Hillary, Bernie, and crime

Just up on the Washington Monthly:

Why someone concerned about racial and social justice might prefer Clinton’s record – 1994 Crime Bill and all – to Sanders’s policy of benign neglect.

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

18 thoughts on “Hillary, Bernie, and crime”

  1. It's weird to find myself defending Bernie Sanders, but…

    Benign neglect isn't the worst policy, when a problem has been generally trending down, and is, anyway, somebody else's responsiblity.

    Crime is mostly a state responsiblity, and Bernie isn't running for Governor. He's running for President. I've never quite understood this notion that, unless something is being done at the federal level, it's not being done.

    As for racial and social justice,justice is an individual matter. If you do justice in individual cases, racial and social justice will just automatically fall out. If you set out to do racial and/or social justice, instead of individual justice, you probably won't end up doing any sort of justice.

  2. I posted this at Washington Monthly, but here:

    I agree that Sanders has not yet developed a thorough approach to criminal justice, although except for BLM, that's not exactly a huge issue in this race. And his stance on gun control is just wrong, and it leads to more violent crime.

    At the same time, there's a certain have-your-cake-and-eat-it logic at work here. We are told it's unfair for Carly Fiorina or Anne Coulter to attack Hillary for things Bill did, ranging from blowjobs to not bombing Afghanistan enough after the first botched van attack on the WTC (at which point they were accusing him of Wagging The Dog, so consistency is never their strong point); and we're told Bernie's not allowed to hang the albatross of NAFTA on her, though she is completely on-board with all of that union-busting and offshoring of American jobs, so long as it pleases her Wall St. overlords.

    And yet here you are, saying she should take credit for the good outcomes of the crime bill and not be blamed for the stuff that was already happening at the time of its passage.

    So is she the Evil Puppetmaster behind her husband's two terms, or should her behavior from 1992 to 2000 be judged on her pet First Lady projects, and maybe her badly bungled healthcare crusade? You can't have it both ways, giving her credit for Bill's good stuff and then saying she shouldn't be blamed for Bill's bad stuff. That strikes me as akin to the ubiquitous and co-existing rightwing memes that Reagan Made The Stock Market Soar, but Clinton Had No Effect On It/It Was Other Factors A President Has No Control Over.

    1. It isn't so much that she should get credit for the good things in the crime bill; I'm sure she would just as soon the subject never came up. It's that, if you are going to attack her over the crime bill, you need to remember all of it, and not attack her for things that happened before it.

      You also need to remember that Sanders voted for the bill, and so ought to be castigated over the bill as much as Clinton is.

      1. Fair enough. I'm not sold on Bernie, as I've said on some other comments here, but to paint Hillary as a Progressive or a Liberal on anything to do with poor people or brown people is simply not justified by her record. And I really don't give a rat's ass what her position was in 1994. Twenty-two years later she's carrying the jockstrap of Lloyd Blankfen and Halliburton and Exxon, and dissing a public option for healthcare, and not really standing up for women's rights in her own country, and really really really hawkish. She's running to the Right of Eisenhower and Nixon, which may win her the Presidency, but it certainly doesn't endear her to people who care for the rest of humanity. Her campaign message seems to be: "Bernie is too idealistic, Rich People and Multinationals and Weapons Makers and Wars really rock……..but I'll appoint nicer Justices than Ted Cruz." She's no fucking Ted Kennedy.

          1. Gosh. I only know her from her public persona and public statements. Clue me in as to who she really is, behind the banks and the bombings and the no-public-option and the silence about NAFTA and TPP and the semi-lukewarm half-steps toward taxing rich people and multinationals more, because Bernie says we should, and she's not thrashing him the way Debbie Wasserman-Shultz planned it. Honestly, I would be more than happy to vote for her. If I had all of your Ouija Board insider skinny on her Secret Liberal Creds. I will vote for her anyway in the General Election. With the same enthusiasm with which I voted for her husband and John Kerry…..meaning that they were the Democrat nominee. But in exactly which ways will she move this country one millimeter forward, or leftward, aside from having the power to nominate a blandly centrist panel of judges who will not roll back reproductive rights or gay rights? If you think she will lift one finger toward curtailing the power of the oligarchy, please please please, show me the evidence.

          2. You seem pretty determined to only listen to those parts of what she says that fit your preconception, and when you do notice something you like, you attribute it entirely to Sanders rather than thinking that Clinton might be capable of coming to such conclusions on her own. In other words, you've set up a hypothesis that is completely unfalsifiable, so there's really no point in engaging it in any detail.

          3. Wow!! The author just replied to me the exact same way on Washington Monthly. "Why bother explaining our not-clear thinking to someone who asks us to explain???"

            Man, if you two are the sort who are going to campaign for her, you really need to hone your message, and actually respond to people who have their doubts with something above the level of "shut up, stupid!" I asked for citations, evidence, and both you and Mr. Kleiman told me I was too dumb and rock-headed to understand your wisdom from on high. That's how Catholic priests talk. Shame on the both of you.

          4. There are plenty of people I'm willing to have that discussion with. Someone who has already listed their excuses for not listening does not fall into that camp.

          5. As with waiting for the Hillary evidence, I'm waiting for the enumeration of my excuses for not listening. Three times I have indicated a willingness to listen. Three times you have insulted my intelligence. It's only twice for the author over at Washington Monthly. Seriously….what the fuck bothers you guys so much about providing additional information rather than going all pitbull on anyone who says "wait, I'm not convinced…."?????

          6. I'm waiting for the enumeration of my excuses for not listening.

            Already provided several replies ago.

  3. AnBheal: maybe they will come up with better responses after a good night's sleep.

    Meanwhile… though like you, I will probably vote for whoever is the Dem… I plan to go google and find out how these two voted on the 2005 bankruptcy "reforms." Bc those really s*cked, imo. Though, again… Nader.

    Finally, I am not sure Mark has ever tried to sell a Secret Liberal theme. Could be wrong though. I do think this issue of sorting out which parts of her career *should* go on her record is worth thinking about. For me, it probably would just start with the Senate. It's long enough. Have to think more. (F.e., I really don't expect women to denounce their husbands. I might enjoy it if they did… esp if they stayed together after anyway… but really I guess I ought not to watch. Why do I care? Everyone lies about some things, no?)

    Mark: the drawing of you is not good enough. You're much better-looking. Not that that stuff is supposed to matter.

    1. Well. The plot thickens. Apparently HRC says she missed the vote in 2005 because her husband was ill.

      Anyone know *how* ill? I do think this actually matters. Normally I don't like to get into people's personal business but this matters to me.

      1. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/bill-clintons-operati

        I am glad the president recovered, but the timing seems pretty convenient.

        Otoh… her side was going to lose anyway. And on the third hand, it's kind of scary to think that even she could not vote against the banks. Couldn't bring herself to do it? With a bill this stinky? Or was she just maybe overwhelmed and took the out?

        Like I said, if she's the nominee I'll probably show up. And it makes me sad that we do this to hardworking public servants by not having a decent public financing regime. And shorter campaigns, affordable ad prices etc etc. (Speaking of tv prices… did you-all see that the FCC is pushing a bunch of little tv stations off the air to help the humongous wireless companies? In the light of day. My, my. So don't wonder why people are mad. Ask yourself why you *aren't*mad.)

        1. Keep in mind she's still fighting to keep what she said at all those very well paid speeches to the banks secret. So, couldn't bring herself to do it, was paid not to do it, who knows? They say that the coverup is worse than the crime, but the people who say that are usually people who don't know what the crime was, thanks to the coverup.

          1. I'd be mildly curious to see a text, but I doubt she said anything much. Most public speakers play it safe, and unless these were really small groups, I doubt there'd be anything damaging. There are phones and tape recorders everywhere.

            Plus, I do think she probably is what she seems to me to be .. a raging centrist. By nature, they never say anything much. Blah blah blah… investment, development, jobs… blah blah. Thank you for having me. What's sad about the bk vote is… she knew how wrong it was. And couldn't (or wouldn't) fight it. This makes me sad and actually a bit sorry for her. What I gather from these facts is that it hurt.

          2. You doubt she said anything much, but she's absolutely adamant that nobody actually see what she said. You don't see a minor contradiction there? You think she's determined, no matter how much suspicion it generates, to make sure nobody sees inconsequential comments?

            Maybe she's got this phenomenal knock-knock joke, and nobody will pay a half million a pop to hear her tell it once everybody knows it?

            I think the real thing going on here, is that you've got "Hillary innocent" built into your priors, so every piece of information about her that comes along gets evaluated in that light. I think that's really what's going on.

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