At some points during the Republican primary campaign especially, CINC [commander-in-chief] was being used almost as a synonym for president -- much as we might substitute 'chief executive' for president. And the growing use of the term in this sense is an effective barometer of the progressive militarization of our concept of the presidency and our government itself.This is a perfect example of how the Republicans run circles around the Dems on message. Republican positions on most domestic issues are so unpopular that they should be confined to permanent minority party status, but they have learned how to define the debate in such a way as favor them despite their support of universally unpopular policies.
We see it here in its semantic form but we can observe its concrete effect in the Bush administration's claims of almost absolute presidential power well outside of war-fighting -- almost as if the president is a kind of warlord simultaneously directing the military and the civilian governments with similar fiat powers.
We need to re-familiarize ourselves with the fact that the point of the constitution's explicitly giving the president the title of commander-in-chief was not to make him into a quasi-military figure. It was precisely the opposite -- to create no doubt that the armed forces answered not to a chief of staff or senior general ...but to a civilian elected officeholder who operates with the constrained and limited power of that world rather than the unbound authority of military command.
With the end of the cold war the GOP lost 3 presidential election in a row, but they've now found something better than the cold war -- they've got the war on terror and this war will never end!
Listen to the GOP talking heads, surrogates and shills and how they are working 24/7 to frame the presidential election as a requirement for a military strongman.
The Republicans know what they are doing. Do the Dems?