The Strange Silence of the Political Left over TSA

Libertarians, of course, have been fierce critics of TSA since it’s bureaucratic inception in the immediate aftermath of 9-11. Nonetheless, at the time, there weren’t many listening to the libertarian critique, and a docile American public seemed more than willing to tolerate this new addition to the National Security State apparatus. Things now, however, have a changed a bit. The introduction of backscatter X-ray imaging technology that performs full body scans, and the recent introduction of a new screening policy that requires an invasive, full body pat down, including a probing of the genital areas, for those who opt out of the full body imaging scan, and, in some case, in addition to the imaging scans, has lit a fire under a previously docile public. The Pilot and Flight Attendant Unions are in almost open revolt. Internet videos of probings of small children and the elderly have gone viral; a computer programmer, who I believe has libertarian leanings, recorded a Kafkaesque conversation with the TSA on his iPhone that has introduced the phrase “Don’t Touch my Junk” into the socio-political lexicon. At the grassroots, “Direct Action” organizations such as wewontfly.com have sprouted up. There is a National Opt Out Day on Nov. 24th. Hell, even the political right press and commentators, and GOP politicos have jumped on board the bandwagon.

However, there is nothing but cricket chirping coming from the political left. Well, there are a few exceptions. FireDogLake, which is no longer beholden to the Dem Party establishment, has been covering this issue. Media Matters, which is very much beholden to the Dem Establishment, has been covering it, albeit from a slightly different perspective: It’s all a right-wing plot to privatize Airport security. The Dem Party Politicos have begun to trickle a few apparatchiks over to MSNBC to defend the TSA. Sen. Claire McCaskill described the invasive, full body pat down as “love pats.” Bedrock Authoritarian Joe Biden pronounced them “intrusive, but necessary.” John Pistole went on Hardball to defend the procedures as vital to a “risk-based” security protocol. But for the majority of the political left ecosphere, it’s been pretty much silence.

So, i would chalk this up as another data point empirically demonstrating that American politics, for the most part, is not about left vs right, or even liberal vs conservative for that matter. It is a cultural war…

4 thoughts on “The Strange Silence of the Political Left over TSA

  1. You know, I am a registered Democrat. I thought Democrats were the ones who cared more about people than about money. I admit I was more wrong than I ever imagined. This TSA thing is a living nightmare. 1984 is upon us. I’m flying hom today. If there was any way out of it, I would not fly, but I do not have a car, and buses and trains do not reach my home in the rural Midwest. Even when I fly, I have to drive 2 1/2 hours to the nearest airport. I haven’t been able to sleep in days, knowing that I will soon be molested and that there’s nothing I can do about it.

    You know, I’ve never been sexually assaulted, but I’ve worked with women who have. The things about sexual assault that the TSA is missing is this: sexual assault is not about sex or sexual acts (i.e. probing); it is about control. Emotional intimidation, violation of our bodies, psychological manipulation to make us feel victimized, isolation, and proximal limitation are just some of the examples of the ways our government is sexually assaulting thousands of people in airports across the country.

    • I haven’t flown since TSA was created. The next time I do fly, it will be for a permanent vacation from the “land of the Slave and the home of the Sheep.”

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