Don’t think Owen understands the US Constitution

So now we know what it takes for an unhinged, bigoted demagogue to win liberal applause: just bypass a constitution to fire some missiles.

A man widely castigated as a proto-fascist only needed to drop bombs without observing due process.

Leadership is shown by a man widely feared to be a) unhinged b) demagogic and c) authoritarian, dropping bombs in defiance of his country’s democratic process.

He bypassed the constitution this time,

They will have legitimised one extra-constitutional military intervention,

constitutional norms can be disregarded at a time of national crisis.

and would disregard constitutional norms.

Current constitutional practice is that, just as every US President has done since WWII, the Pres gets to decide this stuff.

Owen might not be right here therefore

30 thoughts on “Don’t think Owen understands the US Constitution”

  1. I believe that Obama was the only US president in history to have troops committed overseas for every day of an eight year presidency. Yet Owen would have blown him like a shot. Funny, eh?

  2. Bloke in Wiltshire


    Yup. Describes this as an undemocratic action while saying nothing about real oppression of democracy in the Socialist Paradise of Venezuela.

    On the other hand, things seem to be kicking off there, so maybe we’ll get Maduro swinging from a lamppost sometime soon.

  3. aah, so Owen has finally brought himself to criticise Obama policy. It just had to be Trump doing it for him to bring himself to do it.

  4. Guardian articles, exactly like Stop the War “statements”, contain the mandatory paragraph noting that gassing hundreds of children is a bad thing and “of course” we condemn that.
    Then they move on, rapidly, to the real business of saying that Trump and America are the real bad guys in the region. Of saying that, after gas attacks, 5 years of civil war, Russian inspired bombing of civilian areas, Iranian sponsored medievalism, a complete destruction of anaion’s infrastructure, 500,000 deaths, millions of refugees…. after all that Trump and America and ONE missile strike against a military airfield is the worst thing ever to befall that benighted nation.

    Absolutely fucking shameful.

  5. So Much For Subtlety

    A man widely castigated as a proto-fascist only needed to drop bombs without observing due process.

    It is an irony that little Owen doesn’t see the irony here. After all, Trump isn’t a proto-Fascist. He has never been convicted of Fascism, if such a thing is possible. He has never said he is a Fascist. The Fascists don’t think he is a Fascist.

    But Owen and his friends do. They have condemned him without cause or evidence and hence, of course, denied him due process.

  6. Bloke in North Dorset

    So it turns out that when somebody does think of the children they don’t mean Trump. I don’t suppose anyone around here is that surprised.

  7. Owen is being perfectly consistent here. His reading of the Constitution is that such actions are only permissible IF the President isn’t an “unhinged, bigoted, proto-Fascist demagogue”. If they are fellow Progressive travellers then of course any action is permissible, as their intentions are, by implication, good and sound (and shared with Owen).

    It’s all there in the constitution, if only you’d care to look.

  8. Current practice be buggered. It’s what’s in the Constitution that matters, as Ron and Rand Paul keep pointing out.

  9. DevonChap

    both he and Abbott’s extradition to Venezuela for crimes against the people there should be a priority in the event the Maduro regime falls…

  10. Social Justice Warrior

    In practice, the US Constitution is whatever the Supreme Court says.

    But Trump’s view is that “The President must get Congressional approval before attacking Syria”.

  11. Expressed and revealed preferences…..or, why would anyone ever believe the statements of a politician on the stump?

  12. Guardian articles, exactly like Stop the War “statements”, contain the mandatory paragraph noting that gassing hundreds of children is a bad thing and “of course” we condemn that.

    The following came from a program description in the Radio Exterior de España’s English service broadcast:

    The focus of today’s program is the alleged chemical weapons attack in a jihadist-held village in the Syrian province of Idlib, in the northwest, and the rapid response of the US government and its allies, first to attribute the attack to the Syrian armed forces, then to launch 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airbase near Homs. The program observes the lack of confirmed evidence on which to base the accusation and the precedents of illegal military incursions by the US, NATO and their allies into the region -Iraq in 2003 and Libya in 2011-. Voices of the UN chemical weapons inspector, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, and some of the political leaders, then and now.

    Yeah, it is that bad.

  13. The US is run on a constitution, which bears some passing resemblance to the Constitution if only by accident. The Constitution is clear; but Owen is the sort of sad little prick who would otherwise deride people who stick up for the Constitution as proto-fascist originalists. So it’s a bit bloody rich that he’s decided to stick up for it now himself.

    American history is pretty unambiguous: if a matter is important enough the Constitution is ignored. Jefferson, Lincoln … they were all at it.

  14. It’s been a test case: can you run a country on a short, clear, unambiguous Constitution that’s hard to amend? The US experience shouts “no”. Politicians ignore it; judges stage putsches against it; it just doesn’t work.

  15. The commander in chief (that is the president) gets to decide military action. What he cannot do is declare war – so American presidents tend not to. They just have the military invade somewhere — but there is no war declared.

    If a military action that is not a declared war takes too long the president has to approach congress regarding the non war but generally congress will give presidents what they want in that respect, non wars are popular things in the eyes of the people who think America should do something.

    Like it or not every American president has the power to use the military in foreign areas. There is a little more involved in ordering a nuclear strike but again comes back to the president – and his team. Not other governments within the US.

  16. Bloke in North Dorset

    The President has the right to use the military, as long as they have some money. If he needs more money he has to go to Congress.

  17. What are they all weeping about?

    To have an air force, you need jets.
    To fly jets, you need runways.
    No runway, no air force.

    Bombing what’s basically a fucking road is about the least murderous thing you can do with Tomahawk missiles.

    The US probably has enough munitions to bomb every airfield in the Mid East.
    And Dubai Duty Free was always a shithole anyway.

  18. In the last full year of Obama’s presidency, the US dropped/fired/unleashed 26,000 bombs/missiles/varieties of munitions on Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan. Trump fires off 59 cruise missiles at a runway, but he’s the fascist warmonger. Clearly my failure to compute that is down to my stupidity.

  19. @SJW

    “But Trump’s view is that “The President must get Congressional approval before attacking Syria”.”

    No – that was his view in (from memory) 2013. Yours strikes me as a particularly stupid argument.

  20. If Owen Jones is so enamoured of the U.S. constitution then no doubt he will wish t stand up and acknowledge, no, proclaim the legitimacy of Trump’s victory in the presidential election.

  21. Bloke in North Dorset

    If Obama had fired those missiles Owen and the rest would have been clamouring for him to get a bar for his Nobel Peace Prize.

  22. Owen must know his gig at the fraun is nearly over. They are going bust.

    I guess he’s writing the script for a Hollywood blockbuster.
    In the credits:
    “No tarmac was damaged during the making of this movie.”

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