Last week, I contacted the campaigns of all of the Republican candidates for Virginia’s U.S. Senate seat as well as Democratic frontrunner Tim Kaine. My purpose in doing so was to discover each of their positions regarding the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act. As you might imagine, I am quite dismayed about the prospect of giving the president the authority to indefinitely detain any person, be they an American citizen or not, without a trial. I had hoped that each of the candidates would take a strong stance against this potential injustice.
Well, seven days have passed since my inquiry. What to do you expect each of their responses was? First, I didn’t get a reply from Tim Donner. Given that he ended his campaign shortly after receiving my question, this outcome comes as no surprise. Nor did I get any sort of answer from either E.W. Jackson or David McCormick. The reasoning for this lapse likely stems from the fact that neither seem to have very organized or responsive campaigns and likely do not have a person devoted to answering such questions.
Then again, neither George Allen nor Tim Kaine offered any sort of opinion either. My guess here, given their records, is that like John McCain and Mark Warner both support increasing the power of the federal government at the expense of minor things like the Constitution. Of course, I could be wrong. I hope that I’m wrong.
At this point, to the best of my knowledge, only one of the Senate candidates has come out in opposition to NDAA. That candidate is Jamie Radtke. As she wrote in a recent article, “Today, men and women of zeal are pushing through legislation that will seriously undermine our Constitution and set back the cause of liberty that men and women have fought and died for since 1775.” She goes on to add, “The NDAA writes into law the unconstitutional authority claimed by the president to indefinitely detain American citizens suspected of supporting terrorism and denies them the right to due process or trial. Worse, it allows the U.S. government to detain Americans as long as we are at war with terrorists, and this is a war with no end in sight.” You can read all of her thoughts on her website.
As Virginians look to elect or re-elect a president, a senator, and eleven members of the House of Representatives in 2012, I believe that it is imperative that we choose candidates who respect our Constitution and the rule of law. Giving the president new and unconstitutional authority to imprison us is not the kind of leadership that I’m hoping to find. Therefore, I call on each of the candidates to join Jamie Radtke in denouncing NDAA.
Here’s my take home message for my fellow Virginians: If a candidate does not issue a firm commitment to protecting the people from overreaches of the government, then he or she should not be considered as a reasonable choice for any elected office.