David Brooks is a grown-up

… and makes the Oakeshottian case for prudence and against Palin.

The Palin nomination is a good litmus test to separate the grown-ups within the Republican Party and the conservative movement from the overgrown adolescents. David Brooks has chosen his side, and makes the Oakeshottian case against choosing our governors on the basis of authenticity rather than prudence.

Steven Hayward of the Weekly Standard (cited by Brooks) comes down equally firmly in the adolescent camp, and makes a childish argument from history, in which Jefferson’s preference for natural aristocracy over hereditary aristocracy somehow becomes a preference for ignorance over education.

Really and truly, John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin over tens of better qualified men and women tells us all we need to know about his capacity for the Presidency. First-rate people hire first-rate people; second-rate people hire third-rate people.

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