Easy come, easy go

Well, so much for the Thacker nomination. (See “Oh, Goody!” immediately below.) They pulled the plug.

A Christian activist chosen by the White House for a presidential AIDS advisory panel is withdrawing his name under pressure after characterizing the disease as the “gay plague,” along with other anti-homosexual statements.

Seems Bush appointed Thacker without having any idea of what he believed in. But it turns out the rest of the commission is nothing to write home about, either. Thanks to Atrios for the lead; he also links to a MWO take-down of Andrew Sullivan’s air of outrage at finding gay-bashing in the Bush Administration.

I see that Sullivan has won the coveted Claude Raines Memorial Gambling Awareness Award for this one. That hardly seems fair to Bush, whose protestation of surprise that someone who used to work for Bob Jones University turns out to be a wee bit homophobic is at least as hard to believe as Sullivan’s shock that Bush would appoint someone like that. Had I been on the selection committee, I would have proposed a split award. [UPDATE: The committee agrees.]

Note that the AP story that ran in the New York Times identifies Thacker as a “Christian activist.” That’s the sort of thing that makes me feel really, really good about being Jewish. But if I were a Christian, I’d be pretty upset about mass-media acquiescence in the attempt by a small group of political extremists to hijack the term “Christian” for their brand of quasi-religious lunacy.

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