Remember when the campaigning Barack Obama solemnly pledged to end indiscriminate warmaking? Remember when Democrats and their media lickspittles reviled George W. Bush's imperial military adventures as illegal wars. That all seems like distant history, given President Obama's disregard for the deadline imposed by the War Powers Act. Bruce Ackerman and Oona Hathaway write in the Washington Post:
This week, the War Powers Act confronts its moment of truth. Friday will mark the 60th day since President Obama told Congress of his Libyan campaign. According to the act, that declaration started a 60-day clock: If Obama fails to obtain congressional support for his decision within this time limit, he has only one option - end American involvement within the following 30 days.
Obama has not only failed but he hasn't even tried - leaving it to Sen. Richard Lugar, the ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, to call for a "specific resolution that would give [the president] authority." Neither the president nor the Democratic congressional leadership has shown any interest. They have been sleep-walking their way to Day 60. [snip] Obama has continued this tradition. His March 21 letter to Congress telling of the Libyan campaign stated that it was "consistent with the War Powers Resolution." And his Justice Department issued an opinion that acknowledged the 60-day rule without questioning its constitutionality. Why, then, hasn't the president been pressing Congress to approve the war before the looming deadline? Because it's easier to paper over the problem with new legal fictions pretending that the time limit doesn't apply to this instance. By Friday, the administration's legal team is likely to announce that the clock stopped ticking on April 1 -- the date when NATO "took the lead" in the bombing campaign. Since NATO is running the show, the argument will go, the War Powers Act no longer applies, and the president doesn't have to go back to Congress after all.
If a Republican president had acted this way, you can be sure that there would be calls for his impeachment from Democrats, and that the nation's establishment media outlets would be highlighting Friday's deadline as a historic milestone of an out-of-control war machine operting with contempt for the law. But, after all, Barack Obama's their guy, and so all you hear is the sound of crickets chirping.
Hat tip: Ed Lasky