Make GOP End the Drug War

Let’s assume that the New York Times was right this week when it asserted that in 2013, “the only issue that truly unites Republicans is a commitment to shrinking the federal government.” Even though there’s ample evidence that the GOP doesn’t actually want to shrink the government, let’s nonetheless assume that Republicans are trying to rhetorically brand themselves to the concept of small government, past votes be damned. And let’s assume that gerrymandering means the GOP will control at least one house of congress for the remainder of the Obama presidency.

Does that, then, mean the next four years will automatically be mired in stalemate? Not necessarily, if Democrats call Republicans’ bluff and use the GOP’s small government argument for progressive ends. Indeed, with House Speaker John Boehner showing a penchant for violating the so-called Hastert Rule and allowing transpartisan bills to pass, the “small government” argument could be a perfect instrument for congressional Democrats to pick off just enough Republican votes to pass meaningful legislation in five key areas:

1. Ending – or at least limiting – the Drug War: To know the Drug War has been a disastrous failure at the policy level, take 10 seconds and look at this animated graph. And it hasn’t just been any run-of-the-mill policy failure involving unjust incarcerations, negative health consequences and little success in combating drug addiction – it’s also been an extremely expensive Huge Government boondoggle. Yes, depending on how you count it, government has spent somewhere between $1 trillion and $1.5 trillion on the Drug War over the last 40 years. According to the conservative Reason magazine, the Drug War now costs about $120 billion a year in direct expenditures. With Republicans showing a willingness to at least entertain questions about America’s existing drug policy, the “small government” argument could be the key to ending America’s longest war.

– Read the entire article at Salon.

Comments

10 Comments

  1. OldGuy on

    You act as if it is just conservatives that are destroying this country. Do you really think that Obama got all those millions of dollar donations for re-election from individuals? Corporations, that have no interest in your freedom or well being, made those donations. The same with Rhomney and his ilk. Pelosi and Bohner are both crooks and hypocrites. Washington is the problem and personal choice without criminal penalties will never exist until we stop them from playing us like the fools that we prove we are everyday.

    Both sides of the 2 party system want to control you and your choices and will take away anything in order to do that. I have not seen either party enact legislation that is strictly for the good of the people. Everything that is done in Washington has an agenda and it has nothing to do with making us free and happy. Almost everything you do everyday is potentially illegal and very easily could be regulated and your freedom taken away if it suits the jerks in power.

    As examples:
    last I checked it was not the GOP that wanted to regulate the size of a sode in NY, talk about limiting personal freedom. Yet GOP continues to support cigarette smoking which is worse. The GOP wants to force their morals and religion down your throat at every turn. Yet the Demos want to regulate your right to freedom of religion by making it against the law to dare to express that freedom in public. Liberals are criminalizing children that munch a poptart into the shape of a gun (OMFG give it a rest). Conservatives refuse to even discuss regulations on guns because the government can’t manage the laws it currently has on the books, thereby leaving gapping loopholes that criminals exploit. Oh and Holder and “fast and furious” was via the liberals mis-management of the operation. Its all a bunch of crap.

  2. Menace on

    GOP WILL TAKE THE SENATE NEXT YEAR AND KEEP THE HOUSE.
    F OFF REID AND PELOISI

  3. Anonymous on

    The GOP is already dead.

    As time goes on and the old guard passes away so will many flawed traditional notions on various topics.

    Most likely we will just see the GOP exist at the local legislative level in ultra conservative pockets of America.

    Now will the GOP let this happen or will it move itself more center and into the libertarian arena so as to keep some of it’s ideology while appealing to the modern citizen.

    The later is much more likely.

    Will be good to see :). Many terrible things our children will have to inherit but hopefully not flawed and erroneous notions.

  4. Mrs. Ratsrectum on

    Then again, can the party that gets credit for legalization get the Libertarians and libertarian Republicans to join the Democratic Party instead of only voting cross party?

    Where are you Steve Erkels on this?

  5. Mrs. Ratsrectum on

    There are some GOP members of Congress who support legalization, however the Republicans who wield the power such as Boehner, McConnell, McCain, Graham, Ryan and the like avoid supporting legalization like the plague. And what’s up with Rand Paul? The best he can do is come out in support of industrial hemp?

    Maybe if Rush Limbaugh gets on their ass you might see the GOP getting back some of their popularity. I’ve met countless Libertarians in the Libertarian Party and countless Libertarians who are registered as Republicans because they want their votes to count toward major candidates who can actually win elections, and when they complain about reducing the size of government and getting government out of the way, it’s often code for legalizing marijuana. Sure, they want a flat tax, lower taxes, less red tape, especially the ones who are running small businesses and can’t yet afford to hire someone to deal with the payroll and tax items and are trying to do it themselves till they get that big. By far, most of the rank and file Libertarians I’ve met are pot smokers, and government being the problem is their code. It’s their dog whistle.

    Well, Rush, Mr. Oxycontin? Legalize. People who went with the Democrats because it looked like they would legalize weed sooner than the Republicans no longer have a reason to side with the Left and coming running back to the Republican Party in droves. Out of touch. Getting back in touch is getting voters back.

    Bill O’Reilly? Legalize.

    These are the two biggies of the morale outrage media. They’re the so-called opinion makers of the mindless automatons who blithely believe just about everything they say and parrot it ad nauseum. If Rush and Bill say legalize, even if they’re morally outraged but realize it’s a TINA (there is no alternative) because they admit the war on weed is a failure, then it’s likely to happen a lot sooner.

    I doubt it though. You know that old adage about teaching an old dog new tricks.

  6. Anonymous UK on

    This is not a party issue. It is one of those things that crosses all parties – once you get far enough in politics ideals mean nothing you have to yield to the powers that be or end your career (or worse). Cannabis and it’s impact on the wider society and industry is one of these issues. They will all change when they have to but It will not be public opinion that turns them but public opinion is overwhelming those who really run things and they probably see the writing on the wall – so keep going !

  7. Anonymous on

    I think this article is politically biased. There are Libertarian minded Republicans who would like to end the drug war just as there are Libertarian Democrats who want to do the same. Don’t act like there are no Democrats who want to keep the drug war going on so the CIA can continue to profit overseas.

  8. Anonymous on

    Spaek English much?

  9. Menace on

    this Drug War

  10. Anonymous on

    End the grand ol party! Bring it down, let the rabid dog it is. Destory it and its evil plans.