Politics

Wait, You Mean There Are Unintended Consequences to Ramming Through a Ginormous New Federal Bureaucracy?

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Back when you could still wear clothes

Via the "Big Sis"-obsessed Matt Drudge comes this heart-tugging tale of Republican crocodile tears over today's new hate-bureaucracy, the Transportation Security Administration:

Rep. John Mica, the Republican who will soon be chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, is reminding airports that they have a choice [to opt out of federal screening after two years, and switch to private screening].

Mica, one of the authors of the original TSA bill, has recently written to the heads of more than 150 airports nationwide suggesting they opt out of TSA screening. "When the TSA was established, it was never envisioned that it would become a huge, unwieldy bureaucracy which was soon to grow to 67,000 employees," Mica writes. […]

Mica and other critics in Congress want to see quick and meaningful changes in the way TSA works. They go back to the days just after Sept. 11, when there was a hot debate about whether the new passenger-screening force would be federal employees, as most Democrats wanted, or private contractors, as most Republicans wanted. Democrats won and TSA has been growing ever since.

Don't touch my trunk

Wait, who ran the government in October 2001? How many senators voted against creating what they claim to hate today? Zero. What about the House? All of 9 congresshumans (including Ron Paul) voted against. As for claiming to be surprised that airports would prefer not to own the single most unpleasant part of the airport experience, that's about as credible as acting shocked that a bureaucracy would grow beyond initial projections.

Don't get me wrong–I'm certainly happy that Matt Drudge is excited about pat-down searches, and that Republicans such as John Mica are criticizing "security theater," just as I prefer 2010-era Republicans who campaigned on cutting government to those 2004-era types who governed the oppposite way. But if you believe the GOP at its core has learned a goddamned thing about how to legislate in a time of crisis, let alone when the country isn't in the midst of a National Pants-Shitting Moment, you will get the government you deserve.

And if you want a principled stand against government spending, inefficiency, and ham-handed intimidation, subscribe to this magazine.