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Yesterday was a fascinating day for me. I wrote a little blog post earlier in the week in which I said President Obama should be fired for putting resources behind medical marijuana prosecutions in California. And then the Internet puked on my shoes. (See my post below for all of the fun.)

It seems some clarifications are in order.

Sorry I Confused Some of You

You can see from the many comments on this blog, and on the other Internet sites that linked to it, that people had very different interpretations of what I wrote. The people with good reading comprehension correctly understood my point: Jailing an American citizen for no reason other than political gain is a firing offense.

The people with bad reading comprehension, and the people who saw nothing but the confused summaries and tweets from those people, interpreted my argument as saying Romney is likely to be softer on drugs than Obama. And based on that misunderstanding, people concluded that my endorsement of Romney was the stupidest opinion in the galaxy. They'd be right if that had been my reasoning.

The fascinating thing here is that I believe the source of confusion is that people literally don't recognize objectivity when they see it. I got a lot of comments along the lines of "You say X is true and then in the same paragraph you say Y." What I actually said is "X is likely to be true, but here's an argument for Y." That's how objective people talk. They make a prediction and then explain why it might be wrong. That's the only way you know all sides have been considered. Partisans and non-thinkers say, "My prediction is 100% certain."

If I were to say the weather in California is good, but today it is cold and foggy, about 20% of readers would say, "Make up your mind! First you say the weather is good and then you say it is cold and foggy! You make no sense!"

Bad Analogy People


The people who aren't good with analogies waded in next, pointing out that President Obama killed U.S. citizens abroad because those citizens were part of a terrorist organization bent on the destruction of the United States. While that situation is worthy of discussion, it misses the central point of my post. There's a big difference between protecting the country and expecting some political gain from doing so versus jailing a small businessman in California for political gain while not even pretending it benefits the country. I expect my president to do some nasty stuff in my best interest. I don't expect him to do nasty stuff to citizens for no reason other than his own reelection interests. The latter is a firing offense.

The Law is the Law

The next thing that fascinated me is the number of people who said President Obama is obligated to pursue legal action against medical marijuana dispensaries in California because the law is the law and we can't have our leaders picking and choosing which ones they support.

To the people who hold that view, I wonder what country you have been living in. In the real world, legal resources are always limited, and leaders at every level of the legal system make choices every day about what is important enough to pursue and what is not.

As I write this, every police chief in every district is looking at his resources, looking at all the work his office is charged with doing, and deciding that something on the order of 50% of what the legal code asks him to do is simply impractical. So he focuses his resources on the 50% that are his highest priorities.

While the law is the law, the more important fact is that the budget is the budget. We elect our leaders to set priorities and act accordingly. The point of my post is that President Obama is using the country's limited resources to shut California dispensaries - possibly the country's lowest priority - for no reason other than political gain. In the process, he's putting a small businessman in jail for 10 years to life. That's a firing offense.

On my side of this debate is a Harvard-trained lawyer by the name of President Obama. During his first campaign for president he promised he wouldn't waste limited government resources pursuing medical marijuana cases. I'm not a Harvard-trained lawyer so I will take his word for it that a president can choose to ignore low-priority prosecutions without violating his oath.

The President Doesn't Personally Put People in Jail

Some commenters mocked me by arguing that the President doesn't control federal law enforcement at the granular level. You can't blame him for every decision made in the field. He's not personally slapping handcuffs on perps. True enough. But in the case of California dispensaries, he authorized the flip-flop in policy from ignoring the situation to going after them. Holding him innocent from the logical repercussions of his policy is like saying history should cut some slack for Pol Pot because he didn't personally kill anyone.

The Lesser Evil Argument

Supporters of President Obama argue that firing the President FOR ANY REASON means accepting a devastating alternative in a Romney presidency. While I applaud the complete dismissal of morality in the interest of practicality, let's take a minute to see if the practicality argument is so cut and dried.

My observation is that voters often - perhaps usually - don't get what they think they voted for. Nixon surprised everyone by getting cuddly with China. Bush Junior turned from isolationist to military adventurer. Obama went from weed-friendly to badass destroyer of state-approved dispensaries. Some fiscal conservatives have blown up the budget while some free-spending Democrats balanced it. If you think you can predict how a candidate will act in office, you might need a history lesson, or perhaps a booster shot of humility.

Now consider Mitt Romney, the most famous chameleon of all time. I submit that a hypothetical Romney presidency would be nearly impossible to predict with any accuracy. In each of his past leadership roles he has morphed into whatever the job required. During the primaries, his job required him to be far right. In the general election we see him drift toward the center, or as his advisor famously said, "Shake the Etch-a-Sketch." It would be naïve to assume Romney wouldn't shake it again once elected, given that even non-chameleon presidents do so.

Romney knows that the electorate is full of idiots and he needs to be a gigantic liar to win their votes. I totally get that. The funniest part is his budget plan that he promises to describe in detail after he gets elected. Dumb people see this as "He has an awesome fiscal plan!" Democrats see it as "He's a liar with no plan!" I see it as "You know I'm a brilliant and experienced turnaround guy. I know how to do this sort of thing. And if I give details now it just paints a target on my back. So chill."

In any event, Congress will be the ones who decide on the next budget. It will probably look similar no matter who gets elected. I don't believe, for example, that a Romney budget would overfund the military. Congress would moderate that, and Romney probably doesn't mean it anyway. Remember, his job today is to lie to get elected. His job once elected is quite different.

I also have no faith in my ability - or yours - to compare Obamacare (essentially a Romney plan) to how healthcare might change under a Romney administration. If you think you know the answer to that question, you're kidding yourself.

Some Democrats say the biggest risk in a Romney presidency involves Supreme Court nominees. But I think we saw after the unexpected opinion from Justice Roberts on the Obamacare ruling that the court has a built-in safety net against being too blatantly partisan and destroying its own credibility in the process.  I think the risk of a conservative-heavy Supreme Court ruining the country by adhering too slavishly (irony!) to the Constitution is low. You might not like some of their rulings, but they probably won't kill you. And if we are being objective, a court with too many lefties would have its own risks.

You're Endorsing Romney to Cut Your Rich Guy Taxes, Bastard!

Some folks suspect that I'm a weasel-bastard who is using the California dispensary issue as a smokescreen for bobbing to the right so I can save on taxes under a Romney administration. There's no defense against an accusation that I have secret motives, but let me describe the economics as I see them.

Over my career, my net worth has moved in lockstep with the overall economy. So whatever plan is good for the entire country is probably the one that helps me most, no matter what my tax rate is. And realistically, given a choice between taxing the rich, including myself, versus taxing people with no money, I don't see a choice. Even Romney knows we can't grow our way out of the problem. He's not an idiot; he's just a guy who needs idiots to vote for him.

So no, I don't see a scenario in which someday I am flying my diamond-encrusted helicopter over the rioting masses of starvation-crazed ex-middle-classers and thinking to myself that things worked out well for me. I don't see the option of living the good life at the expense of the 99%. That's not even a thing. I stopped working to satisfy my personal cravings years ago. Everything I produce and everything I earn these days is for the benefit of others. So I don't mind higher taxes on the rich if it makes sense for the country. With the exception of M.C. Hammer, the rich get richer no matter what the tax rates are. I'm afraid that won't change regardless of who gets elected.


Update:

Where's your evidence that President Obama is enforcing drug laws in California for political reasons alone?

What other reason is there? And remember that your answer has to account for the fact that President Obama has never bothered to explain his unexpected change of policy. Nor has anyone in his administration explained it.

I think it is fair to say President Obama didn't learn anything new about the dangers of medical marijuana in California that he didn't know before he got elected. If he did receive new information, he could simply point it out to defend his change of policy.

Californians voted to legalize medical marijuana dispensaries after considering all factors from freedom to health and safety to economics. Our prior governor, Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, signed a law decriminalizing possession of small quantities of marijuana with a classic summary: "No one cares if you smoke a joint." (It's funnier when you imagine it in Arnold's accent.)

The medical marijuana dispensaries have now operated long enough that we can see their impact.  So far, it seems that dispensaries raise tax revenues, reduce crime in their neighborhoods, and help a lot of patients find relief. Dispensaries also keep their customers away from shady dealers who might offer more harmful drugs. The dispensaries probably have no appreciable impact on supply. Illegal marijuana is easy to obtain just about anywhere.

The trend toward full legalization of medical marijuana is accelerating all over the country for the same reasons that swayed Californians. I see no reason the trend will reverse. Does it make sense to send someone to jail for a crime that will likely become a non-crime during the jail term? What kind of leader devotes resources to that?

Have you ever met someone who smoked a lot of marijuana, as President Obama did when living in Hawaii, while simultaneously holding the view that the people who sold it to him should go to jail? I don't know the exact answer to my own question, but I'm guessing the number is near zero.

Now let me confuse the readers coming over from Daily Kos, Huffington Post, Gawker, Mediaite.com, and some of the other Low Information Voter sites. I'm going to display something called "objectivity." It involves discussing the odds that I might be wrong. It does not mean I just changed my mind. It means I'm attempting to consider all sides. Here goes. . .

There is some chance - I think a very small one - that President Obama has a non-political reason for cracking down on California's medical marijuana dispensaries, although I can't even imagine what reason a liberal  ex-stoner  with a budget problem might offer. If he chooses to tell the public his reasons, I will happily reassess my opinion. But keep in mind that one of my neighbors down south is about to go to jail for ten years to life because of President Obama's decision to devote limited Federal resources to prosecuting dispensaries. When a president doesn't offer reasons for jailing Americans, you have to call that a firing offense. (Saying he is following the law isn't a reason. Federal resources are limited and citizens expect their leaders to ignore low priorities.)

In summary, if President Obama is devoting limited federal resources to go after marijuana dispensaries for no reasons other than political gain, including, for example, attracting campaign funding, he should be fired. If he has a reason for jailing a small businessman, and he chooses not to share it, that too is a firing offense.

Why do you keep ignoring third-party candidates?

The best way to fire an incumbent president who is running for reelection is to vote for the only candidate with a realistic chance of beating him. If a voter switches from Obama to Romney it causes a two vote difference: one less vote to Obama and one more for Romney. Moving one vote from President Obama to a third party candidate is a one vote difference in the competition between President Obama and Romney.

And frankly it makes a stronger statement to endorse Romney since I disagree with most of his stated policies. It underlines the difference in importance between a true firing offense and policies you believe would be less desirable than the alternatives.

If my endorsement carried any weight whatsoever, I'd consider backing a third-party candidate. But no one will change opinions based on what I blog about. So I have the freedom to write whatever has the most entertainment value for me, with the hope you'll enjoy the show too.

You're crazy when you say a good reason to believe Romney won't be a disaster as president is that he's lying about what he would do in office.

I'm betting that a chameleon will stay a chameleon. That's his history. He adapts to whatever situation he's in. The alternative is to believe a candidate for President will do all the things he promises during the campaign. How has that worked out for you?

Update 2:


Single issue voting is stupid

I agree. One must always look at the big picture. That's why I'm glad O.J. Simpson got acquitted of criminal charges for allegedly murdering his ex-wife. He only had one bad day. You also have to consider his football records.

When Bill Clinton said, "It's the economy, stupid," I took that to mean the economy is just one issue among many. I don't know how else to interpret that.

I also think Nixon got a bum deal with that Watergate thing. That was just one mistake.

If President Obama decides to give our nuclear codes to Iran, let's agree to count that as one mistake that should be weighed against all of his good work. For example, there's the time he recycled, and the time he could have lied but didn't. So that's two good things versus one bad thing.

[sarcasm off]

WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU???!!! OF COURSE ONE ISSUE VOTING MAKES SENSE IF THE ISSUE IS BIG ENOUGH!

I think we're all on the same page now. So let's focus on whether the one issue I raised in my offending blog post - that President Obama is effectively sending a guy to prison for no reason other than political gain - and see if that crosses the line for you. Do you want to live in a world where your President can incarcerate citizens for no reason beyond political gain?

Now you might say President Obama is just doing what the law requires when he puts resources behind closing marijuana dispensaries. I dismissed that argument above. (Summary: We expect our leaders to focus their limited resources on high priorities. To willfully do otherwise for political gain, and put people in jail in the process, has to be a firing offense in a free country.)

If you think the one issue I'm talking about is drug policies, and you believe both candidates will have similar policies, then of course that one issue should not sway your decision. But that isn't the one issue I'm focusing on.

My one issue involves President Obama jailing a citizen for naked political gain. You can argue whether my facts and assumptions are correct, but I don't think you can dismiss it as just one issue among many. Jailing a citizen for no reason other than political gain has to be a firing offense. I'd like to believe every citizen agrees on that point.




 
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Oct 22, 2012
To sum up:

1. I agree that President Obama's actions have resulted in the persecution of a citizen.
2. I agree that that citizen has done nothing wrong to deserve that persecution.
3. I agree that this persecution is contrary to the president's stated and practiced ideals.
4. I agree that these actions were probably taken for political reasons
5. I agree that these actions are morally wrong in and of themselves

However,

1. I disagree that all sane individuals will consider these actions to be morally wrong
2. I disagree that there is not clear public demand for this action
3. I disagree that being a lying heartless weasel disqualifies a person for President
4. I disagree that 'political motivation' is a bad reason for a politician to do things
5. I disagree that people vote with their conscience on a regular basis

I know people will not agree with me, but because these things are my own personal opinions, that is fine.

 
 
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Oct 22, 2012
@Marknaught

Heres what Obama said:

"What I specifically said was that we were not going to prioritize prosecutions of persons who are using medical marijuana. I never made a commitment that somehow we were going to give carte blanche to large-scale producers and operators of marijuana – and the reason is, because it's against federal law. I can't nullify congressional law."

"I can't ask the Justice Department to say, 'Ignore completely a federal law that's on the books.' What I can say is, 'Use your prosecutorial discretion and properly prioritize your resources to go after things that are really doing folks damage.' As a consequence, there haven't been prosecutions of users of marijuana for medical purposes."

As you can see its pretty vague. But as Dilgal pointed out the situation reached the 'doing folks damage' point so I think we can say criteria 4 (The decision is contrary to Obama's stated position.) fails yes?
 
 
Oct 22, 2012
Scott -

I agree that jailing someone purely for political gain is a fireable offense, but I haven't seen any information, other than your post, telling me that this situation qualifies. Perhaps you could provide a URL?

I would need to be convinced that:
1) The decision was made by Obama.
2) The basis for the decision was political gain.
3) Obama knew one or more people would likely be jailed due to that decision who would not have been jailed otherwise.
4) The decision is contrary to Obama's stated position.

For the sake of argument, let's assume I'm not an idiot. I know there's no proof. I want to see where the evidence leads. I've seen too many conspiracy theories where the conclusion is supported mostly by "What else could it be?" I'm not saying you took that route - I'm telling you I don't have enough information to support the charge that Obama knowingly caused someone to be jailed purely for political gain.
 
 
Oct 22, 2012
Wait - I just found a resolution to your two seemingly contradictory statements that form the basis of your argument that:

1. Liberals will not abandon Obama for jailing an innocent citizen, which will allow him to do so for political gain
2. All citizens will consider jailing a citizen for political gain a firing offence.

By your reasoning, liberals are not citizens.

This I think fits under the 'no true scotsman' fallacy.

 
 
Oct 22, 2012
[Jailing a citizen over nothing important doesn't seem outrageous to you? Whatever meds you're on are working great. -- Scott]

uhmdown just gave my response to this one, but I would like to add that poor resource management may be bad but its not a firing offense.
 
 
Oct 22, 2012
[My complaint is not about hypocritical behavior. I never used the word. My complaint is that his politically motivated actions are sending a California small businessman to prison. -- Scott]

Sorry I just realized my response to this was unclear. Allow me to rephrase.

But as part of your point you are saying that he has been for medical marijuana all along and has flip-flopped without saying anything on the matter. Well, wrong, he has said something!
 
 
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Oct 22, 2012
[4-The guy you're referring to who got sent to jail may or may not have been harmless but he knew he was risking prison by breaking federal law. There has also been some suggestion that he could have avoided jail if he had made a deal and chose to go to jail instead as a political protest. Again, this may or may not be good but 'firing offense'….]
[Irrelevant to my point. -- Scott]


I'm going to join whtllnew on this.
If you were to agree that the man broke the law, then the political gain aspect falls apart, because the statement "Obama gained politically from jailing a man for breaking the law" makes zero sense. You _must_ already be aware of this; thats why you brought into play the limited-resources argument; thats what gives the statement above meaning.
But then, thats what the firing offense actually boils down to: poor resource management, not the reason behind jailing the man (breaking the law, political gain, whatever).

 
 
Oct 22, 2012
[As noted by just about everyone who commented, liberals aren't going to abandon President Obama over this one issue. So he has nothing to lose from his base, and at the same time he can bolster his tough-on-crime credentials to take that issue off the table for Republicans. We also have to assume that some of his campaign funds come from groups that have an interest, such as pharmaceutical companies that don't want an alternative to their products out there. You also have to consider that some unions (police, etc.) are more likely to support the tough-on-drugs candidate. -- Scott]

That's the whole fallacy in your arguement. There are many self-described liberals who don't care that this Obama is abandoning their ideals so he can win over some people that they are ideologically opposed to. Effectively, they have given the President a clear directive to 'do whatever it takes to get elected'. Their complicity in this persecution says more about their values than it does about the president's.

If the president were to do something that they were actually opposed to - like say cutting taxes on the rich - then he might lose votes, but it would be incorrect to say it was politically motived, it would be more correct to say it was stupid.

What I am saying is that when you say 'liberals aren't going to abandon President Obama over this one issue', what you are actually saying is that 'liberals don't care about this one issue at all'. Which contradicts 'Jailing a citizen for no reason other than political gain has to be a firing offense. I'd like to believe every citizen agrees on that point'.

These two statements are clearly contradictory, but they form the basis of your argument.
 
 
Oct 22, 2012
You know, I'm reading this, and I can't believe out of all the things the current President has done to this country, this stupid inconsequential story of some medical marijuana seller is what turns Scott Adams against Obama. When I first read this I thought Scott was referring to Nakoula Basseley, the guy who made the 'Innocence Of Muslims' movie that Obama and his people lied about causing the 9/11/12 embassy attack, who was arrested supposedly for a parole violation but clearly for Obama's political gain. This Aaron Sandusky medical marijuana guy isn't on anybody's radar except apparently for Scott Adams and potheads.
 
 
Oct 22, 2012
[4-The guy you're referring to who got sent to jail may or may not have been harmless but he knew he was risking prison by breaking federal law. There has also been some suggestion that he could have avoided jail if he had made a deal and chose to go to jail instead as a political protest. Again, this may or may not be good but 'firing offense'….]

[Irrelevant to my point. -- Scott]

Is it? Is it not a major part of your point that its outrageous that this guy is in jail? What Im saying is that it might be WRONG but its not OUTRAGEOUS.

[Jailing a citizen over nothing important doesn't seem outrageous to you? Whatever meds you're on are working great. -- Scott]
 
 
Oct 22, 2012
I feel like I'm saying the same things, but as I haven't gotten any real response I'll continue to rephrase.

I think Scott thinks that most Americans are with him in feeling outraged at this action. That the President of the United States would persecute an innocent man even though the President has nothing personal against this man's actions, and can provide no scientific reason worthy of persecution. He then calls this persecution 'politically motivated'.

I think this is contradictory reasoning. If most people would be opposed to it, then it makes no sense that it would be 'politically motivated', because this is like cheating on an exam by copying off the dumbest kid in the class.

On the other hand, if most people approve of the persecution, it cannot be a firing offence because the President is merely doing what the people want. Indicting a politician for doing a politically motivated terrible thing is really an indictment of the people who asked him to do that terrible thing.

This is the argument that Scott has not commented on, because rather than come up with counterpoints, I am directly questioning the logic of his argument. You can fire a politician because he is corrupt, or incompetent, or lazy, or stupid, or any number of good reasons. You cannot logically fire a politician for being 'politically motivated'.

So Scott, you are right to fire President Obama for doing a terrible thing to an innocent man, but the fact that it was politically motivated is irrelevant.

[As noted by just about everyone who commented, liberals aren't going to abandon President Obama over this one issue. So he has nothing to lose from his base, and at the same time he can bolster his tough-on-crime credentials to take that issue off the table for Republicans. We also have to assume that some of his campaign funds come from groups that have an interest, such as pharmaceutical companies that don't want an alternative to their products out there. You also have to consider that some unions (police, etc.) are more likely to support the tough-on-drugs candidate. -- Scott]
 
 
Oct 22, 2012
[They didn't give a reason for President Obama's CHANGE of position. It's the change of position when no data has changed that signals a politically motivated decision. They just trotted out a bunch of generic bureaucrat-speak that even Governor Romney wouldn't endorse. Romney's objection to medical marijuana, according to the video of him answering a question on this topic, is the unproven gateway drug effect. And his own VP doesn't even buy that argument because the science isn't compelling. -- Scott]

Okay, I have to call you on this. Politically motivated actions come from the opinion of political experts, not scientific experts.

Lets assume that President Obama was politically motivated in this (a pretty safe assumption for all politicians), and lets assume that President Obama is neither stupid nor crazy - so he must have some rational reason to believe that this action will help him politically.

Now you claim to value rationalism in your politicians, and the willingness that Mitt Romney has shown to change his opinions from time to time is a very good reason to assume that Romney is a rational person.

But here is the dillemma of politics. If a politician is faced with a decision he has to look at the evidence. What if the science tells him to do one thing, the public opinion tells him to do another thing, and his conscience tells him to do a third thing? Any of those three choices can be considered rational, but only one of them will let him keep his job.
 
 
Oct 22, 2012
[It doesn't matter who asked. The federal government doesn't work for the counties. I'm pretty sure the constitution is clear on that point. -- Scott]

...But if the counties ask them to enforce a federal law and have something resembling a good reason for it can you really blame the feds for doing it?

[You act as if there's a dictionary definition of what constitutes a firing offense. I can imagine quite a few totally legal things he could do that would be firing offenses. The legality of his actions is totally irrelevant to my point. -- Scott]

If we can't define what is and is not a firing offense then what are we arguing about here? I have a problem with telling a President that enforcing a law is a firing offense. Also I interpret your point here as 'He REALLY should have known better than to enforce this law'. Why should he?

[My complaint is not about hypocritical behavior. I never used the word. My complaint is that his politically motivated actions are sending a California small businessman to prison. -- Scott]

...But as part of your point you are saying that he has been for medical marijuana all along and has flip-flopped without saying anything on the matter. Well, wrong, he has!

[They didn't give a reason for President Obama's CHANGE of position. It's the change of position when no data has changed that signals a politically motivated decision. They just trotted out a bunch of generic bureaucrat-speak that even Governor Romney wouldn't endorse. Romney's objection to medical marijuana, according to the video of him answering a question on this topic, is the unproven gateway drug effect. And his own VP doesn't even buy that argument because the science isn't compelling. -- Scott]

So now you're changing the rules. Before, a reason, even one you didn't believe, would have been good enough for you. Now you insist they be able to point to some change in data that changed their mind. Okay.
 
 
Oct 22, 2012
WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU! lol, love it! I think the Romney endorsement is on faith of his political nature... Whatever a politician says they will do the complete opposite lol...

--
As one points out that dispensaries are a problem in say LA... well that's the nature of the beast (the city not the cannabis). Walgreens & corner markets have just as many problems in such areas. It's the culture of the citizens in problem areas that is the real problem.
--
Gateway drug eh? Hmm, I guess you can say everyone who rides a motorcycle has rode a bicycle... but can you say that everyone who rides a bike will ride a motorcycle? Fuzzy logic sounds good as rhetoric but doesn't make much sense with someone that has more than a handful of operable neurons.
 
 
Oct 22, 2012
[I haven't seen any objections I didn't already address in the post. -- Scott]

Okay. Here are some of the good objections that you would seem to have skipped over.

1-A couple of commenters have pointed out that the feds didn't just decide to go after the dispensaries. They were asked to by the counties because the dispensaries were causing problems. And I reframed Dingbat's post on the matter as a direct answer to your basic requests with the only thing missing being the administration actually saying that was what happened. And to an early post you made equating this to being asked to kill someone I pointed out in another post that theres a big difference between one person asking another to break the law and a county government asking the feds to enforce it.

[It doesn't matter who asked. The federal government doesn't work for the counties. I'm pretty sure the constitution is clear on that point. -- Scott]

2-What Nixon and maybe Reagan did were firing offenses because they broke the law. Choosing to enforce a law may or may not be bad but it isn't a firing offense.

[You act as if there's a dictionary definition of what constitutes a firing offense. I can imagine quite a few totally legal things he could do that would be firing offenses. The legality of his actions is totally irrelevant to my point. -- Scott]

3-Obama isn't quite the hypocrite you make him out to be. He has gone on record saying he wouldn't stop the Justice Department from enforcing the drug laws

[My complaint is not about hypocritical behavior. I never used the word. My complaint is that his politically motivated actions are sending a California small businessman to prison. -- Scott]

4-The guy you're referring to who got sent to jail may or may not have been harmless but he knew he was risking prison by breaking federal law. There has also been some suggestion that he could have avoided jail if he had made a deal and chose to go to jail instead as a political protest. Again, this may or may not be good but 'firing offense'….

[Irrelevant to my point. -- Scott]

5-The Feds have given reasons for their actions. And as Dilgal pointed out they're not contradictory but supplemental. And in any case didn't you say that you'd consider that enough even if you didn't believe them?

[They didn't give a reason for President Obama's CHANGE of position. It's the change of position when no data has changed that signals a politically motivated decision. They just trotted out a bunch of generic bureaucrat-speak that even Governor Romney wouldn't endorse. Romney's objection to medical marijuana, according to the video of him answering a question on this topic, is the unproven gateway drug effect. And his own VP doesn't even buy that argument because the science isn't compelling. -- Scott]

And those are just the objections I found on one pass-through of the 'interesting day' blog that I found to be worthy of rebuttal and couldnt find a rebuttal for. I may have more reasons later from another pass-through or from the 'Firing Offense' blog.
 
 
Oct 22, 2012
I've posted enough against Scott's view, so I'll try to post one in support of it - but I have to reframe it. First to set this up.

When a politician does something contrary to their ideals for the sake of political gain, then by definition it is because he thinks that that is what the public wants. If he doesn't think the public wants it then it cannot be for political gain.

But politicians can get it wrong. When a politician does something that he thinks the public wants - but they don't - as Scott is arguing - it is up to the public to tell them in no uncertain terms that the politician is wrong, this is not what we want. And since that politician has proven himself as out of touch with what the public wants, he is unfit to represent them and therefore should be fired.

But what Scott is also argueing is that there are some cases - such as this one - that the President is so completely wrong about what the public wants on an issue that even if he is right most of the time, this fundamental error is worthy out outright firing. Like the employee that does good work but gets caught stealing, one big error cannot be covered by any amount of 'attaboys'.

So the real question is this: "What do Americans really want?" Obama thinks that Americans wanted this guy thrown in jail. Scott thinks he's wrong. The decision in yours.

 
 
Oct 22, 2012
[So if the President decides to jail your neighbor to help his reelection campaign, you'd be okay with that so long as he did good work on the other issues? -- Scott]

That probably depends on whether I like my neighbor or not :P. I'm kidding on this one, but I think you'll find that there is a much greater tolerance for injustice than you seem to perceive.

The fact that injustice for political gain is even an issue implies that there is a non-trivial portion of the voting public that approves and even demands injustice. A politician who would sell his soul for votes is only possible when there is a real public demand for politicians without souls.
 
 
Oct 22, 2012
...And now that I think of it no, I don't see the statement in question as a clear statement that the feds have no evidence that dispensaries pose a danger. I take it as a semi-clear statement that if the feds see such evidence they will go after them.
 
 
Oct 22, 2012
[Jailing a citizen for no reason other than political gain has to be a firing offense. I'd like to believe every citizen agrees on that point]

You would like to believe that, but you would be wrong. Lets take something a little closer to home. As I understand it California Superior Court judges are elected right? So lets say a judge is faced witha case of a person who's crime and guilt are undeniable, but the !$%*!$%*!$%*! of the crime are such that it would be a gross violation of justice to give the guilty person the maximum sentence.

But this judge also knows that he is up for re-election, and that the court of public opinion has been very harsh on this person. If he gives this person a light sentence - as justice demands - he is likely to get railroaded for being 'soft on crime' If the judge gives the maximum sentence, then it is by this criteria for no other reason than political gain. Is this a firing offence? Morality says yes. Reality says no. In reality NOT jailing a person for political gain is the firing offence.
 
 
Oct 22, 2012
[Look at the Deputy Attorney General's quote: "We're going to take a look at whether or not there are dangers to the community from the sale of marijuana and we're going to go after those dangers." That is a clear statement that the feds have no evidence that medical marijuana dispensaries pose a danger, and also a clear statement that the feds have discretion over whether or not they should "go after" anyone. Can I rest my case now? -- Scott]

Not until you answer the other really good objections raised that you haven't answered yet. If you want me to repeat/go over them for you I will.

[I haven't seen any objections I didn't already address in the post. -- Scott]
 
 
 
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