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TSA Nominee Surrenders to Jim DeMint

Erroll SouthersErroll Southers, Obama’s nominee to run the Transportation Security Administration has withdrawn his name because he has “become a lightning rod for those with a political agenda,” according to the AP.  Read: Jim DeMint doesn’t like unions, so I’m going to just run and hide. This is ludicrous.

The Obama administration’s choice to lead the Transportation Security Administration withdrew his name Wednesday.

In a statement, Erroll Southers said he was pulling out because his nomination had become a lightning rod for those with a political agenda. President Barack Obama tapped Southers, a former FBI agent, to lead the TSA in September but his confirmation has been blocked by Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, who says he was worried Southers would allow TSA employees to engage in collective bargaining with the government.

As I wrote here when DeMint first attacked Southers that there is not one thing to fear from allowing TSA employees to collectively bargain.  To think these employees would do anything that would allow any breach of national security as a negotiating tactic for their contract is off the charts insane.  But DeMint pushed, and the White House buckled.

I wondered to myself about the possibility of TSA employees being able to collectively bargain even if Southers went through.  I mean, DeMint’s objection is only in that Southers was open to the idea.  Not that he had a grand scheme or even pushed the idea.  He was open to letting employees bargain for contracts.  And that was enough for DeMint to get all strung up.  Now the country is still without a TSA director a month after an attempted bombing of a US airplane.

Here’s DeMint’s reaction to Southers’ withdrawal.

And Mr. Southers was never forthcoming about his intentions to give union bosses veto power over security decisions at our airports. TSA screeners can already join unions, but collective bargaining would force TSA officials to ask union bosses for permission to make critical security changes. The Senate could have had an open and transparent debate this week to approve Mr. Southers, but apparently, answering simple, direct questions about security and integrity were too much for this nominee. I hope the President will quickly put forward a new nominee that is fully vetted and that will put the safety of the American people first.

So, sorry TSA employees.  It turns out the United States not only negotiates with terrorists, we’ll cave to their slightest demands.

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Michael Whitney

Michael Whitney

My name is Michael Whitney. I'm a progressive online organizer working with FDL Action. Rush Limbaugh called me "clueless" once. He went into rehab two days later.