Conservatives Drop Their Love for the Constitution

Terrorists, conservatives say, hate us for our freedom, so they must be stopped—even if that means sacrificing our freedom in the process.

Santayana defined fanaticism as redoubling your effort while losing sight of your goal. America’s recent discussions about the war on terror would give him few grounds to change his view.

Several GOP presidential candidates have said they would support bringing back waterboarding, a practice the U.S. prosecuted as a war crime after WWII. Apparently it’s only torture when the other side does it.

Last week the Senate was consumed with debate over a defense bill. Among its provisions: an amendment by New Hampshire Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte to nullify an executive order banning torture. Another proposal: allowing U.S. citizens captured on U.S. soil to be held indefinitely without charge by the U.S. military. (An amendment to strike that language from the bill failed, despite the commendable support of Virginia Sens. Mark Warner and Jim Webb.) Yet another provision would require civilian authorities to hand over terrorism suspects to the military.

Supporters of the detention provision noted language stipulating that the “requirement” to detain a person in military custody “does not extend to citizens in the United States.” But as critics of the measure noted, there is a difference between what is required and what is allowed. The bill “does not preclude U.S. citizens from being detained indefinitely,” according to Rep. Justin Amash. Sen. Lindsey Graham put it more bluntly: the bill declares “that the homeland is part of the battlefield” and those suspected of terrorism can be held indefinitely without charge, “American citizen or not.” 

What’s behind this push to militarize the domestic fight against terror? Not the military. The Pentagon’s top lawyer, Jeh Johnson, recently warned against “overmilitarizing” counterterrorism.“There is risk in permitting and expecting the U.S. military to extend its powerful reach into areas traditionally reserved for civilian law enforcement in this country,” he said in October. 

And it’s not like civilian authorities have been overwhelmed. The Heritage Foundation has produced a handy summary of the 40 terrorist plots foiled since 9/11. That’s 40—as in four per year. Some of them posed serious danger. But some of the “plots” are almost laughable, involving losers with delusions of grandeur. Take Iyman Faris, whose plan was to make the Brooklyn Bridge collapse by using a blowtorch. Hamid Hayat lied about attending a terrorist training camp, but he wasn’t plotting anything more specific than generic “jihad.” Raja Lahrasib Khan’s “plot” consisted of trying to ferry $1,000 to radicals in Pakistan. 

Then there is Jose Pimentel, recently captured by New York authorities in a case so weak federal authorities refused to participate in it or appear at the press conference announcing Pimentel’s arrest. Reports say the unemployed Pimentel made threats while high on pot, and may have received too much help from an informant when he made a pipe bomb by scratching the sulfur off match heads. We’re going to blue-pencil the Constitution for this?

Conservatives complacent about the response to domestic terrorism ought to keep in mind what the Obama administration has to say about the subject. Two years ago the Department of Homeland Security identified a principal threat as “rightwing extremism,” epitomized by such dangerous elements as returning veterans, abortion opponents, and anyone “rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority.” That would include people like James Madison, FYI. (“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”)

Conservatives also ought to short-circuit the circular reasoning about accused terrorists  that often dominates discourse on the right. That reasoning goes like this: X says he is not a terrorist and thinks he should be able to prove it in a civilian court. But he should not enjoy that luxury, because terrorists do not deserve civilian trials—and X is a terrorist.

Conservatives also ought to renew their skepticism about government’s ability to get things right – something they seem to doubt in every area except national security. Remember the jokes about health care being run with the efficiency of the Post Office and the compassion of the IRS? Now in particular is not a good time to adopt unshakable faith in the military’s infallibility – not after U.S. forces created a diplomatic disaster by calling in a NATO airstrike against friendly Pakistani forces.

Terrorists, conservatives say, hate us for our freedom, so they must be stopped—even if that means sacrificing our freedom in the process. Somewhere up in Heaven, Santayana is sighing.

A. Barton Hinkle is a columnist at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, where this article originally appeared.

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  • Masturbatin' Pete||

    Conservatives complacent about the response to domestic terrorism ought to keep in mind what the Obama administration has to say about the subject. Two years ago the Department of Homeland Security identified a principal threat as “rightwing extremism,” epitomized by such dangerous elements as returning veterans, abortion opponents, and anyone “rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority.”

    This is the kind of thing that earns the Stupid Party its name.

    Do those on the right really think that the definition of "terrorism" won't be expanded to encompass activities that the left despises? Have they been paying attention to Obamacare, where the Commerce Clause has been twisted into a federal general police power? How long do they think it will take for "terrorism" to mean "any crime that provides direct or indirect support to narcotics cartels," including marijuana possession?

  • ||

    Not that the "mainstream right" would be particularly troubled by such a twisting. Among friends I make the argument that "why should terrorists get due process?" is a big step down the slippery slope to "why should murderers/rapists/thieves get a fair trial?". But arguing with a politician, I'd be afraid they'd take that as an invitation.

  • teh rael o3||

    but umbriel, the gop wingnutz remain (too easily) impressed w bluster like "we'll give em a far trial afore we hang em!"...the sorta pablum spoonfed at these debates

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Triple Asshole,

    What remains unimpressive is your command of the QWERTY keyboard, you direct result of the Amerikan Pulbic Skool Seistem.

  • WELFARE is Constitutional||

  • ||

    Or critisizing either party or their policies in the comments section of any website.....

    They are slavering over each other to get the bill of rights tossed out, each side thinking they cant wait to get their hands on ultimate power and their boot heels on their 'enemies' necks. Each side thinking it will be so sweet to be in power and forgetting that they also will have to endure the boot heel. What fucking idiots.

  • ||

    Indeed. They forget the Iron Law at their peril:

    Me today, you tomorrow.

  • ||

    +1000

  • Gojira||

    OT, but we may not be hearing from Warty for awhile.

  • ||

    Don't be silly. A mere two stun gun blasts are like foreplay to Warty.

  • anon||

    I wonder if we can get stun guns classified as Electro-convulsive therapy somehow. There are a few people I'd like to treat...

  • STEVE SMITH||

    STEVE SMITH EAT STUN GUN BLASTS FOR LIGHT SNACK!

  • Hank||

    22-year-old Ruben Arzu apparently was under the influence of steroids and other drugs, and it took four police officers, two stun gun blasts and four sets of handcuffs to restrain him.

    I love that they slipped in the phrase "it took" when in reality it should have read "we used". Is the implication that this drug-crazed superman could have broken not one, but THREE sets of handcuffs?

  • ARRRZUUUUUU||

    Is the implication that this drug-crazed superman could have broken not one, but THREE sets of handcuffs?

    YES!!!!!!

  • ||

    If the couple had not relied on the Police to respond later to an incident that needed a response right now, the incident would've only taken 1 cop, and a coroner.Of course at that point it wouldn't matter how many they used. Of course since California is not very conducive to personal responsibility, the then requisite personal ability seems trivial.

  • KnuklHed||

    of course of course

  • ||

    Screw this. Here's my question:

    Should I do the main quest in Skyrim relatively early, or leave it until late in the game. I'm at level 20 now, and have the Companion and Mage quest lines underway.

  • anon||

    Damn you, I just started playing last night. I could only spend two hours on it, and I won't get to play again until Wednesday, but I'm already addicted.

    I hate you for reminding me about what I'm missing.

    Also, is archer/thief still the absurdly retarded kill-everything-in-one-shot it used to be?

  • Ska||

    More than ever.

  • ||

    Also, is archer/thief still the absurdly retarded kill-everything-in-one-shot it used to be?

    Yes, but you have to sneak and alot of areas are not very good for that. Plus you'll have some trouble with dragons.

    I much prefer my orc tank. 1500 armor rating, 100% magic resistance, dual wields 500 dmg swords. Yes, I broke the game without cheating.

  • KDN||

    That's fury, not tanking; tanking implies shieldsmanship. Anyhow, how did you get up to 100% resist? I've been opting for stam enchants wherever an whenever I can.

  • ||

    max out enchanting and you can get 20% magic resistance. Enchant four pieces of your armor with that. Then activate the Lord's Stone, which gives +50 armor and 25% magic resistance. Voila, 105% magic resistance.

  • ||

    You still max out at 80% magic resistance. Even if you're wearing enough to get to 100%, the game engine caps the actual number used in calculations at 80%.

    Same with armor. You cap at 85% damage resistance, which is somewhere around 600-700 displayed in-game. You can get to that with any armor in the game, with the right skill boosts and enchantments. Personally, I'm sticking with dragonplate armor, since I have always found Daedric armor to be absurd looking. Not that dragonplate is all that much better, but still.

  • ||

    Oh, damn.

  • ||

    Anything you want to know about Skyrim (at least that we can know without the construction kit) is here. I sure as hell didn't find those numbers by experimentation. The site's been around since like 1996 (not as a wiki then, obviously).

  • KDN||

    Don't believe him, it's 100 for orcs. They are, after all, the master race.

    I've been running around in fully upgraded Daedric except for my shield for a few levels (it does look rather absurd, but I play in first person and don't care) and am basically unkillable. I told my follower to wait behind when I raided one of the brigand camps and just let everyone beat on me for a few minutes while I bashed them to death. Fun times.

    Apparently Destruction scales poorly at the later levels. What then is the plan of attack as a high end mage?

  • ||

    I've been running around in fully upgraded Daedric except for my shield for a few levels (it does look rather absurd, but I play in first person and don't care) and am basically unkillable.

    I just hate that game developers seem to think that we're all thirteen years old and will respond to things like Daedric armor with "I look sooooo badass!!! OMG!!!" I had something of the same complaint with Dragon Age, and I'm sure with other games that I can't think of offhand. I'm playing a good character; I always do, because I'm a goody two-shoes. I don't want to run around looking like the guy that Sauron laughs at for being a fashion victim.

    That was one thing I liked about Knights of the Nine for Oblivion. It gave you armor that was, at later levels, the equivalent of Daedric, while still letting you look like a knight. Yeah, there are mods, but even modders who want to make good-looking armor seem to tend towards the "OMG Badass!!!" stuff, and I don't have the patience or artistic talent to make my own.

  • ||

    Hmmm, so since you can make any armor reach the cap, warriors should wear light armor, since light armor has better perks (+50% stamina regen, oh yeah).

    BUT, you would want to put your smithing perk points in heavy armor so that you can make daedric weapons. Interesting...

  • ||

    What then is the plan of attack as a high end mage?

    Bust out your enchanted warhammer and crack some skulls?

  • ||

    Oh, my mistake, apparently magic resistance is capped at 85%.

  • Sandy||

    I prefer not to break games even when I can. The fun is not in doing the math to find the easiest way to play the game. If all the game's fights are completely easy, then why not skip them? and as long as you're skipping them, why not skip other things that are so easy?

    Yes, it works, but it only really makes sense if the goal of a game is to reach the end.

    No, the goal of the game is to have FUN. If you can one hit kill anything and take no damage...are you having fun?

  • cynical||

    It's better than it was in Oblivion, though you still have to turn some enemies into pincusions to drop them. Should note that with a DB quest item and a Sneak perk, you can do 30x damage for stealth attacks with a dagger. Whee!

    It is a little too easy -- in most stealth games, AI is deliberately retarded to help players out, but in Skyrim, you can shoot someone in the face with an arrow under cover of darkness, and after about 30 seconds hunting around, they'll just shrug it off. Musta been rats.

  • Double D||

    Not really, especially if you do the Thief quests and get Nightengale armor. Combine this with Nocturnal's gift and you'll be a sneak master, even in daylight.

  • Hank||

    You should drain the pool to get the key and the radio. You'll need the radio's batteries for the flashlight.

    And watch out for Nurse Edna.

  • ||

    XYZZY.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    The chasm yawns.

  • ||

    Side quests all the way. As well as random destruction and loot gathering, teamed with crafting various items. The main quest will be there when you need it.

  • Tman||

    I would wait. There is so much to do in this game it's just ridiculous, and I have a feeling the final levels will be next to impossible without some the ability to inflict some serious damage.

  • Ska||

    I met with the Graybeards, got the item they asked for, and haven't gone further. Level 41 or so...finished the Companions, concurrently doing the DB and Thieves Guild questlines, and started the bard college. Haven't touched the mage's college either.

    I tend to do everything other than the main quest first. It seems kind of silly to fulfill your destiny as Dovakhiin, and then try to be an unknown footpad afterward.

  • ||

    Speaking of Skyrim, I think the candidates should be asked questions about the game.

  • Ska||

    M'aiq the Liar as debate host?

  • ||

    First question:

    Stormcloak, or Empire?

  • Double D||

    I went Stormcloak, and think Imperial would have been better, especially considering the absurdly powerful Aldmeri Dominion threat.

  • cynical||

    I do like that the political conflict there feels historically realistic, while still not being an obvious allegory or anything.

    The Stormcloaks are racist and xenophobic, but they're also fighting for independence and autonomy from an Empire that restricts their freedom of religion. The Empire, in turn, did so not on a whim, but as part of a peace treaty with the aggressive theocratic/fascist nation that invaded, took their capital city, and nearly won the war before being repelled (but not, by any stretch of the imagination, completely defeated) with the help of Skyrim's armies. Meanwhile, said foreign enemy is secretly egging both sides on to soften them in preparation for a second invasion.

    I also like how the Nord/Forsworn conflict is pretty much just a microcosm of the Empire/Nord conflict, but with the Stormcloaks playing the role of oppressor instead of resistance. Feels cynically realistic.

  • ||

    Bethesda may be bug infested, but they know how to write good stories for their games.

  • Obersvientati||

    I just chop wood and sell it.

  • ||

    FWIW, I'm level 50, and I'm only about 3/4 of the way through the main quest. I'm pushing to get through it, though, because I've played somewhere north of 150 hours and I want to finish the game before I get tired of it.

    After that, Saints Row: the Third, here I come!

  • ||

    I'm doing just about everything before doing the main quest.

  • ||

    I usually leave the main quest 'til later, but I was wondering if you get some cool shit/powers in the main quest that would come in handy elsewhere.

    Since my job in real life is basically talking people to death, the whole Shout thing really works for me. MOAR SHOUTING!

  • ||

    For me, the best power in the main quest is the Dragonrend shout, where you can make those fuckers land so you can wale on 'em. But that's very, very late in the MQ; I'm still going through the first of the two quests for it.

  • ||

    +15 Dragonrends

    We are friggin geeks.

  • Double D||

    I make em land with unrelenting force. Its worked for me so far.

  • Les||

    My son finished the main quest after about 90 hours of play and is up to about 110, now. I think he liked having all the skills he'd acquired to finish the main story.

    Also:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....OxVjbGvUpI

  • ||

    Hey RC, I'm in the same boat.

    I can say I did the main quest in Oblivion early and kept playing for months. I've heard Skyrim has a quest generator that will allow you play a long, long, time. So there will be plenty to do after the main quest.

    I won't ask where you are in the main quest due to being a spoiler. I'm level 22 currently. And the main quest took an unexpected twist.

  • ||

    In Oblivion, you needed to leave the Oblivion gates open until later, to get maximum juice out of the little doo-hickeys that you took to close the gates.

    I finished the first section of the main quest. I'm stocking up on dragon souls now, and thinking I need to find some more word walls.

  • Ska||

    Most of the barrows/catacombs (those pitchfork shaped jammies) have them, so they're great for finding new shouts.

  • ||

    I finished the first section of the main quest. I'm stocking up on dragon souls now, and thinking I need to find some more word walls.

    If you go to Arngeir and ask him about Shouts, he'll tell you where to find a word wall. Also, if you Shout in an inhabited area, a courier will come up to you soon after and give you a note telling you where to find another word wall. (And the game can be quite generous in what it considers inhabited—I shouted at a Standing Stone "inhabited" by a necromancer I'd just killed, and I got a note.)

  • Double D||

    That's good to know. Thanks.

  • ||

    Awesome. Can't Shout enough, I say.

  • ||

    Yeah, good to know.

  • ||

    Who says libertarian stereotypes aren't accurate?

  • ||

    I've been sitting here for an hour doing "web timing," i.e., loading my company's website(s) and our competitors' websites on AOL and MSN dial-up and timing by hand how long it takes. I literally don't have anything better to do while the sites load.

  • juris imprudent||

    I could have all the time in the world and still not be into these games.

  • Double D||

    I usually save the main quests for last. I've heard over the internetz that its kind of anticlimactic, but this fact may be fixed in DLC when it comes to NPC reactions to your awesomeness. I'd do it last.

    Dunmer snipers rule!

  • romulus augustus||

    Conservatives won't wake up until one of theirs, say Ann Coulter, is labelled a terrorist for anti-Obama ravings. And then a fair portion of the populace will agree that the "nasty bitch" deserved it.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Conservatives won't wake up until one of theirs, say Ann Coulter, is labelled a terrorist for anti-Obama ravings. And then a fair portion of the populace will agree that the "nasty bitch" deserved it.

    FIFY. It seems a key tenet of fanatacism is never having to say you were wrong.

  • ||

    FEMA teaches that the founding fathers were terrorists.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPg9MdN9Gio

  • o3||

    now is that taught in the FEMA camps ?...or is that a death panel revelation?

  • ||

    Kudos for quoting something from Santayana other than the history quote that's usually quoted by people who don't know or understand history.

  • Ice Nine||

    So you're saying those who can't remember the other Santayana quotes are condemned to repeat that one?

  • ||

    I wish I'd said that.

  • ||

    You keep saying "Conservatives" in this article without actually talking about any. Lindsey Graham in particular I would consider the exact opposite.

  • True Scotsman||

    I know, right?

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    In this case, conservatives includes the all of the Republican portion of the Senate except Rand Paul and Mark Kirk.

  • teh rael o3||

    and the 2 traitors fm maine

  • ||

    True. I consider myself a conservative in that I advocate strict constitutional adherence. Graham not so much. Perhaps republican would be a better term to use.

    This Defense Authorization bill is one of the most insidious pieces of legislation ever proposed. It would essentially gut the constitution, handing total power over to whomever is in the white house wishing to persecute their enemies, political and otherwise. They really do want to turn us into a banana republic.

  • wareagle||

    Perhaps republican would be a better term to use.
    ---------------------------
    ^^^this. There is a difference between conservative and Repub. Most limited govt folks are, by definition, conservatives, at least fiscally speaking. Probably socially, too, since they tend to advocate a hands-off stance on those topics.

    Graham is a Repub, like his daddy, McCain, but neither is a conservative. They are both advocates of big govt, the Police State vs. the left's Nanny State. Neither is good.

    While it's fashionable to hammer Repubs since that is the party with a nomination, what about the Dems? They are going to be friends of liberty?

  • ||

    Agreed. But there are few conservatives left in the republican party.

    ""While it's fashionable to hammer Repubs since that is the party with a nomination, what about the Dems? They are going to be friends of liberty?""

    I think you deserve extra hammering when you claim to be pro-constitution and you are not. Something the Ds don't usually claim. They will rarely ever be a friend of liberty.

    No one in government really wants to cut back on the power grab created by past pols.

  • wareagle||

    No one in government really wants to cut back on the power grab created by past pols.
    --------------------------
    and the few who do, like the tea party folks elected last year, are either treated as pariahs by the rest of Congress or fall prey to trappings of power.

  • chris||

    Well, to be fair it is not like a returning vet ever took out his anger on a federal building before. However, to put stock in the political opinions of the pawn is a little beside te point. Before any one snubs the conspiracy angle, less you forget, the mainstream press was more than happy to report it as a conspiracy when it was being framed on Iraq.

  • chris||

    BTW, I have no idea who he was working with, could have been Islamist, could have been a false flag, but McVeigh being bright enough to hatch it on his own with one other doofus, I seriously doubt.

  • sarcasmic||

    Why not? He was trained to kill people by the most efficient killing machine on the planet. I think he could have come up with it on his own.

  • chris||

    Though possible, and I agree he used the skills he was taught, in the interview material I looked at to figure him out, he didn't come across as a planner, a general. Terry Nichols, I saw him interviewed before he was named as an accomplish, and he was asked by the press why the FBI was searching his farm. He came across as a disingenuous rat fucker. Like the mook who just got caught holding the bag. A pawn, not a planner.

    I may be wrong, but neither could figure their way out of a a wet paper bag. Why plan for the explosion, but not what would happen after, unless you lack the right aptitude to do so. That aptitude is the difference between someone who plans, and someone who follows.

  • sarcasmic||

    Why plan for the explosion, but not what would happen after, unless you lack the right aptitude to do so.

    Unless in the back of your mind you want to get caught.

  • chris||

    I admit I'm going on my gut about how things work in the world and nothing more. What I hate about conspiracy theories is not so much the theories but the absolute certitude they project to sell their schtick.

  • ||

    How can conservatives drop their love of the Constitution? You can't drop something you never had.

  • teh rael o3||

    and yet, on their first day, bohner et al "read" the constitution...'cept for the parts they didnt like.

  • +1||

    Boom goes the dynamite...

  • Mr. Mark||

    Regarding: ...terrorists do not deserve civilian trials...

    That's not the reason behind the push for military tribunals over civilian trials.

    Re: Terrorists, conservatives say, hate us for our freedom...

    Some conservatives say that because they know it plays well to an American public that doesn't pay much attention.

    People commit terrorism for different reasons.

    Al Qaeda commits terrorism because they are trying to live out a sick fantasy:

    "The terror attack of 9-11 was not designed to make us alter our policy, but was crafted for its effect on the terrorists themselves: It was a spectacular piece of theater. The targets were chosen by al Qaeda not through military calculation — in contrast, for example, to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor — but entirely because they stood as symbols of American power universally recognized by the Arab street. They were gigantic props in a grandiose spectacle in which the collective fantasy of radical Islam was brought vividly to life: A mere handful of Muslims, men whose will was absolutely pure, as proven by their martyrdom, brought down the haughty towers erected by the Great Satan." - Lee Harris, Al Qaeda's Fantasy Ideology - Policy Review (Hoover)

    Some really insightful reading can be found in al Qaida's own writings.

    Certainly the war after 9/11 should have been against al Qaida, rather than against "terrorism" in general (a stupid concept from the start).

    Actually, a war against al Qaida should have been launched following the embassy bombings. 9/11 should not have happened.

    I don't agree with everything that our government does in the "war on terror" but your admonitions aren't much better than theirs.

  • ||

    Well Mr. Mark, my question to you would be this, "Do you honestly believe that the current administration would never, could never, abuse the powers which we hand over to them?"

    Many of us here do not want to play with fire. Not only do we not think that the current administration, i.e., Obama, his Czars, and congress, are capable of anything resembling protection, we do not think that they are incapable of abusing their power in the worst ways.

  • ||

    Perhaps someone should propose definitions for the terms we are using here. Conservative, the right, the left, republican, etc.

    I am not sure I agree with the statements here as written, but I am confident if we had agreed upon definitions I would happily support them.

  • Mr. Mark||

    Re: ...after U.S. forces created a diplomatic disaster by calling in a NATO airstrike against friendly Pakistani forces.

    Really?

    You read much?

    Because they have investigations for a reason.

  • ||

    In time of war the law falls silent

    How convenient that it's a war with no clear enemy or objective

    long live Goldstein

  • Ska||

    Worst haiku ever.

  • ||

    most sorry, ska-san

  • ||

    What a short memory neocons have.

    Remember how up in arms and paranoid most of them, and justifiably so, have been in regards to the Obama administration? The DHS terror watch list is a perfect example. Most neocons were rightly outraged when they read pro-lifers, second amendment supporters, those who were anti-Obamacare, and veterans on the terror watch list. I'm sure they applauded memes like, "Proud Right-Wing Extremist."

    Yet, they would give Obama, his Czars like Janet Napolitano, and statists like good old Nancykins Pelosi a bigger gun to be used against them? They'd go on wholeheartedly supporting indefinite detention and the Patriot Act, even when their government has named them as a dangerous threat, essentially, a terrorist?

    Even proud neocon Michelle Malkin, who routinely defends anything and everything that has to do with the War on Terror, was outraged about the terror watch list. Here's the original document linked from her website:
    http://tinyurl.com/dctk65

    It seemed the DHS could probably have done no wrong where neocons were concerned, that was, until they targeted neocons themselves or made the close friends and family members of neocons into victims. Then and only then did they cry foul.

    Unfortunately, this brief questioning of authority seemed short lived. Not only do many conservatives fanatically lose sight of their supposed original goal of preserving the constitution when they blindly defend anything related to the "War on Terror," they show a kind of insanity, since they're clearly going against their best interest when they give the Obama administration more ways to target them.

    Neocons cheerfully give up their rights to an administration who has nothing but disdain for many of their cherished political views, simply because it's done in the name of "Defense" and to supposedly counter terrorism.

  • cynical||

    "Most neocons were rightly outraged when they read pro-lifers, second amendment supporters, those who were anti-Obamacare, and veterans on the terror watch list."

    Doubtful. You're probably thinking of palecons. Neocons are establishment shitstains through and through.

  • ||

    You're probably right. I guess I just define neocon more broadly to mean those who irrationally support the spending of large amounts of money on wars and giving the government unprecedented amounts of power in the name of fighting terrorism, without regard to the constitution. I've talked to so many conservatives who fit this bill, but who think Obama is the antichrist.

    Like I already said, I just can't imagine being that outraged at and mistrusting of a president, but then supporting laws that would grant that president even more power.

    The mind boggles.

  • Old Mexican||

    Conservatives also ought to renew their skepticism about government’s ability to get things right – something they seem to doubt in every area except national security.


    Mr. Hinkle, most so-called "conservatives" are nothing more than socialists with a different preference for their profligacy than their leftist brethren: the warfareists vs the welfareists. They are still wings of the same vulture.

  • WWNGD?||

    "Conservatives Drop Their Love for the Constitution"

    They dropped it a long time ago, now they are trying to bury it in the back yard.

  • ||

    Well, it does have a strong urine smell from being pissed on for many decades.

  • ChrisO||

    The Pentagon’s top lawyer, Jeh Johnson, recently warned against "overmilitarizing" counterterrorism. "There is risk in permitting and expecting the U.S. military to extend its powerful reach into areas traditionally reserved for civilian law enforcement in this country," he said in October.

    When the Pentagon, of all things, says "we don't want these powers you're trying to give us," then maybe you ought to listen. Just maybe.

  • ||

    Only some conservatives. Others are willing to trade safety for freedom.

  • ||

    Others are not willing I meant.

  • Tony||

    Conservative used to describe people who were wary of change, not fire-breathing revolutionaries.

  • Tony||

    I recommend this article.

    Also the Taibbi one on the Tea Party it links to:

    “After lengthy study of the phenomenon, I’ve concluded that the whole miserable narrative boils down to one stark fact: They’re full of shit. All of them. At the voter level, the Tea Party is a movement that purports to be furious about government spending — only the reality is that the vast majority of its members are former Bush supporters who yawned through two terms of record deficits and spent the past two electoral cycles frothing not about spending but about John Kerry’s medals and Barack Obama’s Sixties associations. The average Tea Partier is sincerely against government spending — with the exception of the money spent on them.”

  • Whereas...||

    ...the average Occupier is sincerely in favor of all government spending, minus defense.

    Plus, they want free shit.

  • Tony||

    Free shit like medicare, the most socialist program around? Liberals don't think cutting spending is always the most important thing, and often believe government should do more. They are not hypocritical about it.

  • ||

    Just read that article, boy was it some kind of stupid.
    Nothing more than Team Blue smart and mature, Team Red dumb and petulant, with some good SAT words and some philosophical masturbation.
    No wonder you loved it.

  • Team Blue||

    Hah! WE dropped OUR love for the Constitution decades ago!

  • Team Libertarian||

    All criticisms of Team Red must be met with an immediate appeal to false equivalence with Team Blue. Because we're not carrying anyone's water!

  • first||

    Fashion model. Nude model. Model de choix of Bohemian Paris. Home town beauty queen.

    LUBA SHUMEYKO reigns supreme as the First Lady of Hegre-Art.com. There are a lot of models. There are a lot of photographs. But only Luba makes the unique link to master photographer Petter Hegre through the golden band of a wedding ring. They are the golden couple, the happening people of Generation N - the New Nude Age. To be here is to be a part of it.

    Shy, proud, ultra-feminine from her bow-shaped lips to her little pink toes, "she was born wearing high heels," as Petter Hegre puts it. And if it's not a miracle having one Luba, there happens to be two: a mirror image. Luba and Nadya are the supertwins from the Ukraine, the bread basket of old Mother Russia and producers now of the most vital crop on Planet Earth: beautiful girls.

    Oh, yeah, Luba Means Love. What else?

  • nanda||

    Conservatives make a distinction between terrorism and ordinary crime. We all live with the risk of mugging, home invasions, etc. we don’t want to live with the risk of the mall or the subway blowing up. We think we can deal with terrorists without destroying the rights of ordinary criminals. Liberal logic makes no distinctions. Obama does. That is precisely why he has followed and even amplified Bush’s policies of listening, spying, rendition, targeted killings, and killings overall. Our forces are killing more than we did during the time of Bush. Liberals do not complain. Obama knows and they know that he dare not have a terrorist attack while in office.

    Even ordinary crime if taken to a point can result in the destruction of innocent until proved otherwise, and all that. Liberal rights for criminals was a result of increased civilization and order. When there is much crime and people cannot trust each other, they don’t care if some criminal has his rights. The natural feeling almost everywhere is that criminals should be harshly treated. When people start to feel that the world is a nice liberal place and that most of us are nice people who mean well, that is when they get concerned about the rights of people who rape, kill, and rob their fellow citizens and make excuses for them. Liberals assume that liberalism can exist no matter what. Conservatives know that first there must be some level of order. Liberalism and rights and freedom and all that comes after there is a consensus, okay we won’t blow up the mall and we will limit crime to a certain level. The crime in S. Africa for instance is at a level where people and I mean black people support the summary execution of criminals. They have had it. They celebrate cops who just shoot people caught in the act or people running from the scene of the crime. They are contemptuous of suggestions that thieves and rapists have rights. This is when crime becomes excessive. What is excessive? Ask a South African.

    Also it does matter who the actor is. In Afghanistan many dozens of Shiites were bombed. People are angry. But they are even more angry when they hear that Israelis have accidentally killed a Palestinian. This is not liberal logic, but it is human logic. All these things are relative. None of us regard the Others’ actions the same as we do Ours.

  • Realist||

    "Conservatives Drop Their Love for the Constitution"
    But they will never drop their love of war!

  • thirtyandseven||

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    I thought I heard this somewhere else once, but my professor said I didn't.

  • ||

    And yet we continue to stretch the commerce clause out like a cheap whore.

  • ||

    I've discussed this issue with many Patriot Act supporters. When I point out the circular reasoning behind the idea that you can't call someone a terrorist (and therefore underserving of constitutional rights) without a conviction first, the response is eventually that the circumstances underwhich the person is detained demonstrate that they are a terrorist.

    I don't know how to make it any clearer that the point of a trial is to determine if those circumstances actually indicate guilt. A lot of conservatives today seem convinced that a trial is a reward that inherently benefits even the guilty. The point of a trial is to establish guilt.

    I was so glad when Ron Paul had the guts to say in one of the recent debates that those who are arrested are suspects. There cannot exist an accusation that is so severe that the accusation itself acts as a conviction.

  • ||

    Since when has the Government in this country ever used a LAW meant for one thing,and did not subvert it for something so far OFF the original intent,it's not even funny?.
    Case in point.

    THE RICO STATUTE

    They have used RICO to lock up Anti Abortion protestors.

    Bottom line, Those that give up Liberty for a Security deserve neither.

    Grab your ankles,and bend over because these fascists are on the move.

    Be prepared to join Club Gitmo over political speech, or go down in a blaze of glory.
    Your choice SERFS,or Americans.
    Believe it was Franklin that was asked, What kind of Government have you given us?, he stated, a Republic IF you can keep it.

    He was right, it's GONE.

    And as an elder American, it makes me want to puke,as I lived the best part of my life under the Constitution with RIGHTS.

    This is not America,it's a Socialist/Fascist dream becoming reality.

  • ||

    The vote was 93 to 7. Both parties voted for this.
    A sad day for America

  • ||

    Conservatives never had a love for the Constitution. Just as they have no love for liberty. Those words are icons in their political fantasy, that have little connection to real liberty or the real Constitution.

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