Senate defeats Rand Paul's resolution reasserting Congress's war powers, 90-10

This wasn’t a resolution to authorize operations in Libya but something far craftier — a resolution reaffirming Obama’s own words from 2007 that “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.” When Paul first introduced the idea last week, a flustered Harry Reid temporarily closed up shop to keep it from coming to the floor.

Turns out he needn’t have worried. The roll: 90-10 opposed. Disgraceful.

The problem with Paul’s amendment, as seen by many members of the Democratic majority, was that it quoted then-Senator Barack Obama’s words from 2007 in what appeared to be an attempt to embarrass the Democratic president…

Paul’s proposal was “too cute by half,” declared Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein on Tuesday after she joined other senators in voting to table it, 90-10.

Paul had trouble getting even his fellow Republicans to support his idea. Some said they didn’t approve of where he had chosen to offer his war powers amendment — on legislation to do with small businesses. “I think we need to address Libya, when (that’s) the focus,” said Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Republican, after the vote.

That’s a convenient excuse but since Democrats weren’t about to let this pass, there’s no reason Republicans should have let a formal objection deter them from supporting it — if only to remind The One of what a hypocrite he is. All 10 no votes were GOP, but it’s an interesting mix: The tea party caucus of DeMint, Paul, and Mike Lee, the Maine RINOs Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, freshmen Ron Johnson, Pat Toomey, and Jerry Moran, and veterans John Ensign and Jeff Sessions. I wonder if Collins and Snowe jumped aboard because they fear public support for the Libya mission crumbling eventually and want to be on the right side of the debate when it does, or if they’re simply worried about tea partiers in the primary and are trying to earn grassroots cred by siding with Rand Paul here. Hmmm.

McConnell, Kerry, Levin, Lieberman, and McCain are reportedly mulling a real authorization resolution for the Libya mission. If it’s 90-10 against Paul on this, I assume a genuine AUMF will have no trouble passing. Here’s Paul’s floor speech in support of his measure this afternoon. Exit quotation: “The new motto of Congress appears to be, ‘Tread on me. Please, tread on me.'”

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