Jonah Goldberg on the Left’s Constitutional Issues

Jonah Goldberg says that liberals who advocate a “living Constitution” are being hypocritical in their constitutional arguments against NSA surveillance. He writes:

For the first time in decades, liberals are grasping that the “living Constitution” can grow into something tyrannical. They had no problem with the Constitution’s blob-like expansion into areas conservatives cherish (nor did they care much when Bill Clinton used the Constitution in ways the anti-Bush crowd now defines as Orwellian). But now that the shoe’s on the other foot, they suddenly see genius in those old fusty white men.

The problem is, you can’t switch back and forth from living Constitution to dead and keep your credibility…

The whole thing here.

While Goldberg’s argument has some validity, it can easily be turned around. How can conservatives who argue for a strict interpretation of the constitution suddenly be comfortable with stretching the constitution when it comes to executive power during wartime?

One thought on “Jonah Goldberg on the Left’s Constitutional Issues”

  1. The problem I have with the premise of this article (and conservative arguments generally) is that the Constitution has parts with breathing room unmistakeably written into it. The Ninth Amendment is the most obvious example, and also the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    I can’t defend liberals too much though, since these are narrow examples, and can’t excuse the liberal abuse of the Commerce clause.

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