Reprinted from The Nation
President Obama made a number of powerful proposals in his address to the United States Sunday night -- for sensible gun-control measures, for respecting this country's restrictions against religious tests, for an understanding of the role that Muslims in the United States and abroad can play in combating terrorism. Speaking in a tense moment following the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Obama asked Americans to reject fear and bigotry and to embrace reason and the rule of law.
Of course, "in this political season," Obama's appeal to reason drew predictable denunciations from the neocon fever swamp. Republican presidential candidates, drunk on outdated patent medicine from Dick Cheney's cabinet, were condemning the president for inaction even as Obama proposed action.
Despite what the conservatives critics claimed, the agenda Obama laid out was an ambitious one.
The proposals the president made merit debate. Some will be rejected. Others will be reworked before they are accepted.
But one proposal from the president should be beyond debate. He said the war in which the United States is currently engaged must be reviewed by Congress. On this, the president was both practically and constitutionally correct.
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