Monday, December 29, 2008

Commander in Chief - a West Wing quibble

I never watched West Wing when it was on the air, but I bought the seven seasons on DVD to watch over the holidays on a whim. (I caught a rerun on TV of the episode that had the shooting in Roslyn and got interested.)

I'm up to season 6 now. President Bartlet is on the plane to China, paralyzed. His staff is making noises about landing in Alaska, and he hollers that the plane is going to China. Quote: "That's a direct order from your Commander in Chief."

This isn't the only time the series has made such inaccurate references. If I may direct you to the Constitution: "The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States." The President is not Commander in Chief of civilians, cabinet, staff, or any other body or individual; he is their President.