The only thing to be outraged about is the outrage
David Rivkin and Lee Casey have a welcome op-ed in the New York Times in which they clearly explain the president’s authority to order surveillance of foreign enemies of the U.S. during war time to protect the nation from foreign attack. Even if you had no familiarity with the issue, you couldn’t help but notice the difference between the logic and sense of Rivkin and Casey, and the ignorant ranting of the president’s enemies; between Rivkin and Casey’s concern for the well-being of the United States, and the Democrats’ flagrant indifference to the well-being of the United States. As Rivkin and Casey write, “the only thing outrageous about this policy is the outrage itself.”
While I know nothing about David Rivkin, his is a name that stands out for me, on the basis of a single piece he wrote in the early 1990s. During the long debate on President Clinton’s socialistic health care financing plan that in one bound would have turned us into an unfree, European-type country, I saw only one article, a column by Rivkin in the Wall Street Journal, which criticized the bill on the basis that Congress has no power under the Constitution to take over control of the medical profession. It was a mark of how far America and conservatism had declined that the most salient point of the whole debate—the bill’s utter unconstitutionality—had become a virtual non-issue for its Republican and conservative opponents.
In this connection, I’ll never forgot Bob Dole’s comment when the bill was initially submitted to the Congress—“It’s a good idea, but how do you pay for it?” Dole thought that socialism was a good idea, if you could afford it. However, credit also goes to Dole for finally pulling the plug on the bill and, I must say, delivering me personally from the only time in my life when I felt actual, physical fear of something the U.S. government might do. The loss of freedom threatened by the Clinton health care scheme was that tangible and that alarming.
Oh, by the way, when Dole acted so decisively to kill that evil bill, the Republicans were the minority party in both the Senate and the House.