Well, that was awfully nice of him. Some of them may not have noticed.
…President Obama Monday officially notified congressional leaders that at “approximately 3:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, on March 19, 2011, at my direction, U.S. military forces commenced operations to assist an international effort authorized by the United Nations (U.N.) Security Council and undertaken with the support of European allies and Arab partners, to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe and address the threat posed to international peace and security by the crisis in Libya.” (emphasis added)
Because we all know that the Constitution delegates the power to declare war to the United Nations and the Arab League.
The notification was part of the president’s “efforts to keep the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution” … (emphasis added)
The War Powers Resolution of 1973 (50 U.S.C. 1541–1548) only allows the President to send US armed forces into action abroad if the United States is already under attack or facing a serious threat of attack. Failing those conditions (which clearly do not exist), only the Congress can declare war. In this case, they weren’t even consulted.
The president pledged in his letter, as he has in his public remarks, that the “strikes will be limited in their nature, duration, and scope” and “will set the stage for further action by other coalition partners.”
If he plans to use the War Powers Resolution as a fig leaf, he’s allowed only sixty days without Congress authorizing further action.
Unlike some (including Dennis Kucinich, who is not known for his keen grasp of reality), I don’t know that this is an impeachable offense. However, like Gabriel Malor at the Ace of Spaces, I see no reason why the question can’t be asked. In any event, the real fun is watching heads explode on the left over this issue as some tie themselves into hypocritical knots defending the current president while continuing to vilify the warmonger who served before him, and others cry about how this is not the Obama they voted for. A relevant question: Remember when bombing muslim countries was a bad thing? And, from John Hawkins: Seven questions for liberals about Obama’s Libyan war.