I have seen every sort and type of response to Syria’s gas attack and our retaliation to it. Dozens were killed, including women and children. People on the left immediately attacked and accused Trump, blaming him for the actions. Trump said one statement about Syria and Assad therefor the actions of Assad, or some rogue general, rest squarely on his shoulders. They don’t mention or bring up the fact that he didn’t pull the trigger, he didn’t order the gas attack, nor did he carry out. So, tell me, how is Trump responsible for what Syria did to its own citizens?
So, after the fact, and in response to Syria’s attack, Trump ordered a strike on the unit believed to have carried out the attack. Those on the right are immediately lambasting Trump for constitutional usurpation. They are accusing him of overstepping his bounds and bypassing Congress, who has constitutional authority to declare war. But, what the right overlooks is a small clause in the constitution that does grant limited and discrete powers to the president in such circumstances.
As Senator Mike Lee stated, “Article 2 of the Constitution is understood to grant the president certain emergency powers to use military force… But while the president can order a discrete strike, there is a short shot clock on further action before a president must come to Congress and make his case to the American people. While the Framers knew a unitary Executive Branch was needed to carry out a war, they also understood that the Legislative Branch… was needed to make military action legitimate and accountable. If this assessment holds, if Thursday’s military action is a one-time event, then what’s done is done. But if further action is contemplated, even future “one-offs,” President Trump must come to Congress and make the case to the American people.”
I mean, if he had overstepped, wouldn’t Congress be the first to speak up or restrain such actions? (Assuming we had a competent congress)? Would the Commanders in Chief be defiant? Granted, those are hypothetical questions, so who knows the answer. There is also the fact that each Tomahawk missile cost approximately $1,000,000… which came out of our pockets.