This week's backlash against the Transportation Security Administration, which has implemented invasive new procedures for air travelers, has become so severe that is has unified much of the political left, right, and center in the kind of near-consensus opposition unseen since Tom DeLay joined Dancing with the Stars. Here is what political commentators have to say about the new TSA measures.
- 'Don't Touch My Junk' The Washington Post's Charles Krauthammer writes in a column that has been steadily making the rounds, "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?"
- 'TSA Has Met The Enemy, And They Are Us' The Associated Press declares, "After nine years of funneling travelers into ever longer lines with orders to have shoes off, sippy cups empty and laptops out for inspection, the most surprising thing about increasingly heated frustration with the federal Transportation Security Administration may be that it took so long to boil over. ... In episode after episode since [Sept. 11, 2001], the TSA has demonstrated a knack for ignoring the basics of customer relations, while struggling with what experts say is an all but impossible task. It must stand as the last line against unknown terror, yet somehow do so without treating everyone from frequent business travelers to the family heading home to visit grandma as a potential terrorist."
- An Age-Old Constitutional Struggle The Wall Street Journal's Al Lewis writes, "This is America, where we used to have a right to privacy and constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. But terrorists -- who we dare not profile at the airports because that's unconstitutional -- have given Washington power-mongers an excuse to turn America into an ever more invasive police state. Thankfully, we still live in a country where lawsuits are flying, civil-rights groups are agitating and bloggers are blabbing."
- Conservatives Return to Pre-2001 Position Slate's David Weigel writes, "Conservatives have been ready for a very long time to return to a familiar and comfortable opinion of Homeland Security: It must be stopped. That opinion was in hibernation, then partial hibernation, for a long time. Before 9/11, the prevailing conservative/libertarian/Republican opinion of the national-security state—of any government effort to protect Americans at the point of a gun and the touch of a rubber glove—was mistrust. The second most common opinion was fear. And the return of those emotions is a lagging reaction to the fact that Republicans no longer have to toe the party line on homeland security. They can say what they think, which is that the state can't be trusted."
- TSA Agents: We Hate This Too Anonymous TSA agents tell BoardingArea.com's Steven Frischling, "It is not comfortable to come to work knowing full well that my hands will be feeling another man’s private parts, their butt, their inner thigh. Even worse is having to try and feel inside the flab rolls of obese passengers and we seem to get a lot of obese passengers!" and "Molester, pervert, disgusting, an embarrassment, creep. These are all words I have heard today at work describing me, said in my presence as I patted passengers down. These comments are painful and demoralizing, one day is bad enough, but I have to come back tomorrow, the next day and the day after that to keep hearing these comments. If something doesn’t change in the next two weeks I don’t know how much longer I can withstand this taunting. I go home and I cry. I am serving my country, I should not have to go home and cry after a day of honorably serving my country."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.