Joe Klein (*) says what I’ve been thinking about Bush: he doesn’t even have the same relatively healthy relationship with the truth that an ordinary liar does. He doesn’t hide the truth so much as forget where he left it. But he forgets because he doesn’t really care. To him, fantasy is a perfectly adequate substitute. Whatever he says often enough, with enough enthusiasm, and can get enough other people to say with him, might as well be true, as far as GWB is concerned.
Here’s what I was taught to call the topic sentence (that was long before the invention of the horrible term “nut graf”) of Klein’s piece:
But the country can no longer afford the President’s self-delusions.
Lambert at Eschaton (*) seems to think that Klein is defending Bush. Well, with friends like that …
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.
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)
View all posts by Mark Kleiman