So it was an interesting moment on MSNBC’s “Hardball” when Chris Matthews asked Gov. Dean whether Osama bin Laden should be tried in the United States or by the World Court. For a presidential candidate, this is not a difficult question. It requires no long cogitation, no disquisitions about the role of international law from the Wilsonian perspective. It doesn’t require any second-guessing. You say that bin Laden attacked America, and he deserves to be tried there by Americans.
That’s what you say if you want to be president of the United States, anyway.
But as we all know, that’s not what Governor Dean said, in his interview that included his contention that he would smash corporations that are doing no wrong and that a decade-dead political entity (The Soviet Union) is alive and well outside of the Politburo Diktat. Dean asserted — twice — that it made no material difference to Dean whether a captured bin Laden would be tried in America or in a world court, which Lileks points out is chaired by China.
In other words, union-supported Howard Dean doesn’t want America to outsource customer-service jobs to India, but he has no problem outsourcing our justice jobs to China. Riiiiiiiight.
Lileks wonders what has become of the Democratic party when these responses seem mainstream:
What prompted this opinion? It’s one thing to say that terrorists should be hunted down and cuffed, read their Miranda rights and put on trial — as opposed to, say, having gigantic mountain-shearing bombs dropped on their mountainous headquarters. It’s another thing to say that the World Court should have jurisdiction over the crimes of Sept. 11. And it’s another thing entirely to say that it’s six of one, half-dozen of the other.
Has ritual deferment to all manifestations of the “international community” become a requirement for a Democrat nowadays?
No, James, it’s not merely a requirement; it’s a tenet of faith, a dogma that must never be questioned. Thanks for a great column. (via Hugh Hewitt)