12
   

Legitimate Complaint about TSA or Political Opportunism?

 
 
Thomas
 
  3  
Reply Mon 23 Jan, 2012 03:52 pm
@parados,
parados wrote:
It wasn't a detention or an arrest. It was a request to comply with normal procedure.

I think you miss the point. It was okay that the executive branch made the request. But it was also okay that the legislator denied the request. And that should have been the end of it. It was not okay that the executive branch enforced the request by keeping the legislator out of the legislature.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Jan, 2012 03:53 pm
@failures art,
failures art wrote:
Ron Paul didn't just now start criticizing the TSA policies and methods.

Good for him.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  3  
Reply Mon 23 Jan, 2012 03:58 pm
@Frank Apisa,
In my opinion, the reasonable thing would be for the TSA to institute procedures that allow congressmen to bypass security procedures entirely if they are on legislative business. Given that such procedures are not in place (or even contemplated, as far as I'm aware), and given the procedures that are in place (which I don't admit are reasonable, but that's another issue), it was reasonable for the TSA employees to ask Paul to submit to a pat down after he tripped the metal detector. I would add that it would also be eminently reasonable for a congressman, such as Paul, who is on his way to a congressional session to refuse to submit to a pat down by TSA employees on constitutional grounds.
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Jan, 2012 04:05 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

parados wrote:
It wasn't a detention or an arrest. It was a request to comply with normal procedure.

I think you miss the point. It was okay that the executive branch made the request. But it was also okay that the legislator denied the request. And it was not okay that the executive branch enforced the request by keeping the legislator out of the legislature.


But, if it had not happened, there would be nothing newsworthy about libertarian politicians.
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Mon 23 Jan, 2012 04:09 pm
@wandeljw,
wandeljw wrote:
But, if it had not happened, there would be nothing newsworthy about libertarian politicians.

Sadly, that's true. Nevertheless, Paul was right to defend a constitutional principle against an overreaching executive. There is more at stake here than airtime for the Paul family.
failures art
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Jan, 2012 04:17 pm
@Thomas,
Agreed. While I don't agree with Ron Paul on many topics--fewer so with Rand--I think their position is correct on the matter of Rand's screening. This get's murkier when Rand's experience is then applied to non-Congresspeople and the TSA's practice. That's another topic, but as it turns out, one of the few that I do agree with Ron and Rand on.

A
R
T
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Mon 23 Jan, 2012 04:37 pm
@wandeljw,
Both.

Fits right in with their existing agenda, took the opportunity to publicize said agenda.

Nothing wrong with that per se.

I don't think Rand Paul, like, orchestrated this, but I think once it happened he realized he could make some political hay out of it to help his dad, who also proceeded to run with it.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Jan, 2012 04:50 pm
I don't get it. The last time I flew commercial (circa 2004) you had to empty your pockets into a little basket before passing through the metal detectors. If this is still procedure, did Rand find it to also be too intrusive as a Congressman?

I have a steel shoulder joint, so always set off alarms, but this is exceptional. They were still able to track down the alarming metal without getting into a pat-down.
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Mon 23 Jan, 2012 05:54 pm
@roger,
roger wrote:
I don't get it. The last time I flew commercial (circa 2004) you had to empty your pockets into a little basket before passing through the metal detectors. If this is still procedure, did Rand find it to also be too intrusive as a Congressman?

Two points: First, Rand didn't refuse the metal detector. He refused the pat-down. Second, our usual equal-rights intuitions do not apply where the US Constitution declares that members of Congress are privileged. And as joefromchicago points out, the Constitution does declare that in article 1, section 6.
wandeljw
 
  2  
Reply Mon 23 Jan, 2012 08:50 pm
My conclusion is that the airport incident reflects poorly on Rand Paul's ability to explain constitutional principles.
failures art
 
  2  
Reply Mon 23 Jan, 2012 10:57 pm
@wandeljw,
Well I guess you have a point there... Even if he's right, it seems that a bunch of liberals online crafting the argument he should have made.

A
R
T
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  2  
Reply Mon 23 Jan, 2012 11:13 pm
@Thomas,
Yes, of course, but why couldn't he make it past the metal detector if he had put anything metallic into a basket? Is that another constitutional question?
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Jan, 2012 07:30 am
@joefromchicago,

Quote:
In my opinion, the reasonable thing would be for the TSA to institute procedures that allow congressmen to bypass security procedures entirely if they are on legislative business.


Thanks for responding to my further questions, Joe.

I understand where you are coming from. Truly.

I understand where Thomas is coming from when he agreed with your take. (“Sadly, that's true. Nevertheless, Paul was right to defend a constitutional principle against an overreaching executive. There is more at stake here than airtime for the Paul family.”)

I even understand your example of earlier, when you wrote:

Quote:
At the courthouse building here in Cook County, everyone has to go through a metal detector -- unless you're a lawyer, like me, who buys a photo ID card from the sheriff's department, in which case all you have to do is show your card and bypass the lines.


I guess I am allowing an unreasonable prejudice of mine to cloud my judgement here. I cannot shake the feeling that allowing lawyers and congressmen special privileges in areas of security because of what may be perceived of as "their extraordinary trustworthiness" may some day jump up and bite us all on the ass.

(Just trying to put this argument in words that might elicit a grin, Joe. As I said in the beginning of the discussion, "...there are two sides to this story"...and we'll see how this one plays out in the media. At very least, it helps news shows give their sponsors their money's worth.)
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Jan, 2012 07:42 am
I think Rand Paul's comments on the incident are much better. He basically said he did not believe he was targeted because of politics, he believed the detector is randomly set to go off to select people for pat downs and that it did not go off because it detected something (hence the request to go through again) and that these random searches do not make us safer. I certainly agree with the last one.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  4  
Reply Tue 24 Jan, 2012 09:44 am
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:
I guess I am allowing an unreasonable prejudice of mine to cloud my judgement here. I cannot shake the feeling that allowing lawyers and congressmen special privileges in areas of security because of what may be perceived of as "their extraordinary trustworthiness" may some day jump up and bite us all on the ass.

I would feel safer on a plane filled with unscreened congressmen than on a plane filled with screened civilians, although I can't say I'd enjoy the flight more.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Jan, 2012 09:50 am
@parados,
parados wrote:
I think the answer is obvious..

We need to start profiling conservatives as the greatest threat to this country.
but its OUR country !

WE r the ones fighting for Originalism.





David
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Jan, 2012 10:52 am
@roger,
roger wrote:
Yes, of course, but why couldn't he make it past the metal detector if he had put anything metallic into a basket? Is that another constitutional question?

No, I guess that was a technical malfunction. The sensitivity of metal detectors is tunable. At their most sensitive setting, they "detect" metal that isn't even there. A week ago for example, on my last flight from Germany to New Jersey, the metal detector in Frankfurt went off even though I didn't have anything metallic on me. The same could well have been the case with Rand Paul.

You may have missed this development because because paranoid metal detectors became much more common after 9/11. At least that's my experience as a frequent-ish flyer.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Jan, 2012 12:31 pm
@Thomas,
Quote:
A week ago for example, on my last flight from Germany to New Jersey, the metal detector in Frankfurt went off even though I didn't have anything metallic on me. The same could well have been the case with Rand Paul.


And when the TSA people asked you to do whatever they asked you to do when the alarm went off...did you refuse?

Regardless of why the alarm went off...there will be a response. Not sure why the response was a call for a pat-down, but if that was the response...are you suggesting that people should challenge it? And if so, what should the TSA response be to the challenge?
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Tue 24 Jan, 2012 12:43 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:
And when the TSA people asked you to do whatever they asked you to do when the alarm went off...did you refuse?

Of course I did! After all, I am not a US congressman. And even if I was, that would do me no good in Frankfurt, Germany, where the US constitution doesn't apply.

Frank Apisa wrote:
Regardless of why the alarm went off...there will be a response. Not sure why the response was a call for a pat-down, but if that was the response...are you suggesting that people should challenge it?

No I'm not suggesting that people should challenge it, I'm suggesting that Congresspeople should. This is not about a constitutional right of the people, this is about a constitutional privilege of Congresspeople. To the rest of us, the US constitution has never granted the privilege of just saying "no" to the US government's executive branch.
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Jan, 2012 02:19 pm
@Thomas,
I do not believe that Rand Paul was thinking about the constitutional right of congressmen. He was just "pissed off."
 

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