The beauty of democratic rotations of power is that when the opposition takes office, cheap criticism and calumny will no longer do. The Democrats now own Iraq. They own the war on al-Qaeda. And they own the panoply of anti-terror measures with which the Bush administration kept us safe these past seven years.This is something I thought a lot about when I decided to vote for Obama. The Democrats need their turn in the position of power so they will own and take responsibility for the things that really do need to be done. And it is an opportunity for all of us to see and understand clearly what these things are.
Which is why Obama is consciously creating a gulf between what he now dismissively calls "campaign rhetoric" and the policy choices he must make as president. Accordingly, Newsweek -- Obama acolyte and scourge of everything Bush/Cheney -- has on the eve of the Democratic restoration miraculously discovered the arguments for warrantless wiretaps, enhanced interrogation and detention without trial. Indeed, Newsweek's neck-snapping cover declares, "Why Obama May Soon Find Virtue in Cheney's Vision of Power."
By the way, I was surprised to see Krauthammer use that vivid expression "neck-snapping," when Krauthammer is paralyzed as a result of snapping his neck in a diving accident. I suspect there are many individuals with disabilities who make a point of using the very imagery that other people might apologize for using in their presence.