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"Politically feasible"? Sounds like "weasel"

And that's for a reason. In the course of commending Jim Webb for taking a sane stand against the prison-industrial complex, Glenn Greenwald writes (and also quotes from an interview he did with Jay Rosen):

Webb's actions here underscore a broader point. Our political class has trained so many citizens not only to tolerate, but to endorse, cowardly behavior on the part of their political leaders. When politicians take bad positions, ones that are opposed by large numbers of their supporters, it is not only the politicians, but also huge numbers of their supporters, who step forward to offer excuses and justifications: well, they have to take that position because it's too politically risky not to; they have no choice and it's the smart thing to do....

The political class wants people to see them as helpless captives to immutable political realities so that they have a permanent, all-purpose excuse for whatever they do, so that they are always able to justify their position by appealing to so-called "political realities."

[JAY ROSEN] And I really do think there's a self-victimization that sometimes goes on, but to go back to the beginning of your question, there's something else going on, which is the ability to infect us with notions of what's realistic is one of the most potent powers press and political elites have. Whenever we make that kind of decision -- "well it's pragmatic, let's be realistic" -- what we're really doing is we're speculating about other Americans, our fellow citizens, and what they're likely to accept or what works on them or what stimuli they respond to. And that way of seeing other Americans, fellow citizens, is in fact something the media has taught us; that is one of the deepest lessons we've learned from the media even if we are skeptics of the MSM.

And one of the things I see on the left that really bothers me is the ease with which people skeptical of the media will talk about what the masses believe and how the masses will be led and moved in this way that shows me that the mass media tutors them on how to see their fellow citizens. ...

We've been trained how we talk about our political leaders primarily by a media that worships political cynicism and can only understand the world through political game-playing. Thus, so many Americans have been taught to believe not only that politicians shouldn't have the obligation of leadership imposed on them -- i.e., to persuade the public of what is right -- but that it's actually smart and wise of them to avoid positions they believe in when doing so is politically risky.

People love now to assume the role of super-sophisticated political consultant rather than a citizen demanding actions from their representatives.

11-dimensional chess, anyone? And Exhibit A?

The Obama 527 Formerly Known As Daily Kos during the primaries.

I can't tell you how infuriated it makes me to see people talking themselves out of what they know is the best policy for the country because they start thinking like the insiders they will never in a million years be.

And obviously, the process of self-victimization that Greenwald describes happens all the time with single payer. Why are we negotiating with ourselves?

NOTE As Greenwald points out, Cole misses the point. Certainly, we never thought that Obama, as a good calculating centrist, ran on a platform of legalizing marijuana. But there's a perfectly good case for it, and he didn't have to snicker and demean those who trusted the putatively open town hall process he set up, and made the effort to get the question asked. Especially when many of those advocates are likely to be in his base. That is the point.

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Mandos's picture
Submitted by Mandos on

...the political system and the prevailing ideologies constructed around it were built so that process interferes with the very content of policy.

It's not that

People love now to assume the role of super-sophisticated political consultant rather than a citizen demanding actions from their representatives.

it's that your ability to move a politician---and, therefore, policy---is circumscribed by the extent to which you can preserve or advance that politician's career. I have not seen a model more effective than this. Say what you want about the effectiveness of the Daily Kos, I haven't seen a model in a long time that has been much more effective than that, low as it may or may not be. Certainly nothing since Reagan.

I have expounded on this matter in a previous post.

Mandos's picture
Submitted by Mandos on

I think it's quite a bit longer than that, pretty much immediately after the peak of the Civil Rights movement, but the vicinity 1980 is where I think it really started going off the rails, and really became very difficult for the grassroots to have any influence.

Until some people figured out ways, via the internet, for the grassroots to play a very limited proxy politics in Versailles. It's not enough but it's necessary insofar as what little it prevents getting worse.

Mandos's picture
Submitted by Mandos on

And I really do think there's a self-victimization that sometimes goes on, but to go back to the beginning of your question, there's something else going on, which is the ability to infect us with notions of what's realistic is one of the most potent powers press and political elites have. Whenever we make that kind of decision -- "well it's pragmatic, let's be realistic" -- what we're really doing is we're speculating about other Americans, our fellow citizens, and what they're likely to accept or what works on them or what stimuli they respond to. And that way of seeing other Americans, fellow citizens, is in fact something the media has taught us; that is one of the deepest lessons we've learned from the media even if we are skeptics of the MSM.

...it's what constituencies and support can be delivered to which politician at a level of effort that will obtain some proportion of that politician's votes. Even the most honest politician must ultimately look to the furtherance of his/her career or be blown away.

This is all based on the belief that politics as presently constructed (and possibly ever) can be molded to fit a certain kind of rational discourse. It's not at all clear that this is the case, or has ever been the case, or ever will be. You will always be second-guessing your fellow citizenry.

No escaping the meta.

Mandos's picture
Submitted by Mandos on

NOTE As Greenwald points out, Cole misses the point. Certainly, we never thought that Obama, as a good calculating centrist, ran on a platform of legalizing marijuana. But there's a perfectly good case for it, and he didn't have to snicker and demean those who trusted the putatively open town hall process he set up, and made the effort to get the question asked. Especially when many of those advocates are likely to be in his base. That is the point.

As correct as this policy may be, we do live in a world where people are constrained by a sense of social propriety and marijuana (drugs in general) exist outside the bounds of cultural propriety. Consequently, a rational argument presented straight up automatically and subconsciously triggers the sorts of fears that parents have: that their kids must conform to succeed.

That's why,

I can't tell you how infuriated it makes me to see people talking themselves out of what they know is the best policy for the country because they start thinking like the insiders they will never in a million years be.

this feeling is itself irrational, even as it demands a rational discourse. What a paradox! People talk themselves out of the best policy because exterior conditions do sometimes affect feasibility.

This is political solipsism. Until you can come up with a way to advocate for the policy that would reliably sway elected officials---and no one has done so, not even on single payer in the USA---you must resort to meta and "11-dimensional" chess.

Mandos's picture
Submitted by Mandos on

I can present to my mom the case for drug decriminalization/legalization a million times over in a perfectly rational way, and she's politically rational and agrees with many of my policy views, but despite the fact that her kids are grown, she still has a mental horror of the mythical drug-pusher in the schoolyard getting her helpless babies addicted.

The only way to get her to vote for an anti-drug-war politician is via some other incentive or belief.

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

You're whole premise, for which you felt the need to make four seperate replies, BTW, whether you directly state it or not is that most Americans are against decriminalization, and then you go in to bringing in nothing more than a piece of anectodtal evidence. Yes, you are playing a political consultant, and most of your posts on this board in the last few months have reeked of what you see as reality. Poll after poll continues to show that a clear majority of Americans are at least up for considering decriminalization.

As far as I'm concerned, your 'realism' (and your seeming obsession with your chosen reality) has been little more than veiled (and shameless) apologism.

All of this talk of what someone can offer a politician is disingenous, at best. It gets me back to thinking about MLK and LBJ. There was absolutely no net gain for LBJ, personally and certainly not initially, for passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964. There was nothing that MLK promised LBJ that LBJ knew he wouldn't lose in other parts of the country. Yet, he did it anyway. The idea that politics always and only considers its own immediately self-preservation and also not whether what they are signing off on is right or wrong, it just a bogus fantasy, and one I think it's dangerous for us on the left to pretend is the 'truth'. Despite your conventional belief, sometimes, it is quite enough to be right and persistent to get things to happen.

We're not dealing with robots, nor a sytem that can't be both changed and circumvented, and some should stop perpetuating that myth. Despite what you were indoctrinated with at school, politics is not just as a science, it's also an art.

Mandos's picture
Submitted by Mandos on

...if you asked me a year or ago, I would never have said any of this. What happened was that in the last few months, I came to a realization:

You're whole premise, for which you felt the need to make four seperate replies, BTW, whether you directly state it or not is that most Americans are against decriminalization, and then you go in to bringing in nothing more than a piece of anectodtal evidence. Yes, you are playing a political consultant, and most of your posts on this board in the last few months have reeked of what you see as reality.

Poll after poll for many years have shown Americans to be generally supportive of all kinds of things that you and I might vociferously agree with. My point is that psychologically, because of exterior conditions, it doesn't easily translate into election of politicians who reflect that. Now there are two different bets you can make:

1. it's more that politicians continue to defy voters, election cycle after election cycle.

or

2. it's more that voters know exactly what they're doing in that they are consciously voting against their own opinions when it comes to selecting candidates at the ballot box.

I have a feeling that most people at Corrente would subscribe to (1). This particular election made me realize that it was (2). I attempted to illustrate the mentality with my anecdote, but the history bears it out.

All of this talk of what someone can offer a politician is disingenous, at best. It gets me back to thinking about MLK and LBJ. There was absolutely no net gain for LBJ, personally and certainly not initially, for passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964. There was nothing that MLK promised LBJ that LBJ knew he wouldn't lose in other parts of the country. Yet, he did it anyway. The idea that politics always and only considers its own immediately self-preservation and also not whether what they are signing off on is right or wrong, it just a bogus fantasy, and one I think it's dangerous for us on the left to pretend is the 'truth'. Despite your conventional belief, sometimes, it is quite enough to be right and persistent to get things to happen.

But the part that you are missing is that an enormous and highly successful electoral campaign was waged to roll it and other successes back, a campaign with which the public participated against its own apparent widespread opinion.

We're not dealing with robots, nor a sytem that can't be both changed and circumvented, and some should stop perpetuating that myth. Despite what you were indoctrinated with at school, politics is not just as a science, it's also an art.

It is precisely that we are not dealing with robots that makes the 11-dimensional chess 11-dimensional. The right has been playing 11-dimensional chess for longer, is all, with obvious structural advantages on the board. If it were merely that the public needed to be presented with a rational politics, we'd have had eight years of President Nader. And everyone's beloved Clinton name would not be associated with the name "Sister Souljah". And so on and so forth...

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

I've read all of your posts in this thread, and still don't know exactly what you're arguing for. I'm not sure you even described what something like a Daily Kos does that you believe is so effective. If I'm to read anything into your post its a kind of perpetual veiled apologism of the establishment, a submissive kiss where the lips don't ever quite leave the butt, if you will. It's a defeatist-tinged belief that you're not stating directly that seems to says that we have to be truthy or at least something less-than-clear/blunt with politicians to simply get them to do the job they were sent to do. It's the ultimate coddle.

Do you really object to the idea that the so-claimed "political-feasibility" of any given policy by Village and Village-interest is ultimately the apology that keeps on giving; the apology that never quite ends? It is not our responsibility, as individual voters, at least, to be the group that never lets him or her fall when they should. We are not our politicians cruch so long as he or she isn't doing right by us.

If a chief of staff wants to dick around with the 11-dimensional chess, so be it. But, I'd expect constituents to act like constiuents and cut that cord, and even never to be tied to the politician in that way in the first place. You can be your Senator's or your Congressperson's sloppy seconds and fallback constituent. I don't have any interest in doing that.

Yes, my Congressman should know that there are things he can do to lose my support with the other side of that coin knowing that there are things he can do to keep my support. I'll save my warm-and-fuzzies for my friends and family, thank you.

I don't believe in the negative inherency in consituent-politician relationship you seem to believe exists at the top level of our government. I believe it's artificially created and fed by cowardice. The dysfunctional relationship remains institutionalized only so long as we allow it to, but that doesn't make it any more the truth. Some of us keep the Big Lie alive by preaching it as 'reality' to others. Others of us work toward the degredation and constant revelation of the Big Lie by uncomprimisingly speaking truth to the Big Lie and its perpetuators, both those that know the truth because they created the lie and those that unwittingly follow.

My people were never foolish enough to believe that they needed to offer the powers that be anything more than the truth to get them to do what was right. We forced them with little more than revelation of the truth and constant pressure to show that they realized this truth to play their own inside baseball instead of forcing us to play it for them through constant ass-kissing.

Mandos's picture
Submitted by Mandos on

My argument is thus:

1. I agree that there is a Village with a stranglehold on the levers of power. There always has been.

2. The Village only moves to make systemic changes when forced to by severe calamity or by near-revolutionary levels of pressure. The New Deal was forced on them via fear of mass social unrest.

3. No attempt at making fundamental change during "normal" politics has ever succeeded in recent history. We are not yet out of normal politics---despite public anger, the level of social unrest is not really that high. Without a risk of social unrest, the Village is unmotivated to change as in (2).

4. Taken strictly by polling, the collective public has a relatively rational assessment of its needs and interests. However, this does not straightforwardly play into a rational vote at the ballot box---for various reasons, media. cultural inertia, misplaced individual priorities, and so on.

5. This means that at best incremental change can be achieved during normal politics, except insofar as you can work to destabilize normal politics and create unrest.

6. Incremental change can only be accomplished to the extent that you can either threaten or preserve the career of a politician (who is vulnerable). This also works between politicians, of course (11-dimensional chess).

7. What threatens or preserves the career of a politician can be very complex due to (4). The closest grassroots coalition to one that does this effectively online, for all its many, many admitted faults, is the Daily Kos.

Otherwise, someone has to come up with a different model if we are to avoid the failings of Kos---which is something to be desired.

Did this make any sense?

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

Yes, I'm glad you fleshed it out, but I think I understood your argument from the get-go, and I still believe that it surely as the sun rises agrees with these excerpts. You've just proved that you believe this:

When politicians take bad positions, ones that are opposed by large numbers of their supporters, it is not only the politicians, but also huge numbers of their supporters, who step forward to offer excuses and justifications

and this:

well, they have to take that position because it's too politically risky not to; they have no choice and it's the smart thing to do

is true.

Just because finding a way to deliver a message, or finding the best way to construct a vehicle for the message, may be complicated (and, I'm actually also not convinced of the difficulty level when you've got a good idea) does't mean that any of those who use that apologism to shy away from making change.

I think I see where our major disconnect is, here. Personally, I think you've on more than one occassioned pysched yourself out with what seems to be something just short of an obsession with efficacy and more importantly, who should have to most concerned with it. In this case, efficacy is what we call the so-claimed 11-dimensional chess of politics, and more often than not the 11-dimensional chess is used as a self-defeat mechanism and apologism to to stop a good idea/message that would otherwise make it's own vehicle. I think one can focus on efficacy (the delivery of the message) so much so that they risk losing, warping, or otherwise compromising (and often do, BTW) the actual message/idea.

I don't believe it is the responsibility of the individual constiuent (or a messaged-focused blog) to focus primarily on the delivery system (11 dimensional chess) for the message, though, it should be a consideration. As I've said, when an individual constiuent focuses on efficacy over the good/better idea, they are always incentivizing a dangerous walk-back of the good idea.

Neither Glenn, nor Rosen, nor Lambert were wrong in their commentary. You can charge oversimplication, but you can't get away with implying, at least not without a better argument than you're giving, that they are dealing in egregious errors.

Mandos's picture
Submitted by Mandos on

In this case, efficacy is what we call the so-claimed 11-dimensional chess of politics, and more often than not the 11-dimensional chess is used as a self-defeat mechanism and apologism to to stop a good idea/message that would otherwise make it's own vehicle. I think one can focus on efficacy (the delivery of the message) so much so that they risk losing, warping, or otherwise compromising (and often do, BTW) the actual message/idea.

I think this is the real point on which we part company. If there's anything I've observed, good ideas---even widely accepted good ideas---do not make their own vehicles. Otherwise, Daily Kos would never have existed because we'd all have been reading ZNet.

I mean, 11-dimensional chess is dangerous and often self-defeating. Working through any complex system bears large risks.

Neither Glenn, nor Rosen, nor Lambert were wrong in their commentary. You can charge oversimplication, but you can't get away with implying, at least not without a better argument than you're giving, that they are dealing in egregious errors.

Oh no, they're not wholly wrong. Of course not, I never implied they were. I just find that they sometimes miss the forest for the trees, frustratingly so and aggressively so. And other Correnteans (see htv below) even *more* aggressively so. But what's worse is that people of that mindset sometimes don't give enough credit to other people, vociferously deny credit. Look at what it took to extract a very grudging suggestion from Lambert that the effect of Daily Kos' existence may be more positive than negative.

Just because finding a way to deliver a message, or finding the best way to construct a vehicle for the message, may be complicated (and, I'm actually also not convinced of the difficulty level when you've got a good idea) does't mean that any of those who use that apologism to shy away from making change.

I can only guess at how you would end that sentence---you probably mean that they can't use the effect of message-construction difficulty as an excuse to water down good ideas. Am I right? The part that you're missing here are the prior existing filtering effects of the Village and it's media. A central component of 11-dimensional chess is the attempt to get past that imperfect filter.

The bottom line is that even as far back as 1.5-2 years ago, I would have said (and did say, elsewhere) that the American left was weak because it attempted to play these ideological masking games. Except, as I said, I increasingly have come to the conclusion that it's the other way around---a prior constraint on effectiveness, not a mistaken strategic choice.

Power doesn't care whether you speak truth to it.

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

I think this is the real point on which we part company. If there's anything I've observed, good ideas---even widely accepted good ideas---do not make their own vehicles.

I've seen it first hand, and have seen it as recently as last year on two state referenda here in Michigan. Proposal 2 (our stem cell bill) passed without any real central organization by its proponents, as did Proposal 1 (our medical marijuana bill). Both were vastly outspend and out-organized by their respective opponents. It didn't end up mattering. Good ideas most definitely can make their own vehicles. That doesn't mean that they always do, but they can.

koshembos's picture
Submitted by koshembos on

Time and again I am amazed at the ability of some people to miss the main point. Mandos' mom is afraid of drugs the way 50 years ago mothers were afraid of Rock & Roll and a little earlier mom would die if you brought a black girl to meet her.

Things fall outside the acceptable line only because we draw the line where it don't belong.

Don't buy the religion of the day. Make hamburgers out of sacred cows.

Mandos's picture
Submitted by Mandos on

But I currently think it's backwards, and it's missing many things, including the crucial moment of the psychology of the ballot box, which is revealed time and time again.

The question at hand is how you push the Overton window, left, as I understand it. There is one school of thought where you push it left by "broadcasting" leftist ideas straight-up. Lambert and Co. seem, AFAICT, to think it works this way. I certainly believe in broadcasting leftist ideas straight-up, but I no longer think that it's the only thing that matters. The relationship between the elected politician and the constituent also matters, and it's quite a complicated relationship, and it also affects the rate at which one can move the Overton window.

Submitted by lambert on

Not me. Propagating leftist ideas (analytical tools, solutions) is important to do, and, as it happens, I'm reasonably good at doing it. So I do it. ("...a citizen demanding actions from their representatives...")

If anybody has a better alternative, they're certainly more than welcome to put it into action (which is why we give a platform and encourage more local actions, as with PACT, the various health care events, and so forth).

I look at the current situation, in discourse terms, as equivalent to Bush 2003. We had a set of marginalized hippies (today, "the third left") and after 3 years of constant labor, the hippies and their ideas weren't nearly so marginal -- though the Village was as sick as ever. Now we have an incrementally less sick Village, and another 3 years of work -- with a starting point of a lot fewer more hippies.

Kos personally, and his 527, are welcome to do whatever they want. Certainly it's better to have Kos exist, even if most of it is the political equivalent of rotisserie baseball, and most of what isn't is instrumental. For my part, I think that change happens at the margins, and will take the form of alternative political structures, local currencies, food, media and so on -- all orthogonal to the linearity of the Overton window model, and which serve to undermine the Village, rather than seize it for "ourselves."

Mandos's picture
Submitted by Mandos on

I look at the current situation, in discourse terms, as equivalent to Bush 2003. We had a set of marginalized hippies (today, "the third left") and after 3 years of constant labor, the hippies weren't nearly so marginal -- though the Village was as sick as ever. Now we have an incrementally less sick Village, and another 3 years of work -- with a starting point of a lot fewer hippies.

Was it that there were more or less hippies? Or that the DFHs were more or less marginal? I don't doubt that the DFHs were/are largely right, by the way. But it seems to me that what really happened was that the status quo broke down to an extent that some parts of the Village couldn't ignore it.

I'm just really dubious about the overall influence of the margins especially in recent times, which is why I kind of sometimes make fun of the DIY business.

Submitted by lambert on

"Broke down"? Or was broken down? I can't prove it, but I believe the latter -- just because I see thoughts and ideas (as tracked by words and turns of phrase) seep from the margins to the mainstream. It's an extremely laborious process, for good or ill.* Now we are doing it again, except that this time the target is larger than Bush and the Republican Party.

The mentality of our bankster overlords really is "create our own reality" (Soros's "reflexivity" is the sophisticated version of this). That's what "confidence" is all about, after all. And there's a good deal of posting floating around these days on that very point, on "belief systems," "mentalites," "mystique" and so forth (the variant texture of the discourse indicating that the idea is still evolving). And this/these "belief systems" (let's call them) are a critical element in the way that Versailles holds onto its power. ** Assaulting and destroying the commanding heights in our heads is as surely as important as, well, anything else we might do.

Some day, I have to study the populist movement(s) carefully. I don't think I'm wrong when I say that most of the twentieth century policies that made life bearable for the little people originated with marginalized groups of desperate farmers.

NOTE * Funny example in Newsweek's profile of Krugman: BTD's (IIRC) "bipartisan schtick" made it into the mainstream. Now people have a dismissive two word label for, well, the bipartisan schtick! Name it and claim it....

NOTE * Why, for example, should the little people regard indebtedness as shameful and isolating? Our rulerz certainly don't. Quoting Frank Herbert from memory: Guilt starts as a feeling of failure. The wise ruler provides many opportunities for failure to his people.

Mandos's picture
Submitted by Mandos on

Some day, I have to study the populist movement(s) carefully. I don't think I'm wrong when I say that most of the twentieth century policies that made life bearable for the little people originated with marginalized groups of desperate farmers.

The single-payer health care model started on this continent via a farmer's populist movement (in Sask.). It spread throughout Canada when prairie populism made one of its rare productive alliances with urban unionism and French-Canadian nationalism.

But, you see, that kind of margins has influence when the status quo is really really bad. I'm living in the American burbs and I'm not yet seeing that except among the undocumented Hispanic workers, who were like that even at the peak and are disenfranchised anyway.

The issue here, though, is the value of 11-dimensional chess. I see the 11-dimensional chess (a) reflecting real conditions and (b) a necessary evil. All those other things are good too, but we have a status quo that hasn't broken down enough not to require the 11-dimensional chess and the mysteries beyond the Sublime Porte.

Andre's picture
Submitted by Andre on

Are you talking about marijuana or about drugs. Marijuana is not a drug, it is a plant I might grow in my garden and consume for a desired result, as I would grow carrots which I would consume to quench my hunger. If you don't define this distinction, then you are beaten before you begin. Getting this across to mothers happens on a regular basis, and indeed my mother who died nineteen years ago at 83 understood the difference then! Part of the failure of the war on drugs is the failure to define this difference, a failure that was foisted on the American consciousness by the elites, probably led my the tobacco industry. Marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol, and I would never drive while consuming either, though I have stupidly done so in the past. How to get this to become conventional wisdom is the big question which when answered might insure decriminalization.

And LBJ did indeed pass the Civil Rights Act because he knew it was the moral thing to do, and for its historical necessity, but he also knew he as a politician could get it passed and still be re-elected (Viet Nam being a whole different story which may have been more than his political skill could handle). But Obama has not got one or two of the factors that LBJ brought to bear on the need for the Civil Rights Act: he knows it's right to do it, and he has the political skills. Decriminilization of marijuana is a moral right IMO - there are numerous people in this country serving life sentences for possession of marijuana, especially in "three strikes your out"states . Also, the moral need to separate it from other truly deadly illegal substances, which get a pass in the unknowing consciousness of our youg people. So as for Obama knowing it's right to do, who knows! Maybe this should be made clear to him. As for his political skills, well, he did win the presidency, regardless of how wrong some of that process was. I think he has a supreme lack of belief in his own ability, something some people might call cowardice. All these things he has on his plate, LBJ would have handled and probably turned into reasons why he should be reelected. Obama seems to be afraid to try that approach. Or maybe he's just not a Liberal! I still think of Ed Brooke who was an African American Republican liberal, more liberal than Obama, and who helped significantly to keep Nixon policies on the left of center.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Brooke

We certainly need someone on the left yanking on this guys left ear, that's for sure.

zuzu's picture
Submitted by zuzu on

The War on Drugs costs a tremendous amount of money. People know that. It costs a fuckload of money to go after the growers in other countries, it costs a tremendous amount of money to go after the dealers here, and it costs a tremendous amount of money to imprison the low-level offenders who are the only ones who go to jail because they don't know enough to flip someone bigger.

Then there's the whole tax issue. Why not legalize and tax marijuana? Think of the revenue stream.

Economics may yet make this possible. Just as economics are leading to the probable repeal of the draconian Rockefeller drug laws in New York.

All it takes is looking at the problem in a new way, and suddenly the whole issue seems less like something we want to be throwing tax dollars at.

Mandos's picture
Submitted by Mandos on

I just saw a movie in a theatre (duplicity, liked it). The advertisement before the trailers (love trailers) was for this "Above the Influence" campaign to get kids off of marijuana.

And they are completely lame. That's because they aren't for the kids, but for the parents.

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

A thousand thank yous.

Although One Year Gitmo Apologists, Just Wait Until He Does Something's, and WORMs might not like wearing these shoes, by portraying themselves as 11-dimensional chess political consultants, they advance interests exactly the opposite of what they (say they) believe.

Mandos's picture
Submitted by Mandos on

...that the implication is uniformly backed up by evidence. They may or may not. The question is, who has in the recent past, advanced any major component of a progressive agenda without it being one of the last possible emergency responses to a crisis?

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

and he was a two term US senator from a purple state* for crying out loud.

Mandos, I really do respect that you engage in this conversation. Please don't get me wrong, but when you say "frustratingly so" about those who you feel don't "understand" the nuance of your viewpoint as you did above that goes double, maybe quadruple for myself as well. I once had that viewpoint and abandoned it long ago when I realized it was a device to divide and conquer a (real) progressive agenda.

We are not political consultants (at least I am not) and have no desire to further that pretense. I am an environmentalist, raging civil libertarian, scientist and (apparently or hopefully) successful businessperson. I understand politics both meta and personal, I am involved in them on a daily basis. I am every bit the DFH in those relationships as here.

Without activists and activist outlets like this one, trust that no movement will happen toward what we all (I believe) desire.

"Be the change you want to see in the world". I would hate to see that phrase changed to "Be the change you would kind of like to see in the world as long as no one objects and you think is not so radical as to possibly be accomplished, or as long as nobody knows it is happening"

And yes it is a purple state.

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

I once had that viewpoint and abandoned it long ago when I realized it was a device to divide and conquer a (real) progressive agenda.

Bingo. The left has spent too many years, too many decades, in fact, psyching itself out with second guessing. And, many times, it's not even honest pysching itself out, but convenient excuses. I think Glenn was more than on point, this time.