The revolt against the TSA is a sign of the times. Popular frustration with the TSA dates back to its establishment during the Bush administration. It is another big government bureaucracy that performs ineptly and with gross inconvenience. It provides far more security theater than security.
The TSA is bound by a form of political correctness that has long rendered it a joke. With its newly implemented scanning and pat down procedures, however, the TSA has become something worse than a joke. It has become intrusive and humiliating to a degree that is difficult to accept. Reader Kim Nelson writes, for example:
I thought the TSA uproar was probably much ado about nothing until tonight when I flew from Providence to Philadelphia.
I have an artificial hip which sets off metal detectors every time I fly. Tonight I found out that the metal detecting wands are no more. Instead, there was an extremely personal pat down, leaving no part of my body untouched. I was appalled by the experience.
The fact that I had to go through it though I’m a man in my 50’s with nothing more serious than a speeding ticket in my lifetime is pretty ridiculous. There is no reason in the world to think that I’m a threat.
I believe that this approach is more of the politically correct approach that the federal government has taken since September 11, 2001. The authorities make the general public jump through all kinds of hoops that add nothing to airline safety (such as chasing people away from waiting in their cars to pick up someone outside an airport) instead of a more intelligent approach focusing on people who are likely to pose a threat.
Presiding over the organization is Janet Napolitano, the lady variously dubbed Janet Incompetano and Big Sis. Big Stupid would also fit. Napolitano is of course most famous for her public reassurance of the American people in the aftermath of the attempted Christmas Day bombing that was thwarted by a brave passenger. According to Napolitano, “the system worked.”
Asked how the system could have worked when the Nigerian charged with trying to set off the bomb was able to smuggle explosive liquid onto the jet, Napolitano responded: “We’re asking the same question.”
Michelle Malkin issued a clown alert. Michelle observed: If the “system” had “worked,” the U.S. consular officials who granted Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab a short-term visa last June would have revoked it immediately upon being informed by his father that he was a Muslim radical with al Qaeda ties.”
Napolitiano provided similar reassurance in the aftermath of the recent discovery of concealed cargo bombs headed to the United States. Napolitano contended that the bombs that made it on board should not be taken as a sign that the security system didn’t work. “We use a multilayered system, out of which intelligence-sharing is the first layer,” Napolitano said.
In its absurd intrusiveness and glaring incompetence, the TSA has become a perfect metaphor for the Obama administration. Thus the revolt.
UPDATE: In his column today Charles Krauthammer more eloquently draws the same connections I do: “Don’t touch my junk is the anthem of the modern man, the Tea Party patriot, the late-life libertarian, the midterm election voter. Don’t touch my junk, Obamacare – get out of my doctor’s examining room, I’m wearing a paper-thin gown slit down the back. Don’t touch my junk, Google – Street View is cool, but get off my street. Don’t touch my junk, you airport security goon – my package belongs to no one but me, and do you really think I’m a Nigerian nut job preparing for my 72-virgin orgy by blowing my johnson to kingdom come?”
As for the revolt, Krauthammer explains: “The junk man’s revolt marks the point at which a docile public declares that it will tolerate only so much idiocy.”