No, John Kerry is not being inconsistent when he calls for a high-road campaign and then criticizes his opponent — accurately and temperately — for his performance in office.

The distinction between offering criticism of an opponent’s performance in office on the one hand and pusuing the politics of national division on the other shouldn’t really be very difficult to understand. Or so I would have thought. It’s the difference, for example, between Harry Truman’s “Give ’em Hell” and Al Sharpton’s Jew-baiting.

But Tom McGuire pretends not to understand that simple distinction, and Glenn Reynolds goes along with the pretense.


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