It's good that Rand Paul is taking on the TSA's security theatre by refusing to comply with a pat down request. Perhaps it will lead to more discussion about why this is a ridiculous approach to anti-terrorism. When the authorities find themselves groping a US Senator's crotch in public without any suspicion of criminal activity, something's gone wrong.
Having said that, I cannot help but be reminded of the fact that his home state of Texas just passed a law that goes a good deal further: forced vaginal probes of women seeking an abortion. To me, that seems like at least an equally intrusive state action, but when asked about it his allegedly highly principled father replied:
When GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul was asked today about Tuesday’s federal court ruling upholding an aggressive new sonogram law in his home state of Texas, the congressman said the requirement that women seeking an abortion first get a sonogram “should always have been a Texas state position.’’
“Like Roe v Wade should never have been heard in the Supreme Court,” he said after a midday speech and rally at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport at the Eagle Aviation Building...
This is the usual dodge. Paul could claim that since abortion would be illegal in Texas (as it surely would) there would be no need for intrusive sonograms. But in states where abortion is legal, if they wanted to pass this law, he would be perfectly fine with it.
Brian Williams should ask him tonight at the debate whether he would agree that a state government has the right to demand pat-downs at its airports. I'd be curious to hear the answer.