Sixty-five years ago today, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Habor and launched America into World War II (a war that we won in less time than the current conflict in Iraq has lasted), this nation responded, as could be expected, with cold fury. In some cases, the people and the government took it out on innocent victims (vide the internment of citizens of Japanese descent) and there were calls for restrictions on the Bill of Rights during wartime in order to protect ourselves. But it was clear then -- as it apparently isn't to the True Believers -- that if we did that, we would be no better than the tyrannies we were fighting. There are some things you just do not give up in order to win, and if we cannot win with our basic laws and ideas intact, then what right do we have to preach freedom and democracy to the world when we can't even guarantee it to ourselves?
If we do give them up, then we surely have become our own worst nightmare. We're getting awfully close to it if Newt Gingrich can seriously advocate "rethinking" the First Amendment and can seriously think about running for president, and people can still take him seriously at all.
"President Gingrich"... there's a scary thought.