Damon W. Root @ Reason.com:
Writing in Sunday’s New York Times, Peter Baker reports on the fallout among American liberals after the news broke last week about the Obama administration’s secret memo justifying the use of drones to kill American citizens. Baker writes:
Conservatives complained that if Mr. Bush had done what Mr. Obama has done, he would have been eviscerated by liberals and the news media. But perhaps more than ever before in Mr. Obama’s tenure, liberals voiced sustained grievance over the president’s choices.
“That memo coming out, I think, was a wake-up call,” said Christopher Anders, senior legislative counsel of the American Civil Liberties Union. “These last few days, it was like being back in the Bush days.”
“It’s causing a lot of cognitive dissonance for a lot of people,” he added. “It’s not the President Obama they thought they knew.”
Isn’t it a little late for a wake-up call? Obama has already waged a war in Libya without congressional approval, which is a pretty good signal that he takes an expansive view of executive power. And then there’s the fact that Obama rammed several very high-profile government appointments past the U.S. Senate by invoking his recess appointment power when the Senate was not actually in recess—an executive power play that Bush never attempted. But I suppose it’s better late than never when it comes to criticizing presidential overreach.
Unfortunately, as Baker also notes, some of the president’s supporters remain immune to the cognitive dissonance