Profiling Lite

I wrote yesterday that if the right gets its way on “profiling” of Muslims, the country will end up much worse off. It’s worth saying from this perspective that the “profiling lite” the Obama administration has decided to pursue in the form of its 14 “countries of interest” list really isn’t much better.

If you look at, say, Lyndon Johnson’s approach to Vietnam, it’s really striking how much damage can be done by a Democratic President constantly looking over his shoulder in terror of being labeled “soft” by the right-wing. The fact of the matter is that you can never be brutal or racist enough to stop the right from attacking. But you can be scared enough that you do things that harm the nation.