Republican Jim DeMint Continues to Endanger American Air Safety by Refusing to Confirm TSA Administrator
Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) has been busy doing what Republicans do when they’re not filibustering legislation these days; he’s been blocking Obama’s appointment of the TSA administrator, Errol Southers, who is a well-regarded counter-terrorism expert.
“Marshall McClain, the president of the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association, said that the Senate should have acted sooner to confirm Southers.
“Friday’s terrorist attack on U.S. aviation makes it all the more imperative that there be no further delays in filling this crucial position,” he said.”
DeMint claims he his concern over whether or not the TSA workers will join a union justifies his putting America at risk by leaving the TSA administrator appointment open.
“(Harry) Reid spokesman Jim Manley said Monday that the majority leader is working with the White House to get Southers confirmed “as quickly as possible” and charged that “Republican obstructionism has prevented TSA from having the leadership in place that the organization deserves.”’
DeMint’s obstructionism has forced Reid to file a cloture motion as soon as the Senate reconvenes the week of Jan. 19. in order to overcome the Republican’s “cheap political points”.
After the foiled Christmas attack on an international Detroit-bound Delta flight, Republicans quickly took to TV land, gleefully denouncing Obama weak on terror. They ratcheted up Americans’ fears by pouncing on their catnip terror fest with blatant disregard for this country’s welfare, never once mentioning in all of their criticisms about the alleged TSA failure to check Watch Lists that they were holding up a key appointment in the TSA.
Joe Lieberman (I-CT) did his Joe & John cable show bit (will someone please give these two “mavericks” a show of their own finally so we know what NOT to watch?); Joe’s traitor dance consisted of “questioning” why passengers flying into US weren’t checked against broader terror data base as well bringing up the failure to use whole body scanning technology.
Maybe ‘cuz, um, we need someone to coordinate that, Joe. Eh? Ennnh?
‘Course, we’re still waiting for Johnny to tell us where Bin Laden is. Remember, he promised to tell us if he got elected?
Joe, John and especially Jim are really putting it to Americans right now. Yes, boys, America really does need a person in charge of the TSA. That person will coordinate important things like terror watch lists. See? No, they won’t be like your FEMA director, because Obama actually appointed a counter-terrorist expert instead of merely a loyal friend, capiche?
Republicans address a problem through organization and logic? Naw, they would rather continue playing a reckless game of chicken wherein they attempt to destroy the Obama presidency by creating a huge void in so many appointments that Obama’s administration can’t function well.
Do they care that lives are at risk? When has that stopped them before? Would Jim have apologized for holding up the TSA appointment if the attempt had been successful?
I’m sure he would have made the same Apology Tour that Bush did after Bush spent the entire first year of his presidency ignoring the chief counter-terrorism adviser on the U.S. National Security Council, Richard Clarke (aka, counter-terrorism Czar – yes, Glenn, a Bush “Czar”!), whose intel warned of an imminent attack on the US by Al-Qaeda.
Clarke, who served in the same capacity under Clinton, tried desperately to get a meeting with Bush, but he was denied access to the cabinet after Bush took office after Condoleezza Rice made a decision in early 2001 that his position of National Coordinator for Counterterrorism should be downgraded. From that point on, all of Clarke’s desperate pleas for a meeting regarding Al-Qaeda and the Taliban were bounced back to him.
See, Republicans just don’t like government. That’s why they do it so badly.
And now they want to set Obama up to be just as bad at it as they are, only they know they can’t rely upon him to ignore intel and fail to coordinate team members, so they have to keep him from having nominees confirmed in order to produce results that they can crow about on cable.
Jim DeMint should be ashamed that he put politics over Americans’ safety. And not just Americans’ safety; there were people from all over the world on that flight. When will Republicans realize that we had an election in 2008 and we do not CARE what they think about unions in the TSA? We wanted a functioning government and to that order, we roundly voted them out of the majority! A desperate mandate for Democratic approach to government occurred on Nov 4.
“Even Republicans who oppose the nomination believe Southers would be confirmed, and sources tell TPMDC he is highly qualified on counterterrorism issues and would have been useful had he been in place before the Christmas terror attempt.”
The public should demand that DeMint and all Republicans stop playing politics with our lives. Had Democrats refused to confirm a National Security Nominee under Bush, the media would have crucified them.
As it is, we’re left with the Joe and John show, with occasional dabbles of “dithering” Dick. Even elections can’t get these clowns to move out of the way of the real work that needs to take place.
Will Sen DeMint Apologize For Endangering U.S. Air Safety? We’re waiting.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.