Friday, May 19, 2006

Give me liberty or give me …

Fans of history will know how that tradeoff worked for our founding fathers, but Senator Pat Roberts and his memory troubles seem above such historical ponderings. Roberts began yesterday's hearings by saying "I am a strong supporter of the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment and civil liberties, but you have no civil liberties if you are dead."

Josh Marshall responds to Roberts' claim by saying "this dogmatic post-9/11 insistence on acting as if human history began suddenly in 1997 or something." And continued:
The U.S.S.R., after all, lost the Cold War, not because we beat them in a race to the bottom to improve national security by gutting the principles of our system, but because the principles underlying our system were actually better than the alternative. If you don't have some faith the American way of life is capable of coping with actual challenges, then what's the point in defending it?
This is precisely the problem. If we give up civil liberties protections to fight enemies who want to take away our civil liberties, exactly what did we win?