In this video Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) quotes the Founders on the matter of war and peace in a letter from James Madison to Alexander Hamilton. The bottom line of the video is the war on Libya is constitutionally illegal, and Obama is devastatingly dangerous. Here are snippets of dialog.
[MADISON TO HAMILTON] In no part of the Constitution is more wisdom to be found than the clause which confines the question of war or peace to the legislature and NOT to the executive department. The trust and the temptation would be too great for any one man. War is in fact the true nurse of executive aggrandizement. In a war a physical force is to be created and it is to the executive will which is to direct it. In war the public treasure is to be unlocked and it is the executive hand which is to dispense them. In war the honors and emoluments of office are to be multiplied and it is the executive patronage under which they are to be enjoyed. Those who are to conduct a war cannot in the nature of things be proper or safe judges of whether a war should be commensed, continued or concluded.
[MCCLINTOCK] The President has tried to justify this act in a variety of ways: not enough time to consult Congress, although there was more than enough time to consult the United Nations Security Council….
If this act is allowed to stand unchallenged, it means that the checks and balances painstakingly built into the Constitution on the supreme question of war and peace have been rendered meaningless.
We need to remember that a war once started cannot always be turned off by an Appropriations act. Once we’ve attacked another country with provocation, we have created an agreed belligerent that now has cause to pursue that war, regardless of what this Congress later decides.
That’s why this President is so dangerous. That’s why the President’s actions are so devastating to our very form of government and that’s why we must speak clearly through [legislation].
Congressman Tom McClintock on the Illegal Libyan War (video)