Get PJ Media on your Apple

Roger’s Rules

McCarthy to Rand Paul: Leave the Constitution Alone

March 9th, 2013 - 4:38 am

Rand Paul’s 13-hour talkathon was pretty good theater. But if its histrionic quality was high, its policy content was zero. Paul whipped up the troops over the prospect of American armed forces targeting American citizens: that drone hovering over Cincinnati might have Mrs. Smith in its cross hairs while the one zooming in on Dallas is looking for Bill Joe.

But this is nonsense. It’s frenzy for the sake of frenzy.  By far the best commentary on Senator Paul’s extraordinary performance is “What Rand Paul Misses,”  Andy McCarthy’s essay at National Review Online.

I know, I know: to criticize Rand Paul at this juncture is to risk the wrath of his claque, which is about as tolerant of dissent as the Sierra Club or your local feminist nutcase. As Andy observes, “To cross Paul admirers can mean being cast into the neocon darkness, along with all those other cogs in the military-industrial complex who dream of a global American empire — and that’s even when the offense is not compounded by suggesting that Eric Holder might have been right about something.”  So let me echo Andy’s declaration: “I am against using our armed forces to kill our citizens in our homeland.”

But that of course is not the issue. Rand Paul took nearly 13 hours of limelight to say—what?  Andy gets to the heart of the issue in a hundred words or so:

there is a right way to do what Senator Paul says he wants to do, a way that does not involve messing around with the Constitution in a manner we will come to regret. Contrary to Senator Paul’s assertions, and those of senators Cruz and Mike Lee, who lent their voices and scholarly heft to Paul’s filibuster, the Constitution does not prohibit the use of lethal force in the United States against American citizens who collude with the enemy.

American history and jurisprudence teach that American citizens who join the enemy may be treated as the enemy: captured without warrant, detained indefinitely without trial, interrogated without counsel, accused of war crimes without grand-jury proceedings, tried by military commission without the protections of civilian due process, and executed promptly after conviction. That is because these measures are permissible under the laws of war, and the Constitution accommodates the laws of war — they are the rule of law when Congress has authorized warfare.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Jeez, PJM has gotten to be just like listening to ABC evening news shows. How sad and pathetic. Shooting for a spot on McCain's staff, Mr. Kimball?

Would the last writer here who is NOT trying to land a job with the MSM please turn out the lights? PJM...well, it was a nice idea for an alternative non-MSM sucking web site...too bad it turned out to just be more of the same.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Did the author sleep through the last election? Newsflash, "political theater" WINS. We've always had facts and logic on our side, and yet we lost, emotion an emotive actions are what we need from leaders, we've got plenty of spreadsheet driven "managers", thank you very much.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Oh, Roger. Send this one back to rewrite.

I think you and Andrew miss the point entirely. This is not about some unreasonable and ahistorical reading of the due process clause. This is not about re-interpreting the laws of war. This was about bringing the Obama administration to heel politically.

It was a superb exercise in political showmanship calling attention to the fundamental lawlessness of this administration, its simultaneous unwillingness and inability to recognize any limits on its power, outside of those imposed by political feasibility. I'm glad that you and Andrew were forthright in your opposition to the use of our armed forces against American citizens within the United States. That's quite generous of you two. Why did it take the Attorney General and the President so long to say the same thing? You know the answer: because Obama does not recognize any such limits on his power. You might want to write an essay on that.

Incidentally, while Andrew may have the better legal argument on due process, I do not approve of his limitless expansion of the category of unlawful or enemy combatant being whoever the President, acting as Commander in Chief, declares. Moreover, the AUMF simply does not reach as far as you and Andrew believe. And amending it is not out of reach, we are only one national security crisis away.

(I should also mention that it has had a bracing effect on the GOP, which is sorely in need of a morale boost. By the way, the accusation of demagogy is misplaced and unsupportable. But if we wish to stretch the term to reach Rand's performance, I say let us have more of it.)

So Roger Kimball took 700 words to say -- what? That he likes Andrew McCarthy. And of the thousands of words spilled by Andrew McCarthy? Nothing conclusive or dispositive, other than he doesn't care much for Rand Paul.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (96)
All Comments   (96)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
"I would have preferred a less demagogic approach."

This is the first time in four years that a GOP senator has grabbed the spotlight in order to push back against Obama. This piece is pathetic, Kimball. I read your latest book and don't recognize its author in this pabulum.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Roger Kimball managed to stir up the PJ Media comment section much the same way Karl Rove stired up the conservative movement in his own idiotic style.

Roger, move to the side - you know, next to John McCain, Lindsey Graham, John Boehner, Reince Prebus, Bill Kristol, and Karl Rove - and let the people who know how and are willing take on this president. It's apparent you and the rest of "republican intelligentsia" are unwilling to do so. What's the matter, afraid of being called extreme or **gasp** racist?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Rand Paul made his point: This article does not.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
For the record (banned phrase), Rand Paul's message was bigger than whether or not it is within the power of the US President to kill Americans known to be colluding with the enemy without due process.

Paul's message was a confrontation of an Executive that would dearly love to accrue all power unto itself, which I think was exactly why it took Eric Holder so long, earlier that morning in a committee appearance, to stop insisting on a "hypothetical" and finally come out (4th time asked the question) and tell Ted Cruz that "no, the president doesn't have the power to off Americans on American soil."

It was the challenge, any challenge, to the Obama administration that I appreciated from Rand Paul and the Senators who supported him on the floor of the Senate.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
A "hypothetical" challenge, is a "hypothetical" challenge, is a "hypothetical" challenge making the message, a hypothetical message! I guess Paul can find no 'real' problems to spend 13 hours debating and trying to solve.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: 'Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?' The answer to that question is no." - Eric Holder

The unqualified question remains unanswered:
'Does the President have the authority to kill an American on American soil?'.
In the event, Obama, Holder and Co. will come up with some weasel-worded
justification for doing so, all the important parts of which will be classified.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And while you win some imaginary victory Obama's importing the Third World here illegally and making citizens of the one already here. Obama's laughing at this "victory." Any more victories like this and America's finished.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I get the sense from reading the article that some writers at PJM are already in the tank for a 2016 candidate, and it isn't Paul. Perhaps they're in the Jeb Bush camp. I'm just guessing, judging from the physical resemblance Mssrs. Kimball and McCarthy have to Mr. Rove, and their berating of Sen. Rand is reminiscent Mr. Roves trashing of Ms. O'Donnell when she defeated the old guard establishment fixture Mr. Castle, and there is the over all stink of this article.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think that you are correct that the old guard will be heavily in the Jeb Bush camp in the coming weeks. It's time to kick them to the curb, hard and fast.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Roger, remember Ruby Ridge and Waco, Texas? You really don't think this administration would be willing to take out someone they consider a threat to their ideology? I am not and never was a supporter of David Koresh (I had no idea who he was until he and his followers were murdered) nor do I agree with everything Randy Weaver believed (I didn't know who he was until his son and wife were murdered). The point is that federal law enforcement agencies are willing to commit murder to achieve their aims, whatever they might be. My hat is off to Rand Paul, it's about time someone stands up to this divider in chief.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"The way to do that, as Andy points out, is through Congress’s Authorization for Use of Military Force, not by mucking about with the Constitution"

Much more likely that DHS would be deploying in the US and I just can't wait for predictive analytics and fully autonomous drones to become mainstream. There's enough (paranoid) documentation out there of the perceived threat of right wing extremisim/terrorism to worry about pre-emptive use of this technology. Justified or not the collateral damage is not likely to be minimal.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's about more than the drones. They're the lens that focuses the anxiety many of us have about how much control the Federal Government has assumed over every aspect of our lives since 1900.

Senator Paul hit a nerve. At what point did it change from government of the people to management of the people, and what are we going to do about it?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So, now apparently Roger Kimball and Andy "Charlie" McCarthy are maroons. Adios, MoFos.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Rand Paul asked an easy question, and got a BS answer, and he called the US Attorney General, who some of us believe should be able to discuss basic Constitutional law, on it.

I recall Lindsey Graham doing this, too, only the concept was "unprecedented."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
1 2 3 4 5 Next View All