Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Rachel Maddow on her new book Drift and ignoring the constitution in the rush to war

Today on TODAY, promoting her newly-out-in-paperback Drift, Rachel Maddow deplored the disregard for the safeguards the founding fathers built into the US constitution to discourage armed adventurism.

     The founders structured the country — not so that we would be pacifist — but so that we would be disinclined to war... If we hadn't been upset about what was difficult for us about supporting the British military, America wouldn't have existed in the first place. We didn't want to quarter their soldiers, we didn't want to pay for their military expeditionism. We have a peaceable bias in our structure. That ends up being subverted if it becomes very easy to go to war or if we are at war, we don't much notice...
     The decision to go to war should not be the president's alone. Congress is invested with the power as to whether we make war. We've stopped thinking about it that way. We've started thinking about the military as the president's to deploy at will. It doesn't work that way. It's supposed to be Congress that makes that decision...
     We're all supposed to be engaged. Military families have had such a different life since 911 than the rest of us. We should not feel so separate from their experience. We should feel more like one country that's been at war, not a country that sent 1% to fight it without us noticing it.

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