May 11, 2006 4:28PM

Bitter Ironies

Remember when conservatives wrote books with titles like Absolute Power: the Legacy of Corruption in the Clinton‐​Reno Justice Department? Those were the days. But here’s a new selection from the Conservative Book Club: Can She Be Stopped? Hillary Clinton Will Be the Next President of the United States Unless… What? I don’t know, but that’s the title of a new book from John Podhoretz of NRO and the New York Post

What I do know is that if Hillary is the next president, she’ll be able to lay claim to a number of vast, extraconstitutional powers championed by right‐​wingers like, uh, John Podhoretz. Among those powers is the “inherent executive authority” to wiretap at will and, perhaps, to seize American citizens on American soil and hold them without charges for the duration of the war on terror — in other words, forever. 

The ‘90s weren’t that long ago. And I remember a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth over misused FBI Files and suspicious IRS audits. Over the last four and a half years, many of the same wailers and gnashers have cheer‐​led the concentration of unreviewable power in the executive branch, as if George W. Bush would be the last president ever to wield that power. And now, lo and behold, there’s the mistress of Travelgate warming up in the on‐​deck circle. Join me in a bitter chuckle. 

Funny, that didn’t make me feel better.