For decades (and not just since Obama became president, either) the office of the president has slowly been taking on more and more power unto itself. By a constant flurry of Executive Orders (the wide use of which starting chiefly during FDR’s term) to making war without much bothering with Congress, presidents have been grabbing power from our legislative branch with both fists. The Senate had a chance today to reassert its own power but sadly it has allowed that opportunity to pass unrealized.

Senator Rand Paul (R, KY) proposed an amendment to a small business bill that would reaffirm the constitutional authority of Congress to declare war. This amendment would have taken away some measure of assumed presidential power to return that power to Congress.

Sadly, Paul couldn’t even get his own party to join his quest to right the ship and the amendment failed 9-10.

I have been saying for years that Congress has abdicated too much of its powers, not just to overreaching presidents but also to the courts.

As Rand Paul said in his floor address on the amendment, Congress has taken the saying “don’t tread on me” and turned it into “tread on me, please tread on me.”

Some Republicans complained that the amendment did not belong attached to a small business bill. Yeah, suddenly they are squeamish about attaching unassociated riders to bills?

Now, one of the reasons that many Democrats voted against this amendment is supposedly because Paul based his argument on Obama’s own words when he was scolding George W. Bush during the 2008 campaign for the White House.

Democrats claimed that a vote for this amendment would be a vote to slap their own president. And so it would have. But it is also a slap at G.W. Bush. And Clinton. And Reagan. And every president since FDR, for that matter.

Obviously, both were offering convenient and lame excuses not to vote for this.

I would love for this to have passed. I would also love to see Congress taking back some of fits prerogatives. Just as I feel Congress has let presidents walk all over it, Congress has also allowed the courts to do the same.

In the case of the courts our so-called lawmakers have abdicated their responsibility to write lawful and constitutional laws and seems to have decided that they can and should just come up with any crazy, anti-American, unconstitutional drivel and then just leave it to the courts to decide if the law is right. It’s as if they don’t feel they have any reason to make sure what they are proposing is constitutional at all.

The Senate should have been happy to vote yes on Paul’s amendment. In eras past, Congress has zealously guarded its prerogative. But now it has become the doormat of Paul’s –– and our — nightmares.