war powers act

Nathan Newman nathan.newman at yale.edu
Fri Apr 16 09:43:28 PDT 1999

-----Original Message----- From: Doug Henwood <dhenwood at panix.com> To: lbo-talk at lists.panix.com <lbo-talk at lists.panix.com>
>Hey, you bombers out there - how do you feel about the fact that Clinton is
>violating the War Powers Act? Is it bad when Republicans do it, but ok when
>Democrats do?

No, the War Powers Act should be invoked and the GOP is (like many Dems when the GOP had the executive) being chickenshit in not demanding a vote in Congress. The point of the War Powers Act is to force the executive to define its goals and place those goals before the legislative branch. That would be all to the good and would force a full debate on the use of ground troops versus this bombing campaign. At the moment, though, Trent Lott and other GOP leadership are blocking any votes, since they fear either (a) Clinton will get full authorization for ground troops with Congress's support or, (b) the NATO intervention will be blocked with the blame for the Kosovars refugee situation being shifted onto Congress.

It is to avoid this kind of chickenshit fencesitting by Congress, which serves executive power on one hand and political point-scoring on the other,that the War Powers Act was designed to prevent. The lack of such leaves the nation without full democratic debate on the costs and benefits of military intervention.

So go War Powers Act!

--Nathan Newman

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