The Mount Vernon Statement, which swears fealty to a "constitutional conservatism" that "applies the principle of limited government based on the rule of law to every proposal" and "honors the central place of individual liberty in American politics and life," already has attracted support from GoFuckYourselfNutjobs in Lafayette, Louisiana, so I guess it should be taken seriously. Glenn Reynolds says it "supports the notion of a libertarian shift on the right." If I thought the signatories really meant it, I would agree. But many of them plainly do not. The first one is Ed Meese, who as attorney general during the Reagan administration happily prosecuted national wars on dirty pictures and politically incorrect intoxicants. Where in the Constitution, pray tell, do we find the authority for such crusades? Or for the national restrictions on abortion supported by the fifth signatory, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council? Or for the national regulation of broadcast speech pushed by the seventh guy on the list, Brent Bozell of the Parents Television Council? I do not expect conservative constitutionalists to be libertarians, but is it asking too much to expect them to be constitutionalists?
Addendum: Jesse Walker beat me by a minute.