Friday, February 09, 2007

Holy Moly

I used to do satire on Friday (until the White House and Jon Stewart made it obsolete), so don't be confused about what I'm about to quote--it's not a joke. The exchange happened on Hardball with Chris Matthews, Eric Cantor (R-VA), and Steve Israel (D-NY). Cantor is not some bumpkin from the sticks--he's the Chief Deputy Whip of the US House of Representatives.
MATTHEW: Congressman, what's the role of Congress in war and peace?

ISRAEL (D): Congress, under the Constitution of the United States, authorizes war; and the War Powers Act requires Congress to vote on whether we should insert troops into hostile situations. The law is clear. And we're not going to spend time--

CANTOR (R): --Absolutely not!

ISRAEL (D): Come on, Eric--

CANTOR (R): Absolutely not, it's the Commander in Chief. The Constitution--


CANTOR (R): The Constitution gives the Commander in Chief--

MATTHEWS: Congressman Cantor, why did the President ask for approval of Congress before he went into Iraq.

CANTOR (R): Well I certainly think that his counsel gave him guidance as to why he needed to do that. But at the end of the day the Constitution gives the Commander in Chief the right to send our troops into battle.
What you miss, in this transcript, is the smug, grinning face of Cantor as he deigns to explain this most simple of legal facts to Chris Matthews. Crooks and Liars has the vid--no one's posted it yet on YouTube.

For the record, here's Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution (the section on the scope of legislative power):
"The Congress shall have power ... To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;"


Zak J. said...

Cantor is not some bumpkin from the sticks--he's the Chief Deputy Whip of the US House of Representatives.

Which is scarier: to believe the Cantor doesn't actually know what the Constitution says, or to believe that he does know but is willing to subvert it for such narrow partisan gains?

Apparently no one in the Republican party was paying attention to the last election.

Chuck Butcher said...

surely you don'e expect a Republican Congressman to be conversant with the Constitution he swore to uphold?

billy bob said...

your leftist misrepresentation of the letter and the law of our beloved Constitution betrays your true terrorist idealogical leanings. the Constitution clearly states that the Commander in Chief can make war at will, levy taxes against the populace, sleep with your bride on your wedding night, and kill your firstborn in a glory of bloodletting.

to deny him these God-given inalienable rights is to side with terror and anarchy.