Friday, November 19, 2010

Grand Old Posers

Dave Weigel thinks the backlash against the TSA's body scanner/patdown invasiveness is due to the fact that Republicans fear government power and no longer need to hew to the official line on these matters. Andrew Sullivan agrees, and points to Charles Krauthammer's "Don't touch my junk!" cri de coeur as evidence.

I think Adam Serwer's on the firmer ground, pointing out that far worse has been done in the name of national security, but exclusively to Muslims:

The last president of the United States brags openly about ordering people to be tortured, and the current one asserts the authority to kill American citizens he believes to be terrorists overseas.

But most of these measures are either invisible enough to put out of mind or occur outside of what most Americans can imagine happening to them. As long as it's just Muslims being tortured and foreigners being detained indefinitely, the price we pay to feel secure seems all too abstract. The TSA's new passenger-screening measures just happen to fall on the political and economic elites who can make their complaints heard. It's not happening to those scary Arabs anymore. It's happening to "us."

One cannot take seriously screechings about counterproductive and invasive security procedures from the people who brought us this:

Don't touch my junk, indeed.

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