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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Ed Kilgore does it again

I have a very high opinion of Ed Kilgore. However, I strongly disagree with one post he wrote in which he crticized critics of the 1996 welfare reform bill. Now I have another strong disagreement about the policy debate of the 1990s. Again, I disagree with his claim about what Bill Clinton did, that is about facts in the public record.

This time the issue is the 1994 Crime bill

Kilgore wrote "Beginning in 1992, Democrats led by Bill Clinton argued for less of the lock-em-all-up mentality of the 1980s, but for more police officers deployed more intelligently."

I comment

I do not recall Bill Clinton arguing for "less of the lock-em-all-up mentality of the 1980s," I recall him saying "three strikes and you are out."

He signed a crime bill into law (passed by a congress with a Democratic majority) which mandated locking more of em up than any Federal law of the 80s.

Yes he also called for hiring more police and the bill also mandated that. But he absolutely argued for longer prison sentences, including life without parole for a third serious violent crime (including assault and battery) as required by the bill he signed into law. (search for three strikes).

Yes I am grinding old axes, but historical fact is historical fact.

update: Kilgore aknowledges that Clinton signed a crime bill with a 3 strikes and you're out provision. He argues with Rand Paul. I am in the very uncomfortable position of more nearly agreeing with Rand Paul than with Ed Kilgore.

update II: I am not alone. Kilgore's latest "Engaged in a pretty long, pretty interesting listserve debate over Bill Clinton’s responsibility for policies that led to mass incarceration. But it didn’t change my mind that Rand Paul is flat out lying by pretending it didn’t all start with his own GOP." Which is pretty far from the claim that Clinton argued for "less of the lock-em-all-up mentality" isn't it ?

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