Jack-in-office v. Jack-out-of-office

Losing power seems to make Republican politicians smarter.

Tom Ridge is queasy about the Arizona law, and Bill Frist pretty much likes the Access to Care Act.

It seems that out-of-office Republicans are much smarter than Republicans still in office.

That gives us all a chance to improve some Republican IQs this November.

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

10 thoughts on “Jack-in-office v. Jack-out-of-office”

  1. Are you sure it's out-of-office Republicans who are smarter, or not-seeking-office Republicans? Because I'm leaning toward the latter.

  2. And let’s not forget that Duncan Hunter wants to deport children born in the US of undocumented parents. Wanting to evade the 4th Amendment is one thing; wanting to overturn the 14th is another.

  3. And let’s not forget that Duncan Hunter wants to deport children born in the US of undocumented parents. Wanting to evade the 4th Amendment is one thing; wanting to overturn the 14th is another.

    This isn't even about any amendments: it's about the citizenship-by-birth that (iirc) precedes any amendments.

  4. Well, Dred Scott was not a citizen in 1857, when there were only 12 amendments. It took The Late Unpleasantness from 1861-1865 to settle the issue of who is a citizen.

  5. No, you're quite right, I was wrong – citizenship-by-birth is in the fourteenth amendment. I'd thought it was in the original Constitution. Well, I guess this makes Andrew Jackson a bit less of a hypocrite than I'd thought – no less of a monster, but less of a hypocrite. I just did some quick searches, rather than actually reading, but I'm not sure that the unamended Constitution defined citizenship.

    Mind you, this means that all those people who want to restrict rights like Habeas to citizens are even a bit more crazy …

  6. "It seems that out-of-office Republicans are much smarter than Republicans still in office"…so, Mark Kleiman admits that Sarah Palin is smart.

    Hmmm, an IQ out-of-office link among politicians, is it causal, correlational or non-existent…sounds like a new chapter in the next Freakonomics book

  7. Which reminds me: when Sarah Palin speaks, there should be people carrying a large banner reading: So how's that "Drill Baby Drill" thingy workin' out for ya'?

    Has this happened yet?

  8. I don't think it's a question of intelligence, so much, as the general inclination of politicians who are still actively seeking a constituency's votes to lie to them, and sometimes to even stop lying to them once they're done seeking those votes. It's not exactly a secret on the 'right' side of the spectrum that a lot of 'conservatives' in office aren't really very conservative, they just play conservatives on the campaign trail. I would assume there's some awareness on the 'left' of the same thing going on in your camp?

    Now, this IS going to look like politicians getting smarter when they stop running for office, if, and only if, you're looking at politicians who happened to agree with you about something, and were lying to somebody else. "He's finally smartened up and disagreed with me!" not being a sentiment most people would think to utter, no matter where they're situated on the political spectrum…

  9. There's an obvious alternative explanation in the case of Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Marco Rubio, & Jeb Bush. (All either in office or arguably still nursing ambition.) Normal people will not be eager to support a law that could adversely affect their own wives & children this way.

    Not to step on a passable joke, but this isn't a case of Frist & Ridge being more honest because they're out of office. Ridge had a moderate (by contemporary Republican standards) position on immigration. (He voted for IRCA in the House & had awkward relations w/ the anti-immigration fringe as governor & DHS secretary.) Frist, well, you know.

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