Glenn Reynolds finally gets it!

He’s finally tumbled to the fact that the Republican “war on terror” is just an electoral stunt.

No, I’m not being sarcastic. The Instapundit really and truly gets it. Discussing the latest Republican “anti-terror” stunt (this one about warrantless wiretapping), he reflects:

It’s almost as if they’re more interested in forcing Democrats to vote on this before the elections than they are in actually getting the bill out.

“Heh. Indeed,” indeed.

For Bush and his co-conspirators and enablers, the “war on terror” has always been less about national security than it is about winning elections. Indeed, to this crowd all governing is merely a way to win and keep office, either by pandering to ignorant voters or by raising money from the financial beneficiaries of specific decisions.

Welcome to the reality-based community, Glenn. Take off your shoes and stay awhile. Can I offer you a drink?

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

7 thoughts on “Glenn Reynolds finally gets it!”

  1. I dunno about Reynolds actually *getting* this, as in thinking it isn't right.
    But he's always been on board with the Prime Directive of the bush crowd: government is a machine that takes money from people who are too ovine to get out of paying taxes and shovels it to the people who have the connections.
    For this crowd, that's *all* government is. That's reality for them. And by those lights, they've governed damn well.

  2. I'm afraid you've given short shrift to that "almost." As in, "It's *almost* as if Glenn Reynolds has been afflicted with a case of honesty." Almost–but not quite.

  3. No. This was not an election ploy. That's the cover story. Just as outing valerie Plame was actually to punish her for not coming up with the intelligence the WH wanted, but was "explained " to the press as an attack on her husband and the press being stupid-cynical accepted that explanation. So the torture bill is actually to excuse the administration's previous torture and permit it to continue, but is being "explained" as a way to embarrass the Democrats and charge them with being weak on terror. The public, having become accustomed to viewing politics as a spectator sport and lulled into stupid-cynicism, accepts that explanation.
    The torture bill was necessary. Torture is a war crime. The people who carried it out, therefore, wanted cover. Nuremberg precedent says that "I was merely following orders" isn't an adequate defense, but it's better than no defense at all. There must be (highly classified) pieces of paper floating around with George Bush's name on them authorizing or ordering (perhaps in highly euphemistic terms) torture. If the Republicans lose Congress, those pieces of paper could have been used against the administration. Now they can't. The Republicans aren't so concerned with passing the surveillance bill, since it isn't actually necessary in the same way.
    Reynolds is propagating the "election ploy" explanation because he doesn't want to admit the administration has been torturing and will continue torturing. Don't praise him for it.

  4. Anytime you consider an opinion of Reynolds's as being anything other than vile you clearly haven't thought it through.

  5. ""Always"? I beg to differ, I think they were serious for a couple of weeks after 9-11, minimum."
    Posted by Brett Bellmore
    On Sep 12, 2001 they were already shifting to Iraq as their desired 'retaliatory' target. IIRC, this would be before the last survivor was pulled out of the rubble.
    Unless you meant 'serious' as in 'serious about exploiting this for maximum domestic politcal advantage.

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