The Democrats were in denial mode on steroids. "Our Obama will never misuse this power." "The Republicans made him do it." For every partisan apologetics raised like a See-Nothing-Say-Nothing flag to Blue Meanie suggestions that the president might be a traitor to his oath of office, to uphold and defend the US Constitution, not a single thought was given to what happened when it wasn't Obama anymore.
In fact, one not uncommon example of someone you wouldn't want with the power to summarily disappear Americans was: ok it will never happen, but just think of Donald Trump.
So how's that bad dream going?
The NDAA military detention of US citizens just got real, didn't it, Obamites? This is where blind partisan politics has brought us.
As Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) revealed, Obama had a chance for it to explicitly exclude US citizens, but he flat-out rejected it. Levin said the Obama administration "asked us to remove the very language [which would preserve the rights of American citizens,] the absence of which is now being object to."
Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) revealing Obama pushed for NDAA to include American citizens
For those who have been blissfully unaware of the deterioration of your rights since 9/11, the NDAA, short for National Defense Authorization Act, in this context refers to a law first passed in 2012, in the dead of night on New Year's Eve, which allows the US military, on orders from the Commander-in-Chief, to pick up and detain any US citizen, in secret, and lock them up indefinitely without a jury trial. Indeed without even telling anyone they've been picked up, you know classified and all - for the duration of the War on Terror.
Libertarians like Ron Paul were apoplectic, but as usual he was dismissed as a cranky, kooky old man. But of all the gall, Ron Paul just keeps on being right.
Trump, so far, sometimes seems to have trouble growing into the fact that he is president. The White House feels like a cross between Game of Thrones and Romper Room, with Trump off golfin' while he lets the ambitious brats battle it out, and what emerges out of this sausage grinder is policy. Trump has media thorns in the side who must give him heartburn underneath his considerable girth.
Depending on how quick a study he turns out to be, Trump may come to the realization that he has been handed a magic bullet for the truly intolerable. All one person in the Executive Branch needs to do is assert a connection to terrorism, not even a direct one, and the provisions of the NDAA kick in. POOF.
Even better, from the point of view of the budding tyrant getting his feet wet, if that is what Trump is, Obama even carved out the authority to go even further. In 2011, Obama asserted the authority of the Executive to conduct assassinations, up to and including of American citizens, without a shred of due process.
Once the ship shakes down and the kids figure out where the really cool levers of power are, the game could change very quickly.
Better keep this quiet, hey Democrats? Or repeal it right away. You didn't see this one coming, did you? But it's here.