.

“With respect to Arab countries offering to bear costs and to assess, the answer is profoundly yes,” Kerry said. “They have. That offer is on the table.”

Asked by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) about how much those countries would contribute, Kerry said they have offered to pay for all of a full invasion.

“In fact, some of them have said that if the United States is prepared to go do the whole thing the way we’ve done it previously in other places, they’ll carry that cost,” Kerry said. “That’s how dedicated they are at this. That’s not in the cards, and nobody’s talking about it, but they’re talking in serious ways about getting this done.

(From the Washington Post.)

This is great! The Arab countries will promise to pay for a full invasion of Syria by the U.S.

All the U.S. has to provide are the soldiers . . . and the body bags.

“That’s how dedicated they are at this.” LOL.

You can’t make this $hit up.

AZCoyote on September 4, 2013 at 4:24 PM

I say let the Dem’s and McCain own this. Strategically there is no harm to the GOP if they don’t vote for it because it will be watered down so much as to be ineffective anyway.

The only thing the resolution will be designed to do is shoot off a few cruise missiles so Obama can attempt to look tough.

Tater Salad on September 4, 2013 at 4:26 PM

The gulf between the libertarian image Jeff Flake cultivated during his Senate campaign and the reality of his voting record certainly is wide.

steebo77 on September 4, 2013 at 4:28 PM

If a president wanted to change the balance of power in the middle east in favor of various Muslim factions while simultaneously pumping vast sums of American tax dollars into the region, all with his own party forced to back his deliberate destabilization of the region and instigation of a new war, it couldn’t have been better managed.

thatsafactjack on September 4, 2013 at 4:21 PM

Perfect!!!

He is truly the most transparent president and destroyer of the USA, ever.

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Those 1,400 Syrians killed – allegedly – by Assad are very grateful that they were not named Brian Terry.

Resist We Much on September 4, 2013 at 4:29 PM

All who are for this will have lots of blood on their hands.

I hope the bad ones get your heads first. They are a coming, enabled by all this.

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2013 at 4:29 PM

Senate doesn’t have Constitutional authority for Strike on Syria, only the Executive does and was the original Intent of Founders

http://blog.constitutioncenter.org/2013/08/why-the-war-powers-resolution-isnt-a-key-factor-in-the-syria-situation/

^Reagan attorney, Constitutional law professor

jp on September 4, 2013 at 4:30 PM

thatsafactjack on September 4, 2013 at 4:21 PM

Plus, the left hate Israel, never to forget.

The rightie fools in congress will be just as complicit.

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2013 at 4:31 PM

ajacksonian on September 4, 2013 at 4:24 PM

indeed

cmsinaz on September 4, 2013 at 4:33 PM

Senate doesn’t have Constitutional authority for Strike on Syria, only the Executive does and was the original Intent of Founders

http://blog.constitutioncenter.org/2013/08/why-the-war-powers-resolution-isnt-a-key-factor-in-the-syria-situation/

^Reagan attorney, Constitutional law professor

jp on September 4, 2013 at 4:30 PM

So why did the constitutional teacher’s assistant do a 180 and ask for congressional approval?

NotCoach on September 4, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2013 at 4:31 PM

Good afternoon, Paladin. :) Excellent point.

thatsafactjack on September 4, 2013 at 4:34 PM

“Mr. MADISON and Mr. GERRY moved to insert ‘declare,’ striking out ‘make’ war, leaving to the executive the power to repel sudden attacks.”

- Minutes from the Constitutional Convention, 17 August 1789

The Framers’ entire purpose by substituting “declare” for “make” was to prevent the Executive from waging war without authorisation and unilaterally. As you can see from the following quote, Charles Pinkney was in the minority arguing for the placement of unilateral power to make war to be placed in the hands of the President solely.

“Mr Pinkney opposed the vesting this power in the Legislature. Its proceedings were too slow. It wd. meet but once a year. The Hs. of Reps. would be too numerous for such deliberations. The Senate would be the best depositary, being more acquainted with foreign affairs, and most capable of proper resolutions. If the States are equally represented in Senate, so as to give no advantage to large States, the power will notwithstanding be safe, as the small have their all at stake in such cases as well as the large States. It would be singular for one authority to make war, and another peace.”

- Minutes from the Constitutional Convention, 17 August 1789

Madison reported that in the Federal Convention of 1787, the phrase “make war” was changed to “declare war” in order to leave to the Executive the power to repel sudden attacks, but not to commence war without the explicit approval of Congress.

Resist We Much on September 4, 2013 at 4:35 PM

steebo77 on September 4, 2013 at 4:23 PM

Thanks. Just what I figured.

Mirimichi on September 4, 2013 at 4:36 PM

“In fact, some of them have said that if the United States is prepared to go do the whole thing the way we’ve done it previously in other places, they’ll carry that cost,” Kerry said. “That’s how dedicated they are at this. That’s not in the cards, and nobody’s talking about it, but they’re talking in serious ways about getting this done.

And, healthcare insurance premiums will decrease by 3,000% every year!

Resist We Much on September 4, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Going to war to save the credibility of a Nobel Peace Prize recipient.

rbj on September 4, 2013 at 4:23 PM

When this lazy stupid corrupt bastard leaves office, I intend to go to his presidential library and museum. All of these places are partly propaganda palaces but it’s really going to be interesting to see how the truth. A community organizer who won highest of the Nobel prizes for being black. Who goes on to essentially muck up the peace process in Afghanistan and Iraq, committed unencumbered drone attacks, Bombs Libya, keeps a kill list on his desk, and campaigns to get permission to kill innocent Syrians.

Maybe they’ll have a war wing and a peace wing.

Happy Nomad on September 4, 2013 at 4:37 PM

“I think the Democrats are going to be forced to sacrifice men and women who really, really don’t want to vote for this,” Matthews concluded. “They’re going to have to vote for it to save the president’s hide. That’s a bad position to put your party in.”

Let’s just hope they don’t literally sacrifice service members for this stupidity.

Monkeytoe on September 4, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Obama’s mouth overloaded his ass, he can bail himself out.

DAT60A3 on September 4, 2013 at 4:38 PM

thatsafactjack on September 4, 2013 at 4:21 PM

Good Afternoon to you as well. Good to ‘see’ you. That entire post was perfect!!!

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2013 at 4:39 PM

“In fact, some of them have said that if the United States is prepared to go do the whole thing the way we’ve done it previously in other places, they’ll carry that cost,” Kerry said. “That’s how dedicated they are at this. That’s not in the cards, and nobody’s talking about it, but they’re talking in serious ways about getting this done.

All our friends said they’d pay for it if we did it, but we were like, no way man!, we got this covered. It shows how serious they were. It also shows how serious we are. because we turned down their offer to pay our costs for doing what they want us to do.

it all makes perfect sense now. I say let the bombing begin.

Monkeytoe on September 4, 2013 at 4:39 PM

Obama’s Blurred Red Line(s)

Obama’s really twerking the joint!

Resist We Much on September 4, 2013 at 4:40 PM

Happy Nomad on September 4, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Obama will hire Potemkin to design it.

NotCoach on September 4, 2013 at 4:40 PM

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2013 at 4:39 PM

Thank you very much, indeed.:) A great compliment.

I’m working but I had to stop by and give my thoughts on this issue and Mathews gave me a grand opportunity.

thatsafactjack on September 4, 2013 at 4:41 PM

Obama makes a fool of himself and the only way Congress can make him look good is to spend a billion $ or so and kill lots of people?

The new america…

albill on September 4, 2013 at 4:43 PM

So why did the constitutional teacher’s assistant do a 180 and ask for congressional approval?

NotCoach on September 4, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Before today I would have said he needs a fall guy, but now he’s got the international community for that.

BTW, did you unilaterally give Bark a promotion?

antipc on September 4, 2013 at 4:44 PM

thatsafactjack on September 4, 2013 at 4:41 PM

Work well. Until later…

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2013 at 4:45 PM

:)

thatsafactjack on September 4, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Before today I would have said he needs a fall guy, but now he’s got the international community for that.

BTW, did you unilaterally give Bark a promotion?

antipc on September 4, 2013 at 4:44 PM

He was lower than a TA?

NotCoach on September 4, 2013 at 4:47 PM

btw, Cornyn and Pete Olsen are opposed to Operation Immediate Hesitation “as currently presented” whatever that means Olsen staffer.

call your peeps, they need to hear from you

DanMan on September 4, 2013 at 4:47 PM

So why did the constitutional teacher’s assistant do a 180 and ask for congressional approval?

NotCoach on September 4, 2013 at 4:34 PM

because he’s an idiot, and the left has attacked the Constitution on this issue for decades now.

What the founders meant by “declare war” in the 17th century had a very specific meaning, that is outdated in use, that does not apply here.

There is a good reason Thomas jefferson did not ask Congress for authorization when he sent 2/3′s of the Navy/Marines into the “Shores of Tripoli” and started a long war with the Barbary Pirates and their State Sponsors.

jp on September 4, 2013 at 4:48 PM

So why did the constitutional teacher’s assistant do a 180 and ask for congressional approval?

NotCoach on September 4, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Best read all day - h/t RushBaby

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2013 at 4:48 PM

And, healthcare insurance premiums will decrease by 3,000% every year!

Resist We Much on September 4, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Yes, the Arabs promise to pay for the U.S. invasion of Syria, and we all know that a Muslim’s promise (especially to infidels) is completely trustworthy. Anyway, we all know that they’d “pay” for it (if they paid at all) by jacking up the price of the oil they sell to us.

But I was particularly struck by Kerry’s enthusiasm for the Arabs’ “dedication” to getting this invasion done — by having the U.S. do it for them. Apparently, there is no limit to the number of American soldiers’ lives that the Arabs are willing to sacrifice in order for us to make their lives safer for them!

Good to know they’re so damn “dedicated.”

AZCoyote on September 4, 2013 at 4:49 PM

Resist We Much on September 4, 2013 at 4:35 PM

and you should do more reading on what “declare war” meant and other things Madison and company said and did.

No President from George Washington on has believed what you and Rand Paul and Senator Obama propose as being “constitutional’

jp on September 4, 2013 at 4:50 PM

erogenous

I saw that word and I had to look it up just to be sure I was seeing what I thought I was seeing. Chris Matthews talking about “erogenous zones” makes me feel kind of ill.

NotCoach on September 4, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Why are you surprised? After all, Matthews was the one with the tingle running up his leg when he heard Barky cough out a few incoherent words.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on September 4, 2013 at 4:50 PM

“In fact, some of them have said that if the United States is prepared to go do the whole thing the way we’ve done it previously in other places, they’ll carry that cost,” Kerry said. “That’s how dedicated they are at this. That’s not in the cards, and nobody’s talking about it, but they’re talking in serious ways about getting this done.
All our friends said they’d pay for it if we did it, but we were like, no way man!, we got this covered. It shows how serious they were. It also shows how serious we are. because we turned down their offer to pay our costs for doing what they want us to do.

it all makes perfect sense now. I say let the bombing begin.

Monkeytoe on September 4, 2013 at 4:39 PM

They’re so dedicated that they are willing to do anything except the fighting.

RickB on September 4, 2013 at 4:51 PM

He was lower than a TA?

NotCoach on September 4, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Based on his actions and achievements he would have topped out at classroom mom.

antipc on September 4, 2013 at 4:53 PM

Reagan never went to Congress for ‘authorization’ for Greneda, Lybia, etc…in fact most every President hasn’t because they already have the Authority under the Constitution since day 1 and weren’t trying to thwart the Constitution the way Obama is

jp on September 4, 2013 at 4:55 PM

He was lower than a TA?

NotCoach on September 4, 2013 at 4:47 PM

He was a ‘visiting lecturer’, is that lower than a TA?

slickwillie2001 on September 4, 2013 at 4:55 PM

If there were any doubts about Matthews’ principles, they’ve been settled. He has none. He’s a media and political whore.

flataffect on September 4, 2013 at 4:56 PM

He was lower than a TA?

NotCoach on September 4, 2013 at 4:47 PM

No, you were basically correct. At Chicago he was an adjunct, which is the lowest form of lecturer above a TA. Of course, he was still dumber and less informed than 98% of the TAs around, but that didn’t matter since he was just pulling race cards and “lecturing” about general BS.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on September 4, 2013 at 4:57 PM

They’re so dedicated that they are willing to do anything except the fighting.

RickB on September 4, 2013 at 4:51 PM

Anything except the fighting . . . and the dying. They’ll contract those parts out to the stupid Americans, who’ve already demonstrated over and over again their willingness to sacrifice the lives and limbs of their sons and daughters in wars between Muslims all over the world.

AZCoyote on September 4, 2013 at 4:58 PM

“I think the Democrats are going to be forced to sacrifice men and women who really, really don’t want to vote for this,” Matthews concluded. “They’re going to have to vote for it to save the president’s hide. That’s a bad position to put your party in.”

Gasp! Tingles talking about ‘the Democrats’ as if they were a distant cousin? What ever happened to the “we”, Tingles?

GarandFan on September 4, 2013 at 5:03 PM

Drudge headline – “Kerry: Arabs Will Finance Our War”

Where, oh where did I see that before?

Steve Eggleston on September 4, 2013 at 5:06 PM

Okay this is really getting scary. When tingles begins to make sense you know something bad is about to happen, if I see pigs flying, I’m headed for the underground.

DDay on September 4, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Drudge headline – “Kerry: Arabs Will Finance Our War”

Where, oh where did I see that before?

Steve Eggleston on September 4, 2013 at 5:06 PM

Then the soldiers should ask for mercenary pay rather than the minuscule amount they receive.

DDay on September 4, 2013 at 5:11 PM

“The constitution supposes, what the History of all Governments demonstrates, that the Executive is the branch of power most interested in war, and most prone to it. It has accordingly with studied care vested the question of war in the Legislature.’

- Madison to Jefferson

‘This system will not hurry us into war; it is calculated to guard against it. It will not be in the power of a single man, or a single body of men, to involve us in such distress; for the important power of declaring war is vested in the legislature at large: this declaration must be made with the concurrence of the House of Representatives: from this circumstance we may draw a certain conclusion that nothing but our interest can draw us into war.’

- James Wilson to the Pennsylvania Ratifying Convention

‘[The president’s authority] would be nominally the same with that of the King of Great Britain, but in substance much inferior to it. It would amount to nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the military and naval forces, as first general and admiral of the confederacy; while that of the British king extends to the declaring of war, and to the raising and regulating of fleets and armies; all which by the constitution under consideration would appertain to the Legislature.’

- Alexander Hamilton, Federalist #69

‘To allow the President to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so, whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose — and you allow him to make war at pleasure…. Study to see if you can fix any limit to his power in this respect, after you have given him so much as you propose. If, to-day, he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada, to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say to him, “I see no probability of the British invading us” but he will say to you “be silent; I see it, if you don’t.

The provision of the Constitution giving the war-making power to Congress, was dictated, as I understand it, by the following reasons. Kings had always been involving and impoverishing their people in wars, pretending generally, if not always, that the good of the people was the object. This, our Convention understood to be the most oppressive of all Kingly oppressions; and they resolved to so frame the Constitution that no one man should hold the power of bringing this oppression upon us. But your view destroys the whole matter, and places our President where kings have always stood.’

- Abraham Lincoln

Article I, Section 8:

The Congress shall have power…

[To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions

If Article II, Section 2, Clause 1 gave the CinC the sole authority to decide when and where to use the military against foreign states, especially, there would be no need for the above.

If a President believes he can, unilaterally, do whatever he wants with OUR (not ‘his’) military, then he needs to declare martial law, suspend the COTUS, and see how that works out for him.

Resist We Much on September 4, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Then the soldiers should ask for mercenary pay rather than the minuscule amount they receive.

DDay on September 4, 2013 at 5:11 PM

Seriously, when our Arab paymasters say, “Crack Palestine open for us because we’ll never be able to”, what will Teh SCOAMT do?

Steve Eggleston on September 4, 2013 at 5:19 PM

If a President believes he can, unilaterally, do whatever he wants with OUR (not ‘his’) military, then he needs to declare martial law, suspend the COTUS, and see how that works out for him.

Resist We Much on September 4, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Don’t give Teh SCOAMT any bright ideas.

Steve Eggleston on September 4, 2013 at 5:20 PM

Watching Matthews makes me sick (so does watching Scarborough for that matter). May they all twist in the wind. Payback is a b*tch for what they did to Bush and his foreign policy while he was in office. Not that I really want to defend Bush for much, but at least he had a freakin’ clue on foreign policy. . . . These guys are just hypocritical hacks.

KickandSwimMom on September 4, 2013 at 5:27 PM

There is a good reason Thomas jefferson did not ask Congress for authorization when he sent 2/3′s of the Navy/Marines into the “Shores of Tripoli” and started a long war with the Barbary Pirates and their State Sponsors.

jp on September 4, 2013 at 4:48 PM

There is and do you know what it is?

‘I communicate [to you] all material information on this subject, that in the exercise of this important function confided by the Constitution to the Legislature exclusively their judgment may form itself on a knowledge and consideration of every circumstance of weight.’

- President Thomas Jefferson to Congress on the subject of the Pasha’s DOW and the actions of the Barbary Pirates

Jefferson did not declare war in response to the Pasha’s declaration. He ordered ships to be armed AS A MEASURE OF SELF-DEFENCE. Congress approved an AUMF on 6 February 1802.

In 1805, Jefferson this:

‘[When Spain appeared to have an] intention to advance on our possessions until they shall be repressed by an opposing force. Considering that Congress alone is constitutionally invested with the power of changing our condition from peace to war, I have thought it my duty to await their authority for using force…. But the course to be pursued will require the command of means which it belongs to Congress exclusively to yield or to deny. To them I communicate every fact material for their information and the documents necessary to enable them to judge for themselves. To their wisdom, then, I look for the course I am to pursue, and will pursue with sincere zeal that which they shall approve.’

Resist We Much on September 4, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Drudge headline – “Kerry: Arabs Will Finance Our War”

Where, oh where did I see that before?

Steve Eggleston on September 4, 2013 at 5:06 PM

Now we are Rent-an-Army. “Call us for all of your overseas contingency operation needs.”

slickwillie2001 on September 4, 2013 at 5:35 PM

This just doesn’t feel right without Jim McDermott traveling to Damascus. Where have you gone Jim McDermott? Assad needs you.

rw on September 4, 2013 at 4:07 PM

Good point. Let’s do this: send McDermott to meet with Assad, and then bomb the living hell out of Damascus. Collateral damage.

HiJack on September 4, 2013 at 7:52 PM

thatsafactjack on September 4, 2013 at 4:21 PM

Except for one itty bitty thing: the Russians. They won’t let Damascus die without a fight. And, yes, I do believe that they are willing to send some boots on the ground to protect their interests in the region, which are huge. In fact, I would put their interests in a class that reeks of their national security.

HiJack on September 4, 2013 at 8:01 PM

Turd 1: “Boy that turd 3 sure stinks.”
Turd 2: “Yeah, I used to actually enjoy it, but it’s wearing kind of thin. I bet we’ll all get blamed for it.”

S. D. on September 4, 2013 at 8:59 PM

Who cares what Tingles thinks?

John the Libertarian on September 4, 2013 at 10:02 PM

Who would we laugh at if this nitwit wasn’t around?

RdLake on September 4, 2013 at 11:13 PM

I remember back during Iraq when Matthews was saying the exact same thing. He said that Republicans needed to get behind the President to save his hide.

No wait, he said that Republicans needed to stand up to the President.

Odd, that.

Chris of Rights on September 5, 2013 at 7:58 AM