Wednesday, August 23, 2006


No Standing

Jonah Goldberg proves himself foremost among those “most talented” young conservative writers Fred Barnes mentioned recently in a Hillsdale College speech, in today’s editorial at Real Clear Politics.

Goldberg takes on the illogic of Judge Taylor’s NSA decision, and examines the core hypocrisies of several of the plaintiffs of the case:

You do see the irony here, don't you? A coalition of pressure groups - Greenpeace, the ACLU and a bunch of left-wing professors - are arguing that the Constitution must be immutably inflexible, adamantine in the face of changing times. The fact that al-Qaida is using new technologies the founders could never have imagined is irrelevant, say the absolutists. If the government can listen in on bin Laden's phone calls without a warrant, what's to keep them from listening to a phone call between me and my Aunt Sally?

Isn't this just a bit hard to take with a straight face from the ACLU, which finds powers not created by the Constitution every day and periodically declares such inanities as the idea that the Constitution forbids teachers from reading "The Chronicles of Narnia" in class lest the tykes' young minds be corrupted by hidden messages about Christianity? Such concerns would have left the founders dumbfounded before the opening prayers of the Constitutional Convention.

I’d note that this is probably the best of all reasons for critics to insist that plaintiffs first establish standing, before they’re ever allowed to argue their case for harm.

Of course, if you are a jurist who favors a particular side in a legal debate, who seeks publicity, and wants to advance a political agenda, a plaintiff being on your side may be all the standing you need.

I couldn’t help myself, I read through some of the hysterical name calling and trash talking from the left, in response to Ann Althouse’s excellent Op Ed in the NY Times yesterday. Ann is this, Althouse is that, the rhetorical equivalent of “yeah, well you’re a poopy head!”

I am sick of being lectured on ethics, law, the Constitution, Government, and anything remotely related to National Security by those of a political persuasion that makes critical reasoning impossible. Who don’t even both with considering alternative points of view, or the logical strength of the arguments of their opponents.

There’s no hope for them, these leftists. They’ll need to retire, and eventually fade into angry obscurity. If God is merciful, they won’t entirely tear the country down – or so thoroughly collaborate with our enemies as to surrender what remains of our liberty.

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