The Corner

Obama to Democratic Senators on Drones: I’m Not Dick Cheney, So Trust Me

Politico has an interesting report on a closed-door meeting between President Obama and members of the Senate Democratic conference on Tuesday. According to two unnamed senators who were present, Senator Jay Rockefeller (D., W. Va.) expressed his displeasure with the Obama administration’s refusal to let members of Congress see the legal memos drafted by the Department of Justice to justify the administration’s use of drones against American terrorists abroad:

Obama recently allowed members of [the congressional intelligence committees] to see the memos, but only after senators in both parties threatened to hold up the confirmation of John Brennan as Central Intelligence Agency director. Brennan was confirmed last week, but lawmakers not on one of the intelligence panels are still being denied access to the memos and several are steamed over being frozen out.

Obama’s response was to assure the senators that they could trust him because:

“This is not Dick Cheney we’re talking about here,” he said, according to Democratic senators who asked not to be named discussing the private meeting.

He also attempted to deflect blame by an odd disclaiming of responsibility for the legal justification his administration acted on. “In response to Rockefeller’s critique, Obama said he’s not involved in drafting such memos,” the senators told Politico.

(The president apparently has remarkably little say over what happens in his administration. On the same day he met with unhappy members of his party, he told George Stephanopolous in an interview that it was the Secret Service’s call, not his, to shut down White House tours in response to the sequester, despite his press secretary having previously claimed that the White House was responsible for the decision.)

In a show of empathy for the Democratic senators, he reportedly acknowledged that he would feel the same way about his actions if he were still in their shoes, but since he’s the one in charge now, he finds these actions unobjectionable:

The president noted that he would have “probably objected” over the White House’s handling of this issue if he were still a senator, they said. But, according to the sources, he noted his viewpoint changed now that he occupies the Oval Office — not a room in a Senate office building.

Most Popular

World

The ‘Rough Sex’ Problem

John Broadhurst, a 41-year-old multi-millionaire from the United Kingdom — convicted of “manslaughter by gross negligence” after he killed his 26-year-old girlfriend Natalie Connolly during so-called “rough sex” — will walk free after serving only half of his 44-month sentence. Like many countries, ... Read More
World

The ‘Rough Sex’ Problem

John Broadhurst, a 41-year-old multi-millionaire from the United Kingdom — convicted of “manslaughter by gross negligence” after he killed his 26-year-old girlfriend Natalie Connolly during so-called “rough sex” — will walk free after serving only half of his 44-month sentence. Like many countries, ... Read More
Elections

Joe Biden’s Authoritarian VP Finalist

Last year, Senator Kamala Harris may have become the first presidential candidate in history to laugh derisively at the idea that the Constitution limits what a president can do. When former Vice President Joe Biden said that her plan for gun control by executive fiat didn’t pass constitutional muster, she ... Read More
Elections

Joe Biden’s Authoritarian VP Finalist

Last year, Senator Kamala Harris may have become the first presidential candidate in history to laugh derisively at the idea that the Constitution limits what a president can do. When former Vice President Joe Biden said that her plan for gun control by executive fiat didn’t pass constitutional muster, she ... Read More
Law & the Courts

New York’s Lawless NRA Lawsuit

The latest bananas news from the banana republic that is the State of New York: The attorney general, a political enemy of the National Rifle Association, is seeking to have the advocacy organization legally dissolved. The pretext is financial corruption and self-dealing on the part of the NRA’s ... Read More
Law & the Courts

New York’s Lawless NRA Lawsuit

The latest bananas news from the banana republic that is the State of New York: The attorney general, a political enemy of the National Rifle Association, is seeking to have the advocacy organization legally dissolved. The pretext is financial corruption and self-dealing on the part of the NRA’s ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Misguided Attempt to Dissolve the NRA

Closing out the week with some variety: The evidence of mismanagement and wasteful spending at the NRA is real, but New York State attorney general Letitia James is on a vendetta against the organization in just about the worst possible way; an eye-opening question about Susan Rice perhaps having undisclosed ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Misguided Attempt to Dissolve the NRA

Closing out the week with some variety: The evidence of mismanagement and wasteful spending at the NRA is real, but New York State attorney general Letitia James is on a vendetta against the organization in just about the worst possible way; an eye-opening question about Susan Rice perhaps having undisclosed ... Read More