A step in the right direction

Via Politico I found out Rand Paul has introduced legislation which from a principled viewpoint I find pathetic. Only if I put my Wookie suit in a hidden vault and delete thousands of blog posts could I praise his first piece of proposed legislation. It is “a ‘Bill of Rights’ for air travelers” (S. 3302). “Guaranteeing a traveler’s right to request a pat-down using only the back of the hand” is to be considered a “right’? Really?

We don’t need a new law like this, we just need to enforce those already on the books. I’m of the opinion the 4th Amendment is the guaranteed right. All who voted for or have been involved in the implementation of TSA should be prosecuted under 18 USC 241 and/or 18 USC 242. Impose fines for every violation and you would see second thought given to a lot of other government infringements of our rights as well as A Security Theater going down in flames.

The other Bill, S. 3303, “ends the TSA screening program and requires screening of passengers at airports to be conducted by private screeners only”. While elimination of the TSA would earn my praise the requirement that private business violate our 4th Amendment rights nearly nullifies the benefit.

But, as I said, that is from a principled viewpoint. Principles are a serious obstacle in politics. If you want to get anything done you had best leave your principles at the door and just keep a short cheat sheet up your coat sleeve when you enter the legislative arena. If either of these bills could be passed it would be a step in the right direction. Incrementalism is sometimes all that is politically feasible and that we have legislators looking for a path in the proper direction is something to be pleased with.


3 thoughts on “A step in the right direction

  1. On the other hand; the TSA (and the FDA, DOE, etc.) was created in one fell swoop and so logically it can be eliminated in one fell swoop if only a few people have the courage.

    It could be argued that incrementalism is how wars are started, while it has been demonstrated that a war can be ended with just two really big, powerful bombs.

    I don’t claim to have the answer except to say that a) the American principles are really big and powerful, and b) they tend to be kept off the table a lot of the time.

    My analogy breaks down when you look at how the two big bombs came to be dropped– it took a lot of preparation, a lot of good people and years of holding actions and fighting to be able to do it. So where is our Oakridge, our Hanford and our Los Alamos of American Principles?

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