Rich Galen

I was on CNN yesterday with a reporter from the New Yorker magazine, a reporter from the Washington Post, and a Democratic strategist meaning it was three against one.

I liked my odds.

Two, or maybe all three, of the other members of the panel were singing hosannas to President Obama for what is a growing fiction, to wit: President Obama has taken ownership of the failures which led to the terrorist attack on that airplane near Detroit.

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I called "Goose Cookies" and said, approximately, the following:

Barack Obama has used the first person singular - or its variants - more than any other President in history. He has not said "this is a failure of mine," or of "my administration," or anything remotely like it.

He has used that time-honored subjunctive construct: "Mistakes were made," meaning, "mistakes were made by someone else."

One of the defenses people speaking on behalf of the Administration have thrown up is the one about Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) having put a hold on Obama's choice to head up the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The TSA workers are the geniuses who check hand bags and backpacks at security and, thus, upon whom we are dependent for the safety of our entire air transport system.

According to DeMint, he has not put a hold on Erroll Southers, but he objected to a request to have Southers confirmed by unanimous consent - that is, without a roll call vote. DeMint wants to discuss the notion of TSA agents being allowed to form a bargaining unit thus taking the safety of our entire air transport system out of the hands of the geniuses who check your hand bags and pack packs, and putting it into the hands of union executives.

In fact, DeMint said on TV yesterday that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid could call up Southers' nomination for a vote any time but DeMint still wanted some discussion of the unionization deal.

Worth, it seems to me, a few moments of the Senate's precious time.

The point the Administration spokespeople have been making is that absent DeMint, Southers would have been busily working out the details of how best to stop terrorists from getting on airplanes in Amsterdam had not this unionization thing been going on for months and months.

More Goose Cookies.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at