Unforced error

Glenn Reynolds, reliably, figures out a way to blame Congressional Democrats.

I’m glad to see that Glenn Reynolds regards the passage of an unduly lenient set of rules on domestic surveillance as an “unforced error” by the Democratic Congressional leadership. (No mention of activities at the other end of Pennsylvania Ave.) As a founding member of the partisan lynch mob devoted to forcing such errors, Glenn’s views on the subject deserve to be taken very seriously. And I assume this means that, when the Democrats move to rein in the unchecked powers the administration blackmailed them into providing, Glenn will help defend them against charges of wanting to make the country more vulnerable to another terrorist attack.

Update Glenn Reynolds thinks I’m insane: hearing “gibbering voices inside his head.” Well, I suppose that’s better than being “Not antiwar, just on the other side,” Glenn’s usual thought-substitute for attacking critics of BushCo.

He notes that he’s against the Patriot Act. Fine. But he’s still what I said he was: a founding member and current accomplice of the partisan lynch mob that attacks the patriotism of those who resist the excesses of the War on Terror, including on matters as trivial as union representation for DHS employees. (Note how spectacularly efficient that outfit has been in its non-union incarnation.) Any Democrat who voted against a “terrorist surveillance” bill knew what he was going to face back home in the way of attack ads. If Reynolds has ever defended the victim of such an attack, or criticized Karl Rove & Co. for mounting those attacks, I’d be glad to hear about it.

I’m sorry that enough Democrats in Congress gave in to that fear to pass the bill, which passed over the opposition of the Democratic leadership in both Houses and with virtually unanimous support from Republicans. House rollcall here: 181 Democrats and 2 Republicans voted “No,” while 186 Republicans and 41 Democrats voted “Yes.” But it’s silly to pretend that their fears were unfounded. And I still hope that those who had the courage to resist can count on Prof. Reynolds’s support when they are accused, as they will be, of siding with the terrorists.

In any case, I’m glad to see Reynolds upholding his usual standards of accuracy and civility. (He gets the story about Giuliani’s use of WTC7 as a trysting locale wrong, too.)

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

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