Conor Friedersdorf explains why Marco Rubio’s constitutionalist rhetoric doesn’t mean anything:

Rubio himself backed an amendment that would permit War on Terror detainees to be held indefinitely even after they received a trial and were found innocent in court. He voted against an amendment that would have prohibited the indefinite detention without trial of American citizens [bold mine-DL]. He’s the kind of “constitutionalist” that doesn’t give a damn about the fourth, fifth, and sixth amendments, so long as there’s a religious extremist somewhere who wants to do us harm.

This is the key to understanding how hegemonists such as Rubio can deliver lines about respect for the Constitution and limited government without bursting into laughter: what Rubio calls “these concepts and these principles that are so important for our future” don’t apply to anything that hegemonists can identify as being related to national security, and they can relate quite a lot of things to national security. This is how Virginia Gov. McDonnell supposedly has a “national security problem” because he did not stand up in support for the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens. Rubio evidently has no problem locking up citizens without due process, at least so long as it can be justified in the name of anti-terrorism, and this is one of the reasons why he is lionized and praised by many movement conservatives. The message to current and future leaders in the GOP is clear enough: honoring the Constitution is all well and good when it relates to domestic issues that aren’t tied in some way to national security (i.e., when they don’t interfere with what hegemonists want to do), but it is unacceptable to apply the same principles consistently to all activities of the government. According to this view, the priorities of the national security state always take precedence over constitutional protections, and politicians that don’t understand this are the ones with the “problem.”