PREEMPTION JUNCTION: Tibor R. Machan has a terrific analysis of the concept of preemption on the FrontPage website. Some choice excerpts:

Consider that all government regulations are preemptive measures. When government threatens to fine or jail someone for producing, say, pajamas that might catch of fire, this is preemptive. There are no immediate, imminent dangers at hand. The pajamas may never catch on fire, they simply might – or there is some evidence that they could, under circumstances thought to be frequent enough.

All the bans on smoking now being enacted across the country are similarly preventive measures – when the individual smokes, he or she may risk seriously adverse health conditions. But that is not imminent at all, and yet thousands of politicians, especially those with left-wing leanings, insist that such measures must be implemented.

Indeed. In fact, the opposite of preemption is what’s commonly known as “closing the barn door after the horse is gone.”

Toward the end of the piece, Machan demonstrates what I and others have been saying for some time: That it is possible to oppose war with Iraq for legitimate reasons. Good column. Read it all. (linked via Right Wing News)

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.