Jonah Goldberg doesn’t like the TSA’s new security measures (neither do I), but he thinks some of the outrage over them is disproportionate and misdirected:
I’d bet that the vast majority of TSA employees do not want to touch your junk — or mine. And if any TSA agent gives the slightest indication that junk-touching is his or her favorite part of the job, he or she should be fired immediately.
Obviously, the first people to blame for this mess are the murderers. Without them, flying wouldn’t be the soul-killing experience it is.
Yesterday, he objected to an example of that outrage from our old pal, John Guardiano, who summaries the matter as a dispute between “liberty-loving” conservatives who “see the TSA as it really is” and “authority-loving” conservatives who “see the TSA as they want it to be”:
And that’s really what rankles: the glib assertion of bad faith. How does he know his policy opponents are ensorceled by their love of authority? Wait five minutes for the next controversy to erupt and many of Guardiano’s liberty lovers may well be on the side of authority and some of the authority lovers will be on the side of liberty.
Fundamentally, Guardiano’s argument is indistinguishable from Obama’s claims that his opponents blindly cling to their bigotry and religion and that liberals are on the side of facts and logic and reason. Only this time the blinkered ideologues are “authority-loving cons” and the intrepid empircists are “liberty loving cons.”
Why can’t Danielle Pletka and Marc Thiessen (colleagues of mine at the American Enterprise Institute for the record) simply be weighing the costs and benefits differently? Why can’t they have concluded such measures are the best way to defend liberty? How does Guardiano know what’s in their hearts?
Today, the American Spectator’s biggest hiring mistake responds with his trademark arrogance:
I’m sorry, Jonah, but if the shoe fits — and it surely does in this case — wear it!
I don’t know if Jonah intends to respond or not. On the one hand, it’s always enjoyable to see somebody like Guardiano slapped down by a more principled conservative. On the other hand, it’s probably not worth Goldberg’s time – Guardiano is, after all, a lap dog for one of the most dishonorable character assassins to ever call himself a “conservative,” and he’s already on the record having lied about one of Goldberg’s National Review colleagues, Andy McCarthy.