Two kinds of consistency

If you thought politicians’ sexual frolics were private when Bill Clinton was doing the frolicking, you should think so today.
If you thought infidelity ought to be a disqualification for public office when Bill Clinton was unfaithful, you should either say you were wrong then or act on your convictions now.

1. Those of us who thought that the sex lives of public officials were properly private and not appropriate topics of political discussion shouldn’t dance too merrily on Mark Sanford’s political grave, or John Ensign’s, or Larry Craig’s, or David Vitter’s. Ken Starr set a rotten example, and it would be too bad if his critics now became his imitators.

2. Those who voted to impeach Bill Clinton and have publicly criticized other politicians for their sexual conduct &#8212 Mark Sanford and John Ensign and Larry Craig and David Vitter, for example &#8212 ought to either (a) admit they were wrong then or (b) resign now.

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