By Victor Davis Hanson
Will there be a scandal if the new political appointees at the IRS sic their auditors on Moveon.org? What will the Washington Post say should the new president keep Guantanamo Bay open for five more years, quadruple the number of drone missions, or decide to double renditions? Will it say that he was shredding the Constitution, or that he found the terror threat too great to honor past promises?
Advertisement - story continues below
Will NPR run an exposé on our next president should she tap into Angela Merkel’s cell phone, or monitor the communications of Associated Press reporters — and their parents? Will investigative reporters go after the president should he falsely claim that an ambassador and three other U.S. personnel died in the Middle East during a video-sparked spontaneous riot? Or if he then jails the filmmaker for a year on a trumped-up parole-violation charge?
In other words, because for the past five years the members of the Washington press corps have abdicated their traditional adversarial role as watchdogs of the executive branch, can we still have watchdogs at all in 2017? If the next president falsely swears that his new health-care program will not affect citizens’ current coverage, what consequences could possibly follow? If the New York Times went after such perfidy in 2017, would the new president just say, “Where were you when Obama did it?”