Just last week, the Transportation Security Administration had an 80 percent approval rating. Then, after a few days of media scrutiny, its numbers began to crash. As The Daily Caller noted yesterday, the number of Americans who approve of the TSA dropped 16 points in a single week, and is still plummeting.
While TSA administrator John Pistole may have lost the support of the prudish Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and seems to be on President Barack Obama’s watch list, the agency does have its defenders, most of whom appear to work at lefty publications.
Oddly enough, the same organizations that once gave the finger to The Man are now shrilly backing him up. Reason Magazine collected an assortment of editorials from large-circulation liberal newspapers suddenly in the business of defending statism. The Baltimore Sun’s, for example, has decided that, “Under the circumstances, it seems a small sacrifice for the citizens back home to keep a stiff upper lip and voluntarily agree to measures that experts believe are needed.”
There is a name for people who tell others that they have a responsibility to shut up after being molested, and many of those names are in a national registry.
Here are the three main defenses of the TSA from those who aren’t actually the TSA.
Republicans did it first
The American Prospects’ Adam Serwer would like to remind you that it’s Bush’s fault:
But conservatives bear a lot of blame for their current predicament. This comprehensive assault on individual freedom didn’t occur in a vacuum; it occurred because conservatives were successful in frightening Americans into choosing security over liberty every time the choice was before them, and because America’s elected officials take being blamed for a terrorist attack more seriously than their oath to protect the Constitution.
After an odd Q&A in which Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum grills Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum, one of the Drums finally offers a sure-fire, and confident analysis:
And now for a political note: this is GOP catnip. For seven years, Republicans insisted that every security procedure ever conceived was absolutely essential to keeping the American public safe, and anyone who disagreed was practically rooting for an al-Qaeda victory. Now a Democrat is in office and suddenly they’re outraged over some new scanners.
Then the Jones twins (not to mention The New Republic’s resident “communitarian,” Amitai Etzioni) tell those worried about civil liberties to STFU and be thankful for the flight.
Did Republicans and the Bush administration develop policies that greatly infringed on the civil liberties of U.S. citizen for the sake of security. No. Haha, kidding — Absolutely. But as Dave Weigel at Slate reminds readers, “… the idea of a cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security came from the Democratic Party … It wasn’t until 2002 that the Republican Party latched on to the concept and took ownership of it.”
Are the conservative protests against the TSA much louder now that a Democrat is in the White House. Yes. Does that make complaints about radioactive nipples and molesting any less relevant? No.
“Don’t listen to conservatives. They’re crazy, Tea Partiers or both”
Consider recent headlines from the Democratic Party’s surrogates at Media Matters:
⇼ “Beck’s world: Obama may be unionizing TSA to create ‘private army’”
⇼ “Memo to media: Private screening companies won’t save you from pat downs”
⇼ “Beck pushes Soros/scanners conspiracy — after his own website debunked it”
Notice that none of these headlines (nor the others) address the issues that has been epitomized in song: “Don’t touch my junk.”