Memo to Obama: Moving Forward Doesn't Mean You Can't Also Look Back

In one week, the U.S. Constitution will be front and center as Barack Obama solemnly swears to "preserve, protect, and defend" it. Given all that has happened over the last eight years, that oath is not nearly as pro-forma as it used to be.


During his final press conference yesterday, President Bush said that when it came time "to protect the homeland" he "wouldn't worry about popularity." He would "worry about the Constitution of the United States." It wasn't clear, as it hasn't been for most of his time in office, whether his concern was directed at upholding the document or circumventing it.

So as the Obama Years are about to begin, one of the questions facing the new president is what will he do about the transgressions of the Bush Years? Will his promise to protect and defend the Constitution include an investigation into the assaults on it perpetrated by members of the Bush administration?

On change.gov, the website of the Obama transition team, there is a section where people can submit questions and readers can vote on the questions they most want the incoming administration to answer. The top question last week, receiving over 23,000 votes, came from Bob Fertik of democrats.com:

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