Congress Should Defend My Junk

As denizens of the Atlantosphere are all too well aware, TSA is on an insane crusade to touch everybody's junk (except when they're not, as Jim Fallows happily discovered). Here's an idea: if Republicans want to get off to a good start and improve their dismal popularity, they should use the House Oversight Committee to investigate what the hell TSA is thinking.

Darrell Issa, the incoming chairman, is a smart and media-savvy guy, who obviously learned a lot as the ranking member of Oversight when Henry Waxman was chairman. Issa, like Waxman, knows how to put on a show. Right now, Issa's plan is to launch an investigation of climate scientists that appears geared toward denying global warming, which will excite conservative activists. That strikes me as a dumb move: leaving aside the fact that global warming is, of course, real, Issa's investigation a) risks reducing him to Dan Burton-like "buffoon" status before he's even off and running (Burton was chairman during the Clinton years and notoriously launched ridiculous investigations of things like the White House Christmas card list that eventually led the media to ignore him), and b) seems mistimed, even from a Republican-hack standpoint: the elections aren't for two more years, so what good is firing up all the Glenn Beck disciples now?

If, on the other hand, Issa were to launch an investigation of TSA, he'd instantly win the media stardom he longs for and would probably win over a good many independents and Democrats (and Atlantic staffers). Think about it: he could call as witnesses some poor 5-year-old kid who got felt up and the kid's furious mom; he could call the "Don't Touch My Junk" guy; hell, he could call Jeff Goldberg, whose junk has been fondled by TSA staffers from coast to coast. I can imagine poor Jeff limping in on crutches and sobbing like Nancy Kerrigan.

Point is, it would be a two-fer for Issa and the Republicans. The enormous media attention and congressional interest might have the effect of forcing/convincing/embarrassing TSA into changing its absurd policy, which would be good for everyone, save those who derive joy from fondling strangers. For Issa and his party, it would send an immediate signal to voters that they were responding to real middle-class problems (Chuck Schumer has made a career out of that!) and it would make them that much harder to write off when they go investigate something ridiculous, like Obama's birth certificate or whatever is on the docket next.

P.S. My other idea: those of us vehemently opposed to having our junk touched should call ourselves "The Resistance."

P.P.S. Obvious conservative/Tea Party rallying point in support of my idea: there is no mention of "junk" in the Constitution, so the government has no business messing with it

Presented by

Joshua Green is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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