Code of the Streets, Washington style

“Disrespected”? Is that a Tea Party Congressman talking, or a Crip?

“Conservative” Republican congressman Marlin Stutzman, on why he and his colleagues are keeping the government shut down:

“We’re not going to be disrespected. We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”

Srsly? “Disrespected”? Is Stutzman going to order a drive-by on Harry Reid? As Eric Hoffer once said, it’s bad news when the strong adopt the tactics of the weak. When Tea Partiers start to sound like street hoods, the Republic is in sad shape.

But don’t get mad. Get even. The only thing that might persuade the Republi-thugs to see reason is a flood of money into the coffers of the DCCC.

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:

13 thoughts on “Code of the Streets, Washington style”

  1. Mark assumes that the readers of this blog speak American Thuggee. For those who are not bilingual, I offer a translation into Standard American English:

    “Disrespected”: Not feared.

    1. Thuggee was actually the name of the cult, not its argot, presumably a variety of Hindi. The Raj suppressed it in the 1830s by police work and criminal justice, not a ¨war¨, though its victims (50,000 to 1m) greatly exceeded those of all modern nongovernmental terrorist movements combined.

  2. They make me think less of gangsters and more of Glenn Close: “I’m not gonna be ignored, Dan!”

    1. I’m perfectly willing to cheer for Hillary; she’s been an effective US Senator and Secretary of State, and she’s taken a lot of public stances.

      On the other hand, if Chelsea Clinton wants to pursue a career in politics that’s her business, and understandable, but she’s got to spend a lot more time and effort on the undertaking and demonstrate her commitment and aptitude before you or I or anybody else who isn’t a personal friend of hers should take any great interest.

      1. I confess that I can’t think of any way in which I would support Chelsea Clinton in the Democratic primary for any office. We have too much dynastic politics as it is. So she may be a great person but there isn’t really any shortage of people qualified to hold elected office and I will, by default, go with someone else. For this reason, I’m even pretty queasy about supporting Hillary.

  3. I don’t think giving money to the Democrat Party is an answer. They don’t have much backbone and they tend to favor the most conservative candidate that can win in a district rather than the most liberal one. In particular, even when they had the opportunity, the Democrats in the Senate couldn’t bring themselves to reduce their own individual power and the “collegiality”of their private club even though breaking that choke-point is essential for the health of our democratic system.

    Beyond that, I would repeat my analysis from yesterday about how the GOP has taken advantage of the structural aspects of our Constitutional system to entrench itself in which that make it almost impossible to quickly dislodge, no matter how unpopular the GOP might become with the country as a whole. Clearly, many commentators here are right to say that we need to start by breaking the GOP’s hold on power at the state level and do some serious gerrymandering of our own by, for example, collapsing multiple rural districts into one or by attaching rural areas to urban areas, and so forth. But, again, I come back to the point that if the Democratic Party leadership is not treating the GOP as a “revolutionary power,” which is the only way to deal with it. Time and time again the GOP has violated long-established political, cultural and social norms without the slightest push back from the Democrats.

    The real problem isn’t with the Republicans but rather with the Democratic leadership that is committed to the failed neoliberalism of the past. We need to see commitment from the Democratic leadership about breaking down the GOP’s structural advantages. Starting with a commitment from all state Democratic parties to respond to the GOP’s gerrymandering and out-of-sequence reapportionment by taking similar steps in blue states.

    The GOP can never be appeased. It can be submitted to or it can be destroyed. I see nothing in between.

    1. With the proviso that it’s properly called the Democratic Party, I’m with Mitch.

      Far better to contribute a boatload to Act Blue, to selectively support actual liberals instead of corrupt conservatives like Steve Israel and his hand-picked ward-heelers.

    2. What Joel said (re: DemocratIC Party).

      I don’t want to see us engaging in Gerrymandering (as classically defined). I believe that a simple mandate that does two things will solve most of the problem. What two things? I’m glad you asked…

      First, we have to kill the system that allows politicians to shop for constituents. That means redistricting must be taken away from the State Legislatures and put in the hands of a non-partisan commission. The Lege can approve it, or disapprove it, but they cannot change it. No Governor’s vetoes on the matter, either.

      Second, the non-partisan commissions have to have mandates to draw compact districts. The commissions should be disallowed from considering registration information.

      In other words, I believe we should want what the one-delta-ten-tangos like Gohmert and Kevin McCarthy think they have: Districts that more-or-less resemble the State they come from.

  4. After what just happened on the Hill today, reading this piece by Mark is making me sink deeper into my chair.

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