Union Baggage Claims

Flight 253 becomes an excuse to organize airport screeners.

Editorial
The Wall Street Journal
December 30, 2009

The notion that unionized airport baggage screeners in Detroit could have prevented Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab from boarding a plane in Amsterdam or Lagos doesn’t make much sense. But sure enough, some in Congress are using the thwarted Christmas Day terrorist attack to argue that a new leader for the Transportation Security Administration could have saved the day.

Rahm Emanuel’s famous declaration that a crisis is a terrible thing to waste seems to have become a way of Washington life.

That’s the meaning of the political and media beatdown now being visited on Republican Senator Jim DeMint for the high crime of putting a hold on the nomination of Erroll Southers to head TSA, which runs the 50,000 airport screeners. Mr. DeMint objects because Mr. Southers has refused to say whether he would reverse current policy and back collective bargaining for baggage and passenger screeners, which the Obama Administration and Democrats on Capitol Hill support.

Thus the faux security outrage. “If TSA is to become the kind of nimble, responsive organization the American people deserve in times like this, it will need a Senate-confirmed administrator,” said House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson on Monday. “If nothing else, the events of last week highlighted this lack of leadership.”

They did? We thought the episode highlighted the dangers of Yemen as a radical Islamist sanctuary and the failure to revoke a visa to Mr. Abdulmutallab despite warnings from his father—neither of which have much to do with TSA.

The article continues at WSJ.

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