Would you rather have an honest President in shirtsleeves, or a dishonest one in a suit coat?

To Andy Card, for example, it’s not “disrespectful” to the Oval Office to:

1. Trade arms for hostages to Iran in order to finance terrorism in Nicaragua in the teeth of a Congressional ban on doing so, as Ronald Reagan did.

2. Encourage the Iraqi Shi’a to revolt and then leave them hanging out to dry while Saddam Hussein slaughtered them, as G.H.W. Bush did.

3. Order torture, pervert the course of justice, lie, cheat, and steal, as G.W. Bush did.

But it is direspectful to enter the room without a suitcoat on, as Barack Obama sometimes does.

h/t Steve Benen.

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: