Kevin Drum has accurately summed up the reasons why the mumbling about "in time of war" or "wartime President" is disingenuous.
If this is how we define "wartime," it means that in the century from 1940 to 2040 the president will have had emergency wartime powers for virtually the entire time. But does that make sense? Is anyone really comfortable with the idea that three decades from now the president of the United States will have had wartime executive powers for nearly a continuous century?Read the whole thing. "Wartime" is a shibboleth aimed only at suppressing criticism of President Bush, and honest conservatives should eschew its use.
Somehow we need to come to grips with this. There's "wartime" and then there's "wartime," and not all armed conflicts vest the president with emergency powers.