Now that we have passed the fourth anniversary of President Bush's
"Mission Accomplished" speech and been painfully entertained once again by
the sight of him strutting around the deck of the U.S.S. Lincoln in a flight
suit (codpiece intact) with a flight helmet under his arm, isn't it time for
us to wonder why a sitting president, who is constitutionally always a civilian
commander in chief, was wearing military gear that day.
No U.S President, with one exception as far as I can tell, has ever worn
a military uniform while president. George Washington's donning
his old uniform and leading the army into western Pennsylvania against
the Whiskey rebels of 1794, is the only known instance, I believe, of a
sitting presidentacting officially while in unifom.
On that Mayday four years ago, George Bush revealed a disdain for the constitutional
desgnation of commander in chief as a civilian and always a civilian.
Perhaps he was also compensating for his shabby record with the Texas Air National Guard
by swooping on to the flight deck of the U.S.S. Lincoln
in a fighter jet and then parading around before the whole world as some
kind of fighter pilot hero.
What a pathetic spectacle.
-Professor Clive Leeman