Background: Bruce Ackerman is one of those people. You know: Harvard, Yale Law, a long and fruitful career writing articles in the right upper-crust policy journals and books that invariably get published via university presses. A fellow at that intersection of academia and Beltway culture, in other words: and my, but did he not enjoy the Bush administration! All the wrong sort were around that decade, apparently.
Seriously, take a look:
- Bruce Ackerman, February 8, 2001. Title is “Anatomy of a Constitutional Coup:”
Succumbing to the crudest partisan temptations, the Republicans managed to get their man into the White House, but at grave cost to the nation’s ideals and institutions. It will take a decade or more to measure the long-term damage of this electoral crisis to the Presidency and the Supreme Court – but especially in the case of the Court, Bush v. Gore will cast a very long shadow[*].
- Bruce Ackerman, December 11, 2008. After saying that the Bush administration’s “cavalier treatment of the rule of law has embarrassed America,” he ended with:
President Obama must return American foreign policy to the rule of law. It is time for him and Clinton to demonstrate that the era of illegal presidential unilateralism has come to an end.
- Bruce Ackerman, March 25, 2009. Fresh from the first betrayal of the Left (Gitmo remains open to this day), Ackerman wrote:
Barack Obama is no George W. Bush — he will indeed cut back substantially on unilateral assertions of power.
- Bruce Ackerman, September 11, 2014. Would you believe the NERVE of this guy?
PRESIDENT OBAMA’s declaration of war against the terrorist group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria marks a decisive break in the American constitutional tradition. Nothing attempted by his predecessor, George W. Bush, remotely compares in imperial hubris.
Mr. Bush gained explicit congressional consent for his invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. In contrast, the Obama administration has not even published a legal opinion attempting to justify the president’s assertion of unilateral war-making authority.
[UPDATE: Sorry, bolding mine.] Does Bruce Ackerman understand that we have this thing called Google? That people – even people who didn’t go to, say, Harvard or teach at, say, Yale – can look things up? Because I’d love to know when it was that Bruce Ackerman stopped thinking of President George W Bush as a unilateralist cowboy who stole the 2000 election and started thinking of him as a responsible chief executive who was infinitely more conscientious about working within the domestic political system than is his successor. …And yes: while that last bit is true, it was also something that I could have told Bruce Ackerman about, oh, three weeks into the Obama administration. The least the man could do would be to apologize for all the stupid things he’s said on this subject over the previous ten years.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: Before you ask: yes, the man is influential. If he wasn’t, I wouldn’t have bothered to write this.
PPS: You would think that Ackerman would have been nicer to Bush, seeing as GWB is a Harvard and Yale man, himself. …Nah, who am I kidding? It’d be even worse, because Ackerman probably subconsciously thinks that Bush has betrayed the Tribe of The League of Ivy.
*I would like to note for the record that, in point of fact, it has not. It has long since been generally accepted by the American people that George Bush won the 2000 election; it is also generally, albeit a good deal more quietly, accepted that thank God Al Gore was not in office on 9/11. I expect that both statements will be contested by bitter-enders; well, that’s what they’re there for.