Firedoglake Book Salon with Steve Teles


Steve reflects on, among other things, what liberals could learn from conservatives.

Of course, I would have expected no less from an RBC’er, but damn, is Steve ever smart!

He makes the point that the scarcity of conservatives in academic fields such as political science is a problem for liberals (and, he might have added, for those further left than that) because it deprives them of practice in defending their core ideas from serious challenge. That’s an under-appreciated point.

On the other hand, it would be a mistake to underestimate the sheer technical difficulty in running an ideological “affirmative action” program. Precisely the isolation that makes the progam necessary makes it hard for liberal academics in those fields to judge accurately the quality of a particular conservative’s thought.

John Yoo, for example.

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: