Andrew Sullivan gets one right

In the face of the evident intention of the President’s political advisers to use “gay marriage” a wedge issue in the coming campaign, Andrew Sullivan makes a good point:

If this president wants to stake his re-election on writing a minority of citizens out of the federal Constitution, then the stakes will be as unnecessarily high as one can imagine, and the already deep cultural divide in this country will widen still further. This president doesn’t need that. It’s not what many of his centrist and moderate supporters want. And he has far more important things to do. In those vital things, most specifically the war on terror, the last thing he needs is to polarize this country even more.

This is precisely right, but of course it applies to much more than gay-baiting. In wartime, the politics of division isn’t merely wrong; it’s unpatriotic. When George Allen of the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee sends out a letter describing Democrats as “our enemies,” he’s helping our real enemies: the ones trying to kill us, not just retire Mr. Allen’s cronies to the comfort of the private sector.

Perhaps if Mr. Sullivan has a mirror handy, he might discover another public figure who makes a living creating unnecessary discord.

“He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind.”

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