The End of the War?

This seems to be pretty positive news:

The Obama administration’s new drug czar says he wants to banish the idea that the U.S. is fighting “a war on drugs,” a move that would underscore a shift favoring treatment over incarceration in trying to reduce illicit drug use.

In his first interview since being confirmed to head the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske said Wednesday the bellicose analogy was a barrier to dealing with the nation’s drug issues.

“Regardless of how you try to explain to people it’s a ‘war on drugs’ or a ‘war on a product,’ people see a war as a war on them,” he said. “We’re not at war with people in this country.”

Mr. Kerlikowske’s comments are a signal that the Obama administration is set to follow a more moderate — and likely more controversial — stance on the nation’s drug problems. Prior administrations talked about pushing treatment and reducing demand while continuing to focus primarily on a tough criminal-justice approach.

The Obama administration is likely to deal with drugs as a matter of public health rather than criminal justice alone, with treatment’s role growing relative to incarceration, Mr. Kerlikowske said.

I’m really not sure why an approach that includes treating drug addiction as a matter of public health is so controversial. You would think the hysteria and rampant incarceration of the last thirty years would be seen as more controversial. I’m interested to see how they follow up on this.

79 replies
  1. 1
    cleek says:

    everybody must get stoned

  2. 2
    Patriot says:

    they stone you when you’re riding in your car

  3. 3
    El Tiburon says:

    Keep in mind all of the entities that receive billions of dollars to fight this War. These entities are not going to go quietly.

    It’s time to bring out all of the scary dark people yet again.

  4. 4
    canuckistani says:

    It’s code. It really means “War on the Black Underclass”. Now do you see why it gets so much support?

  5. 5
    LD50 says:

    Off topic, but Greater Wingnuttia has drawn a line in the sand when it comes to Obama dissing American cereals.

    I fail to see how making it absolutely impossible to take them seriously is going to be the conservatives’ political salvation.

  6. 6
    mclaren says:

    I can’t believe you were scammed this easily, John. The Obama administration is continuing the DEA raids on medical marijuana.

    They’re just renaming the “war On Drugs” something else. They’re not changing a thing. In fact, Attorney General Eric Holder has publicly said “And with marijuana sales central to the drug trade, Mr. Holder said he was exploring ways to lower the minimum amount required for the federal prosecution of possession cases.”

    It’s the same old horseshit. Not a thing has changed. More arrests for weed, higher penalties, longer prison sentences, more SWAT teams handcuffing little old ladies in wheelchairs who suffer form terminal cancer because they visited a state marijuana dispensary.

  7. 7
    Ugh says:

    One might say this is an example of “green shoots” in the war on drugs. Also.

  8. 8

    Take a look at Huffman Aviation and all the furtive characters that worked down there. Forty-three pounds of heroin in one of their planes while they were training the 9/11 hijackers. And the pilot walks away.

    The Pan Am 103 that was blown up was part of Monzer al-Kassar’s heroin drug route. Al-Kassar was also flying weapons in the opposite direction for the benefit of Ollie North’s Enterprise at the same time. Lots of powder scattered around Scotland that night.

    Air America, anyone? I mean the one flying opium out of the Laotian highlands in the Golden Triangle. Southern Air Transport, anyone?

    Anyone remember Hassenfus? Remember the magic white powder that came back on the return flights?

    Remember when the U.S. used Victor Bout to fly weapons and ordinance into Afghanistan? Can you guess what he flew out?

    Remember the protected heroin labs in the Bekaa Valley?

    Remember the Guerini Gang in Marseilles? The guys behind the French Connection were the guys who beat up and murdered the French Communists on the docks there at the behest of the CIA. Funny, eh?

    Hmm, who was that in the picture with Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega? Looks like GHW Bush to me.

    How about the “cocaine coup” in Bolivia?

    How about the right-wing death squads in Colombia and their business associates?

    Try to remember… Lucky Luciano.

    Heck, Jack Ruby was known as the guy you had to go to if you wanted to move drugs through Dallas.

    At a certain point you must realize that the drug trade is an integral part of our society. At one end it provides lots of money for off-the-books dirty intelligence work. It rewards and compromises allies overseas at the same time. At this end of the arc it can be used to keep whole segments of the population devalued. Surplus workforces keep wages down. Drugs keep sullen minorities disorganized and ineffective. The prison industry thrives.

    Hey, everybody wins. Get onboard!

  9. 9
    Comrade Darkness says:

    Speaking of public health issues… What we really need is a War on Cockroaches. Far more kids suffer from the epidemic of childhood asthma than weed addiction.

  10. 10
    El Cid says:

    I’m really not sure why an approach that includes treating drug addiction as a matter of public health is so controversial. You would think the hysteria and rampant incarceration of the last thirty years would be seen as more controversial.

    I would wonder these things if I were freshly arriving in the U.S. from a far away planet and were using a computer to translate not only English but political conventionality into my alien language.

    As it is, I seem to remember a 30 – 40 years’ war portraying ‘tough on crime’ and harsher and longer sentences on any crime involving the poor as de riguer, and anyone who dissented was a pro-criminal librul gay wimp who favors the evil bureaucracy in all the Dirty Harry type movies which let the sneering murderers and rapists off on technicalities.

    Does no one remember “We tried rehabilitation, and it failed!” as a battle cry?

  11. 11
    srv says:

    The National Security State will not be happy until until Afghanistan, Pakistan and Mexico are complete narcostates.

    You have to assume either they’re very, very stupid, or very, very smart, because nobody comes up with policies so completely destructive like this in a vacuum.

  12. 12
    Zifnab says:

    You would think the hysteria and rampant incarceration of the last thirty years would be seen as more controversial.

    Hysteria is never controversial. I have no idea why. Probably because people are too hysterical to really object to it.

  13. 13
    R. Porrofatto says:

    Cue Joseph Califano to come shrieking onto my teevee set in 5…4…3…

    My favorite routine of the drug warriors is the idea that if drugs are in any way legalized there will be thousands of addicts, kids will be able to get any kind of drug, there will be pregant women giving birth to addicted babies — in other words exactly what we have right now. With the exception of a lot less crime, organized and/or violent.

  14. 14
    John Cole says:

    @mclaren: Every single time this topic comes up, the same crew points to the same raid. That would lead me to think the raids have slowed, since the only evidence is the same raid.

    And this is just nonsense:

    It’s the same old horseshit. Not a thing has changed. More arrests for weed, higher penalties, longer prison sentences, more SWAT teams handcuffing little old ladies in wheelchairs who suffer form terminal cancer because they visited a state marijuana dispensary.

    Where are the proposed higher penalties and longer sentences? I missed the move by the Obama team to make the drug laws more draconian.

    This is why everyone in DC finds it so satisfying to Sister Souljah teh “left.” You all are so fucking whiny. It just feels good to punch you all in the face. Read this from Dan Savage this morning:

    The more I think about the joke Obama told at the WHCD the more ticked off I get.

    I’d say that says a shitload more about Dan Savage than it does about President Obama.

    At some point, you folks are going to realize that the policies we have in place are the result of decades of little decisions, that led to big bureaucracies and entrenched interests with their multiple layers of fiefdom, complete with a prison industrial complex and a confusing latticework of conflicting and competing state and federal laws. This shit will take time to unwind, and it has to be done slowly and carefully so there is not a backlash.

    Again, this shit will take time. No one got bent out of shape when it was pointed out it will take close to two years to pull out of Iraq. No one flinched when we said it is going to take a year and a half to unwind AIG’s toxic stew.

    Yet because the world isn’t the way NORML and GLAAD want it RIGHT FUCKING NOW, nothing has changed. Obama = more of the same! Why isn’t he using his magic wand!

    I’m sick of the bullshit. I’m ready to start Souljahing people myself. And not only is it irritating as all hell, it ignores the fact that this is a positive change. Compare the comments from Obama’s drug czar to the nonstop bullshit being spewed by Bush’s drug czar. Or look up some of the rancid sentiments from bloated gambler Bill Bennett.

    You can’t tell a difference?

    And while we are at it, what states have gay marriage now? NH, Mass, Iowa, etc.

    You know what state isn’t on that list? California. Maybe people should think about that before they start screaming for Obama to go Gavin Newsome on us.

    Slow, incremental change that isn’t rejected by the public is what we want. Not jerky shifts and radical departures that lead to more culture wars.

    Christ on a fucking crutch.

  15. 15
    Comrade Mary, Would-Be Minion Of Bad Horse says:

    @mclaren: Read the whole article, including this update:

    Scott Morgan at stopthedrugwar.org provides some clarification on Holder’s remarks by pointing to a Baltimore Sun article. In short, Holder was basically referring to the prosecution of traffickers, who currently slip under the amount threshold warranting federal prosecution

  16. 16
    wasabi gasp says:

    Yeah, good news. But, unless I just blew a tube of sticky bud, I’m not holding my breath.

  17. 17
    Ed in NJ says:

    @mclaren
    I can’t believe you were scammed this easily, John. The Obama administration is continuing the DEA raids on medical marijuana.

    Those on the left screaming that Obama hasn’t done enough already after 4 months sound just as idiotic as those on the right who are screaming how he has ruined the country already after 4 months. Get some perspective man.

    This is a very welcome change in rhetoric that if implemented properly will go a long way towards reducing the burden on our criminal justice system, and getting help for those that need it.

    My concern, of course, is that Republicans will be screaming that Obama is going to make us less safe by releasing criminals into the streets. People who commit crimes to sell or procure drugs still need to be punished. It’s those in possession with a problem that should get the help they need.

  18. 18
    The Moar You Know says:

    Off topic, but Greater Wingnuttia has drawn a line in the sand when it comes to Obama dissing American cereals.

    @LD50: Oh, for fuck’s sake.

    Some days I fucking hate this country. After reading that, today is one of those days.

  19. 19
    The Moar You Know says:

    This is why everyone in DC finds it so satisfying to Sister Souljah teh “left.” You all are so fucking whiny. It just feels good to punch you all in the face.

    @John Cole: Truth. It’s far more fun to troll the shit out of lefties than righties because lefties whine and cry so much louder.

  20. 20
    Fulcanelli says:

    @wasabi gasp: Mmmmm. I love the smell of sticky bud in the morning. Ooops!

  21. 21
    Bhall35 says:

    Mr. Kerlikowske’s comments are a signal that the Obama administration is set to follow a more moderate—and likely more controversial—stance on the nation’s drug problems.

    This is my favorite part of the article, since apparently “moderation” is “controversial,” proving just how far to the right we’ve drifted on this issue (or at least how far to the right reporting on it has been).

  22. 22
    Laura W says:

    @John Cole: You should move that up front so people who don’t/can’t read comments can enjoy it.

  23. 23
    Jackie says:

    @John Cole: Thank you

  24. 24
    Joel says:

    John Cole just said everything I wanted to…

  25. 25
    srv says:

    @John Cole:

    start screaming for Obama to go Gavin Newsome on us.

    You talk like Gavin is a progressive or something. He wasn’t for gay marriage because he’s a progressive, he was for it because it cut the legs out from under his progressive competition.

    The only difference between John Cole Democrats and Gavin is the hairdo.

    The alternative theory to your slow change mantra is that BATSHIT INSANE policies of the state have gotten completely unmanageable and Obama is the rational actor to get them under control again while implementing change that amounts to window dressing.

  26. 26
    Zifnab says:

    @John Cole:

    Slow, incremental change that isn’t rejected by the public is what we want. Not jerky shifts and radical departures that lead to more culture wars.

    Sing it sista!

    There’s no point in moving the policy if the consensus doesn’t follow.

  27. 27
    flukebucket says:

    It just feels good to punch you all in the face neck.

    fixt

  28. 28
    tripletee (formerly tBone) says:

    @John Cole:

    I think I need a cigarette after that.

    At this point I find the “Obama = Bush!111111” dipshits almost as annoying as the nutballs who think Obama is destroying America by going after our Cheerios.

  29. 29
    ArtV says:

    Just to give you a general idea of his background, as Seattle Chief of Police Mr. Kerlikowske allowed people to openly use weed during the annual Hempfest weekend. I’ve seen photos of people smoking with police looking on.

    There’s even a Seattle ordinance that drops weed possession to the bottom of the list in terms of criminality.

    This is not to say that there are no pot busts in Seattle, but they have a more progressive attitude towards it than most other parts of the country.

    His comments suggest that he will bring that same perspective to his post in D.C.

  30. 30
    LD50 says:

    Truth. It’s far more fun to troll the shit out of lefties than righties because lefties whine and cry so much louder.

    Not so sure. Over the last 3 months, I think the difference in whininess has dropped to nil.

  31. 31
    valdivia says:

    @John Cole:

    yeah John can you post that so everyone can read it?

    and I too am now smoking a cigi after that.

  32. 32
    The Moar You Know says:

    Not so sure. Over the last 3 months, I think the difference in whininess has dropped to nil.

    @LD50: I only wish. The righties have lost all reserve and are having their tantrums in public, but us lefties still do butthurt like no one else can.

  33. 33
    Zifnab says:

    @Ed in NJ:

    Those on the left screaming that Obama hasn’t done enough already after 4 months sound just as idiotic as those on the right who are screaming how he has ruined the country already after 4 months. Get some perspective man.

    Just answer me this… how much brush has he even cleared? Bush had half his ranch done by late September. And the economy was doing just fine.

    Thanks a lot Nobama.

  34. 34
    tripletee (formerly tBone) says:

    us lefties still do butthurt like no one else can.

    To be fair, srv displayed significant levels of butthurt well before the election, so he is at least consistent in his smug, leftier-than-thou obnoxiousness.

  35. 35
    LD50 says:

    Just answer me this… how much brush has he even cleared? Bush had half his ranch done by late September. And the economy was doing just fine.

    This makes me realize, that with Bush’s invisibility over the last several months, his ranch must be fuckin’ immaculate by now.

    Well, provided he hasn’t just been on a bender the whole time.

  36. 36
    LD50 says:

    @LD50: I only wish. The righties have lost all reserve and are having their tantrums in public, but us lefties still do butthurt like no one else can.

    But how does one fit freakouts over the War On Cheerios into this? That doesn’t constitute whininess of a sort?

  37. 37
    Martin says:

    It’s controversial for two reasons:

    1) It would eliminate the ability to scream that Democrats are weak on something.
    2) It would end the ability for state and local government to discriminate against minorities.

    So, it’s controversial for political reasons, not ration reasons.

  38. 38
    Shade Tail says:

    @LD50:

    This makes me realize, that with Bush’s invisibility over the last several months, his ranch must be fuckin’ immaculate by now. Well, provided he hasn’t just been on a bender the whole time.

    Actually, the news reports were all saying that he was going to sell it. No surprise, since it was just an “I’m so authentic!” campaign prop in the first place.

  39. 39
    Rob says:

    Slow, incremental change that isn’t rejected by the public is what we want. Not jerky shifts and radical departures that lead to more culture wars.

    Right on Bro! This approach will give Obama 2012. That’s why the wingnuts have a faux outrage about nothing every other day. Obama is not the socialist, gay marriage today, free weed for everybody liberal.

  40. 40
    John PM says:

    This makes me realize, that with Bush’s invisibility over the last several months, his ranch must be fuckin’ immaculate by now.

    Actually, he sold the ranch and moved into a nice little mansion in a ritzy part of Dallas. It is now probably a lot harder to have a beer with him than it was before. I also understand that he is working on his memoirs, but is having problems because he keeps eating the crayons.

  41. 41
    wasabi gasp says:

    Somebody needs medical marijuana, stat!

  42. 42
    SGEW says:

    @John Cole:

    What do we want?

    Slow, incremental change that isn’t rejected by the public!

    When do we want it?

    As soon as is reasonably feasible!

  43. 43
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    Obama won the election by something like seven percent of the popular vote. That was despite McCain’s lame-ass campaign, his insane running mate and promises of “four more years”. Seven percent under those conditions is not exactly a mandate to turn this place into Woodstock.

  44. 44
    JGabriel says:

    John Cole:

    You would think the hysteria and rampant incarceration of the last thirty years would be seen as more controversial.

    Unless your media gives credence to the 15% of people who are intolerant bigots who want to “see all the blacks and the mexicans and the gays and the dirty fucking hippies all locked up!”

    I suppose, given the fracturing of the viewing audience amidst 500 channels, media outlets that target such niches were inevitable.

    .

  45. 45

    This slight mellowing of the drug war is much ado about very little. At this late date if America is the Titanic then Obama is the entertainment in the lounge on the Lido Deck.

    I’m not saying the President is good or bad, complicit or captive. I’m saying that he is irrelevant. In every “facedown” with the military-intelligence folks Obama has been the one who’s ended up face down. With his trousers down at his ankles. It’s not so hard to see this relationship with a Democrat in the White House who must by definition fight for and/or then fail his constituency. Bush’s “imperial Presidency” was essentially what the military-intelligence folks wanted so you had to look hard to see any dissonance between the White House and the military back then. It could be confused with the military following orders when in fact it may have been just the opposite, Bush following orders.

    When you think of Bush signing off on torture you can imagine the sadistic frat boy who once branded pledges at Yale. Obama regretfully, with a heavy heart, doesn’t want the pictures released so as not to inflame the brown peoples around the world (who already know all about CIA torture, thank you). Dubya’s already got his own copies to diddle over back in Texas. So what’s changed? Even if McCain were President the status of torture and the torturers wouldn’t have been very much different.

    Congress understands all this. That’s why in 2008 the Republicans, facing the loss of the White House and more defeats in Congress, had no problems with FISA. It never entered the debate that a Democrat would have the power to spy on Republicans. They knew that the enhanced spying power didn’t accrue to the President. It accrued to the intelligence community, who will now more easily be able to fill up your files in case the day comes when you step too far out of line. Does anyone think that Obama would dare blackmail anyone to get anything done?

    (By the way, who’s getting blackmailed these days? Hmmm, the guy who was the best proponent for healthcare reform in the last election cycle.)

    Hell, Obama doesn’t even control the Treasury or the Justice Departments.

    Two-drink minimum.

  46. 46

    By the way, Gavin Newsom is a projection of Getty money.

  47. 47
    JGabriel says:

    @Rob:

    Obama is not the socialist, gay marriage today, free weed for everybody liberal.

    He’s not? Damn.

    I knew I shoulda voted for the candidate of the Socialist Union of Homo-lovin’ Weedsmokers.

    .

  48. 48
    Mr. Stuck says:

    Years ago, I asked a lawyer from the DC Environmental Defense fund why he had written an article in the paper slamming the agency I worked for when only a few weeks earlier he had praised it to a Federal Judge for making great progress in doing it’s job.

    He grinned and said, that is how the advocacy wars are fought in the Capital. Never give an inch and demand everything you want and more right now. I told him that was crazy, and he just said that’s what the other side does, so we do it to.

  49. 49
    JGabriel says:

    Dammit, I been modereratered again! Why do I keep forgetting that “SociaIist” isn’t acceptable here, even though “fucking homo-lovin’ weedsmokers” is?

    .

  50. 50
    Comrade Darkness says:

    @LD50: This makes me realize, that with Bush’s invisibility over the last several months, his ranch must be fuckin’ immaculate by now.

    Give the man a break. He’s got 100k acres in Paraguay to clear now. I bet he’s no farther along on clearing that than he was after 8 years in Waco. A life’s dream of endless brush to clear. He must be in heaven.

  51. 51
    JGabriel says:

    FYI, people, the easiest way to avoid the SociaIist filter is to replace the lower case “l (L)” with an upper case “I (i)” – opposite cases in parens to differentiate them.

    Anyway, it’s much easier than remembering and typing out those five characters for the shy dash that a couple of others have been recommending.

    .

  52. 52
    John Cole says:

    No, I am not reposting the comment. I’m not in the mood to start a pissing match with people I basically agree with on a lot of things. I agree with Dan Savage about gay marriage. I agree with SRV and McClaren about the drug wars.

    What I don’t agree with is their inability to recognize political realities. They seem to be from the “Just make it happen” school of thought, in which you don’t have to check for blood type matches before you do an organ transplant, you just start cutting and trust me, the host won’t reject it! And then when the surgeon disagrees, you call him George Bush.

    It drives me insane. Advocate for what you want, and lobby to push your issues to the forefront, but stop with the butthurt and stop with the bullshit comparisons. Give the man some time.

  53. 53
    HyperIon says:

    The End of the War?

    No.
    And you get points taken off for writing such a misleading headline. I suggest “Is the policy changing?” But then you wouldn’t get to reprimand the folks who respond to the headline with “Fuck, No”.

  54. 54
    JGabriel says:

    @John Cole:

    What I don’t agree with is their inability to recognize political realities. They seem to be from the “Just make it happen” school of thought, in which you don’t have to check for blood type matches before you do an organ transplant, you just start cutting and trust me, the host won’t reject it! And then when the surgeon disagrees, you call him George Bush.

    Nice extension of the “body politic” metaphor. I like it.

    .

  55. 55
    Roger Moore says:

    @LD50:

    This makes me realize, that with Bush’s invisibility over the last several months, his ranch must be fuckin’ immaculate by now.

    I personally find that invisibility a pleasant contrast with Cheney. Too bad he couldn’t display that kind of restraint and class while he was still president.

  56. 56
    srv says:

    @John Cole:

    What I don’t agree with is their inability to recognize political realities.

    Perception is reality. Either you control it, or you don’t. The wingnuts were very successfull for a very long time redifining the norm. As it is, Obama could have 4 terms and not get us back to the status quo of 1999.

    Imagine what a smart person would do. They’d note that the teabaggers are filled with different groups who have diametrically opposed philosphies. Nothing would be more entertaining and divisive for that movement than to have some teabag tough-on-crime Republican screaming at a teabag Ron Pauler on CNN.

    The best time to kick the shit out of your enemy is when they’re down. Dems aren’t going to get another opportunity like this.

  57. 57
    The Saff says:

    I agree with John @ 14 and 52. I give Obama the benefit of the doubt. As he keeps proving, he’s way smarter than the average bear. As he reminds us time and again, this country’s problems didn’t happen over night and it’s going to take some time to right the ship.

    I still think drugs should be legalized and taxed, like tobacco and alcohol. Take out the criminal element and raise revenue at the same time.

  58. 58
    Paula says:

    Hmm, maybe you’re being too harsh on the lefties, Cole. They have roles to play in the discourse, as does the center, as does the right. We’ve managed to let ourselves be shunted off to an incredibly conservative idea of the “center” because these folks were so marginalized.

    Still, I would ask the lefties where they got the idea that speaking/lobbying through mainstream politics and parties (of which the people on this blog seem to be willing participants) would be the best way to get what they wanted, anyway.

    Like, in all seriousness, we need a vibrant true left third party movement in this country to counterbalance the extreme right. Why bother with the Democrats and constantly pointing out how corporate and imperialistic they are? Nader, the Greens, et all need a fire lit under their asses on the organizing front. So why not help them out with that? Goodness knows Obama has shown that money is secondary to some serious organizing chops.

  59. 59
    Paula says:

    The best time to kick the shit out of your enemy is when they’re down. Dems aren’t going to get another opportunity like this.

    Well, that’s all well and dandy, but you also should remember that the conservatives (social, fiscal, neos) overplayed their hand in exactly this way during the Bush II era. And got … Obama and his Socialmalism and his Muslin-iness.

    Yes, they were inept and stupid and wrong, and I may agree with the left on most things philosophically speaking. But I have no guarantee that the current leaders of the “true” Left aren’t inept and stupid as well, and worse, they’ll be discrediting ideas and policies that I agree with.

  60. 60
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @Paula:

    LOL. Maybe you could get Crazy Ralph to shake down his wingnut pals for cash like in 2004, and 08.

    Still, I would ask the lefties where they got the idea that speaking/lobbying through mainstream politics and parties (of which the people on this blog seem to be willing participants) would be the best way to get what they wanted, anyway.

    So what venues would you suggest? You could co-opt the tea bag movement and substitute Green Tea- Baggers. I might come to one of those being a green tea afficianado (amateurish, or course). Otherwise, most of us so called lefties kind of like winning elections and making changes by changing laws. So nolo thanks to whatever the hell you believe in.

  61. 61
    JGabriel says:

    srv:

    The best time to kick the shit out of your enemy is when they’re down.

    Really not the best strategy, see Ghandi and Satyagraha for further elucidation.

    .

  62. 62
    Paula says:

    1) Comrade Stuck, if you support the mainstream parties then assume I wasn’t talking to you. I guess I should make a distinction between lefties who support mainstream parties and lefties who don’t …

    2) Mainly because I do respect the fact that the “idea” of Nader and the Greens is actually pretty important if the execution is lacking. I believe in third parties. We already have an extreme right that has taken over all wings of the Republican party, and the lack of a comparative left movement means that the Democrats have NO ballast in resisting the pull.

    3) Once again, I don’t think I was talking to you. I actually agree that its important to work within the mainstream to achieve incremental change from within …

    4) But others obv don’t see it that way, and I was just trying to see why they feel like lobbying the Democratic Party (and its supporters) is so important when its clear that the party doesn’t share their views. Shouldn’t that energy be siphoned to something more productive esp. since Obama is so popular within his own party?

  63. 63
    HyperIon says:

    @JGabriel:

    see Ghandi and Satyagraha for further elucidation.

    also Jesus.

  64. 64
    TenguPhule says:

    I still think drugs should be legalized and taxed, like tobacco and alcohol. Take out the criminal element and raise revenue at the same time.

    You can never take the criminal element out once it’s already there.

  65. 65
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @Paula:

    Sorry Paula, but I do support mainstream parties for one simple reason, in a Consttitutional Republic like ours, only two parties usually are viable electorally. If this were a Parliamentarian System like Great Britain, and many other western democracies, then more parties are viable to operate government. It just won’t work here and never has really, though it’s been tried with only limited success and always short lived. So if you believe in basically the same stuff I do, and I think you do, putting your vote on Nader or the Greens is the same as voting for the GOP. You can support the Greens ideas and work to get them into mainstream Demo party, but that is about it, unless it doesn’t bother you lending your vote to wingnuts.

  66. 66
    srv says:

    @JGabriel:

    Really not the best strategy

    These young republicans and democrats agree with you.

  67. 67
    Paula says:

    1) Comrade, all that stuff is debatable depending on the historical and political models you’re using. But the point is that everyone left of center in America needs to have this debate with themselves and with each other in order to figure out the best way to advance a cause rather than this argument of who is selling out and/or who is being unrealistic.

    2) You know, this is the first time I’ve ever felt the need to declare this anywhere, but:

    I am a moderately-oriented (from Los Angeles, which according to Matt Miller may be crypto-Marxism in other places, but whatevs) registered Democrat who voted for Obama in the primary and the GE.

  68. 68
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    Slow, incremental change that isn’t rejected by the public is what we want.

    No, not really. Slow, incremental change is easy to reverse. That’s why affirmative action is on its deathbed yet Roe v Wade, which the right wing hates a thousand times more, is still in effect.

    I would hardly call allowing gay people to get married a “incremental” change. That’s like saying it’s a step towards some other goal. What goal would that be? Marriage is the goal itself.

    We don’t want changes to be rejected by the public? Since when does our government care what the public thinks?

  69. 69
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @Paula:

    I am a moderately-oriented (from Los Angeles, which according to Matt Miller may be crypto-Marxism in other places, but whatevs) registered Democrat who voted for Obama in the primary and the GE.

    Yes, we are now all Democrat Socialists according to the RNC.
    The Thirty Percent Party, I call them.:-)

  70. 70
    bago says:

    I don’t so much view it as whining so much as people trying to move the overton window. The under-oath testimony yesterday about torture cutting off dick cheney at the knees is an example of this. Cheney moved the discussion so far to the right that you had many people legitimately discussing the merits of torture.

    That’s pretty f’d up.

    Due to the “hysterics” of people like Sullivan, Maddow, Greenwald, and Shepherd Smith, Cheney is looking increasing like a fringe element.

    That’s a good step.

    Savage has every right to be annoyed. He can’t be legally married to his husband, and that puts a cramp on his family. Freakin Ohio beat Washington on gay marriage. San Francisco is HIGHLY disenfranchised by prop 8. This is all on the “left coast”.

    Remember how Roosevelt said in essence” I agree with you, now make me do it.”? Well, this would be the process of “making him do it”. These people are hauling the overton window back to such radical places such as “we do not torture” and “people in a family should be able to take care of each other”.

    It’s so sad that those positions are considered “radical”, “leftist”, and “hysterical”, but there you go. It’s how broken we are.

    It’s not left vs right. It’s sane vs full-retard Bachmann.

  71. 71
    srv says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.:

    We don’t want changes to be rejected by the public? Since when does our government care what the public thinks?

    I guess what all these democrats are proving is that the only option for real change in this country comes from the courts or economic catastrophes.

  72. 72
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    It really means “War on the Black Underclass”.

    You forgot the Mexicans.

  73. 73
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    @TenguPhule: So… when was the last time Anheuser-Busch fought a turf war with Coors? How many guys did the CEO of Lorillard have to have whacked to get where he is?

  74. 74
    John Cole says:

    There were two pieces in Hit and Run about this today. Jacob Sullum, representing the Welch/Gillespie/Mangu-Ward/Moynihan “Obama sucks and is worse than Bush so watch us outwingnut the wingnuts” glibertarian wing, pens the following:

    Drug Czar Calls for End to War on Drug- Unfortunately, it’s the name he doesn’t like, not the policy.

    On the other hand, Radley Balko, who unlike his fellow travelers, still apparently exhibits on the planet earth and feels no need to turn Hit and Run into Red State or Open Left (depending on which side provides for the bitchier angle, of course!), writes the following:

    The change in rhetoric obviously isn’t an end to the federal prohibition on drugs. But it isn’t mere symbolism, either. Rhetoric matters.

    The drug war imagery started by Nixon, subdued by Carter, then ratcheted up again in the Reagan administration (and remained basically level since) has had significant repercussions on the way drug policy is enforced, from policymakers on down to street-level cops. It’s war rhetoric that gave us the Pentagon giveaway program, where millions of pieces of surplus military equipment (such as tanks) have been transferred to local police departments. War imagery set the stage for the approximately 1,200 percent rise in the use of SWAT teams since the early 1980s, and has fostered the militaristic, “us vs. them” mentality too prevalent in too many police departments today.

    I’m sure Nick Gillespie will have a 30 minute video tying together the tea parties and how Obama’s drug czar is more of a fascist than Bill Bennett.

  75. 75
    TenguPhule says:

    So… when was the last time Anheuser-Busch fought a turf war with Coors? How many guys did the CEO of Lorillard have to have whacked to get where he is?

    Let them start marketing cocaine and heroin and we’ll soon find out.

    Does nobody remember the Opium Dens anymore?

  76. 76
    bago says:

    @TenguPhule: Not if the opium is any good.

  77. 77
    Shade Tail says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Let them start marketing cocaine and heroin and we’ll soon find out.

    Uh, what does that have to do with it? You said crime can’t be removed from something once it is already there. And yet, it was removed from the alcohol business pretty effectively.

  78. 78

    […] In Closing: Since it turns out that a little daydreaming and seeing things that are “cute” does good things for productivity, here’s news on a couple of Japan’s feline stationmasters (other than Tama-san of course); Cheerios is a drug?; financial literacy video games; medical tattoos; and at least ending use of the phrase “war on drugs.” […]

  79. 79
    Joey Giraud says:

    @ John Cole: Way right about Obama and slow change, with one addendum: Obama isn’t going to do the heavy lifting ( and he shouldn’t try. ) He’s going to make us make America change, which is how it should be. When we push hard enough, he will be there to help.

    At least socially.

    I might say it would be nice if guys like Greenwald could see your point, but then Greenwald serves an essential function too: beating up Obama from the left.

    The “just fix it!” whiners are typical Americans; spoiled and petulent.

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  1. […] In Closing: Since it turns out that a little daydreaming and seeing things that are “cute” does good things for productivity, here’s news on a couple of Japan’s feline stationmasters (other than Tama-san of course); Cheerios is a drug?; financial literacy video games; medical tattoos; and at least ending use of the phrase “war on drugs.” […]

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