And if not, why?
I only mention Senator Clinton as opposed to the other candidates because she is the one that makes them the most apoplectic but it certainly would apply to any other Democratic candidate. For me, the answer is an obvious no, but most likely for very different reasons.
You see, I think the whole “unitary executive” nonsense is just that – nonsense. As such, it should be abolished, destroyed and quite frankly ruled unconstitutional, just so it can be stricken from the realm of reality. Warrantless wiretapping is illegal. Plain and simple. And nobody should have that power – not a Democrat, not a republican, not anyone.
Of course, there are many – millions even, who think that warrantless wiretapping of American citizens on American soil by the Bush administration, not to mention the telecom companies who went along with this illegal charade and now want immunity for their crimes and complicity. Unfortunately, there are even some Democrats in Congress (thanks, Senator Feinstein) who have taken such a strong stand against the Constitution and rule of law that the lines once again get blurred between what is and what should never be.
But to have this power in the hands of a Democrat – let alone that Democrat is something that is inexcusable not because of what it is, but because of who would have that power. And this is how we should be talking about the latest illegal issue that seven years ago would never have even been a consideration of something to even talk about, let alone have so many people willingly excuse.
If having this power and ability to break the law is necessary to fight and root out terrorists (even though it is not), and even if you “have nothing to hide so it shouldn’t matter anyway” (even though it isn’t the point and does matter), then I’m sure that there is no reason for anyone in the non-existent vast right-wing conspiracy to be concerned.
Because having this power doesn’t mean that it won’t be used for political purposes or for retribution or blackmail, right? This administration has never been found to do something that is politically motivated or has never broken the law in the name of “keeping us safe” and has never done anything for retribution or in retaliation for something else.
In the event that somehow you feel that you have no civil liberties when you are dead and you are so afraid of the boogyman that you are all on board with monitoring the sales of falafel to catch Iranian “terrorists” (hint: you have the wrong country), then it shouldn’t matter who is President. The ends justify the means, right? Can’t keep our Commander-in-Chief’s hands tied when it comes to hunting down the enemy and fighting them over there so we don’t have them follow us home, right?
But if the idea of warrantless and illegal spying on your life is something that you don’t want Hillary Clinton (or Barack Obama, John Edwards or any other Democratic candidate) to have the power to do but you are ok with it now – maybe you really aren’t ok with it. If you are afraid that she would abuse this power, then guess what? There is already someone who is abusing this power. A power that nobody should have in the first place.
And if you think that it is ok for one President to have this ability but not another President, then it really isn’t about fighting terrorism, is it?