Is this who we are now? Humiliating dullards for sport? Poor, poor Harry.
On Wednesday, Paul, with little notice, attached an amendment to the small-business re-authorization bill. The amendment, which chastises President Obama for his actions in Libya, urges members to adopt the president’s own words as “the sense of the Senate.”
To make his point, Paul quoted, in the legislative language, from Obama’s 2007 remarks on the subject: “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.” According to Paul’s office, “the measure aims to put the Senate on record affirming Congress as the body with constitutional authority on matters of war.”
GOP sources tell National Review Online that Paul’s proposal flummoxed Reid, who does not want his members to have to weigh in on Obama’s dusty quote about congressional authority, even if the vote is only to table the measure.
Makes me wonder if opinion on Libya inside Congress is already so sour that Democrats fear a vote to authorize the mission retroactively might not go Obama’s way. It probably would: Paul and a few other very conservative Republicans might peel off along with Bernie Sanders and far-left liberals, but I bet The One would pull 70 votes even now. It’s awfully tough politically to cut a military mission off at the knees, especially when prominent officials are defecting from the enemy side. Even so, given the turdiness of the sandwich, not a single one of those 70 (except maybe McCain, Lieberman, and Graham) are eager to take that vote. And I can’t believe there’s a single Republican in the House who wants to deal with it. If you’re Boehner or Cantor or Allen West or Mike Pence, how do you vote in order to simultaneously (a) support the Air Force and Navy while they’re executing a mission, (b) protect the GOP’s hawkish credentials, (c) express your doubts about the utility of the mission and how it’s being executed, and (d) challenge Obama on his absurd hypocrisy about the president’s military prerogatives, especially given the contempt he’s showed Congress thus far? Tough vote. So tough that I wonder if Reid’s tempted to vote on a resolution in the Senate just to force Boehner to take it up and choke on it.
Here’s Paul’s floor speech on Libya from Wednesday. He sent Reid a letter tonight calling for a vote on a war resolution. Don’t hold your breath.