There is nothing remotely surprising in this progression. It is the natural evolution of the relationship between the Oval Office and Congress under Obama, who, like his successor, was subjected to an endless series of pointless congressional investigations. No cessation of hostilities is imaginable. Lyndon Johnson, who directed federal law enforcement agents to report upon the activities of his opponent in the 1964 election, is likely to remain the last president whose ability to govern was not significantly diminished by scurrilous interference of the legislative branch.

This is a constitutional revolution. We now have a de-facto Westminster system in which heads of government are responsible not only for securing their election but for surviving votes of no confidence from the lower chamber of the legislature. We will enjoy the apparent benefits of such a constitution, however, in the absence of the most important feature that distinguishes our present one from that of the British — namely, the distinction between the persons of the head of state and the head of government. This should concern all Americans regardless of their partisan allegiance. If the chief executive no longer stands at the head of the federal government as the individual from whom all legal authority proceeds and receives its direction, we must look to create a separate office in whom sovereignty can reside, even if only nominally.