Brad Woodhouse, communications director for the Democratic National Committee, got the games going late Tuesday with a picture from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport and a long line of weary travelers. The Twitpic, shot by Jim Neal, a Democrat who ran for the Senate in North Carolina in 2008, was supposedly of a three-hour wait to pass through O’Hare’s customs checkpoint.
There’s no reason to doubt the authenticity of the Twitpic. But long lines at O’Hare’s customs checkpoint are nothing new, and sequestration can in no way be blamed—at least, not yet. Crain’s Chicago Business wrote on Dec. 24 how O’Hare customs checks were long, inefficient, and a threat to tourism. “While most passengers are processed in less than an hour, customs delays of two or three hours or more are increasingly common at O’Hare, even though international passenger arrivals are down more than 8 percent from a 2007 peak of nearly 5 million,” Crain’s wrote. “The problem is expected to get much worse next summer, when five new foreign carriers start serving O’Hare.”
What the Twitpic heralds, however, fills me with dread. I can see into Twitter’s future and espy raucous, roiling debates (the kind that would make Woodward and Sperling blush) over the accuracy of Twitpics of airport baggage lines, Customs ports of entry, border-crossing stations—any place where federal workers either are or aren’t. Behold the Twitpic Sequester Olympics, wherein part of our political debate will be consumed with pictures and commentary about how much of our nation does or does not resemble the DMV. How stirring.
Oh well, sequestration is here to stay.