Relentless Pursuit of Wisdom and Liberty

The weblog companion of, dedicated to pondering, "If Patrick Henry could see us now..."

Friday, February 11, 2005

NRO's editors on HR 418, the REAL ID Act

So yesterday the House passed HR 418, which I wrote a little about yesterday. The Senate now has to hold hearings and debate over whether they will pass an identical version or alter it. It appears likely that the Senate version will be attached (as another of those wonderful things called "riders") to a supplemental appropriations bill supporting the troops in Iraq. National Review's editors praise the bill's passage, but in the very last line make an absurd appeal to the same warmed-over party-solidarity argument I've been opposing since before I started writing anything relating to government:
But however limited this measure is, it performs an important political function; no lawmaker who opposes it can ever again plausibly claim to support border control.
This is an absolutely ridiculous statement, considering that only a few of the provisions of the bill have anything to do with border control, and that mostly the bill's effect will be to expand the power of the federal government over the liberties of American citizens. Lovers of liberty should start a pool to see how long it will be before citizens have to deal with requests for "Your papers, please" every time we cross a state border.


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