To follow-up on my earlier post, I think liberal and libertarian accusations of creeping totalitarianism are as obnoxious and counterproductive as the histrionics of their conservative counterparts. Yes, John Yoo’s skewed interpretation of the Constitution is downright scary, and yes, the Bush Administration’s approach to detainee treatment and warrantless surveillance was Kafka-esque. But we certainly weren’t living in a dictatorship circa 2004, and there ought to be some context for these discussions. Put another way: Bush may have created a number of dangerous precedents for an unscrupulous successor to exploit, but if he was a despot, he would rank as one of the most ineffective autocrats in history.
Elsewhere: And if you’re looking for some context, Daniel McCarthy will gladly point you in the right direction.