Clark, the Smear Machine, and Valerie Plame

Kevin Drum has a nice little vignette of how the Republican smear machine works. [*] The Weekly Standard’s eagerness to portray an ironic comment as a lie is not so surprising, but the willingness of the White House to review its own phone logs to supply a tiny piece ofanti-Clark ammunition is extraordinary, and suggests which Democratic candidate the White House is most afraid of.

Kevin adds a zinger that I hope some mainstream reporters will follow up on seriously: Now that the White House has been able to confirm that Karl Rove received no phone call from Wesley Clark in the period just after 9-11, how about checking on whether Karl Rove received or made any phone calls to Robert Novak just before the appearance of the infamous column outing a CIA undercover operative? [*] Or is sliming the one Democrat most likely to clean Bush’s clock more important than investigating the apparent commission of an aggravated felony?

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: