I'm thrilled so many of you are causing a commotion over the creepy, occasionally amorous and always-intrusive policies of the Transportation Security Administration. It's about time. All this nonsense about our patriotic duty to surrender the Fourth Amendment to (illusory) safety deserves all the scorn Americans can muster.
But setting aside the indignities of flying, this debate also helpfully illustrates the hypocrisy of partisans.
Not so long ago, the left positioned itself as the defender of innocents against the just-one-tiny-step-away- from-fascism of the Bush administration's war on terror. The Constitution was sacred, especially when we faced danger — and even more especially when a Republican was president...
Yet, today, left-wing pundits, typified by syndicated liberal columnist Ruth Marcus, implore Americans to grow up, become better automatons, get moving, and submit. The admired liberal columnist Michael Kinsley first offers us tales of TSA kindheartedness and then tells us the same.
Many left-wing publications that cautioned us against George W. Bush's ham-fisted intrusions now defend Barack Obama's ham-fisted intrusions.
We all remember when Democrats passed the Airline Passenger Bill of Rights (with bipartisan support) to ensure that travelers had a right to, among other things, sit in a plane with a "comfortable cabin temperature." Well, how about the right not to have a stranger prying into your granddad's testicular area? Or, how about making sure that the actual Bill of Rights is afforded at least the same deference as the Passenger Bill of Rights?
He doesn't offer as many details when trying trying to be fair and going after the right:
Now, certainly, not every Democrat is insincere on the topic, nor is everyone on the right innocent.
For nearly a decade, Republicans have compromised and surrendered liberty in the name more safety — sometimes equating their policies with patriotism. And I simply can't believe that we would be witnessing anywhere near the levels of conservative outrage regarding the TSA's new security measures were we sitting in, say, 2005.
That's it. Not a single example.
But it's a silly argument anyway. It's like that totally disingenuous argument that says, "Where was the Tea Party when Bush was running up deficits?" Bush was running up deficits 1/4 the size of Obama's; is it really surprising that people act differently now? And besides, people were complaining (thank you, Rick Santelli)--not in an organized manner, but they were complaining--and that helps explain the 2006 changeover in Congress. The argument that conflates Bush's deficits to Obama's weak, just as is the argument that conflates wiretapping of terrorists' phone calls with feeling up the traveling public.