Senator Biden v. President Obama On The Use Of Military Force

Joe Biden speaking before the Scott County Democratic Party banquet, Davenport, Iowa on December 14, 2007:

“If he takes this nation to war in Iran without congressional approval, I will make it my business to impeach him. And that’s a fact. That is a fact.”

Update: Here’s Biden discussing the same point on Hardball a few days after the above speech:

FILED UNDER: National Security, US Politics, , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Tano says:

    As if an invasion of Iran, and a limited bombing of Libya’s air defenses are remotely comparable?

  2. PD Shaw says:

    No, one would arguably be a pre-emptive strike against an imminent threat; the other assumes that the President can bomb any country he likes for any reason.

  3. Jay Tea says:

    Tano, I don’t recall much talk about invading Iran — just carrying out air strikes.

    The major difference was that the Iranian targets would have been their nuclear weapons facilities, while in Libya it’s their air-defense facilities and their ground forces.

    Which actually makes an invasion somewhat easier.

    Of course, Biden talks about stirring up support for impeachment among his fellow Senators, which confirms the guy is an idiot. The House impeaches; the Senate tries the case.

    Personally, I like this quote from Obama in December 2007:

    The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

    As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent.

    How things change…


  4. sam says:

    Yes, well, I think Orin Kerr over at Volokh captured all this in what I’ve come to call, “Orin’s Law, or Looking from the Outside In vs. Looking from the Inside Out.” It goes:

    When political party P was in/out of Power, P was for/against Policy ____.

    Examples abound.

  5. PD Shaw says:

    To be fair to Biden, he was promising to slay a dragon that he knew didn’t exist. The dragon was the figment of liberal paranoia, stoked by broad claims of executive authority emenating from the Vice President and by obfuscation and denial of responsiblity from the Democrats that voted for war in Iraq.

    I’ve done the same for my children.

  6. TG Chicago says:

    To be fair to Biden, he was promising to slay a dragon that he knew didn’t exist. The dragon was the figment of liberal paranoia…


    Cheney Says He Was Proponent for Military Action Against Iran

    I think it’s pretty clear that Cheney wanted to attack Iran without congressional approval. If paranoia was involved at all, it was Cheney’s.

  7. Drew says:

    JB – the gift that keeps on giving. And they attack Sarah Palin……..