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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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+15 Rank Up Rank Down
Oct 20, 2012
@EtherGnat

If you were a Democratic/Republican strategist which would concern you more? A vote lost to a third party or a vote lost to your rivals in the other main party?
 
 
-10 Rank Up Rank Down
Oct 20, 2012
I disagree a vote for a third party candidate isn't as effective. If you vote for Mitt Romney you're giving your tacit approval to a candidate who promises to fight medicinal marijuana tooth and nail, and you're likely to get more of the same. If you vote for a third candidate that actually espouses your views your vote will be significantly MORE effective. Sure, your candidate may have no hope of winning this time (although if more people did this third party candidates would be more effective), but that's not the only impact a vote has.

There are strategists within both the Democratic and Republican parties that see every third party vote as an opportunity lost. They are analyzing why people vote for those candidates, and how they can snatch that vote in the future. So if the parties are losing votes to the Libertarian Party because people are disgusted over marijuana issues, you can be damn sure it's more likely to gain traction within our two party system.

[No one, including me, is suggesting a vote for Romney is a smart way to get less Draconian drug policies. The issue at hand is President Obama jailing Americans for political gain. The issue is not marijuana per se. -- Scott]
 
 
Oct 20, 2012
@ReekRend

[Why won't you address third party candidates at all?

Most of us are obviously fans, particularly of your views/blog. Most of the comments seems to be on the same page of discussion, yet no matter how much the "other" candidates are brought up you seem determined to avoid them.]

He did address them in one of his early responses. Said giving a vote to a third party candidate was only half as effective as voting for Romney. You should read all of the back comments before making a statement like this. I know its a lot to go through but the alternative is to expect Scott to repeat himself to everyone who says the same thing, which is unreasonable.
 
 
Oct 20, 2012
Why won't you address third party candidates at all?

Most of us are obviously fans, particularly of your views/blog. Most of the comments seems to be on the same page of discussion, yet no matter how much the "other" candidates are brought up you seem determined to avoid them.
 
 
Oct 20, 2012
After seeing other comments, I have to ask you, Scott: have you considered the possibility Obama was simply lying in 2008 when he talked not spending federal resources on locking up medical marijuana distributors? I realize this is a strange objection, but if it's true, your argument becomes "Obama lied to us this once, so we should fire him. Romney is probably lying to us on a large number of issues, so we should elect him."*

You also mentioned Obama's past experience with drug use should let him know that marijuana isn't particularly harmful. My personal experience with (former) drug users is that this often isn't the case, and although I don't want to base my argument on my anecdotal evidence, I don't know of solid data on the topic, and if anecdotal evidence is all you have, it makes sense to go with that.

Am I missing something?

*I realize Obama's broken more promises and told more lies than just this one, but it's the one you're talking about.
 
 
Oct 20, 2012
[morphing into chaos would be terrible. scott claimed romney morphed into what the job required.]

Thats not essentially different from what I said. Define 'what the job requires'. Am I correct in interpretting this as meaning he plans to remain on target about nothing?
 
 
Oct 20, 2012
morphing into chaos would be terrible. scott claimed romney morphed into what the job required.

really a beautiful frame. like a lot of politicians promises, it sounds more concrete than it really is.

it lets listener decide what it means. then they can like him for the reasons that are important to them personally.

everyone wants prez to have what job requires. they can decide for themselves what that means.
 
 
Oct 20, 2012
[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.]

...Umm...am I hallucinating (or to put it into your terms failing the reading comprehension test) again? Or are you really saying here that a Romney presidency would be good because we have no idea what he'll be like as president? I grant you the point you made earlier that presidents are full of surprises but they've also remained on target on a lot of things (Obama gave us Obamacare; not that i admire him for this but Bush Jr gave us tax cuts; Reagan gave us a bigger defense budget, etc.). You seem to be saying we can expect Romney to remain on target about...nothing. Did I get that right? Am I the only one who sees that as a reason to NOT vote for him?
 
 
Oct 20, 2012
@Scott

Like you I also think national security justifies deception. But in my view there must be a clear objective (in line with country's interests) you are trying to get from current situation. Otherwise its not a situational strategic maneuver for case-by-case basis, its standard policy.

standard policy to lie means we cover up any and all wrongdoing by military. abu graib, rape, etc. We lie in general about everything, the list goes on and on...our military strength, our technology, etc. Thats too unbounded for my taste.

For me, benghazi is clear cut deception for purely political motives. our national interests are not furthered by saying it was an american film. this muddied the waters, it didnt achieve some mission objective. Its entirely subjective to say we look stronger by hiding fact it was 9/11/12, while shouting to the world an american filmmaker is dumping on your prophet.

can you say any clear objective we gained? and btw, do you advocate coverups of abu graib incidents?

we live in an open society, if we cant trust our enemies with the truth, we cant trust the public with the truth, because our public is and will be infiltrated. Thats a problem, because the public expects to have leaders level with them.

unless im mistaken, You are advocating unbounded deception on national security. Seems out of character for you.

My basis for situational lying is that its to limit murderous war. Seems like the wrong tool for interacting with the American public.
 
 
Oct 20, 2012
"there is a lot of reasons to think its NOT vid related. there is no reason to think YES it was. the obama admin lead that story around for a long time. why float that unfounded theory?"

It's not an unfounded theory. There were riots before and after that attack regarding the video. Now we might agree it's stupid to get so worked up over a video from some lone lunatic, but that doesn't change reality.
 
 
-13 Rank Up Rank Down
Oct 20, 2012
@language

There is no evidence of a "cover up". They said they were investigating. They investigated. They ultimately said it was terrorism. Now, did they have some evidence that maybe it was terrorism before that? Quite possibly. But I don't see the problem with waiting until you're sure for something like that, otherwise you run the risk of being the country that cried wolf. You look like an idiot if you cry terrorism and it ultimately turns out that's not the case.

So I ask again, what was the harm in two weeks of being ambiguous on whether it was a random group of murderers or an organized group of murderers? Was the investigation interfered with? Did it prevent actions that should have been taken?
 
 
Oct 20, 2012
Im only hung up on the word terrorism in relation to supplanting 'mohomed vid' theory.

i dont give a dam when they say its terrorism. the entire problem for me is the mohomed video theory.

in my mind, calling it terrorism represents being honest about the vid theory. calling it terrorism is not an end all by itself, its an honesty milestone.

terrorists dont respond to petty vids, they are outraged about much larger things. timeline of vid and timeline of day of attack do not coincide.

there is a lot of reasons to think its NOT vid related. there is no reason to think YES it was. the obama admin lead that story around for a long time. why float that unfounded theory? and why would you like to pretend that theory represents forbearance in fact-finding on obamas part? if anything it represents the opposite.

had the attack been committed by solyendra, i wouldnt secretly hope he would blame TERRORISM. in that case, the honesty milestone would be soleyndra.

you are the one hung up on the word. i was looking for a milestone. took him 2 weeks to hit it.
 
 
-14 Rank Up Rank Down
Oct 20, 2012
@language

There is no evidence of a "cover up". They said they were investigating. They investigated. They ultimately said it was terrorism. Now, did they have some evidence that maybe it was terrorism before that? Quite possibly. But I don't see the problem with waiting until you're sure for something like that, otherwise you run the risk of being the country that cried wolf. You look like an idiot if you cry terrorism and it ultimately turns out that's not the case.

So I ask again, what was the harm in two weeks of being ambiguous on whether it was a random group of murderers or an organized group of murderers? Was the investigation interfered with? Did it prevent actions that should have been taken?
 
 
Oct 20, 2012
"You've got a bigger problem, Mr. President... you just lost my vote!" -- Sidney Ellen Wade

Somehow, I think CA will still go for Obama even without your support, Scott.
 
 
Oct 20, 2012
ethergnat wrote:
Oh for the love of God, who cares what they called the Benghazi attack for two weeks? I'd rather have a President who calmly investigates an attack than somebody who starts shooting from the hip before they remotely have their facts right like Romney has done.

[Great job blaming Romney btw]

Why is it so freakin' important to go throwing around the word terrorism all the time? What is to be gained?
--------------------
its not about a specific word, its about truth. the subject matter is cause of attack. and i wasnt hankering for obama to do or say anything, just be honest.

i dont object to waiting to find the truth. is that what you call susan rice all over media saying this was backlash from the mohomed vid? 'calmly investigate' not 'shoot from hip as romney'?

who floated that idea in the first place? is there EVER any measurable or hard evidence to support this idea pushed by the obama admin for 2 weeks? no.

the executive branch has access to classified intelligence, they watched the benghazi attack in real time. Before obama said anything about benghazi, he certainly knew more than the public knows now.

he intentionally spread a lie. it has nothing to do with shooting from the hip, he knew.

i personally dont expect a POTUS to prevent our enemies from occasionally killing us. the task involves human opponents. 1 successful attack in 1 term doesnt seem that bad. the timing is bad for the election, but the !$%*!$%*!$%*! (multiple warnings intersecting with anniversary of 9/11) are really suspect. the admin looks idiotic in hindsight.

my biggest problem isnt the human deaths, its the intentional deception to cover up another 9/11 attack for political reasons.

its really amazing that you call what obama did investigating not shooting from the hip, and imply i was hounding him for updates. the ONLY hounding was incredulous reporters saying this cover story is bulls#$%.
 
 
Oct 20, 2012
@Scott

[Do I seem upset that people are disagreeing with me? I had a great week reading all of it. I genuinely enjoy it. And you are right that the dumb commenters are mostly on the Low Information Voter sites, not so much here. -- Scott]

Actually, yes, sometimes you did seem genuinely upset by our pro-Obama arguments, sometimes understandably, sometimes not. Glad to see you're not taking it all too seriously.
 
 
Oct 20, 2012
Oh for the love of God, who cares what they called the Benghazi attack for two weeks? I'd rather have a President who calmly investigates an attack than somebody who starts shooting from the hip before they remotely have their facts right like Romney has done.

Why is it so freakin' important to go throwing around the word terrorism all the time? What is to be gained?
 
 
Oct 19, 2012
@dingbat

maybe you could offer a nonpolitically motived alternate theory. i dont see one. if he was bending over for big pharma, that is bribery which is politics as usual; thats political reasons.

in my view the most cynically political thing Obama has done recently is the media response by the Obama administration on Benghazi.

the day after the fact Obama mentions "terror is bad"
2 weeks later he says the benghazi attack was terror related.
in between his first statement and his last, he had a different story, a story known by obama to be false, and known by the public to be nonsense.

when he takes exception to romney saying it took 2 weeks to get the story straight, i cant help but notice Obama NEVER called it a terror attack on sept 12.

if you are going to mislead the public for 2 weeks, i find it outrageous to quibble over a technicality. ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU ARE WRONG. Obama wants to argue technicalities concerning his misleading.

then on national tv crowley supports obamas claim that he called it a terror attack-technically false.

nobody can be this stupid. obama knows exactly what he is doing when he lies about technicalities, and the bigger issue, he knew what he was doing when he mislead the public for 2 weeks.

it just annoys me to see someone claim a technicality defense, which defense is itself technically untrue.

the next step of the Obama administration was to buy tv ads in pakistan where obama is basically apologizing to citizens of another country for our free speech laws, and again, his administration acts like Apologizing President is a misnomer. he brings this video to pakistanis attention (pissing them off), to buttress his narrative.

I dont think this is very relevant to the catastrophies facing america, but for me its undeniable proof about the attitudes obama has towards transparency and deception. I dont think its even very relevant to voters at this point. If you didnt already know Obama was a raging liar about transparency you are only kidding yourself.

benghazi is a politically motivated coverup. the political portion of the event didnt hurt any citizens directly, so not technically fire-able for scott, but this guy obama is not someone you wanna turn your back to. he will screw you over and lie about it, in fact, he will call it transparency when he releases his version of events.

[I give any President a pass for lying about international stuff if there's any plausible reason to believe it might help the country. If he lied to keep people from thinking the United States is run by lazy clowns, I don't object, even if the lie failed. -- Scott]
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Oct 19, 2012
Dingbat,
Obama flip flopped because it was good for employment numbers to prosecute.
He's willing to throw legit business people under the bus to maintain employment numbers and hence his election hopes.

(I fleshed out my belief a half dozen posts prior if you want more.)
 
 
+4 Rank Up Rank Down
Oct 19, 2012
We're getting closer! I have nearly self-assembled your new book, "Dilbert's book of logic". This is an excellent addition. It will probably be your only published work to consist of a print run of under 100 copies - with laser-printer-and-staple production values. It's for a good cause, though: helping teenagers engage in more productive political debates.

Anyway - I understand why flip-flop on enforcement disqualifies Obama in your mind. What I don't think you have adequately explained is why you think his actions are entirely political in nature. You can't think of any other motives? I'd need to be convinced that this was a big issue for swing voters for one - and that they'd even notice his actions in California.

Drug law enforcement is a pretty big social justice issue in general - and for good reason. A lot of kids at our local high school have landed in rehab for marijuana - after their parents discovered they were using/dealing -and became concerned. There are rarely legal consequences for these kids. If they do get caught - the parents can get them off easily. The same is not the case in high-poverty areas. Kids get harassed and arrested for doing exactly the same thing middle-class white kids do - but face far worse consequences. (OTHO, The justice department recently came down pretty hard on our local police for their behavior - and, after a lot of angry denial, seems to be prompting genuine reform.)

You may be right that there was no other motive other than a political one for going after dispensaries - but I haven't heard enough real evidence in support of that view. I can imagine a number motives that have to do with a broader view of drug enforcement policies in general. I don't know what the enforcement picture looks like in California - but I do know it is a complicated issue with far reaching implications in many different areas: environmental, political, legal, social, etc.

The fact that Obama said he would not waste resources on enforcement and then changed his mind is not enough evidence for me to concluded that his only motive was political. I'm not saying I'm certain you are wrong. I'm just saying - there could be a lot more to the story. Not enough data.

[If President Obama's actions were not political, it means he changed his mind for reasons he chooses not to explain to the American people. . . while he is locking some of us up. That's a firing offense too. -- Scott]
 
 
 
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