Are 'Post-Post-9/11' Republicans Over Security?

Backlash against TSA is an opportunity for Democrats, writes Dana Milbank

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 21, 2010 4:28 PM CST

(Newser) – If Democrats had opposed President George W. Bush’s efforts to protect airplanes, the former president likely would have accused them of not caring about national security, and “Republicans would no doubt be running ads juxtaposing Democrats with Osama bin Laden,” writes Dana Milbank in the Washington Post. But here we are nine years out from 9/11, and it’s the Republicans objecting—“loudly”—to the new TSA procedures. "National security is no longer a higher priority than their interest in undermining President Obama,” he writes in a column that also discusses their opposition to the new arms-control treaty with Russia.

Last week on Slate, David Weigel made a similar point: “Before 9/11, the prevailing conservative/libertarian/Republican opinion of the national-security state—of any government effort to protect Americans at the point of a gun and the touch of a rubber glove—was mistrust.” But we’re now in, Milbank writes, “the post-post-9/11 era ,” and “for Democrats, the opposition's gamesmanship with the security should present an opportunity. There's no need to resort to the demagoguery once used against Democrats, but neither would it hurt the White House and congressional Democrats to point out that their opponents are trying to weaken Americans' security.”

A TSA employee demonstrates the use of the first Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) unit to a fellow TSA employee at John F. Kennedy International Airport, Friday, Oct. 22, 2010, in New York.
A TSA employee demonstrates the use of the first Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) unit to a fellow TSA employee at John F. Kennedy International Airport, Friday, Oct. 22, 2010, in New York.   (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)
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This may be the post-post-9/11 era, but [John] Pistole, a career FBI guy, is still interested in the security of the American people. Are Republicans?
- Dana Milbank

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