The president, the official singularly responsible for the security of our homeland, should be defending quarantines — explaining why the potentially lethal threat posed by individuals entering our country from Ebola-stricken areas calls for them to shoulder reasonable burdens, like quarantine. This should be unremarkable. Our law, after all, has long made even American citizens subject to warrantless search and detention when attempting to cross our national border. And non-citizens are precluded from entering the United States if they are infectious-disease carriers — just as various flora and fauna that could cause disease are barred. National defense is a basic ingredient and natural right of sovereignty. Our law is thus designed to shield the public from epidemic every bit as much as from military attack.

Yet, in handling the Ebola incursion, Obama has not merely failed to direct a quarantine. As is the case with his non-enforcement of the immigration laws, he has obstructed the states in the exercise of their sovereign power to protect their citizens.

As is his Alinskyite wont, Obama is poisoning the public discussion by ascribing noxious motives to those who favor quarantine. His administration’s straw man of choice is the admonition that doctors and nurses who do the noble work of treating Ebola patients must not be “stigmatized.” But there is no true correlation between quarantine and stigma.