Today's Charlie

Esquire's Charlie Pierce is a fucking god:
I do not feel compelled to respect a president any more or less than I respect somebody I hire to fix my roof or paint my house. Whomever gets elected works for me. As to the office, well, I understand how it is a single unifying figure within the government, and how he—again, theoretically—represents the whole country. But, in my lifetime, the Oval Office has seen coups, burglaries, and illegal arms sales planned. It has been the venue for criminal mischief and illicit canoodling. That it is also the place where the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act were signed is the great paradox. But the idea that I have to respect The Presidency qua The Presidency is something that raises the hackles in my democratic conscience.
First of all, there's this commander-in-chief business. By constitutional mandate, the president is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Period. He is not my commander-in-chief. Neither is he yours. Neither is he the commander-in-chief of the civilian government. The Congress can tell him to go whistle. The Supreme Court can slap his agenda back in his face. Nobody outside the military has to salute him. But, in every presidency, there's a temptation to push the commander-in-chief prerogatives a little further into the civilian sphere, and this is powerfully dangerous. To his credit, Garry Wills has been railing against this for years. He points out that, when Richard Nixon decapitated the Watergate Special Counsel's office, Alexander Haig presumed to tell assistant attorney-general William Ruckelshaus that Ruckelshaus' "commander-in-chief" had given him an order. Ruckelshaus told Haig to pound sand and got fired. Nixon wasn't Ruckelshaus' commander-in-chief. He was just his boss.
Always go back and read your Charlie. It's not like vegetables at all - it's good and it's for ya too.

Today I Learned:
18th century Pamphleteer Mercy Otis Warren

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