The PJ Tatler

Andrew McCarthy Smacks Down the Paleo-Libertarian Radicals

Read the whole thing, of course, but this chunk in particular should go well with a nice strong cup of black coffee:

Well, here are some basic constitutional facts: The United States Constitution is a compact between the American people and the government they created. It endows Americans with protections against U.S.-government overreach. It does not extend to the rest of the world. The central government was created, in large measure, to protect Americans from hostile foreign actors. The Constitution does not grant aliens outside the United States — especially alien combatants who levy war against the American people — the protections American citizens enjoy against U.S.-government infringement on their lives, liberties, and property.

Furthermore, the framers understood that international relations — and particularly relations between the United States and hostile foreign actors — were political in nature, not legal. These relations, and decisions about the degree to which security made demands on the liberty of American citizens, were to be the province of the political branches — the government officials who were accountable to the American people and who could be removed if they abused their power or exercised poor judgment. The federal judiciary, which was intentionally insulated from politics, was to have no role in matters related to international relations, national security against foreign threats, or the conduct of war.

Claiming the “constitutionalist” mantle, Senator Paul is currently crusading against the concept of indefinite detention for enemy combatants under the laws of war. It is a deprivation, he claims, of the Constitution’s guarantee of due process. And once the government succeeds in rolling back such guarantees, he insists, they are never restored.

As a matter of constitutional law and of history, this is nonsense on stilts.


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