Everyone Please Calm Down About the White House Jumper


In response to the fence-jumper who got inside the White House before being apprehended, the Secret Service is considering the possibility of creating a larger “buffer zone” around 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue:

One proposal is to keep people off the sidewalks around the White House fence and create several yards of additional barrier around the compound’s perimeter. Another is to screen visitors as far as a block away from the entrance gates.

Petula Dvorak is outraged:

Now the Secret Service — which hasn’t exactly covered itself in glory the past few years — wants us to pay for its mistake, to once again intrude on more public space and make suspects out of millions of visitors, residents and office workers who come near the White House every day. To further encroach on the country’s most important values: our openness and our freedom.

The security gurus think they might want to keep people off the sidewalks around the nation’s most famous residence. Or maybe screen tourists a block away from the White House. They want to Anschluss even more public space to expand The Perimeter around 1600 Pennsylvania, amping up the feeling of hostility, fear and paranoia that already pervades the heart of our nation.

Dvorak speaks for me, and I hope she speaks for plenty of others too. This crap has just got to stop. We simply can’t continue this endless series of insane overreactions every time something bad happens. Sometimes an incident is just an incident. In this case, the Secret Service needs to examine its procedures and probably tighten up a thing or two. That’s it.

This is a case where no-drama Obama really needs to step in. For God’s sake, let’s dial down the drama on this whole affair. It’s nowhere near as big a deal as it’s being played up to be.

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