Posted by Scott Malensek on 29 April, 2007 at 1:35 pm. 2 comments already!


Congress (controlled by the Democratic Party) refused to supply American forces in battle with food, ammunition, body armor, pay, and healthcare for veterans unless the Commander In Chief follows a Democratic Party military strategy. They will only authorize the food, ammunition, body armor, pay, etc for troops in combat if the Commander in Chief can meet the objectives/benchmarks for success in the next 2-3 months. If the enemy prevents the accomplishment of the President’s objectives/benchmarks, then Congress is demanding that the United States retreat from the battlefield and surrender it to the enemy (those who kill American troops).

Democrats tell us that it’s a policy of benchmarks and timetables, and it is, and Congress has the right to pass them as a bill for the President to sign. However, having the right to do a thing doesn’t mean that it’s right to do it.

Members of Congress tell us that such legislative game-play is necessary to end the war (albeit end it through America’s defeat, and the enemy’s success). Specifically, they point to the President’s alleged mishandling of the conduct of the war, and the Commander In Chief’s failure to break the resolve of the enemy through 4 yrs of effort as the reason that the political parsing is needed.

If Congress is right to impose their will upon the Commander In Chief, and if they are right to take action that they themselves describe as “drastic,” resulting from inaction, inability, and/or unwillingness to accomplish important tasks such as war, then they had better be careful. Congress (controlled by either Republican or Democrat) has been grossly inactive, unable and clearly unwilling to do it’s job since the President took office in 2001. Moreover, they too can be held to account by “drastic” measures and political game-play.

President Bush has made innumerable requests of Congress since taking office (as obligated by the Constitution in his State of the Union addresses). Congress has failed to meet those requests almost every time. The nation is at WAR with Islamic Holy Warriors around the globe, but Congress has committed only a fraction of the nation’s budget to waging that war. Social Security reform, tax reform, funding for alternative fuels, even simple things like removing the provisions that let those who add pork spending provisions to bills to do so secretly and without accountability to the American people, Congressional corruption, election reform, etc., these things and many more have been put on eternal-hold by a Republican Congress. The Republicans were voted out with the promise from Democrats that they would do things differently. They have not.

If Congress is right to impose their will upon the Commander In Chief, and if they are right to take action that they themselves describe as “drastic,” resulting from inaction, inability, and/or unwillingness to accomplish important tasks, then let’s not forget that the President can do so as well.

President Bush has the Constitutional authority to convene Congress. Congress can play political games of coercion, but the President has the authority and the RESPONSIBILITY to force Congress to get things done or sit at their desks until a new Congress is sworn into office in 2009.

“The President is the Head of the Executive Branch and generally viewed as the head of the U.S. Government. While he does have significant power, his power is limited by the Constitution. Specifically, the Constitution assigns the following powers to the President:

  • Convene Congress on extraordinary occasions
  • Adjourn Congress, in cases of a disagreement about adjournment”(1)

“The last President to convene Congress was President Harry Truman in 1948, who did so to urge enactment of his domestic legislative agenda expanding New Deal programs.”(2)

What if the President cancelled the summer recess and convened Congress until his objectives, his timelines and his benchmarks were met? It is in his power to order that Congress re-convene the minute that they break for recess. He can then order that Congress convenes until the following benchmarks are met:

  • The emergency spending supplemental is passed by June 1st….or else
  • A declaration of support for the mission is passed by July 4th ….or else
  • Secret earmarks/pork-add-ons to bills are ended by law by August 1st….or else
  • 911 Commission recommendations re Congressional intelligence agency oversight are implemented by September 11th….or else
  • Social security is reformed by October 1st….or else
  • The tax system is reformed by November 1st….or else
  • Funding for alternative fuels is passed by December 1st ….or else
  • A balanced budget is passed without raising taxes by January 1st….or else

What does “or else” mean? If Congress cannot get it done, then the President should not allow a single member of Congress to have a day off-not one single day-until the President’s benchmarks for success are met. Can you imagine if a Senator didn’t get a day off for a month? How long can they go without golf? What effect would that have on the campaigning and re-election of Representatives, of Senators and of power-hungry members of Congress who are seeking the Presidency?

What if they decide to go overboard? What if they decide to cut funding, to impeach him or to try and revoke the authorization for the war? Then the President has the Constitutional authority to adjourn Congress. He can even adjourn it until the next election leaving members of Congress little in the way of accomplishments to boast about in their campaigns for re-election.

It’s time to remind Democrats that the President has power and authority and that Speaker Pelosi is not Queen, Senate Majority Leader Reid is not a 4-star General and that Gov. Dean is little more than a Grima Wormtongue to those who would be monarchs (Reid, Pelosi and the dozens of Presidential throne seekers).

I think it’s time to ask:

Who is the President, and

Where is he?

Crossposted at The New Media Journal

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