Barack Obama is clearly not the first president to ignore the framers’ intent regarding the executive’s war powers. In many ways Obama is merely building upon the framework of George W. Bush, whose many foreign interventions were based on, at best, faulty evidence, and even worse constitutional reasoning.
Believe it or not, it is not constitutional for Congress to officially hand over its war responsibilities to the president. This was the basis for Bush’s interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq.
But even George W. “If You’re Not With Us You’re Against Us” Bush didn’t lead the way in trailblazing the path of presidential war powers. Harry Truman kicked it off with his “police action” in Korea. The reasoning back then was pretty much the same as it is today. If war was redefined as a “police action,” it wouldn’t have to be declared by Congress and the President could wage it on his say-so alone.
If you or I tried to redefine the law like that we’d end up in jail. But when a president does it we’re supposed to fall in line with a chorus of “Yes, sir.”Details