The bright side

GWB and friends have to clean up their own mess.

They got more votes than we did; now they get to run the country until it’s time to vote again. And, as more than one person pointed out, they completely deserve to have to dig out of the mess they’ve gotten us into.

Think for a moment how bad it would have been had Kerry pulled it out in Ohio and been elected President on the short end of a three-million-popular-vote gap and with nasty Republican majorities (by which I mean both majorities of nasty size and majorities made up mostly of nasty people) in both Houses, and facing a menu of entirely rotten choices due to his predecessor’s short-sighted strategery.

The country, and its standing in the world, are going to take another terrible beating over the next four years. We should do what we can to minimize the damage, which except for preventing horrible judicial appointments won’t be much. (I don’t know the Senate rules; is it possible for a majority to prevent that body ever from technically going into “recess”?)

And we should prepare for 2006 and 2008. If we can keep from tearing ourselves apart, and hold some of the new institutions together, we should be in decent shape. Tradesports already has a betting contract on who wins the Presidency in 2008, and the last trade was 54 cents on the dollar on a Democratic victory.

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:

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