Being a liberal these days comes with much baggage. Here in Los Angeles it comes with having to put up with Mayor Pothole, who can’t seem to fill in any. In California it comes with Governor Moonbeam who, despite his best efforts, can’t get our wackadoodle legislature to go along with letting the people decide whether to go on taxing ourselves or not. No, it isn’t easy being a liberal in California.
But when one moves outside California things get worse — infinitely worse.
For one thing one comes face to face with the fact that conservatives/Republicans aren’t the only ones with a wingnut wing. We’ve got one of our very own. Of course, we all know they’re out there. There are the anti-nuke wingnuts who lay down on railroad tracks in front of a moving train – and then are utterly surprised and indignant when the train rolls over them, severing their legs. And there are the anti-war wingnuts who’ve never found anything worth fighting for anywhere, any time, for any reason. One sometimes wonders, if these jokers had been in charge at the time, if half the country would now be speaking Japanese and the other half German.
One of these last is a Congressman from Ohio called Dennis Kucinich. Congressman Kucinich is a genuine wingnut of the leftist variety. To his credit, he opposed our adventure in Iraq. Possibly to his credit – possibly not, depending on your point of view – he continues to oppose our adventure in Afghanistan. One suspects, though, he would also have opposed our participation in World War II and, who knows, maybe the Revolution.
Congressman Kucinich has now, though, carried his wingnutery to a ridiculous length. He has pronounced that, according to the Constitution, the power to declare war lies with the Congress and the Congress alone. On the basis of this, he has further pronounced that the President of the United States (a President of his own party, it might be noted) was guilty of an “impeachable offense” when he sent American forces, as part of a larger coalition, to bomb Libya. It might be noted that, at the time, the Libyan government was slaughtering its own citizens by the thousands. This seems to have escaped Congressman Kucinich’s notice or perhaps his concern.
And there is a larger issue…who has the power to “make war”? This power isn’t granted to Congress. It isn’t specifically granted to anybody, though it might be considered implicit in the President’s powers as commander in chief. Indeed, James Madison wrote in the Federalist Papers that the phrase giving Congress the power to “make war” was changed to “declare war” for that very reason. It might even be noted that the War Powers Act specifically gives this power to the President. In any event, it apparently has also escaped Congressman Kucinich’s notice that Congress hasn’t declared war on anybody since December 11, 1941, when it declared war on Germany and Italy. It hasn’t even been asked to declare war on anyone. One might argue about the necessity of any of the conflicts fought in Korea or Vietnam or the Gulf or Afghanistan or Iraq. But one cannot argue that Congress declared war in any of them.
Now we’ve gone into another “undeclared” conflict. One can have ones own opinion as to the necessity of this one and of how we got into it. But Congressman Kucinich wants to impeach President Obama over it. One would suspect this reaction is a little…well…nuts?
As a Californian, it’s nice to know that at least some of the wingnuts on our side of aisle are from the heartland and not from California!