Just as the first casualty of war is truth, so, too, the first casualty of hyper-partisan politics is civil liberties.
Many traditional civil libertarians have allowed their strong anti-Trump sentiments to erase their long-standing commitment to neutral civil liberties. They are now so desperate to get Trump that they are prepared to compromise the most basic due process rights. They forget the lesson of history that such compromises made against one’s enemy are often used as precedents against one’s friends. As Robert Bolt put it in the play and movie A Man for all Seasons:
Roper: So now you would give the Devil benefit of Law!
Thomas Moore: Yes, what would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
Roper: I’d cut down every law in England to do that?
Thomas Moore: And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast — man’s laws, not God’s — and if you cut them down — and you’re just the man to do it — d’you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake.