Wish-I’d-said-that Dep’t:

Steve Benen:

Republican obstructionism has reached the level at which they oppose ideas they support.

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

10 thoughts on “Wish-I’d-said-that Dep’t:”

  1. That means that the Republicans have given the Democrats permission (as if the Democrats needed their permission) not to work with them. But the Democrats, being Democrats, will not take advantage of it.

  2. Well, they're sometimes thinking less about policy than about enemies. It may be not so much the details of a proposal that alarm them as the fact it was proposed by Obama. Different regions of the brain are involved. In a politics governed by a Theory of The Enemy, it makes a little more sense that you'll end up opposing today what you supported yesterday. (This obviously makes them vulnerable to manipulation, but somehow that never happens.)

  3. Well, assuming that any proposal coming from an enemy is a trap IS a fairly reliable heuristic.

  4. Brett –

    The assumption – and that is what it is – that Democrats (and blacks and jews and gays and muslims and poor people and unions and altruists) are "enemies" might bear some examining. Examining one's assumptions is also a useful heuristic.

    The view that politics is about enemies and whom you hate, well-articulated by Carl Schmitt, is deeply embedded in the American rightwing. Deep, reflexive and full-throated attachment to an idea does not make it true.

  5. The assumption that liberal Democrats don't mean the Republican party well is a fairly safe one, I'd say.

  6. as someone who thinks of himself as conservative, forced by the crazy realities of our political scene to vote for politicians who fancy themselves liberal, i think i am in a position to say that mr bellmore's assertion that "the assumption that liberal Democrats don't mean the Republican party well" may seem "fairly safe" to republicans. but it is an absolutely safe assumption that the republican party means no one well, not the democrats, not the country, not themselves—it being manifestly bad to believe and (attempt to) practice self-contradicting, reality-denying dogma. the loons now known as republicans think they have good reason to fear the white-coated men whose job it is to protect those who would deny reality against reality's revenge; but someone must protect loons against their own self-destructiveness. and it's even more important to protect the rest of us from the consequences of their insanity.

  7. I really don't see what's novel about this assertion; think of Dole voting against amendments that had his name on them. And he's often considered one of the sane ones, for some reason.

  8. "Republican obstructionism has reached the level at which they oppose ideas they support."

    It makes sense; the GOP has demonstrated an incredible level of corruption, incompetency and maladministration. At this point, they can't let the Democratic Party accomplish anything decent, because accomplishing anything decent is a level of performance beyond the GOP's capability or desire.

    If you can't win the game fair and square, cheat and play dirty.

  9. It’s a safe assumption that parties compete. It’s not safe to assume the domain of competition is unlimited. (It wouldn’t be safe for Jim DeMint to assume that Ben Nelson is trying to poison him, or that everything Nelson does aims to harm him politically.) Nor is it safe to assume that a party motivated solely to thwart its opponents’ threat to its power will serve its constituents well, or is fit to govern. Nor, generally, does the negation of a proposal amount to a determinate positive alternative to it; something more is required.

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