After the Gulf of Tonkin Incident allegedly occurred, President Johnson asked Congress for power to deal with the situation. While there was conflicting information about whether the incident actually occurred, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution by a vote of 504-2 that gave President Johnson the power to do whatever he needed to do to deal with this incident. There were reasons why there were two senators that voted against the resolution.
Wayne Morse and Ernest Gruening voted against the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. Part of the objection centered around the idea that Congress was violating the Constitution by surrendering its power to go to war when it gave President Johnson the full authority to handle the situation. They believed Congress should be involved in going to war. The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution eroded and/or gave away that power. This went against the checks and balances concept established by the Constitution. There also was the chance that the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution allowed for the possibility of this conflict lasting a long time with the taxpayers having to pay for the cost of our involvement. There was also a concern if we could win in Vietnam because this conflict was going to be a different kind of conflict than we were used to fighting. This was going to be a guerilla style war, and there was a concern if we could be successful fighting this kind of war in a jungle-like area.
While most politicians voted for the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, there were two senators that didn’t support it.