What does the President care about?

Tom Maguire continues to point out that the things the President could do “to get to the bottom” of the Valerie Plame scandal might not fully satisfy his critics and might not make him look good to the public. I suppose that’s true.

What I can’t fathom is why that seems to him like a good excuse for the President’s inaction. Are we to suppose that the President cares, and should care, exclusively about the PR aspects of this and not at all about the national security aspects?

I can understand why the President doesn’t really want “to get to the bottom of this.” I can’t understand why his defenders think that’s OK.

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