Fred Thompson, who might have been a dangerously attractive candidate running as a moderate, has decided to run as a wingnut instead.

I was worried about Fred Thompson. Of all the potential Republican candidates for President, he’s the one who didn’t seem obviously disqualified (other than by a complete lack of accomplishment, as Mickey Kaus points out). As the “top tier” of Forked-tongue McCain, blow-dried flapjack Romney, and Rudy the Clueless self-destructs, he might very well wind up as the nominee; if he could just make a noise like a moderate for a while, he might match Bush’s accomplishment of fooling a bare majority into voting for him.

Not to worry. Thompson has decided to run as the red-meat, hardcore wingnut candidate. He thinks it’s just awful that the latest hostage crisis was resolved without anyone getting killed. Somehow I doubt the country is ready for one more President who delights in shedding other people’s blood.

Update Turns out Thompson is more careful when the blood is his own. He graduated from law school in 1967. No mention of any military service in his bio: not even the National Guard.

And here’s the bonus: having gotten his start in big-time politics as the Republican (i.e., pro-Nixon) counsel for the Senate Watergate Committee, Thompson is raising money for the Scooter Libby defense fund, and has announced that he’d pardon Libby without waiting for him to exhaust his appeals.

Oh, yeah, and he promises to appoint judges who would overturn Roe v. Wade. Bring him on, I say!

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