Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login

The Anti-TSA Backlash: It Ain’t Just a Right-Wing Thing

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Civil Liberties Donate to DU
ilaughatrightwingers Donating Member (475 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-25-10 03:08 AM
Original message
The Anti-TSA Backlash: It Ain’t Just a Right-Wing Thing
Well, it seems Homeland Security and the TSA are classifying the anti-TSA backlash as a “domestic extremist” movement. A DHS memo from Janet Napolitano referred to the individuals who tried to “interfere with” the new airport security regime by objecting to it or opting out, along with public commentators and organized movements which encouraged such behavior, as “domestic extremists.” She called on the government to investigate individuals and movements associated with the anti-TSA backlash.

And now MSNBC’s Chris Matthews is dismissing the anti-TSA movement as a bunch of right-wingers. Monday night (Nov. 22) Matthews did a segment on the new back-scatter body scan machines. One of the guests, Ginger McCall of the Open Government Project and the Electronic Privacy Information Center, cited evidence that the machines are ineffective at detecting low-density materials like the powdered explosive carried by the Underwear Bomber, and simply create an “illusion of security.”

Matthews, outraged, demanded her explanation as to why the government would deliberately do something that didn’t work. McCall responded that it might have something to do with the fact that a lot of money was changing hands. When challenged further by the aghast Matthews, she elaborated that former DHS Secretary Chertoff had ties to the companies that manufacture the scanner.

This sent Matthews on a rampage for the rest of the segment, sputtering demands for names and documentation as McCall, attempting to talk in the face of his machine-gun interruption, tried to explain the concept of a revolving door between government agencies and private industry.

It’s pretty obvious, despite Newt Gingrich’s hysterics about Matthews as some sort of ultra-leftist, that the latter is really just a managerial centrist. The quickest way to provoke Matthews’ ire is to suggest that privileged interests have some sort of structural influence over the political system, or that there might be some sort of permanent, institutionalized relationship between big business and big government.

The kind of “dirty business” that he found so offensive in regard to DHS is standard practice among “defense” contractors: the manufacturers of weapons systems colluding with the uniformed services to rig tests and ensure the large-scale purchase of the systems. Apparently Matthews has never heard of the Military-Industrial Complex — either that, or he regards Eisenhower as a “conspiracy theorist” in the same category as David Ickes or Lyndon LaRouche.

Tonight (Wednesday) he continued with a segment on the backlash against the new TSA procedures — the body scans and “enhanced pat downs” — and rather disingenuously suggested it was just an orchestrated movement by Republicans pandering to the paranoid Right. The Republicans, he said, were becoming “soft on defense” and “soft on terror.”

Odd, that’s the first I ever heard that Glen Greenwald was a Republican — or that all those folks at Alternet are right-wingers. Jeez, you think the ACLU’s getting money from the Koch brothers?

The same line is being promoted at The Nation (“TSAstroturf,” Nov. 23): the whole anti-TSA thing is just a bunch of angry white males with paranoid anti-government views. For every Republican who cares about civil liberties only when there’s a Democrat in the White House, it seems, there’s a liberal who only objects to police statism when it’s done by Republicans. Of course this is the same The Nation which argued in the ’90s that imperialism wasn’t so bad when it was being done for liberal ends in the Balkans, and whose editor (Kritina van den Heuvel) celebrated the resurgence of faith in government after 9-11. (Odd, by the way, that someone who equates fear of government to being right-wing should have such a convergence of views with Samuel Huntington, who lamented the increased difficulty corporate elites had in governing the country because of the post-Vietnam/Watergate loss of trust in government.)

These people are being disingenuous in implying that the only political alternatives are plain, vanilla-flavored managerialist liberalism and the Right, and that anyone who isn’t one must be the other. As far as I’m concerned, this issue is the dividing line between the genuine Left and liberal goo-goos.

The opposition to the post-9//11 national security state is not a right-wing movement. It unites civil libertarians of left and right. The anti-TSA backlash isn’t about right versus left. It’s about liberty versus tyranny.
Refresh | +10 Recommendations Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-25-10 05:11 AM
Response to Original message
1. This oversimplifies the issue. Not left-right, it's cross-cutting that divides several ways.
Edited on Thu Nov-25-10 05:15 AM by leveymg
The issue stacks up like a couple opposing pie plates. The pie plate that is against the scanners and pat downs is made up as follows:

* Right-libertarians, like the "Don't touch my Junk" guy, who resent the intrusion of government into their private flying experience;
* Anarcho-leftists who see this as further evidence of a creeping fascist police state taking over their everyday lives;
* Religious-Rightwingers, the "porno scanner" opponents, who view naked body images and touching outside marriage as sin;
* Naturalists and Green health worriers who oppose the scanners as a source of deadly radiation;
* A tiny, but politically significant, number of GOP partisans and Obama-haters who welcome a terrorist attack as a political opportunity.

On the other side, the pie is made up of the following segments who support the TSA's enhanced security measures:

* Federal air safety and counter-terrorism officers who decided these approaches are necessary to keep PETN bombs off airplanes;
* Uneasy travelers who view air travel as a calculated risk willing to accept these steps to lessen the odds of death or serious injury;
* Democrats and others who understand that if TSA backs down and a plane is blown up, the Obama Administration will be blamed and vilified, and much more extreme measures will be taken.

Where do you fit into this? The answer is, I reckon, more likely a reflection of one's psychological makeup than the conventional left-right political divide might predict.

Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
saras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-05-11 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. How come all the anti-TSA people have snarky names?
And why aren't those who object to the financial relationship between the law and Chertoff's company manufacturing the things even listed?
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
Prof Lester Donating Member (158 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-16-11 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. "Libertarians" to begin with were of the left politically..
The name "libertarian" was hijacked by RWs. Now they pretend they owned it all the time. BS all the way.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
TalkingDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-25-10 09:43 AM
Response to Original message
2. But when I say it, my thread gets locked.
It seems that only liberal sites are allowed to be good reference material on this board.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
ilaughatrightwingers Donating Member (475 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-25-10 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Carson is a leftist
Just for the record.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
emulatorloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-25-10 04:54 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Again you were citing a Birther who thinks there are Al Qaeda training camps in Georgia
It wasn't that it was not a liberal site, it is that it was a crazy person who makes crap up site.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
emulatorloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-25-10 04:53 PM
Response to Original message
4. Pretty sure the "Napolitano letter declaring opt-out as “domestic extremists.” is not true
Edited on Thu Nov-25-10 04:57 PM by emulatorloo
We saw this claim yesterday from a right-wing conspiracy theory website with NO SUPPORTING EVIDENCE. I think that part is pure Bullshit.

I think it is basically like an "urban legend" that Carter picked up from the internet.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
abbymediaroots Donating Member (2 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-11 02:36 PM
Response to Original message
7. TSA and obvious abuse of power
before anyone believes our freedom should be sacrificed for security, take a listen to this radio show and realize that you are being subjected to a system who is blatantly lying about the dangers we face and risking American citizen's lives.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Fri Aug 12th 2022, 07:43 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]

Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Civil Liberties Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators

Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC