From Talking Points Memo, we find out that J.D. Hayworth, the candidate competing for John McCain's Senate seat, has a unique insight on congressional declarations of war. He seems to have learned from the Prof. Blutarsky school of history.
While speaking last week to a local GOP organization in Phoenix, Hayworth was asked by an attendee about America's failure to formally declare war in our modern conflicts. Hayworth defended the modern-day authorizations for the use of military force. "But I would also point out, that if we want to be sticklers, the war that Dwight Eisenhower led in Europe against the Third Reich was never declared by the United States Congress," said Hayworth. "Recall, the Congress passed a war resolution against Japan. Germany declared war on us two days later. We never formally declared war on Hitler's Germany, and yet we fought the war."
The questioner then responded that he thought the United States did declare on Germany, and he would check it. Hayworth responded: "I think we should check it. Perhaps we made the rationalization -- since there was the Axis alliance -- that the attack of Japan was tantamount to the attack of the Third Reich. But as I recall in my history, Germany declared war on the United States, not vice-versa."
In fact, the United states did declare war on Germany. The timeline goes as follows: Japan attacked the U.S. Naval base at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The United States declared war against Japan the next day, December 8, 1941. Then on December 11, 1941, Germany declared war against the United States -- to which the United States immediately reciprocated by declaring war against Germany that same day.
Republican politicians seem to enjoy creating their own realities, and this really bad trait makes them uniquely unqualified to address national security issues - especially decisions like going to war, where they can freely spend tens of thousands of lives and billions of dollars without much thought as to the consequences of their decisions. John McCain's decision to accept Sarah Palin as his vice president in the past campaign was surely a stupid, short-sighted one - but it's telling that Arizona could put someone even worse into the Senate than McCain.