Moral equivalence?

At least three pro-Clinton websites — Hillaryis44, Taylor Marsh, and Larry Johnson’s No Quarter — are well beyond the bounds of decency in their personal attacks on Barack Obama. Is there anything comparable — not counting anonymous commenters — on the Obama side?

My favorite Clinton troll agrees with Paul Krugman that most of the animus in the current campaign has come from the Obama side of the fence. No doubt I’m a biased observer, but I agree with the voters (including a majority of HRC voters in Kentucky and West Virginia) that the bulk of the nastiness has come from the Clinton side.

Still, I believe in subjecting my opinions to the test of observation. Can anyone name a pro-Obama site with nearly as much sludge on it as Hillaryis44,com, Taylor Marsh, or Larry Johnson’s No Quarter? (No, I’m not talking about anonymous commenters.)

I just looked at Johnson’s site, and the level of frank racism, and frank misogyny directed at Michelle Obama, is really quite stunning. Johnson is a friend (and CIA classmate) of Valerie Plame Wilson, who, along with her husband Joseph Wilson, is a strong Clinton supporter. It’s hard to believe that a phone call from Clinton HQ to Wilson and another from Wilson to Johnson couldn’t get him to at least tone it down. And if HRC is really incapable of calling off her dogs, then what are we to make of her vaunted capacity to lead?

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: