At a meeting of major Republican donors, Chris Christie took a firm stand on domestic surveillance—and it's not sitting well with Peggy Noonan. Christie called the debate over the extent of government snooping "esoteric" and "intellectual," slamming the "strain of libertarianism that's going through both parties right now." He added: "I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans and have that conversation." But worries about the issue are "very American," not to mention conservative, Noonan writes in the Wall Street Journal.
"The concerns of normal Americans about the new world we’re entering—the world where Big Brother seems inexorably to be coming to life and we are all, at least potentially Winston Smith—is not only legitimate, it is wise and historically grounded," she writes. What's more, they're not fringe issues: Polls show majorities of Americans are bothered by the news. As for Christie, his take amounted to "manipulation": "If you don’t see it his way you don’t care about the feelings of the widows and orphans." What's more, it's fundamentally conservative to fear such concentrated power—after all, "People who work for the government ... will not decide their powers are too broad." Click for Noonan's full piece.