Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Ryan ignores Constitution, votes for permanent war

The Capital Times takes Paul Ryan to task for voting against Constitutional checks and balances on the power to wage and declare war:

At issue was a section of the spending bill, quietly inserted by key players in Congress, that dramatically expanded the power of the president to wage wars of whim without congressional consideration.
The language was inserted by top Republicans in the House, despite the fact that it affronts the basic premises of the U.S. Constitution...
The House Republican leadership, working in conjunction with the chair of the House Armed Services Committee, Buck McKeon, R-Calif., included in the 2012 defense authorization bill language that effectively declares a state of permanent war against unnamed and ill-defined foreign forces “associated” with the Taliban and al-Qaida...
[James] Madison observed in the founding years of the American experiment: “Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”
The Madisonian impulse was kept alive last week not by pretenders like Paul Ryan who claim to revere the Constitution while abandoning its principles, but by those members of Congress like Tammy Baldwin who object to permanent war for the same reasons that the wisest of the founders did.

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