Geithner and The Rule of Law

Say what you will about his plan, but at least Geithner appears to understand the rule of law -- unlike the so-called emergency actions of the previous administration. On This Week, Stephanopoulos was pressing Geithner on the legal authority of the government to take over corporations like AIG.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But it would have been the right thing to do, right?

GEITHNER: If we had the legal authority, that's what we would have done. But without that legal authority, we had no good choices.

The same exchange could've been had with various Bushies about renditions or torture or invading Iraq, and the Bushies would've gone on about mushroom clouds and the like. Clearly this administration has a respect for the law beyond the "right thing to do" -- or as Bush called it: his "gut." So what we're seeing now is a cabinet secretary going to Congress and asking for the necessary regulatory powers, rather than simply doing whatever an underground cabal recommends in secret.