Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – Amongst the founding generation, there was pretty much rapt agreement, unanimous agreement that making wars was serious, serious business and that you didn’t want to have a standing army around, which is why they made the appropriations for no longer than two years. You didn’t want to have a president that could have at his disposal a standing army, which is why we were counseled against it. You certainly did not want the president to have the ability to be able to call out a standing army. If he did, then he would get us involved in all sorts of wars and activities that may be of his or those that he knows, to their personal interest. Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: I was being harangued on the Twitter feed yesterday, [mocking] “You ever heard of the War Powers Resolution?” No, I’ve never heard of it. [mocking] “Well, that’s being invoked here.” Go read the War Powers Resolution. We’re not being attacked. There’s no imminent threat to us that requires President Obama has to unilaterally call out the Navy and lob missiles into the airspace of a sovereign country. Syria hasn’t attacked the United States. It hasn’t even attacked a United States interest, if you can find one over there.
I’m going to say this for the benefit of those who may be new listeners. The progress of how a union of states like the United States gets into war is outlined in this thing we have called the Constitution. I know it’s an archaic, old, fuddy-duddy document that was written in the 1780s and can’t possibly have any bearing in the age of the internet and chemical weapons and naval warships that can wipe out an entire country with the launching of one intercontinental ballistic missile. I re-read the debate last night from the 17-20 August 1787 over the terminology that was to be used in Article I, Section 8, on how to say the Congress shall have the power to declare war.
The first draft of it said the Congress shall have the power to make war. It was argued that you ought to vest that power in the executive. Then George Mason and Elbridge Gerry and others went: What!? Allow the executive to declare? No, no, no. He can be the president or the chief of the army after it has been declared, but the power must reside in the legislature, because that is the only way the people can have a check against it. They argued and debated over this. I can read you the minutes of the debate. You can find them in Max Farrand’s Records of the Federal Convention of 1787. I don’t want to get too much into the weeds on that. After the debate, it was passed nem con, which is a term they used in the 18th century. If you don’t know what nem con means, it means nemine contradicente, meaning without objection. After they finished their debate, everyone in the room that voted went: All right, yes. They voted aye.
Amongst the founding generation, there was pretty much rapt agreement, unanimous agreement that making wars was serious, serious business and that you didn’t want to have a standing army around, which is why they made the appropriations for no longer than two years. You didn’t want to have a president that could have at his disposal a standing army, which is why we were counseled against it. You certainly did not want the president to have the ability to be able to call out a standing army. If he did, then he would get us involved in all sorts of wars and activities that may be of his or those that he knows, to their personal interest. These were all wise, wise decisions. They were the result of days and days of debate by men who had studied these things for decades and decades….
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To just dismiss that flippantly and say, [mocking] “Well, in the 1940s, we got this War Powers Resolution and we ought to defer to that.” Really? How much debate went into that? They basically were trying to amend the Constitution so that Congress would not be on the hook, so that Congress would not have to declare wars. Is it any coincidence, ladies and gentlemen? Why is it always left to me to explain this and point out what ought to be the obvious? Is it any coincidence that since the War Powers Resolution there has been but one declared war? Congress, instead of discharging their foresworn duty when they take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, they like to punt the ball. No one wants to be on the hook for any of this.
But they all love the spoils of war. They all love the spoils of General Dynamics and the spoils that are lavished on Martin Marietta and the Boeing Corporation and every other hell-forsaken corporatist that’s in on all this. It’s a lot easier to vote for appropriations and to continue the trillion-dollar-plus per year spending and then to allow presidents to be the fall guy. [mocking] “All we’re saying is you can attack them. We’re not saying you got to” — which is what a declaration of war would say — “We’re saying if you decide in your infinite wisdom, President Obama, President Bush, President Clinton, President Johnson, you can, not saying you gotta but you can. This is Congress again being derelict in its duty. It is their duty. They are the ones that have the enumerated powers. Jay Carney was asked this question yesterday, wasn’t he, AG? That’s one of the digital media files we have. Should Congress be recalled to come back to Mordor on the Potomac and talk about this? Here you go:
[start audio file]
Jay Carney: As this process is undertaken, we are consulting directly with House and Senate leaders in Congress. We are consulting directly with the leadership of the relevant committees, as well as with other members of Congress who have a keen interest in this matter. I think you’ve see that documented by some members who have spoken to you. That process will continue. We think it’s very important that the consultation process take place in a matter like this of such gravity. We are also, as we’ve made clear, engaging with our international partners. There is a substantial list of communications that the Secretary of State has had. The President himself, as we’ve read out to you, has had consultations with Canadian Prime Minster Harper today, and in recent days with British Prime Minister Cameron, French President Hollande and Australian Prime Minister Rudd.
[end audio file]
Mike: Consultation? What is this, a shrink’s couch? [mocking] “Yes, come in here and make yourselves comfortable on the leather couch. I’m going to go over here and get my notebook. I’m going to put the metronome on. I’m going to cue up a little Brahms on the CD player and we’re going to have ourselves a consultation. Would you like a snifter of brandy while we continue our consultation?” Who are these cowards? Who in the hell are these people in Congress that are being consulted? They ought to be the ones demanding: Huh-uh, baby, we’re having a vote on this one. No, you’re not getting away with this this time. I don’t know about you, but I certainly feel better about it.
Let me ask you members of Congress that listen to this broadcast on a daily basis, look in that mirror as you’re driving around or look in the reflection of your smartphone. Why did you apply for this job if you’re going to allow the usurpation of the authority that is granted to you under the document that makes you a member of Congress? It is not your job and it is not in your job description, your statesman description, to do anything other than discharge that oath of office to which you swore an oath to. Last time I checked, that oath was sworn to that thing we call a Constitution. Nowhere in that document does it say, nor does it imply, that the President of the United States is an elected king. Nowhere does it say, nor does it imply, that he and he alone gets to make the determination on whether or not 311 million people must support with their blood and their treasure a war that he thinks is a good idea. It says you make that determination. This is not a rebellion in the State of Alabama. This is not an attack upon a United States territory. There is no instance here that will not admit of delay. We have been delayed. There is no constitutional authority for this whatsoever.
Why did you take the job? Why did you take the job if you had no intention of executing the office in that most important of times? War is serious business. The fact that we treat it as if it is a baseball game and we’re talking about who gets to bat cleanup is every bit the indication of the lack of seriousness that you, my friends, apply to your job. I want to see and hear members of Congress taking to the lectern, calling town hall meetings, going on their own blog pages and haranguing all up and down over this, demanding the President of the United States stand down, stand the you-know-what down now. Enough of this is enough. The people that make the bombs and the implements of war do not run the United States, or at least they’re not supposed to. They have as much a right to vote in our elections as you and I do, but they do not have some foregone, pre-concluded power over the acts and instruments of war just because they have the money to do so. This is a representative republic, really? Seriously? Are you kidding me?
Folks, that’s what’s at issue here. In my mind, that is the issue here. Where is your member of the House of Representin’? Where is he? Where is she? What are they saying about this? What is their opinion on what I just said? What is their opinion on executing their oath of office by being faithful in discharging that power that was left in their hands? Folks, they don’t have any hang-up in inventing all kind of new and different and creative ways of extending Commerce Clause power, do they? Representative Steve King and other Republicans like him, just to cite one, they don’t have any power to say, [mocking] “Well, the commerce power obviously applies to agriculture and chicken farmers across the country. We have to have a national standard here after all.” Really? So you’re raising your hand going: I joined Congress so I can implement the Commerce Clause. Gee, there are a bunch of other clauses in there you’re supposed to be responsible for. What about them? One of the most important ones, if not the most important one, is the one that is in question right now: war, warlike activities.
Mike Church Show Transcript – Secretary Of State Kerry And Senator McCain Act Like They’ve Forgotten Vietnam And The Realities Of War
Wars kill people. Wars redirect resources. Wars delay or abrogate prosperity. Wars, using Christian just war theory, you may find yourself in a position where you have to go to war, you have to defend yourself. You’ve been provoked, you fear imminent further attacks, sure. That does and has occurred. This is not an instance of that. This is an optional military exercise. This sounds like something that Jack Ryan of the old Tom Clancy Patriot Games, Tom Clancy of spy novel or espionage novel fame would have been called upon to stop the Russians from engaging. You know, those evil, despicable Soviets we so loved to hate for so many decades? This is what we used to accuse them of doing, yet we seem to be mortified of putting the mirror in front of ourselves and going: We’re pretty much doing the same thing here.
End Mike Church Show Transcript