January 23, 2012, - 3:39 pm
Like many other benign Americans, I object to the universal treatment by the TSA as if we are all terrorists, while Mohammed and Hamida breeze through the airport security checkpoints. It’s disgusting, and we should be doing profiling like the Israelis do. That said, when I go to the airport, I try to comply. I want to get to my flight, just like everyone else. And we don’t–or rather, shouldn’t–make special allowances for celebrities and politicians . . . including Rand Paul, U.S. Senator or not (and regardless of the fact that he’s the son of the wackjob future non-President), who today, caused a disturbance and more hassle for the TSA screeners and everyone in line behind him. What he did was not heroic, just obnoxious. If you don’t want to go through it, work to change the laws or don’t fly. And, FYI, Rand Paul will NEVER support profiling of his and daddy’s beloved HAMAS- and Hezbollah-supporting Muslims. Bet on that.
There was that one time, when I was wearing high-heeled sandals without footwear and didn’t want to take my shoes off. Big mistake. I was subject to padding down, which felt like molestation mixed with an unpleasant Shiatsu massage. The woman was vigorously putting her hands on top of and inside my bra, which would do little to save a single passenger from blowing up on a plane and was entirely degrading. I didn’t like it and learned my lesson (wear socks or stroll the ickiness on the floor if you have to). But I knew the drill. I must behave like the rest of the cattle or I’ll get a special groping experience. And I complied.
That’s the difference between me and Rand Paul. Even if we don’t like the useless “security theater” rules, we must play by them. TSA screeners didn’t make the rules, and I try not to give them a hard time, even as I resent the policymakers well above their paygrade at their agency.
But that’s not what Rand Paul did, today. The initial screening set something off. And rather than go through it like every other American, he caused a scene. Was this helpful to anyone? Did this help make the line go more quickly for everyone behind him? Not likely in either case. It won’t change a thing. He’s in a special position to change things in the U.S. Senate. That’s where his behavior would have been appropriate, not subjecting minimum wage screeners to his childlike, immature wrath. They aren’t in a position to change policy and procedure. I’m not sure what he hoped to achieve, other than more free publicity for himself . . . which he got.
Paul reminds me of Penn Jillette from “Penn and Teller” fame. In 2002, I appeared with him on ABC’s “Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher.” Watch the video, below (and remember that it was 10 years ago and right after 9/11 before the remove-your-shoes policy and three ounces/quart bag liquid BS, etc., so I’ve changed my views since then–I don’t believe the searches make us safer or catch terrorists; they are useless and reactive). On the show, Jillette displayed and bragged about metal tags the size of a business card that he deliberately puts in his pocket to set off airport security. On the metal card, it features the Bill of Rights. He said that when he takes it out of his pocket, he gives the TSA screener a hard time about how they are taking his Bill of Rights. Haha, funny.
Um, schmuck, nobody wants to hear an oversized multi-milllionaire reading some essay about the Bill of Rights when they are trying to catch a plane and you are holding up the line. Go tell it to the whips and chains and torture chamber in your basement (see Penn Gilette’s Vegas home interior decor). You are just needlessly hassling everyone else who can’t afford to pay for another flight or miss an important meeting unlike you.
That’s what Rand Paul did today. He can easily take another government-rate flight on your dime, unlike you. Yes, the patdown is degrading and unlikely to stop a single terrorist attack. But refusing it won’t stop the TSA from doing it to everyone else who isn’t wearing Muslim headgear. Despite aspirations otherwise, he’s no folk hero for doing this.
All it tells me is that Rand Paul is just another rhymes-with-crasshole. . . just like daddy.
Tags: airport screeners, airport screening, pat-down, patdown, Rand Paul, Transportation Security Administration, TSA