Thursday, March 15, 2007

The courage of Sen. Tester's convictions -- or lack thereof

We're getting closer to having something to say about the antics in Helena, but the old saying keeps springing to mind: "better to remain silent and be thought foolish, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

But we will make a brief observation on Sen. Baucus and Sen. Tester co-sponsoring the troop withdrawal resolution that will now start to be debated.

As we have pointed out before, we believe that Congress has, over the years, abdicated its responsibilities in many matters, not least in matters of foreign policy.

We object strongly, however, to resolutions like this one. A resolution telling the Commander in Chief how to conduct a military action is inappropriate and probably unconstitutional. There is a reason that wars are not fought by committee, but rather are conducted through a chain of command.

Congress has the authority to declare war, and by implication to withdraw authorization for a military action that it previously authorized. It furthermore has the right (and indeed the responsibility) to withdraw funding for any action from which it has withdrawn authorization.

As we have said before, if Sen. Tester has the courage of his convictions, he will not sponsor resolutions like this one -- he will rather sign on with like-minded Senators in presenting legislation to remove authorization from the Iraq war. We would like to have something for which we could applaud Sen. Tester.

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