With the IRS being used as a political tool and the FBI and NSA having access to all phone records and who knows how much other private data I have to wonder how many legislative votes, court decisions, and even executive branch actions were influenced. We know that J. Edgar Hoover used the FBI for political purposes for decades. Why should we think it stopped when he died? Why should we think it was only him that wielded such power?
If nearly every government officials has been subject to blackmail for decades could that be part of the explanation for the abandonment of Constitutional principles?
Power corrupts. It corrupts those that have the power and it corrupts those who are subject to that power.