Instapundit quotes an emailer (Ed Stephens), on the subject of the TSA and its intrusive gropings at airports:
Remember how not long ago the President was so upset about the possibility of people being stopped and asked for “their papers” while going to get ice cream? It was the height of living in a police state. Yet we’ve not heard a peep out of him while TSA goons grope the general public (including nuns and little kids) on the way to grandma’s house.
If we are expected to put up with this, asking to see “your papers” suddenly seems a less onerous request.
Which was perhaps always the idea? Getting libertarians to beg to have to show only their papers. How perfectly statist is that?
This is how you get what you want in this world, whether you are trying to expand the powers of the state or to chip away at them. Demand something that is, to your enemies, totally outrageous. Then, with a great show of reluctance, settle for something only moderately outrageous. Repeat indefinitely. Sadly, for the time being, the expanders of the state are more numerous and more powerful than us chippers-away.
The secret of chipping away successfully is to continue to discuss the dynamiting of the whole damn mountain. How might that be contrived? How nice would that be? Then settle for dynamiting only half of it …