TSA Hysteria

by Michael Sean Winters

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Am I missing something? In the "war on terror" conservatives prefer a no-holds barred approach, right? If we have to torture someone to get information, pull out the rack. If we have to invade countries that have not attacked us, send in the Marines.

But heaven forfend if you have a to wait a bit longer in the security line at the airport, or go through a more extensive search just because last year, during the holidays, someone actually did try and blow up an airplane. Remember?

George Will's column yesterday was only the latest in a series of screeds, most of them inspired by the Drudge Report.

The whole franzy though is illustrative of the double standard conservatives use. Can you imagine if George W. Bush had approved the new, more invasive searches and Democrats had opposed them? You can imagine the outcry. But, now that President Obama approves the changes and all hell breaks lose.

It would not be fair to the pilots or crew, but don't you wish there could be separate flights for those of us who like the idea of heightened security at the airports and flights for those who don't want to bother being scanned? Which set of planes do you think the terrorists would attack? And, as for the argument that we should be profiling potential terrorists instead of making Grandma or children go through such invasive measures, ask the Israelis about how that works out. Palestinian terrorists have used pregnant women to carry bombs into crowded markets or pizzarias.

The hysteria on the right regarding TSA is not about security. it is about Obama.

But I have a solution. Hire people that look like Julia Roberts and Ryan Reynolds to do the pat downs and watch the line grow! Seriously, though, whatever you thought of the decision to go to war in Iraq, I think everyone can agree that one of the problems we face in this country is that while the men and women in the armed forces, and their families, are asked to make huge sacrifices, nothing was even asked of the rest of us. We did not even have to pay for the war, Bush just put it on the national credit card, he did not even put it on the budget.

The lives of ordinary Americans and the lives of our soldiers are separated by an enormous gulf, and it is not the Gulf of Arabia. I wish we were asked to do more, but being asked to go through some heightened security measures is not much to ask at all. Not if it forestalls a successful attack.

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