When the Left Is Right - Again!

The far left doesn't like the TSA any better than we do.

Some weeks ago, we had the enjoyable opportunity of bringing you a classic "Man Bites Dog" story, in which - shock! - Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders proposed a sensible and wise policy that we agreed with wholeheartedly.  Sen. Sanders is correct in saying that it would be great for America if We the People used the power of government to break up the "too big to fail" banks into more manageable chunks.

And that, we thought, consumed our "kudos to the left" budget for this election.  But no!  This week comes another even more appealing screed from the renowned liberal publication Vox:

The TSA's inefficiency isn't just aggravating and unnecessary; by pushing people to drive instead of fly, it's actively dangerous and costing lives. Less invasive private scanning would be considerably better.

One supposes that author Dylan Matthews may still be smarting from a non-medical body cavity search, as so other innocent American civilians do every day.  Perhaps he's another example of the principle that "A liberal is just a conservative who hasn't been mugged yet."

Regardless, he wrote an article that, almost in its entirety, would be right at home here at Scragged.  Consider:

- Mr. Matthews accurately and logically points out that the TSA has demonstrably accomplished nothing whatsoever as far as making us safer.  On those few documented occasions where there has been a test, 95% of the fake weapons have gotten through undetected.

- The TSA hasn't even managed to come up with a single example where they caught an actual terrorist.  Their one poster child is Kevin Brown, who they caught transporting bomb parts, but the parts were disassembled, in his checked baggage, and Mr. Brown was planning to travel in safety.  He wanted to use the parts at the other end for a demonstration of his skills, not blow up the plane!  Of course it's stupid and illegal to check dangerous luggage, but Mr. Brown was a troubled soul suffering from PTSD, not a murderous barbarian.

On the other hand, statistically, the TSA has succeeded in killing thousands of Americans - indeed, more than the 9-11 hijackers were able to kill.  How, you ask?  Simple:

Over the course of three months, "approximately 129 individuals died in automobile accidents which resulted from travelers substituting driving for flying in response to inconvenience associated with baggage screening."

And the TSA has been in place for well over a decade!  Anyone who is old enough to remember the way air travel used to be, knows that it's nothing like as pleasant or fast these days.  That makes a difference:

...It stands to reason that having to get to the airport two or three hours before a flight reduces demand for flights relative to a world where you only have to arrive 30 minutes beforehand — particularly for flights on routes where a two- to three-hour wait dramatically increases travel time relative to driving, like New York to Washington, DC, or Boston to New York. That means more driving. That means more death.

Now, Mr. Matthews had to throw in a leftist parenthesis by insisting that the TSA be replaced by "(well-paid and unionized) private screeners" which would inevitably result in the incompetence and corruption seen everywhere else unions can be found.  He's also a bit late to the party: Scragged has been fulminating against the TSA since 2008, so much so that we've got bored with hollering to no effect and these days mostly leave them alone.  We also now go years without traveling by air, which is not a coincidence.

But these are minor quibbles.  The bottom line is, Mr. Matthews and the far-lefty commenters on his article who wholeheartedly agreed with him ought to be useful allies for conservatives.  We view the TSA as utterly destructive of fundamental liberties; they may be more concerned about their general uselessness.  Whomever - we can vote together to scrap the TSA!

So why on earth don't our elected "conservative" politicians do some cross-aisle teamwork to accomplish something both sides want?  Ronald Reagan was famous for this; so was Bill Clinton, and he accomplished some surprisingly conservative things with the connivance of Newt Gingrich.

It's not called the Stupid Party for nothing!

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other Scragged.com articles by Petrarch or other articles on Bureaucracy.
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