Appearing on CNN’s New Day this morning, Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) added his voice to the chorus of lawmakers criticizing Donald Trump for failure to consult Congress before his Syrian airstrikes, telling Chris Cuomo “There’s no excuse for bypassing Congress.”
Watch the video courtesy of CNN:
— New Day (@NewDay) April 7, 2017
Asked if he would authorize “what the president has just started in Syria,” Kaine answered, “I can certainly see voting Yes just as I did on 2013 but I want to understand what the president’s plan is.”
That’s the trouble, of course. Trump actually having a plan beyond distracting America from his many scandals, most notably that surrounding his collusion with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election.
“What I think we should do and I hope the administration will put this on the table. I think we should still establish a humanitarian zone in northern Syria to enforce the UN Security Council resolution…and that we should do it as a humanitarian zone and protect it with military assets if anybody tries to mess up the humanitarian mission. I think that’s what we should do. I’ve been calling for it for nearly three years.”
Cuomo said Congress has shirked its responsibility and Kaine agreed, admitting that he, McCain and a few others are an “exception” in objecting to Trump’s unilateral actions. He called Congress’ inaction an abdication of responsibility. “The constitutional command is clear.”
“There is no excuse for bypassing Congress. Because the Constitution we all pledge an oath to is very plain…you can’t start a war without an act of Congress.”
Kaine had tweeted last night,
Assad is a brutal dictator who must be held account for atrocities. But the President's failure to seek congressional approval is unlawful
— Senator Tim Kaine (@timkaine) April 7, 2017
Sen. Kaine was clear that his problem is less with the idea of intervention in Syria, though he has clear ideas about what form that intervention should take, and more with Trump’s failure to seek approval for his actions from Congress.
There is a real need to intervene in Syria. But Donald Trump’s actions yesterday violated the Constitution and unfortunately for Americans, Congress has been complicit in his actions and will likely continue to remain so for the foreseeable future.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.