Obama and Syria

The case of Syria is likely to rumble on for a good while, and following the potential Russian deal and Kerry’s European visits, Obama does seem to have a hope of avoiding military intervention. However this article demonstrates where the votes currently stand on Syria in the House of Representatives. This is important as, constitutionally, the President is Commander-in-Chief, but only Congress can declare war. Yet this power has not been used since 1942 (and Vietnam, retrospectively) and the 1973 War Powers Act is commonly accepted to be unconstitutional while not yet having been declared so. So why does Obama need to go to Congress? A number of reasons…his popularity is not great, the Iraq war has cast a long shadow and Democrats traditionally suffer from the ‘mommy problem’. Watch this space on the developments within Congress on Syria – it will prove excellent evidence for discussions over the power of each branch and the discussions over the imperial presidency.

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