Politics starts at the water’s edge

Closing Gitmo would improve national security. Guess which party is against it?

Closing Guantanamo would deprive jihadists of a recruiting pitch and anti-American generally of a debating point.   Guess which political party is eager to help out the jihadists and anti-Americans?

Awww … you peeked, didn’t you?

Republicans political hopes ride on continued high unemployment and another terrorist attack.  Strange, isn’t it, how they manage to work for policies designed to promote both outcomes?

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

4 thoughts on “Politics starts at the water’s edge”

  1. Is this really the type of thought that deserves expression?

    Are there no genuine policy differences? I don't believe that there is any economic consensus about how to most quickly create jobs. What about repealing the Davis-Bacon Act, at least until unemployment comes down again? What about restricting immigration and greater enforcement of the immigration laws? Won't those policies reduce unemployment?

    The fact is that the President got a huge stimulus package passed that he claimed would keep unemployment from rising over 8%, and it was passed over the specific objection that it would not create jobs. It hasn't. Also, it does not appear to be Republicans alone who you've trained your guns on, as the last time post about someone who was against policies that would unequivocally reduce unemployment (in your view), the culprit was Larry Summers.

    As to the Guantanamo question, surely this would have been resolved much earlier if there was an unambiguously attractive option. The President's failure to meet his campaign pledge should be enough evidence of that.

  2. Let's see:

    1) Yes.

    2) There are two economic consensi; one is among the people who predicted trouble, and the other is among the people who said that everything's fine until the crisis was undeniable. Let's work off of the consensus worth listening to.

    3) Lot's of right-wing ideas, which for some odd reason are now to be implemented, now that the right-wingers have shown how bad they are?

    4) More right-wing crap.

  3. Barry–

    I guess you imagine that the Obama administration is composed of iconoclasts who were sounding the calls in the darkness, but I don't remember Larry Summers, Tim Geithner, or even Paul Krugman sounding the alerts about an imminent financial breakdown. They all seemed to be pretty comfortable in the pre-crisis status quo. And Barney Frank and Chris Dodd are nothing if not representatives of the financial services status quo ante.

    There's plenty of blame to go around, but the task is now how to get job creation moving as fast as possible. I'm sure that Krugman et al. actually believe what they're saying, are you willing to concede that those who disagree do so honestly as well?

  4. No. And Krugman has been a critic of things for quite some time; it's been a pleasure to watch somebody actually face reality and adjust.

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