Duck and cover

No Republican on the Hill — not even St. John McCain — is calling for Rove to go. But they’re not calling for him to stay, either. He seems to have a case of political leprosy.

Two striking (to me) observations about Tuesday’s NY Times story on Plamegate:

1. Not a single Republican legislator is willing to say, even off the record, that if Rove unmasked a CIA undercover officer he ought to be fired. Now that’s what I call message discipline.

2. On the other hand, and by contrast with Red Blogistan, not a single Republican legislator is willing to say, even off the record, that no crime was committed, it’s all a partisan witch-hunt, the prosecutor is out of control, etc.

Mr. Rove seems to have contracted a case of political leprosy.

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: