What does it mean to be against “sensitivity”? Does it mean being for crudity and clumsiness?

My thesaurus gives as antonyms for “sensitive” the following: clumsy, crude, boorish, and dull. If you think about it, the Bushites’ assumed attitude of horror at Kerry’s suggestion that anti-terror policy ought to be “more sensitive” really explains a lot.

Yes, I know that the whole thing is based on a quotation out of context, and that the anti-“sensitivity” campaign and the media collusion with it are both disgraceful. But it’s important to know that the folks now in power aren’t just clumsy, crude, boorish and dull by accident: they actually prefer it, or at least want to be seen as preferring it.

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: