Liberty's Fair-Weather Friends

David Boaz is keeping score:

Libertarians often debate whether conservatives or liberals are more friendly to liberty. We often fall back on the idea that conservatives tend to support economic liberties but not civil liberties, while liberals support civil liberties but not economic liberties though this old bromide hardly accounts for the economic policies of President Bush or the war-on-drugs-and-terror-and-Iraq policies of President Obama.

Score one for the conservatives in the surging outrage over the Transportation Security Administration’s new policy of body scanners and intimate pat-downs.

You gotta figure you’ve gone too far in the violation of civil liberties when you’ve lost Rick Santorum, George Will, Kathleen Parker, and Charles Krauthammer. (Gene Healy points out that conservatives are reaping what they sowed.) Meanwhile, where are the liberals outraged at this government intrusiveness? Where is Paul Krugman? Where is Arianna? Where is Frank Rich? Where is the New Republic? Oh sure, civil libertarians like Glenn Greenwald have criticized TSA excesses. But mainstream liberals have rallied around the Department of Homeland Security and its naked pictures.

Here's Healy on the right's complicity:

Santorum and Krauthammer blame a politically correct mentality that prevents profiling. But the Christmas bomber was Nigerian; the shoebomber, a Brit with a Jamaican father. Should we just give the "freedom fondle" to anyone vaguely swarthy? I have a different explanation for how we got here. For nearly a decade, Krauthammer, Santorum and too many others on the Right have relentlessly hyped and politicized the terrorist threat. But when every bungled attack -- no matter how inept -- gets the screeching siren treatment on Drudge, what do you expect that political dynamic to produce? Sober, sensible policy? Conservatives could stand to think more clearly about ideas and consequences, cause and effect.