Thomas R. Eddlem
The New American
February 21, 2010

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All of the Washington/New York conservative establishment convened several days before the annual CPAC conference and came up with the “Mount Vernon Statement” of principles to which they subscribe. The Mount Vernon Statement is — with one glaring and incongruous exception — a worthy statement of adherence to constitutional principles.

That exception is this:

“A Constitutional conservatism … reminds … national security conservatives that energetic but responsible government is the key to America’s safety and leadership role in the world…. It supports America’s national interest in advancing freedom and opposing tyranny in the world and prudently considers what we can and should do to that end.”

Unless one understands the phrase to mean leadership by example (and it clearly wasn’t written to mean that), nothing in the Constitution justifies U.S. “leadership” in the world. Moreover, an “energetic” government doesn’t mean a war-mongering government or a government that can lock people up without trial or charges (or, for that matter, torture).

But that hasn’t stopped the very worst of the leadership of the neo-conservative “war on terror” supporters from endorsing the document. Among those who have endorsed the Mount Vernon Statement are Kathryn J. Lopez of National Review, Edwin Feulner, Jr. of the Heritage Foundation, and Former Attorney General Ed Meese. Of these, Ed Meese is perhaps the most hypocritical of the bunch.

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