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Tortured Defenses of Obama's Presidential Power

1:05 PM, Jun 3, 2014 • By ADAM J. WHITE
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It is easy to pick on Lederman for his distinctly different approaches to the Bush and Obama administrations, if only because he at least he had the courage to stick his neck out both times: first criticizing the Bush administration, and then defending the Obama administration. (Harold Koh, of Yale and then the Obama State Department, is another.) Critics can judge for themselves whether the substance (and tone) of Lederman's Bush-era condemnations are plausibly consistent with his Obama-era "explanations."

But far less impressive are those who campaigned loudly against the Bush administration generally--and John Yoo personally--only to disappear when the Obama administration pushed the boundaries of unilateral presidential action far beyond anything ventured by the Bush administration. Other than professor Jonathan Turley, it seems that Bush and Yoo's loudest liberal critics have gone silent. 

In light of the Obama administration's latest actions and arguments, Yoo would be justified in asking the famous question, "Which office do I go to to get my reputation back?"

For the rest of us, the question is whether Bush's critics now agree with the constitutional arguments they once mocked, or whether they still disagree but aren't brave enough to say it before President Obama leaves office.

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