How the thing is done

Finally, a party leader who knows how to write, or how to hire someone who can: the chairman of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party rips der Gropenfuehrer a new one.

I don’t know much about Eric Bauman, chair of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, but he sure knows how to criticize an opponent: vigorously and humorously, in ways that tie the opponent’s misdeeds to damage to the real interests of real people.

The sample below is just a sample. Read it all.


It had to happen eventually. Here was California’s action-hero governator busy trying to save our state from the special interests and politicians, trying to overturn all those annoying laws that protect workers and consumers at the expense of business, trying to redraw the political lines to his advantage, since he couldn’t win in a fair fight (election). And then those pesky girly-men and losers began chasing him around the country, mocking and criticizing him, pointing out his broken promises and his hypocrisy and causing his approval ratings to drop. What’s an action-hero governator to do?

First he tried going Hollywood. Using the millions in ‘non-special-interest’ dollars he’d raised from all those corporations, he started running TV commercials to explain why his illegal suspension of the law that protects patients in emergency rooms by guaranteeing a minimum number of registered nurses was actually good for patients and nurses.

When nobody bought that, he called in the cops. He had nurses, in uniform, detained and interrogated for daring to be in the same Sacramento theater with him and posing a threat to his safety. But that image did not play well in the media and the cops didn’t much care for it either (they understand that in their line of work, nurses may make the difference).

So he tried hitting the mall-circuit. He likes the malls. People stop and applaud, and ask for his autograph and gush all over him… but his challenge to those starry-eyed shoppers to phone their girly-men legislators rarely results in any action. It just garners a little news coverage.

So he decided to try a few of the special-effects tricks he’d learned while making all those ‘first-rate’ movies…

National Democrats, please copy.

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: