Sunday, June 22, 2008


Atrios wrote this yesterday:

As I've written before, Democrats will regret embracing the expansion of executive power because a President Obama will find his administration undone by an "abuse of power" scandal. All of those powers which were necessary to prevent the instant destruction of the country will instantly become impeachable offenses. If you can't imagine how such a pivot can take place then you haven't been paying attention.

Well, yes and no. Yes, it's quite easy to imagine that Republicans would accuse President Obama of abuse of power for doing pretty much what Bush has done as Republicans cheered -- or for not doing nearly as much in the realm of executive power. But they'll do that to Obama whether or not he and other Democrats fight on FISA. There's no connection whatsoever -- they'll do it no matter what. In any event, Democrats aren't "embracing the expansion of executive power" so much as backing away from a fight. But their attitude toward executive power is irrelevant to what will happen to Obama or whoever the next Democratic president is. The next Democratic president will be accused of abuse of power -- and, probably, of failure to abuse power (e.g., failure to torture evildoers) simultaneously. What Dems do or fail to do right now will have no impact on this.

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