Ideally, I think, Obama should do both—“look forward” (because that’s where the current crop of oncoming semis left of center are coming from) and investigate and prosecute these motherfuckers. Whether that actually happens or not is an open question, but I’m not sure it’s as foregone a conclusion as Krugman seems to that it won’t. Obama’s said on many occasions since the election that there’s only one president at a time, and while it might not be the case, I think Obama’s “looking forward and not back” line may be more of the same. Besides, there are still unresolved legal proceedings, or potential ones, that will outlast Bush’s last few days in office, and if any one of those is pursued, it will open up cans of worms that will have can openers in the bottom of them that will necessitate the opening of further cans of worms—given the scope of this administration’s malfeasance, possibly ad infinitum. Say Obama, his second day in office, sends someone in the DOJ a memo saying that he’d like Harriet Miers’ and Karl Rove’s contempt of congress charges to be prosecuted, and see what happens. Soft power. It could happen, and I actually think/hope that it’s likely that it will. And it is my firm belief that once the first domino falls, it’s only a matter of time before the rest of them do. This administration has never shown the competence to do anything right or thoroughly, and I’m willing to believe that that includes covering its tracks. Obama’s a smart guy, and I’m perfectly willing to believe that he’s slow-playing this—whispering in someone’s ear to look into one of the lingering Bush scandals that hasn’t yet been completely buried is far less likely to provoke a political or partisan firestorm than calling for investigations of W & Co., and may thus be far more likely to lead to the end result of such investigations actually happening. So.I dunno, but it looks like John Conyer might be tapping on the first domino. One can hope, anyway.
UPDATE: The Emilyon weighs in.