In defense of Mickey Kaus

He’s a Paul Wellstone Democrat. Or at least he’s using Paul Wellstone’s TV spot.

Some people accuse my old friend Mickey Kaus of being a Democrat in Name Only just because he’s hostile to the interests and political goals of every major Democratic constituency except Jews and people with Ph.D.’s. But that’s massively unfair. In fact, Mickey is just like Paul Wellstone.

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:

11 thoughts on “In defense of Mickey Kaus”

  1. If his comic judgment were sound, he would have had a skinhead sheriff tell him, "You're one of us."

  2. So, Mark, it's your view that Middle-Aged White Guys (MAWGs) are no longer a possible Dem constituency? I mean, you are right that MAWGs have voted 60-40 for the Reeps, but, well, 40% of MAWGs is a lot of voters.

  3. No, of course Democrats want MAWG votes. And get them if the MAWGs are union members (or have Ph.D.s). Otherwise, not so much. Mickey's idea is that if we diss all the groups that actually favor us, we can get more votes from people who don't favor us.

  4. "Mickey’s idea is that if we diss all the groups that actually favor us, we can get more votes from people who don’t favor us."

    Mickey has been a lying wh*reson for years now; I used to read him on Slate (and TNR?). He's part of the Slate/TNR/The Atlantic contingent of third-tier flacks who'd be happier working as corporate PR people (in some cases, perhaps it should be put as 'openly working…'). The only reason that anybody supports him is that this group of third-tier failures likes supporting other third-tier failures, and definitely opposes unmasking them – it might spread.

  5. it is fascinating that Wellstone's ad plays up his background as a teacher and his commitment to labor– two of Mickey's most hated bugbears.

  6. His idea appears to be that, while you can somewhat satisfy an interest group and benefit politically, if you suck up to them to the max, you'll piss off too many other people. On abortion, for instance, he's pro-choice in the first trimester, but won't defend late term abortions. That IS a pretty good fit to public opinion, even if it makes makes feminists who want the right to abort on the delivery table mad.

    There are, in fact, a number of issues where the Democratic party is buying the loyalty of specific interest groups by adopting positions which are widely unpopular. Mind you, depending on relative intensities of interest, this could work, but he's right that it comes at a cost.

  7. "even if it makes makes feminists who want the right to abort on the delivery table mad"

    Over the past 20 years I've consulted to dozens of male and female feminists who work in reproductive health. I've never met or heard of someone who fits this description coming from Brett Bellmore's fevered imagination.

    I grew up reading National Review in the 60s and early 70s. They talk like this and think it's cute and incisive. My father makes remarks like this and thinks it's daring.

    I suspect Brett thinks it's funny. Like fart jokes.

  8. It's called hyperbole; Either it's used extensively here, or you lot are psychotic.

Comments are closed.