Someone asked today where the anti-war, pro-civil liberties left has gone. They’re certainly not as loud as they were six or so years ago. I think I can explain it. I’ve noticed a pattern from the media and partisans alike. They are highly deferential to presidential power during the first term, then start to let the teeth come out once that second term is secured. It happened with Bush, and it’s happening with Obama. My guess is once they are assured that their president-emperor doesn’t need to face the ballot box once more, they can finally be honest about him. By then, though, it’s usually too late to do anything of substance about it.
A core problem with this blatant hypocrisy is that it suggests that you can and should compromise deeply held principles (or at least be less vocal about them) if you think that the person in power can give you some of what you want. I think it’s a bad idea to make that kind of deal with the devil. When the power shifts, and it inevitably will, that lack of principled stand will cost you credibility when you call it out in The Other Side(TM). You’ve revealed that power, not principle, is your guiding force, and your criticisms will ring hollow as you find the perpetrator of the misdeeds to be a bigger issue than the misdeeds themselves.