There’s nothing more boring than the game of pin-the-lie-on-the-liar, but Spinsanity does a good job on a couple of stray slanders against Wesley Clark. Don’t understimate the importance of this stuff: if the public can be convinced that Clark is somehow untrustworthy, that will put a big hole in his ability to make the “character” issue against Bush.
Remember the punchline of Lyndon Johnson’s story: you don’t have to prove your opponent has sex with pigs, you just have to make him deny it. It worked against Al Gore.
So far, it doesn’t seem to be working against Clark, at least among Democrats; Clark’s favorable/unfavorable among Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters stands at 49/11 in the latest Newsweek poll. [*] But the Bush forces and their media allies are clearly more scared of Clark than of any other candidate, so expect the slanders to keep coming.
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.
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)
View all posts by Mark Kleiman
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