March 13, 2008

MEGAN MCARDLE: “I’m not distressed to hear that the Feds were spying on Eliot Spitzer. No, not because I don’t like the man, but because I think maybe we should spy on our politicians, all the time. No probable cause, you say? I fling back at you Mark Twain’s observation that America only has one distinct criminal class: Congress. . . . I think it’s entirely appropriate that the anti-corruption police watch politicians like hawks. They’ve chosen public office; that conveys a lot of responsibility to the public, including assuring them that your votes aren’t being bought outright. I also think that politicians, when caught in a crime, should automatically get the maximum penalty; if they think the law is such a good idea, they ought to suffer heartily when they disregard it.”

UPDATE: Reader Dan Duffy emails: “Megan McArdle’s idea of constantly investigating and heavy sentencing requirements would no doubt be rejected by politicians as intrusive and unfair as no other Americans are treated this way. Really? I was a designated nuclear attack pilot during my Navy days and also held a top secret clearance. We were under constant observation on every part of our lives. Financial, medical, domestic life, drug use, prescriptions, I mean everything. In the Navy, a junior enlisted man with marijuana in his system would get fined a few hundred bucks and lose a stripe. A designated nuclear attack pilot would get ten years in Leavenworth.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Scott Blanksteen emails: “It’s also the case that all IRS agents are audited *every* year. Same exact thinking…”

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