McCain, Palin, and the Augean Party

If Republicans are so corrupt that we need to elect a Republican ticket to catch other corrupt Republicans, why should we be electing Republicans in the first place?

Reader Adam S. writes:

Among all of the other ridiculousness about Palin, one thing strikes a very weird cord for me.

According to Republicans, one of Palin’s biggest strengths (and to a lesser, but still significant degree, McCain’s also) as Republican nominees for Pres and VP is that “they have fought corruption within their own party.”

Isn’t it a tremendous indictment of the entire Republican party that they think the most important characteristic for a leader of the whole country is someone who can root out the corrupt politicians within their own Republican party? I understand that Republicans are so corrupt that it can be a full-time job to keep up with them, but if Republicans are so corrupt that we need to elect a Republican ticket to catch other corrupt Republicans, why should we be electing Republicans in the first place?

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