Virginia Republican Congressman Eric Cantor met with President Obama on Tuesday to discuss the situation in Syria. Shortly after his conference with the president, Cantor released a statement saying, “I intend to vote to provide the President of the United States the option to use military force in Syria.”
Just in case you didn’t get that, allow me to interpret Cantor’s statement.
“I intend to abdicate my constitutional duty and give the President of the United States monarchical powers that the Constitution clearly prohibits him from possessing.”
Seriously, has Eric Cantor read the Constitution? Did Cantor’s copy not include Article 1, Section 8 that outlines which branch of the federal government has war powers?
This section reads, “Congress shall have power to declare war….” Or, stated differently, “Congress, and Congress alone, shall have the power to determine who the United States can fight, where and for what length of time.” It doesn’t say, “Congress shall have the power to declare war or to defer to the president whenever it doesn’t feel like doing its job.”
The Constitution is clear: the president has no power to declare war. Period. Congress makes that call. And that doesn’t mean signing off on allowing the president to go to war if he wants to. The Congress debates and makes the decision. The president carries it out – whatever it may be. Cantor wants to let the president decide with his blessing. No! That’s YOUR job congressman!
Why is it that the people who have the hardest time understanding this are the people whose job description is literally “to uphold the Constitution of the United States”?Details