The notion of Constitutional Separation of Powers has gotten muddied over the last ten years or so, thanks in great part to the Republicans and the wars of choice in Iraq and Afghanistan, costing trillions in American blood and treasure. It appears that they agree with Nixon's declaration that it's not illegal if the President does it, at least when it comes to a Republican president.
A quick perusal of right wing outlets show a plethora of poutrage over what they perceive as President Obama's overreach as the Chief Executive of the nation. No later than ten minutes after Mitt Romney uttered these words, Lindsey Graham was reaching for his smelling salts over Obama's new immigration stance.
But we all know that overreach only applies when it's a Democratic president. That's why Mitt Romney can tell host Bob Schieffer point blank that he has the right to act unilaterally against Iran.
SCHIEFFER: Let me turn to foreign policy. Bill Kristol, writing in the Weekly Standard this week, says we are reaching the time of consequence in our dealing with Iran on nuclear weapons. He says it is time for the President to go to the Congress and say, “I want you to authorize me to be able to use military force” if that becomes necessary. And he says if the President is not willing to do that, then the Congress should do it themselves. What's your take on that?
ROMNEY: Well, I can understand the reason for his recommendation and his concern. I think he's recognized that this president has communicated that in some respects, well, he might even be more worried about Israel taking direct military action than he is about Iran becoming nuclear. That's the opinion of some who watch this. And so he wants the President to take action that shows that a military Iran, that a nuclear Iran is unacceptable.
And I believe it's important for us to communicate that. I can assure you if I’m president, the Iranians will have no question but that I will be willing to take military action if necessary to prevent them from becoming a nuclear threat to the world. I don't believe at this stage, therefore, if I'm president that we need to have a war powers approval or special authorization for military force. The President has that capacity now. I understand that some in the Senate for instance have written letters to the President indicating you should know that a containment strategy is unacceptable.
We cannot survive a course of action would include a nuclear Iran we must be willing to take any and all actions. All those actions must be on the table.
Quick, can you name a nation that has acted aggressively against Iran and won? Didn't think so.
The Separation of Powers: it's not just for Democrats any more.