First things first

Why should Harry Reid pull the Republicans’ chestnuts out of the fire by investigating Larry Craig? If the ethics committee is going to hold hearings they ought to be on Ted Stevens.

If I were Harry Reid, and if Mitch McConnell came to me and asked me to start some ethics hearings to give Larry Craig a hot-foot and make him quit, I think I’d say, “Sorry, Senator, but I think gross corruption on the part of the Ranking Member and former Chair of the Appropriations Committee takes precedence over toe-tapping by a back-bencher.” I think the “ethics truce” is a fool’s bargain for the Democrats in the first place, to say nothing of being an appalling dereliction of the Constitutional duty of the Congress to police its members’ conduct. But surely a rule that in effect gives the Republican leadership the power to damage or protect Republicans at its own whim must be the worst of all possible worlds.

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: