In light of so many saying Obama as started a conflict without Congressional authorization I thought we might try a hypothetical and see what you all think.
I want you to assume you are President Obama. You are weighing your options on a rapidly moving Libyan conflict. And while you are weighing your options the Senate, the body that advises and consents, jumps ahead of you and unanimously passes a resolution for a Libyan no-fly-zone, one that would be unilaterally enacted. Two weeks later the Libyan rebels, a good number of Arab states, the UN and your advisors are also now calling for a no-fly-zone. So you agree. As the UN is voting or shortly after you call over Congressional leaders and advise them of your decision. Saying OK I agree with your vote two weeks ago, except I decided I could not do it unilaterally nor do I want to be the lead dog for very long. Then within 48 hours of the decision per the War Powers Act you send an advisory letter to both Houses of Congress letting them know and laying out your case for this action. ( not sure you really needed to lay out the case since they had already vote yea)
So far you have done a decent job of not being an imperial President. The Senate wanted a no fly zone, voted for a no fly zone, but you were hesitant and didn’t feel it was the US’s job alone.
Now two weeks go by, the no fly-zone is full effect and the Senate, pundits and others are all screaming hold on there sparky we were not advised, we did not vote.
So the question I would be asking myself if I were President would be wait just a damn second. That vote a March 1st was pure bull shit you really didn’t mean it. My meeting with Congressional leaders on the Friday that the UN passed resolution 1973 didn’t happen and the letter as required by the WPA was never delivered? Next I would also be asking, well if you want another vote why haven’t you voted? It seems to me you have ceded your powers rather than I grabbing them.
So what do Moosers think?