Are they going too far?

In practical political terms, can Reagan-worship go too far?

Not as a normative matter, but just descriptively in terms of what’s good politics and what will seem to the voters to be over the top: Is the festival of Reagan-worship going too far?

Of course, it’s impossible for me or most of my blogging friends to judge; we aren’t the intended audience. I hope that the contrast between Kerry’s gracious eulogy for a fallen opponent and the savage attacks on Kerry for not having supported Reagan will strike the voters the way it strikes me, but I have no reason to expect that to be true.

On the other hand, I can report one straw in the wind. An Israeli-American friend who is strongly pro-Bush and regards my anti-Bush views as seriously deranged said to me spontaneously today, “Enough already! It’s as if they’re worshipping an idol.” Of course, he’s not exactly the target demographic either, but his comment suggests that the excesses aren’t only in the eyes of those who differed with Reagan politically.

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: