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It's as if James Madison saw a video tape of the time 2001-present before he wrote back in the early days of the nation. Robert Scheer has a great article here reminding us of why the Founder's thought like they did.
Here's a piece of Scheer's article....
In his "Political Observations," written years before he served as fourth president of the United States, Madison went on to underscore the dangers of an imperial presidency bloated by war fever. "In war," Madison wrote in 1795, at a time when the young republic still faced its share of dangerous enemies, "the discretionary power of the Executive is extended ... and all the means of seducing the minds are added to those of subduing the force, of the people."
How remarkably prescient of Madison to anticipate the specter of our current King George imperiously undermining Congress' attempts to end the Iraq war. When the prime author of the U.S. Constitution explained why that document grants Congress -- not the president -- the exclusive power to declare and fund wars, Madison wrote, "A delegation of such powers [to the president] would have struck, not only at the fabric of our Constitution, but at the foundation of all well organized and well checked governments."
Because "[n]o nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare," Madison urged that the constitutional separation of powers he had codified be respected. "The Constitution expressly and exclusively vests in the Legislature the power of declaring a state of war ... the power of raising armies," he wrote. "The separation of the power of raising armies from the power of commanding them is intended to prevent the raising of armies for the sake of commanding them."
Can you not see this Founder's concern for exactly what has, indeed, happened during the Bush Jr. administration?
A delegation of war powers to the president exclusively(Bush's belief) strikes "at the fabric of the Constitution". Isn't this clear?
"..seducing the minds....subduing the force, of the people". Madison surely must have had a dream at least, about Bush, or Rove, Bush's Brain.....I mean....don't ya' think?
Here's the powers given to the CONGRESS in the Constitution....
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning
Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be
for a longer Term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union,
suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for
governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United
States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers,
and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline
prescribed by Congress;
Does any of that sound like Unitary. Freaking. Executive.?