Consider Many Women Say Airport Pat-Downs Are a Humiliation. If this were a Democratic administration being attacked by the GOP, you can just imagine what the bloviators on TV and radio would say about how the goverment is trying to feel up America's women, and should keep its prying hands to itself.
Democrats don't usually descend to that level of demagogary, although there are of course exceptions.
Should one fight fire with fire or with water?
The natural response would be that we need such procedures in order to be safe (remember that in the months leading up to the elections, neocons frequently expressed willingness to surrender their rights to politicians in order to obtain safety). To be fair, we should consider this sentiment.
So the real question here is whether the indignity that a citizen must submit to at the hands of government officials actually corresponds with a measurable, and significant, improvement in safety. Or even the perception of safety. And are there safeguards available to prevent government abuse of its authority? Also, were less invasive/intrusive/expensive–but comparably successful–screening procedures considered?
I don’t know the answers to these questions, but recent history indicates to me that any reflection of this nature is pretty damn unlikely with the government we happen to live under. Consequently, Americans ought to be very concerned.
What, fight fire with water by convicing millions of Bush supporters that they insufficiently respect civil rights for all and women’s rights in particular?
They don’t care and aren’t open to fine arguments about the real nature of the lines dividing gender.
No, scream and howl and piss and moan and don’t offer any solutions and force media coverage in your favor, even on debatable issues. That’s what determines which side of the White House fence you’re on.
IMHO, pat-down searches under some circumstances are a reasonable response to such things as the Russian airliner bombings. What isn’t reasonable is having males routinely doing the pat-downs on females and vice versa. I’d give people the option of accepting a search by a member of the opposite sex rather than wait for security personnel of the same sex, but it would be important that the choice of waiting not result in an outlandish delay. Rather than a straight issue of balancing security and privacy, cost as another variable.
You’re right, this IS an outrage. Democrats should immediately insist that the man in charge be fired. Hm, that would be Norm Minetta, wouldn’t it? Maybe there’s a reason Democrats haven’t made an issue of this…
Nope. It’s run by TSA, which is under Homeland Security. That would be Tom Ridge. But anyway, Bush is responsible for what all his cabinet officials do, regardless of their party registration.