A Note on Future Presidents

It will take me a while to find a copy of the decades-old Doonesbury strip that leaps to mind, though I’m thinking it was the late Jerald terHorst and the long-running joke about future presidents.

Rep. Peter T. King accused President Barack Obama of “undermining the authority of future presidents” to engage in military action in a scathing statement issued following Obama’s Rose Garden speech Saturday.Rep. Peter King (R-NY)

Obama said he would seek an authorization for the use of military force against the Syrian regime in response to the widely-reported use of chemical weapons, but King, a New York Republican and former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, blasted that move.

“President Obama is abdicating his responsibility as commander-in-chief and undermining the authority of future presidents. The President does not need Congress to authorize a strike on Syria. If Assad’s use of chemical weapons against civilians deserves a military response, and I believe it does, and if the President is seeking congressional approval, then he should call Congress back into a special session at the earliest date,” King said in a statement. “The President doesn’t need 535 Members of Congress to enforce his own redline.”


It is not that we are unfamiliar with the defense of future presidents and presidencies, but this is something of a twist.


There is an old Doonesbury from the 1970s, specifically from the Nixon/Ford era, in which the press corps was depicted as ludicrous and undyingly accommodating. A young Dan Rather challenged one or another spokesmen at the White House, got a vapid response, and attempted to reiterate the point only to be shouted down by his fellow journalists. The punch line that sticks out in my memory is, “Don’t be piggy, Dan.”

Dan Froomkin brings us a tale of our contemporary press corps that, while it does not read identically, reminds us at least of what we hoped was a bygone era:
Continue reading