I Only Let Republicans Grope Me

One of Presidential hopeful Rick Perry’s favorite distractions in the last Texas legislative session was a bill that proposed a stop to all those perverted TSA federales at the airport from feeling up passengers for entertainment.  Perhaps you’re unfamiliar with this outrage.  You might say, “Gee, Lifer, I fly almost every week, and I’ve never seen or experienced anything like that.  Perhaps it’s just a publicity stunt?”

Sounds like you’re a Communist.  Also, you plainly don’t have any Tea Party friends sending you mass email forwards.

According to the tin hat fringe, TSA employees under the Obama Administration have started sexually assaulting passengers all over the country, making the security line at Bush Airport look like the topless bars on Richmond.  Perry spent the spring marching at the head of this brigade while working behind the scenes to avoid an embarrassing Constitutional standoff that would have stained his Presidential bid.  He was for it, but he’ll never have to wear it, and he found someone to carry the blame for the bill’s “failure.”

The man is a level four ninja in the art of nut-job surfing, but that’s a subject for another day.

Perry was called out on the final day of the session in a rambling, combative speech from the bill’s disappointed sponsor, freshmen Representative and Tea Party blowhard,  David Simpson.  He was angered by the willingness of certain unnamed state leaders (Rick Perry) to give lip service to his crazy ideas while cynically maneuvering to derail them.  Simpson thereby made himself a slightly more sympathetic figure by demonstrating that he’s just as naive as he is nuts.

Where, you may wonder, is all this crap coming from?  You might point out that the same relatives who are now sending you those forwards about TSA abuses spent the last decade forwarding scary (false) emails about terror threats.   This is the same political wing who helped put this ever-escalating, intrusive security regimen into place by whipping up endless terrorist hysteria.  These are the same folks who gave us sanctioned CIA torture, manipulated threat alerts, and Terrorist Babies.  Now a pat down at the airport is federal tyranny?

What’s more, these are also the same Tea Party folks who’ve been screaming about Constitutional fidelity for the past couple of years.  A brief review of the Supremacy Clause, in Article 6, Clause 2, reveals that this proposed bill is a flatly unconstitutional overreach.

How did the fearmongers so effortless pivot from terrorist hype to federal oppression hype?  How can they so easily switch from Constitutional fundamentalism to ignoring the Constitution?  They had some help from the Neo-Marxist propaganda tactics of certain parts of the conservative blogosphere, though I confess I can’t figure out what those bloggers are gunning for here.  It might be helpful to ask what has actually changed in the real world to provide food for the hype.

The TSA did begin implementing X-ray physical scanners at some airports early last year.  Those scanners are strangely popular with the public at large, even though they are horribly slow, inefficient, and for reasons that make no sense require an even more intensive strip down (belts, wallets, and so on).  Personally, I hate them for the delay and disruption they cause, but I’ve managed to avoid them pretty consistently by scouting out the security lines where they are not in use.

If you either refuse a scan or fail a scan you get a pat down.  It’s just like what happened to you in the old regime if you left your shaving cream in your bag.  What has changed?  The addition of the scanners.  Oh, and one unfortunate thing that happened on the first Tuesday in November, 2008.

As near as I can tell, we are freaking out because a Democratic President and his eerily Reno-esque Secretary of Homeland Security have taken over.  These same “federal goons” were feeling us up under a white Republican President, but by some perverse logic, questioning the overwrought, theatrical security measures and paranoia we lived under back then meant you wanted the terrorists to win.

It would be wise to ask whether the entire security regime we created in the terrifying aftermath of 9/11 was overkill in the first place.  It would be sensible to ask whether we still need these precautions, or if there is a better, cheaper way to maintain airport security.  That would be a productive use of time and political capital.  But we don’t seem to be capable of addressing problems that actually exist.  That would require us to think thoughts that make our thick skulls ache.

We want elected officials with the courage to immediately address the problems described in mass email forwards, not elitist pufters with their limp-wristed fact-checking.

This “debate” seems to boil down to who you want to have humiliating you at the airport.  It’s a free country, and everyone should be able to make that intensely personal choice for themselves.  Tea Party voters in Texas are sending the message that they only want to be fondled by employees of a Republican administration- wholesome, God-fearing, family-oriented folks who will probe for explosives in their underwear with businesslike precision and emotional detachment.

By God, I will only be groped by Republicans, just as Jesus intended.

Don’t tread on me.

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About Chris Ladd

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.
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5 Responses to I Only Let Republicans Grope Me

  1. Moe says:

    You speak unkindly of Governor Goodhair? And you a Texan – fer shame!

    Good post.

  2. At my age, being accosted by a female under 40 is always a thrill, so what’s the problem??

  3. First of all, thank you for linking to my “tin hat fringe” article on the TSA continued deterioration of our 4th and 5th amendment rights. I would like to point out that I make no claim that the TSA are feeling people up for “thrills” or that security checkpoints are “topless bars” – that’s your language designed to be a straw man argument because you can’t refute the underlying point: the Constitution of the United States protects are unalienable rights to be secure in our person and property from warrent-less searches.

    That’s it, that’s all I’m arguing. I’m saying I don’t want another man’s hands on my genitals in order to travel. I feel bad for low-level TSA workers and I don’t believe they enjoy the work they are ordered to do. I do believe, however, that government power continues to creep into our lives at an alarming pace.

    Where will you stand when these intrusive searches are not limited to airports, but also to bus stations, shopping malls or schools? These groping measures were enacted years after 9/11 and have made us no safer, in fact they have exposed us to a much greater danger than terrorists thousands of miles away: the tyrants in our own government.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    • Josh,

      Thanks for visiting my site. I’ll obviously defer to Chris for your points on his post.

      That said, I personally think that the TSA only deters terrorists. As a former military officer, my professional opinion is that if a terrorist wants to take down a plane, they will find a way to make it happen. Just yesterday, it was reported that al Qaeda was considering surgically implanting bombs on it’s operatives.

      I personally think the pat downs are overkill, and the government’s reluctance to use more targeted pat downs using fact-based profiling is silly. The probability that grandma will take down a plane is virtually nil.

    • goplifer says:

      Josh,

      Thank you for joining us to share your ideas.

      Your site made it into the article as an example of the hyperbole that drowns out useful discussion in our politics.

      You mention in your comment that “I make no claim that the TSA are feeling people up for ‘thrills'” but the title of your article that I linked to describes the TSA procedure as “sexual assault” and in the body of the article you claim the traveler was “molested” and describe her as an “assault victim.” Am I the really the one who is setting up a straw man?

      If you genuinely “feel bad for low-level TSA workers” then perhaps defaming them is inappropriate.

      And, where will I stand when these searches are extended into “bus stations, shopping malls or schools?” The same place am I now and have been for the past decade – opposed to the hype that leads to terrible policy decisions. As Texas’ Republican Speaker of the House said, the “groping” bill is nothing more than a “publicity stunt.” It is unconstitutional, irrelevant, and a waste of time. It doesn’t move the ball.

      You are absolutely right to be concerned about the growing security culture that is eroding our privacy. I welcome and share your concern, but this is a problem that started before any of us knew who Barack Obama was. It seems most of the voices I’m hearing complaining about the TSA were on the other side of the debate when we had a Republican President.

      We need a meaningful discussion – at the federal level – about what kind of security we are going to demand and at what price to our liberty. There is no reason that discussion can’t happen, but this TSA groping theme isn’t getting us any closer to that debate. It just marginalizes people who have legitimate liberty concerns, drowning those voices in hysterical noise.

      Once again, from the article above: “It would be wise to ask whether the entire security regime we created in the terrifying aftermath of 9/11 was overkill in the first place. It would be sensible to ask whether we still need these precautions, or if there is a better, cheaper way to maintain airport security. That would be a productive use of time and political capital. But we don’t seem to be capable of addressing problems that actually exist. That would require us to think thoughts that make our thick skulls ache.”

      And from other articles:

      A Few Comments on Terrorism
      http://tinyurl.com/3oy6t99
      “We must remember that the greatest duty of our leadership is not to keep us safe, but to keep us free.”

      The Threat Advisory Level is Orange
      http://tinyurl.com/3hbkrt6
      “The British can teach us a lot about what it takes to sit on top of the world, and what it costs. They were there for two centuries, about as long as we have existed as a nation. Patient endurance is sometimes, though certainly not always, a virtue. As a people with many spectacular virtues, that’s one we have room to work on.”

      Thanks for joining us and I hope you’ll be back. Your thoughts on this and other matters are welcome.

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