No pardons!

That phrase should be part of every Democratic speech until the President issues a clear no-pardons pledge or until November of 2008, whichever comes first.

Bob Casey is right: the Democrats should demand, loudly and frequently, that President Bush issue a no-pardons pledge with respect to the Plame affair.

Stunningly, Google shows no mention of that proposal in the mainstream media, other than a question from George Stephanopoulos to Sen. Reid.

A no-pardons pledge would confront Scooter Libby with a clear choice: tell the truth, or spend about eight years in a federal prison. My guess is that, like his friend Judith Miller, he’d decide to talk.

So if the President really wanted to “get to the bottom of this,” his choice is clear. If he wants to continue to preside over a cover-up, that’s up to him, but Democrats should make him pay.

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: