The Wall Street Journal from a few days ago contained a smug editorial containing the pithiest summation I’ve seen of the establishment GOP view of the Tea Party:
Jeffersonian activists across the country have introduced various interposition measures–most fall short of nullification–against portions of the NDAA, two of which have passed in Arizona and Virginia. Now that the Tea Party has begun to take on the national security state and not just the entitlement state, the neocons of the WSJ editorial board are complaining about their “Inner ACLU.” In Virginia, Governor Bob McDonnell received a letter from Romney advisor and MeK supporter Michael Chertoff, Ed Meese, and others urging him to veto the bill. He prudently changed some of the wording, but signed it into law.
It’s especially telling that many of these people also support the Arizona immigration law which, if upheld, will lead to a holding tank-type situation in which Arizona law enforcement will corral illegal immigrants but, lacking the authority, won’t be able to deport them without federal cooperation. In other words, a little law enforcement give-and-take between state and federal governments is a-ok on illegal immigration national security requires a unified top-down approach regardless of the outrageousness of the federal government’s diktats, which now include the authority to detain Americans indefinitely without trial and extrajudicially assassinate them by drone while abroad.
But to the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board, these are not issues about which reasonable people can disagree:
In 1942, a military court ordered the execution of six Nazis, including an American citizen, who were captured after having come ashore from submarines off the U.S. East Coast. Yet some tea partiers want to let today’s version of infiltrating Nazis get the same rights as burglars.
Some tea partiers also want to distinguish between U.S. citizens and foreigners, as if that would matter to their victims. Anyone who takes up arms against the U.S., fails to wear an enemy uniform and targets civilians is an unlawful enemy combatant regardless of citizenship.
That’s right, if you don’t agree with the NDAA, you must be a terrorist/Nazi sympathizer.
The distinction between a U.S. citizens and foreigners is of paramount importance because American counterterrorism strategy developed to fight Islamic terror has come home, as the recently-released list of domestic drone permits demonstrates. And the fact that a handful of American citizens become terrorists seems a poor reason to open the door to applying the laws of war at home, which is a serious possibility under the NDAA. There is a major difference, from a law enforcement standpoint, between Jared Loughner or the would-be May Day anarchist bombers and Anwar Al-Awlaki.
Bernie Quigley has a more hopeful take on the Jeffersonian uprising, and he mentions a few friends of TAC:
Wouldn’t the next obvious step be a connecting network of these states, most of them from the heartland, interested and inclined toward Ron Paul and Jeffersonian ideas including states’ rights, constitutional government and sound money; possibly a “supercommittee of governors” much like the great ambassador George Kennan advised in his last days?
But there has been so much interrelated thinking now in the past three years that there might even be considered an ad hoc experimental congress of some sort to bring together the related ideas and interested amateurs and professionals.
Participants besides the concerned governors might include “Freedom Watch” Judge Andrew Napolitano; Michael Boldin, founder of The Tenth Amendment Center who was scorned this week by The Wall Street Journal (a badge of honor) for his leadership in state opposition to NDAA; Sarah Palin; the Pauls; Rep. Justin Amash (R) of Michigan; the distinguished delegate from Virginia Jim LeMunyon, who has called for a new Constitutional Convention; Sen. Mike Lee (R) of Utah; the brilliant libertarian journalist Jack Hunter; libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson; scholar Thomas Woods, who writes on nullification; Joe Miller of Alaska; and my neighbors here in New Hampshire, state Reps. Paul Ingbretson and Dan Itse, who first brought the state’s challenge to ObamaCare citing Jefferson’s Kentucky Resolutions.
Lawrence Lessig gave me some hope of a left-right alliance on some of these issues too, especially on technology and civil liberties, but it looks like he’s turned most of his attention away from the bold Call a Convention proposal and toward the aimless Rootstrikers which wants publicly-funded elections and an end to corporate personhood.