The Tea Party’s limited-government, constitutional heart is in the right place. But it needs much better guidance about how the Constitution works in wartime.
The defense-authorization bill currently under congressional consideration contains some unremarkable, largely redundant provisions about the treatment of enemy combatants. Naturally, the now-familiar alliance of leftists and libertarian extremists — self-proclaimed “constitutionalists” all — attacked with their signature “sky is falling” equanimity. On Wednesday, my column addressed some of the more hysterical arguments posited by Fox News analyst Andrew Napolitano. The real action, however, was taking place on the Senate floor, where Tea Party favorite Rand Paul (R., Ky.) squared off against John McCain (R., Ariz.), leader of the Republican party’s transnational-progressive wing. Sen. McCain, along with another tranzy, Sen. Carl Levin (D., Mich.), sponsored the detention provisions — which are thus collectively known as the McCain-Levin amendment.
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