Will your core beliefs switch with the presidency?
We’ve just wrapped up the most awful eight years in at least a generation—probably more, but I’m not old enough to know for sure. Everything that could go wrong, did. Everything that President Bush could mangle, he did. It was planned incompetence, a looting of government by corrupt contractors, a gleeful demolition of the public trust on the part of its leaders. And, amazingly, at least four years of that was conducted with the permission of America, an America who knew what they were getting into. It will take years for us to take the full measure of the damage. Patrick Farley labels it “all circus and no bread,” and I think that’s about right.
Today brought the first changing of the guard that has taken place with a political blogosphere. Roles are about to be swapped. Beliefs are going to be challenged. Will those who demanded that President Bush be treated respectfully, by virtue of being president, extend the same courtesy to President Obama?1 And vice-versa? Will those who supported unlimited powers for the presidency, superior to the the courts and the legislature, continue to support those powers? (We know John Yoo and John Bolton won’t.) And will those who argued that the branches are coequal argue that as loudly if Obama oversteps those boundaries? The next four (or eight) years will amount to a very public hypocrisy test for thousands. Bloggers: you’re on notice.
1. President Obama. Holy shit. PRESIDENT OBAMA! That is wonderful to write. I could cry.