The DeLay expulsion motion

An old idea resurfaces.

Back when I worked for Phil Heymann in the Carter-era DoJ, he told me that my job was to come up with one really important idea a week, and that his job was to identify the 10% of those ideas that weren’t completely nuts. The “coerced abstinence” proposal for shrinking the drug markets that I borrowed from John Kaplan twenty years ago and have been relentlessly pushing ever since has a perfect record: it has never been tried.

So I’m not very surprised when something that seems blindingly obvious to me fails to make an impression on anyone else. I was therefore about ready to write off the idea of bringing a resolution of expulsion against Tom DeLay to the floor of the House every week, as a way of keeping the scandal pot boiling and making Republicans vote in favor of Delay’s corruption.

But now Political Dogfighter Stuart O’Neill has picked up the idea, and Oliver Willis approves.

If there are good reasons this can’t be done, or shouldn’t be done, I’d love to hear about them. But now, just after Bush has nailed his colors to the mast of DeLay’s garbage scow, seems like a good time to move.

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