Senator Rand Paul proposed an amendment to embrace President Obama’s pre-presidential words on President Bush’s authority to attack Iran:
“The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.
“As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.”
Democrats unanimous. But instead of endorsing Obama’s stated position, all 51 Democrats in the Senate condemned it to defeat.
Yesterday, all 51 Senate Democrats voted to kill the amendment, effectively declaring that Obama was wrong -- and that most of the senators were themselves complete fools to agree with Obama -- four years ago. Yesterday’s vote was a humiliating defeat for the president’s stated philosophy. (But now he has the Senate’s tacit approval to continue his half-hearted war in Libya.)
It’s interesting how the Democrats since 2007 have turned 180 degrees on almost every national security matter. It’s as if they opposed Bush’s policies only because Bush was a Republican. Now the Democrats have spent more than the Republicans on both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and they've got a new war authorized only by a Democratic president.