Thanks To Jim DeMint We Don’t Have A Head Of The TSA

As Republicans take to the airwaves to lay all the blame on President Obama for the Christmas day attempted terrorist attack, Ben Smith points out that Republicans also can take some of the blame:

As Republicans seek to put the blame for the widespread perception of ineptness at the Transportation Security Administration on the Obama administration, Democrats are arguing that Republican legislators bear part of the blame, and that they're politically vulnerable on the subject.

Perhaps the largest impediment to change at the agency: South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint has a hold on the appointment of a TSA chief, over his concern that the new administration could allow security screeners to unionize.

DeMint is showing the exact behavior I have been saying about Republicans – politics trump safety in this time of terrorism.

But this doesn’t stop with DeMint. The Republican caucus as a whole deserves some of the blame:

Republicans have cast votes against the key TSA funding measure, the 2010 appropriation bill for the Department of Homeland Security contained, which included funding for the TSA, including for explosives detection systems and other aviation security measures. In the June 24 vote in the House, leading Republicans including John Boehner, Pete Hoekstra, Mike Pence and Paul Ryan voted against the bill, amid a procedural dispute over the appropriations process, a Democrat points out. A full 108 Republicans voted against the conference version, including Boehner, Boehner, Hoekstra, Pence, Michelle Bachmann, Marsha Blackburn, Darrell Issa, and Joe Wilson.

The conference bill included more than $4 billion for "screening operations," including $1.1 billion in funding for explosives detection systems, including $778 million for buying and installing the systems.

Pete Hoekstra, the man taking point for the GOP war against Obama on the failed attack.

President Obama should take a page from the Bush playbook on this and blast Republicans for their obstructing our national security by blocking key nominees and trying to prevent funding for the very program that could have prevented someone from getting on a plane with explosives. The question should also be raised why President Bush never sought to increase screening operations and expand explosive detection systems.

We are in a time of polarized politics, in which the other side does nothing more than point fingers. In this case the only way to prevail is to fight fire with fire. Let Americans know that the GOP is the one fighting our methods to improve airport security and put them on the defensive. This isn’t “playing politics”, it is simply stating the facts.