Charles Pierce at Esquire has distilled into a single paragraph more truths about the nature of our presidency, as currently constituted, than should be allowed.
In other words, it's a deadly rant.
Before getting to the paragraph-long rant of his I've included below, let's first look at what set him off, which is this tidbit from The New York Times:
Rather than agreeing to some Democratic senators' demands for full access to the classified legal memos on the targeted killing program, Obama administration officials are negotiating with Republicans to provide more information on the lethal attack last year on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, according to three Congressional staff members.So here we have the White House a) refusing access to the legal rationale behind the president's assumed right to kill Americans anywhere he or she chooses, including ostensibly within the borders of the United States, while b) kowtowing to GOP whining for more information about the anti-Obama distraction machine that is Benghazi.
Which is why Pierce, smoke pouring out of his ears, concluded a recent piece in this way:
This is what happens when you elect someone -- anyone -- to the presidency as that office is presently constituted. Of all the various Washington mystery cults, the one at that end of Pennsylvania Avenue is the most impenetrable. This is why the argument many liberals are making -- that the drone program is acceptable both morally and as a matter of practical politics because of the faith you have in the guy who happens to be presiding over it at the moment -- is criminally naive, intellectually empty, and as false as blue money to the future. The powers we have allowed to leach away from their constitutional points of origin into that office have created in the presidency a foul strain of outlawry that (worse) is now seen as the proper order of things. If that is the case, and I believe it is, then the very nature of the presidency of the United States at its core has become the vehicle for permanently unlawful behavior. Every four years, we elect a new criminal because that's become the precise job description.Reading this, I cringe. I cringe because of how painfully obvious its truths have become.