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Criminal Intent

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Here’s a funny thing about this presidential campaign season: Two crime dramas–"The Wire" and "Law & Order"–have gotten more attention than actual crime. Twenty years ago, with the crack epidemic peaking, George Bush rode to victory using Willie Horton against Michael Dukakis. Now, with the violent crime rate one-third lower, Republicans no longer try to paint Democrats as soft on crime, and Democrats no longer feel the need to prove themselves tough on the issue. Campus shootings in Virginia and Illinois have barely registered politically, and President Bush’s evisceration of aid to local cops has received little attention on the campaign trail. Even Rudy Giuliani, who made his name fighting murder and mayhem in New York, included nothing on crime among his major campaign planks.

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