For eight years, supporters of Bush’s flouting of the Constitution dismissed critics as either “leftists,” “anti-Semites,” or, when all else failed, “haters.” Today’s Wall Street Journal features one Peter Berkowitz, singing the same old plaintive song.
Funny, isn’t it? Defenders of a president who boasted of making major decisions by “following his gut” accuse his critics of irrationality?
Well, as usual, somebody’s gotta tell the truth, so here it is. Americans have always hated the abuse of power. Remember Carville and Begala assailing the Clinton-haters? They made many of the “Bush-Haters” look like lobbyists at a love-in.
Abuse of power, whoever wields it, will engender hate. Clinton and Bush abused power all the time, and, to put in in Christian terms, people hated the sin — and rightfully so — but not (necessarily) the sinner.
Here’s a prediction: Obama came to power promising “change,” but not with regard to the abuse of power: he is only going to change the beneficiaries of the abuses, which he is now propounding thick and fast. Obama will continue the time-honored tradition of abusing power followed by Clinton and Bush. As Cheney put it, if he isn’t impeached, all of Obama’s abuses of power will be legal.
So yes, on some not distant day, Obama’s critics will undoubtedly be called “Obama-haters.” Given the nearly divine image he has achieved in the eyes of some supporters, however, his defenders might just haul his his critics into court on charges of blasphemy.11:29 am on January 31, 2009 Email Christopher Manion