Screening at campaign rallies

What’s GWB afraid of?

Yes, the Bush campaign is, and the Kerry campaign is not, filtering attendees at its events, according to Nina Totenberg.

And not just campaign events, either; some events billed as “Presidential” and billed to the taxpayers are also subject to screening.

One Guardsman returning from Iraq was booted from a campaign rally because one of the young boys he was accompanying had a Kerry sticker on his wallet.

Not only Kerry supporters get screened out; someone with a pro-life T-shirt was asked to leave.

The threat of arrest is routinely used — and there has been at least one actual arrest — to dispose of unwanted guests. The Secret Service and the local cops point fingers at each other about who is making the threats.

Naturally, Ken Mehlman lies about it.

Of course, it would be unpatriotic — likely to embolden the enemy and dishearten the troops — to suggest that the Commander-in-Chief is somewhat deficient in the courage department, so I will patriotically refrain from doing so. Perhaps Mr. Bush will be find tonight’s encounter with voters tonight who aren’t on his side instructive.

Hat tip: Orin Kerr of the Volokh Conspiracy.

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