I have to disagree — I don’t think there’s much merit to Christopher Orr’s point at all, although it’s got plenty of cynicism. It’s akin to arguing that an incumbent should be assumed to have taken policy positions that are favored by his contributors because they have contributed, not because he thinks they’re the best policies.
Republicans and Democrats have very different enforcement priorities. It is a big part of why we vote for one or the other. When a president removes a U.S. attorney who is not pursuing his enforcement priorities, a natural consequence is that this will appeal to his supporters, who are thus more likely to vote for his party and against the other party. That is not using law enforcement officers to punish the party out of power; it is pursuing the agenda the president ran on and promised to govern on. That it has electoral ramifications is unavoidable and, in fact, a good thing. The police power is an executive power, and the executive branch is an accountable, political branch. That’s all Krauthammer meant, I think.
Using law enforcement officers to punish the party out of power would, for example, be squeezing U.S. attorneys, on pain of removal, to pursue corruption investigations only against the party out of power. Nothing like that is going on, and Krauthammer, of course, didn’t express approval for anything so noxious.