Mark Twain’s Dauphin gets one wrong

Has George W. Bush, at long last, finally underestimated the intelligence of the American people?

One of the most charming characters in Huckleberry Finn is the con artist pretending to the the lost Dauphin. At one point, he remarks:

Hain’t we got all the fools in town on our side? And ain’t that a big enough majority in any town?

I’ve always considered that remark a depressing but fundamentally accurate insight into practical politics. But it turns out that His Majesty Looey the Seventeen wasn’t infallible, after all.

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: