“So how have the GOP’s erstwhile opponents of the imperial presidency greeted this latest affront to the separation of powers?” asks Gene Healy, Vice President at Cato, in The Federalist. “By complaining that Obama hasn’t been imperial enough,” he answers. Guess what Sen. John McCain thinks about a limitless war?
“It’s probably appropriate to have the debate,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) generously allowed on “Meet the Press” Sunday, but any new limits should be off-limits: “to restrain him in our authorization…I think, frankly, is unconstitutional.” In fact, McCain argues, a new AUMF should empower the president to target “groups that are committing acts of terror, anybody who’s doing it,” and, while we’re at it, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Since Assad is also fighting ISIS, McCain’s real complaint with Obama’s draft AUMF, apparently, is that it doesn’t fully commit us to taking on all sides in a regional civil war.
McCain, too, has been known to rail against “Obama’s imperial presidency.” But war, as James Madison recognized, is “the true nurse of executive aggrandizement.” It’s hard to take the GOP’s anti-monarchical rhetoric seriously when it’s accompanied by the leadership’s push for unrestrained presidential war powers. It amounts to crying “tyranny!” while dutifully empowering the king.
Read Healy’s piece here: