James Fallows conveys a statement from David Moles about why the TSA is the way it is and likely will not be changed anytime soon:
But there’s a much simpler explanation, which is that, unlike you and me (and, I assume, unlike your conservative correspondent) most people in this country don’t fly very much, and when they do, they don’t expect to enjoy it. Many people in this country (even otherwise quite sensible people) are at least a little afraid of flying, and many people in this country are afraid of terrorism, and both fears are far out of proportion to the actual risk of either; terrorism on an airplane is the stuff of nightmares. Any politician that made reining in the TSA a cornerstone of his or her campaign would attract a small constituency of aviation buffs and frequent flyers — and a storm of gleeful attack ads accusing said politician of being weak on national security and soft on terrorism.
What an excellent, excellent, point.