But only when a Democrat is in the White House. A reader writes:

You wrote:

But this was ultimately a function of ceding the rule of law to the rule of one man - not for a one-off emergency, but permanently, indefinitely, because this war has no end, and the Republican establishment believes that the president has no limits on his power in a permanent state of war.

No, not the President, rather THEIR President. I predict to a certainty that if a Democrat – any Democrat – wins the White House in November 2008, by mid-morning the day after that person is inaugurated in January of 2009, all the Republicans still in Congress, and all the Republicans on the federal bench, will suddenly find within themselves an all-consuming concern for the rule of law not to be vested in one man (or woman), for the centrality of checks and balances, for the overriding necessity for Congressional oversight, the supreme importance of impartial, apolitical administration of justice, and for the requirement in a free society that the government respect the privacy of all forms of communication between and among citizens.  And they will be morally repelled by the idea of torture.

The Republican establishment does indeed believe in an autocratic Presidency, but only an autocratic Republican presidency. They are first, last, and always partisans, not patriots.

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