GOP Blocking New Head of TSA
by Jonathan Singer, Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 08:46:56 AM EST
Ben Smith reports:
As Republicans seek to put the blame for the widespread perception of ineptness at the Transportation Security Administration on the Obama administration, Democrats are arguing that Republican legislators bear part of the blame, and that they're politically vulnerable on the subject.
Perhaps the largest impediment to change at the agency: South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint has a hold on the appointment of a TSA chief, over his concern that the new administration could allow security screeners to unionize.
Republicans may carp about poor administration of the TSA, but it's hard to place blame on the President or even Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano considering that the GOP is not even allowing a vote on a new head of the agency. What's more, as Smith notes, more than 100 Republicans in Congress voted against legislation funding the TSA this year.
This all highlights a larger problem: Republicans' unwillingness to allow the government of the United States to function properly. As The New York Times detailed this weekend, fully 75 administration nominees who have already been approved by the relevant committees have not received votes in front of the full Senate -- a sorry situation that quantifies the destructive tack taken by the GOP.
The government isn't supposed to work like this. While it is acceptable and even proper for the minority to provide meaningful opposition to the administration, it is deleterious to our nation for Republicans to inhibit the government from even functioning. And although this is the type of issue that the Beltway generally pays more attention to than does the rest of the country, Americans might actually take notice when an administrative snafu arises directly implicating the GOP's tactic of blocking the confirmation of agency officials.