Another good one via Mediaite. If you’re wondering why you should care what a deputy nanny of NYC thinks about drones, do note that Wolfson was a Clinton flack for years. He was a major player in Hillary’s 2008 campaign and might very well end up in a top position should she run in 2016, with a White House advisory role to follow if she wins. He may, in time, have the president’s ear on things like this. That’s a person whose thoughts on summarily liquidating Americans suspected of terrorism are worth paying attention to.
The public gets more reluctant as you start talking about targeting Americans and giving the president unilateral power to do it, but there’s already close to majority support for killing a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil in the abstract. Imagine what those numbers would look like in a concrete case once the Democratic/media message machine went to work on Obama’s behalf. Imagine he ordered a strike on an American-born bad guy hiding in a U.S. safe house whom the CIA had reason to believe was plotting, say, an attack on airliners. Do you suppose his approval rating would go up or down once the “NEW 9/11 PREVENTED” headlines started rolling out?
What’s newsworthy about this clip isn’t Wolfson’s gauge of public opinion, it’s his dismissive disdain for a guy like Paul who’s making precisely the sort of constitutional objections that would have made him a hero to the left during the Bush era. There is a way to pay lip service to liberal counterterrorism concerns circa 2006 while also doing your Democratic duty as a mindless partisan in defending Obama. He could say that Paul’s points are well taken, that he’s certainly right that we can’t ignore due process just to make things a bit easier for the president, but that in an age of terror the commander-in-chief must have the power to blah blah blah etc. You don’t get any of that here even though Wolfson’s on MSNBC, ground zero for Democratic civil-libertarian posturing during the Bush years. He feels perfectly comfortable telling a lefty audience flat out that Rand Paul’s a crank for worrying about the Constitution when everyone knows that the public trusts the guy who commands the military to do the right thing on assassinating citizens. Good work, guys.