Republicans would never dream
    of calling Democrats unpatriotic …

Except now and then, and here and there, just to keep in practice.

Mickey Kaus (Sunday, February 22) wants John Kerry to respond to ads that accuse him of being soft on defense with lots of wonkish detail about which weapons systems he’s for and which ones he’s against. Wrong! If your opponent is playing football, and you’re playing badminton, guess who’s going to win? Kerry is completely right to ignore the dishonest text of those messages and get straight to their dishonest subtext.

Thanks to Keith Berry for the pointer, and some worthwhile commentary. (But note that, no matter how acute his perception about Republican attack methods, “President Sheppard” is mostly full of it on policy: a ban on “assault weapons” has about as much to do with controlling crime as keeping bare boobs off TV has to do with reducing unwanted pregnancies.)

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