Optimism

James Wimberley thinks that a term as Vice President would cure Sarah Palin’s ignorance. I’m not so sure.

I don’t knock Palin for not knowing some stuff I know; she knows some stuff I don’t know. As Will Rogers said, we’re all ignorant, just about different things.

But Palin also appears to be deeply incurious. That, plus her habit of bluffing instead of saying “I don’t know,” might well insulate her from the learning we would all need her to do. So far, her approach to learning the stuff she doesn’t know that’s relevant to being President is that of a student who has partied away the semester and is now cramming for the exam. Not encouraging.

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