Krauthammer’s “Don’t Touch My Junk” column is outstanding and I think he’s right that Americans’ tolerance for indignity to avoid the unthinkable prospect of profiling is exhausted. But I’m afraid some people are directing their anger at the wrong target. Ron Paul, for instance, has introduced legislation to remove TSA employees’ immunity from prosecution and arrest them for assault. Kick the Bureaucrat is a game conservatives love to play, and sometimes it’s justified, but this time it isn’t. The problem is the policy that the White House and its minions have instructed their subordinates in the civil service to carry out. And it’s not just the Obama folks; Bush insisted on this non-profiling approach, and Republicans ran Congress for four years after 9/11 and supinely permitted it.
I just heard Ann Coulter make this very point today, at David Horowitz’s shindig in Palm Beach (hey, a third-stringer like me can’t sneak onto the NR cruise, but this is a pretty good alternative!). Anyway, Ann said that the TSA people are actually big fans of hers, but they’ve been told to follow certain procedures, so what are they supposed to do? (She also suggested that everyone being groped should make “sex noises,” like in the “I’ll have what she’s having” scene in When Harry Met Sally.) Ironically, Ann’s fan base in TSA is likely due to the Democrats’ insistence that the function not be outsourced to private firms; this has meant that the TSA screeners are overwhelmingly Americans, often former military — almost the only Americans working at the big airports I’ve been to.
We see the same “kick the bureaucrat” thing in immigration — whether it’s overwhelmed Border Patrol agents or inspectors, or visa officers and USCIS adjudicators told to ignore fraud, it’s the hapless schmo carrying out the ridiculous policies of his superiors who gets blamed. The fish rots from the head down, and that’s where our ire, and our policy changes, have to be focused.