As good as Sarah Palin

Berlusconi shows what it means to *really* ignore “political correctness.”

It’s good to see a true, unabashed conservative leader willing to say what he believes in the teeth of “politically correct” pressure. Sure, Mussolini murdered a few thousand Jews, but on the other hand he cracked down on labor unions. All comes out in the wash.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

13 thoughts on “As good as Sarah Palin”

  1. Hey, that’s the guy who President Cheney’s only reliable support in Europe you’re talking about!

  2. Let’s not overlook Mussolini’s important work on herbal energy.

    It took considerable engineering genius to make the trains run on thyme.

    1. This brings to mind Carlo Cippola who was a professor of mine at Berkeley.

      He assured us, as someone who had been there, that the trains did not run on time under Mussolini.

    2. I think Mussolini dealt with the trains issue by banning any mention of the fact that the trains still did not run on time. Or on thyme either.

    3. I was under the impression that, based on his understanding of special relativity, Mussolini had clocks were set according to trains’ ATA. Thus, by definition, trains ran on time. This led occasionally to anomalies when trains that were scheduled to arrive simultaneously at the same location on Earth, or at least in Italy, did not. There was, for instance, a phenomenon similar to that captured by the movie, Groundhog Day, as when 2 trains arrived in, say, Milano, at the same time, 5 minutes apart.

  3. OMG!!! The comparison everybody has made. Silvio. Own it. Wear it. Vamp it.
    When do we get to the part where the mob hangs the jerk from a lamp post?

  4. He thinks Mussolini was just picking the winning side, but in fact Germany was still obviously in a tough position, even at their high point in mid-1940. They didn’t really have a way to beat Britain, since they had no navy to speak of and Britain is an island. And it was always clear that it was likely that they would end up being crushed by the sheer size of likely enemies the Soviet Union and the US. Franco could see this, which is why Spain stayed out of the war, despite having been helped by the Germans. I recall reading that the right-wing dictator of Portugal predicted an Allied victory around the time of the fall of France. Why couldn’t Mussolini see it? Why can’t Berlusconi, even with the benefit of hindsight?

  5. He thinks Mussolini was just picking the winning side…

    Embracing situational ethics here with a full body hug. It it feels good or advances your agenda just do it.
    Damn the immorality of it, full speed ahead…
    One thing is sure, the right-wing is all of a piece: Thus we see Republicans in America starting to gerrymander the electoral college in a few well-chosen states.

  6. The idea that, somehow, Germany was fated to lose the Second World War because of, among other things, British naval power is not supported by the facts.

    The British navy was in decline relative to the Germans, the Brits had (voluntarily, under Chamberlain) given up their bases in the Irish Republic which badly hurt their ability to control the vital North Atlantic. And, the U-boats were far too effective–from the British point of view–especially after the Germans conquered Denmark (opening up the entrance to the North Atlantic from German Baltic bases)6 and the French Atlantic sub bases. See the interesting discussion in Deighton’s Blood, Tears & Folly (1993), chapter 3, especially page 40.

    If the US had not come in to the war, pushed by Pearl Harbor, it is very likely that the Brits would have be forced by an effective blockade (not to mention pro-German tendencies in a lot of the upper class) to cut a deal with the Nazis.

    This is not to say that Berlusconi is right. Given past history (World War One, Lend Lease etc.) it was a fair supposition that the US was going to join the battle and that, if the North Atlantic could be keep open to Britain, this untouchable ally would likely produce victory for the US/British alliance.

    1. The U-boat campaign was never very close to defeating Britain. Other than two of brief periods, neither lasting for more than a couple of months, the U-boats simply couldn’t sink merchant tonnage at anything like the rate that the US and UK were building it. Even prior to the US entry into the war, the stretches where the Royal Navy was sinking U-boats faster than the Germans could build them were more extensive. aisaac is correct; the Germans never had an effective plan for driving Britain out of the war.

      As a reference, see Clay Blair’s excellent two volume history of the War in the Atlantic.

  7. What has Sarah Palin ever said that was as bad as this? It certainly wouldn’t make me think any less of you, Professor Kleiman, if you were to apologize if you are in error. (And I pledge to apologize to you if it turns out that SP has said something so callous regarding the taking of human life.)

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