Ed Driscoll

'Keep Your Hands Off My Tea Bag, Mr. President'

Rush Limbaugh reminds his listeners that when it comes to the president, the grope stops here:

Remember the tea bagger slur?  They’re still talking about it. If you watch Bill Maher’s Politically Incorrect show on HBO.  Tea Party people are still referred to as tea baggers.  It is a slur.  But who are the perverts here?  Who are the perverts?  And remember when Bush had the Patriotic Act and the warrantless wiretaps?  Remember the left going bananas over Bush personally listening in on their phone calls and so forth, the FISA court.  And now Obama-led government agents are acting like perverts in some places, under orders.  Well, a lot of people are finally starting to say, “Keep your hands off my tea bag, Mr. President.  If you’re gonna call us tea baggers, fine, keep your hands off my tea bag.” And make no mistake, it is the government fondling us.  The president could stop it if he chose to.  That’s clear and easy to understand.  The president can say the fondling stops here.  All Obama would have to do is call a little press conference and speech and announce that his policy is the fondling stops here along with the buck stops here.

We have a Miranda warning, and now we have the Obama warning to Americans who choose to fly.  The Obama warning: “You have the right to remain silent while we fondle you.  Anything you say while we fondle you can and will be used against you.  You do not have the right to speak to an attorney while we fondle you.  In fact, if you try to speak or object in any way while we fondle you, you will be fined and/or jailed and we will call the local cops.  Do you understand our rights over your rights as they have been read to you here while you’re in line to get on an airplane?”  That’s the Obama warning.  Whatever happened to hands off our bodies?  You know, the pro-choice crowd, “The government must stay out of our bedroom.”  Where are those same people saying the government must stay out of our underwear?  Because that’s where the government’s going in some of these examples, and further.

Naturally of course, the TSA wants to remind you how miserable you’ve been making their lives:

“Molester, pervert, disgusting, an embarrassment, creep. These are all words I have heard today at work describing me. …These comments are painful and demoralizing,” one unnamed TSO posted on Frischling’s website.

Another said: “Being a TSO means often being verbally abused. You let the comments roll off and check the next person; however, when a woman refuses the scanner then comes to me and tells me that she feels like I am molesting her; that is beyond verbal abuse.”

Aren’t you ashamed of how much hell you’ve put your betters at the TSA through this week?

Update: John Podhoretz adds, “I do not share the negative emotions here:”

I have been through both a pat-down and full-body screen (twice in the latter case), and found them both deeply annoying. But it was nothing personal. It seemed to me that the TSA employees were just doing their jobs, and they are tough jobs, especially since some members of the inconvenienced traveling public blame them unfairly for the inconvenience.

That is exactly what the Obama people seem to have expected when they tightened things without telling anybody — that nobody would take it personally, that it would all be understood as part of the public interest. And who knows — under other conditions, that expectation might well have been met. But the libertarian outrage expressed by the electorate on November 2 seems not to have made a dent in the way the Democratic leadership is pursuing power or handling itself, and so the TSA has been left wide open and exposed to a pretty thoroughgoing and unpleasant public pat-down of its own.

When populist issues bubble up and take government officials by surprise, it’s often a sign of how profoundly out of touch the politicians and the people who work for them are getting. It happens to every administration. Reagan had Bitburg in 1985; Bush the Elder had his note card reading, “Message: I Care“; Bill Clinton had midnight basketball; George W. Bush had Dubai Ports World. What happens when these things blow up is that the government is so busy talking to itself and concerning itself with its own internal deliberations on policy that it forgets how these things might look or be experienced outside the executive branch.

As Podhoretz concludes, these administrations lost the benefit of the doubt. “And once that is lost, it’s very hard to get back.”

Related: “The TSA Screening Line Is The New Town Hall.” Clearly then, there’s only one man — and he needs the work these days! — who’s as compassionate and caring as the president himself, who should be put in charge.