The Jury Talks Back

8/12/2017

Sen. Ben Sasse: Congress Doesn’t Vote To Go To War Based On The President’s Latest Rant

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 9:03 am

[guest post by Dana]

When in front of an audience, it’s no secret that President Trump is compelled to go off-script, and go more bigly and bolder at the opportunity. So knowing that, in a week of incendiary rhetoric being lobbed at North Korea, it only makes sense he would also target Venezuela. Because “fire and fury” in North Korea just isn’t enough when there is yet another country currently imploding at the hands of its lunatic leader. In a week of tit-for-tat ratcheting up of threats with third-world thugs, we should remember that, in spite of public comments made by any previous president being of consequence and taken seriously, you will be ridiculed and mocked for attempting to hold this president to the same standard. Only his tweets are “official statements”. And while you see these “threats” as bold and courageous and a long time in coming, your neighbor sees them as yet another demonstration of unwise and reckless foolishness.

Obviously, Sen. Ben Sasse, a member of the Armed Services Committee and a Trump critic, falls into the latter group :

No. Congress obviously isn’t authorizing war in Venezuela. Nicolas Maduro is a horrible human being, but Congress doesn’t vote to spill Nebraskans’ blood based on who the executive lashes out at today.

Note: President Trump made his comments to the media after refusing to take a call from Maduro, and after the White House released a sound statement:

“The United States stands with the people of Venezuela in the face of their continued oppression by the Maduro regime. President Trump will gladly speak with the leader of Venezuela as soon as democracy is restored in that country,” the White House said.

But in front of the cameras, such a reasonable statement won’t do. Trump’s rule of thumb seems to be to always up the ante and be more provocative than the other guy because he thinks it looks tough, ballsy, and speaks to power. And if that means drawing his own red line in the sand, then so be it. But just don’t think that double-standard metric will hold water:

When President Obama drew a red line in Syria and then refused to enforce it, the rest of the world took notice; Russia and China quickly became aggressive. Trump making empty threats may sound good to him on the morning shows when played back, but if he doesn’t fulfill those threats, then he becomes another paper tiger. Trump can’t just say stuff. What he says matters, even if he doesn’t think it should. He can’t afford to blow his foreign policy credibility.

And for those pointing out that Sen. Sasse’s votes have lined up with President Trump, that does not mean that he is speaking out of both sides of his mouth.

–Dana

1 Comment »

  1. I seriously don’t get it; what did Trump say that was wrong here?

    If I’m reading it right, it’s saying that a military opinion is not off the table? That’s hardly a red line, so I suspect he said worse, somewhere. But if that’s all he said, so what? It makes sense to not take it off the table, because it might be a restraining factor.

    Personally, I think it’s best to ignore Venezuela while the Korea mess is ongoing.

    Comment by Arizona CJ — 8/12/2017 @ 3:15 pm

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