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Why Aren’t the Dems Fighting Back Harder Against DeMint’s TSA Hold?

For all of the frenzy over Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s comment that “the system worked” after the failed bombing on Northwest Airlines Flight 253, not many people have pointed out that “the system” is currently without a permanent Transportation Security Administration administrator. As Spencer noted, that’s because Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), who is to Senate delays what Michelangelo was to ceiling decoration, has put a hold on the confirmation of Erroll Southers until and unless he comes out against unionizing TSA employees.

DeMint said in a statement that the attempted attack “is a perfect example of why the Obama administration should not unionize the TSA.” He wants Southers to clarify his stand on unionizing the TSA, a shift that Democrats support.

Without collective bargaining, DeMint said, the TSA has “flexibility to make real-time decisions that allowed it to quickly improve security measures in response to this attempted attack.”

If organized labor got involved, DeMint said, union bosses would have the power “to veto or delay future security improvements at our airports.”

He urged Obama to “re-think” supporting unionizing the TSA “and put the interests of American travelers ahead of organized labor.”

DeMint also wants a Senate floor debate and roll call votes, not confirmation by consent as the Democrats sought.

One of the reasons that Republicans were able to beat Democrats over the head with votes against creating the DHS in 2002 — Democrats having proposed the new department in the first place — is that Republicans successfully prohibited collective bargaining. The inability of Democrats to flip this back on Republicans, who are currently attacking the president for fumbling transportation security — especially because it would demand a floor fight that would end with Republicans voting against a new TSA head — is pretty hard to understand.

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