“A unicorn in every pot”

Even Ross Douthat can’t swallow some of Paul Ryan’s assumptions. And he’s figured out that trashing Medicare is a “political suicide note” for the Republicans.

It’s possible – I’m not yet prepared to say “iikely” – that there exists some degree of vicious stupidity that exceeds the tolerance of contemporary American political journalists.

UpdateYes, this is the same Ross Douthat who just yesterday hailed the Ryan mess as “wonk-approved rather than poll-tested.” Maybe Douthat needs to start hanging out with a better class of wonk.

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

4 thoughts on ““A unicorn in every pot””

  1. I think somebody needs to update the whole Overton Window thing, to account for a politics, that includes a Paul Ryan.

    It isn’t the radicalism along some ideological continuum, or even the viciousness of implied intent, that should shock us, it is the sheer incoherence. And, not Paul Ryan’s incoherence, but the incoherence of the reaction to Ryan by commenters, journamalists, pundits, and even opponents.

    Is there a Democratic counterpart to Ryan, who talks sense? Is there a Democrat, who is willing to acknowledge high unemployment? How about the foreclosure crisis? The rapid decay of public infrastructure and the prospect of rapidly falling college enrollments? It is certainly not Obama, who is, apparently eager to split the difference, over and over and over, moving always to the Right.

    Has no one in politics noticed that the economic bedrock of Corporate America is rapidly eroding under the pervasive corruption of the scam-economy? Boeing cannot manufacture a plane. Southwest cannot maintain a plane. Johnson & Johnson has something like 50 major quality and safety scandals brewing. Microsoft seems to be sinking rapidly beneath an insider-politics of self-destruction. And, that doesn’t speak to the supposedly wildly profitable banks and financial services firms, which cannot service a mortgage loan or foreclose on a house, without lying and losing all the documentation.

  2. Perhaps Douthat is less of a d—–bag than he at first appears.

    There was also a Republican on the Maher show last week who was uncommonly honest. You could tell more because of what he wouldn’t say than what he did say. I think his name was Doug Heye. Never heard of him before, and I’m not sure he can stay in business in that party. But I appreciate a person who has lines that he won’t cross.

    I still think we need a “Republicans Who Don’t S–k” feature on this blog. The only way to encourage more honesty is to reward it when we see it.

  3. The back to back Douthat columns strike me as a “Kinsley gaffe made manifest”, in that it’s pretty clear that he either: 1) didn’t examine the plan when he commented on it in his first article; or 2) switched his tone once the commentariat started bagging on Ryan’s plan. Either way it pretty much confirms the notion that these columnists or public intellectuals are just hacks.

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