Better to be silent …

… than to act like John McCain and remove all doubt.

Latest silly snark from the LA Times politics blog, which Glenn Reynolds eats up with a big spoon: Obama is “voting present” and failing to display “leadership” by not announcing right now a detailed plan for how the Garbage Pail Agency is supposed to work.

I am shocked &#8212 shocked! &#8212 that a candidate for President, facing a potential economic catastrophe of unknown dimensions and details, has decided to wait to hear what the experts who have the actual data propose to do before flapping his jaws about the situation in search of temporary political advantage.

Naturally, Senator McLoudmouth displayed no such restraint. He is always ready with an opinion: sometimes two opposite opinions on the same day.

Reading today’s blithering nonsense from McCain, in which he demonstrates not only that he doesn’t know what a central bank does but also that he doesn’t know what it means to have a strong currency, I am reminded of Poor Richard’s adage that it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.

Oh, and in case you missed it, McCain also has a solution to the health care problem: making health care more like banking. No, seriously.

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