Digby of Hullabaloo:
A Democratic president, no matter who it is, is going to pay for the Republicans' sins. But it won't be just because the Republicans and Blue Dogs in congress suddenly "realize" they have co-equal power. I predict that the right wing noise machine will shout far and wide that the election was stolen (probably with the help of "illegal aliens.") The new president will not be allowed to weed out even one right wing plant anywhere in the executive branch without being accused of politicizing it. There will be no executive privilege as the courts rediscover their "responsibilities." Scientists and experts will all be accused of being shills for the liberal special interests. The president will be accused of violating Americans' civil liberties and destroying the constitution. There will be widespread accusations of fraud and corruption and non-stop investigations.The rightwing smear machine will change from defense to offense with ease. Will we be ready? Can our spineless Congress rise to the occasion?
In other words the Republicans are going to accuse the Democratic president of everything we know the Bush administration did. And because it was never fully investigated or even fully discussed, people will lay the sins at the feet of the Democratic president and feel a sense of relief that the balance of power is being restored and Washington is finally being cleaned up.
The media, who know the real story (they helped cover it up, after all) will lead the charge. The GOP will feed them juicy stories with just the right amount of sexy detail and they will rush to tell the American people, gravely intoning their deep concern for the integrity of the office and "their town." (And the children...)
It's going to get even uglier than it is now.
Update 12/17: Chet Scoville of Vanity Press adds:
During the 90s there was a runaway Republican Congress that decided to impeach a Democratic President. This was wildly unpopular. The lesson that the inside-the-beltway crowd took away from this was that impeachment and indeed investigations of the White House were a Bad Thing, and that we should all Put Them Behind Us for the future. And they applied this lesson -- no more impeachments, and investigations are bad -- just in time for the next President (a Republican this time) to benefit from them....
But never fear. As the Administration comes to a close eighteen months from now, all sorts of nasty stuff will begin crawling out from under the woodwork. The inside-the-beltway crowd will conclude from this that they went too far in the other direction: that in their haste not to repeat the torch-and-pitchfork-carrying mob mentality of the Clinton years, they let the White House get away with far too much over the past eight years. They will resolve to correct this error and hold the White House's feet to the fire this time.
And they will apply this lesson just in time for the next President (this time a Democratic one) to take over.