SOMETIMES an injustice can unite a divided nation. In America it seems that a United Airlines scandal, in which a paying passenger was dragged from an overbooked flight to make way for airline staff, was such a moment.

Congress is on the verge of passing bipartisan legislation in response to the incident. This virtually never happens. Bipartisan bills of any significance are a near-extinct species in this warming Washington climate, in which politicians have taken refuge at either pole. Indeed Republicans, who have the majority in both houses, are loath to impose new government regulations of any sort. But the United incident seems to have done what mass shootings, epidemic diseases and economic crises could not: unite lawmakers from both parties behind legislation to address the issue.

Last week, both the House and the Senate unveiled proposals that would ban airlines from...Continue reading