Meet The New Boss

More

2591310882_5cd9e3047f_o.jpg

Jim Henley on Barack Obama's lack of leadership on FISA: "If the House and Senate leadership really did sneak the bill past him last week, which I’m not inclined to believe, still nothing stopped him from shutting them down this week. Except if he either doesn’t consider it important enough to be worth his time and credibility, or if he’s just as happy that the measure might pass." And of course if I were Barack Obama it's very possible that I wouldn't think giving the executive branch unlimited surveillance powers was a bad idea at all -- I'm going to be president in a few months.

For the rest of us, this is a concern. But it's still baffling to me how little concern congressional Republicans seem to have about this. It's not that I expect logical consistency to restrain them -- they complained about Bill Clinton's expansions of executive power in the 1990s then turned on a dime when Bush entered office and they'll turn again in 2009. But while they'll be able to whine about the inevitable abuses Bush-era policymaking has opened the door to, they won't actually be able to do anything about it. Meanwhile, I guess I hope President Obama uses his powers responsibly, but on some level I'm sort of rooting for massive abuses so the right can get what they've been asking for.

Photo courtesy of BarackObama.com used under a Creative Commons license

Jump to comments
Presented by

Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Technicolor Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

What Do You Wish You Learned in College?

Ivy League academics reveal their undergrad regrets

Video

Famous Movies, Reimagined

From Apocalypse Now to The Lord of the Rings, this clever video puts a new spin on Hollywood's greatest hits.

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In