During the Bush administration, people on the Left spent a great deal of time arguing that he was a quasi-dictatorial fascist, using the attacks of 9/11 as a rationale for expanding government power. The more reasoned comments suggested that he was far too cozy with Big Corporations; the less reasoned simply called him BushHitler. Looking back it is clear that he made several important mistakes in executing the war on terror, especially taking as his sole prerogative the establishment of the rules by which we would conduct the war. Consultation with Congressional Democrats early in the process might have gone a very long way toward co-opting them as partial owners of the war, and would likely have avoided some of the worst of the political opportunism of the left leaning Democrats. Such an effort might have made the government's job slightly more difficult (the jury is out on the value of the information obtained by extreme interrogation techniques, aka torture, and a more robust process for vetting FISA decision would probably have been easily incorporated into the process, among other issues) but the positive aspects of having the Democrats on board as full participants would have likely outweighed the negative effects of slight impingement on the Executive's power.
There is a real chance now that the Left and Right will both repeat the mistakes of the last 8 years but with the valences exchanged. In other words, the Obama administration is likely to over-reach without involving the Right (as it has already been doing; Obama now owns the failing auto companies) in its efforts to increase the Executive's power in the domestic arena and the Right is likely to follow the Left's past history of demonizing the party in power.
It might make for an interesting philosophical discussion as to whether such an outcome is inevitable when it comes to the question of who exercises power in a society and a good argument can be made that hyperbolic statements, ad hominem arguments, and hysterical warnings are preferable to "discussions" over politics that depend on bombs and bullets to convey their messages.
Rafique at Stubborn Facts is amazed that the Right is now behaving in a fashion similar to the Left. He comments on an article in the Washington Times yesterday by Andrew Breitbart, Online activists on the right, unite!