After winning an election fueled by grassroots fury at President Obama's plan to dump millions of illegals on the United States, the Republican Party has seemingly withdrawn from politics, casually funding Barack Obama's amnesty. But don't worry! The Republican Party has seized on a critical issue that will show those moderate swing voters that they can be trusted with power.
D.C. officials and activists for marijuana legalization launched a long-shot bid Wednesday to halt a federal budget deal that appeared poised to upend the city’s successful ballot measure last month to legalize the drug.Sigh. Several points.
The day after Congress came to a tentative budget deal that included language intended to block the city’s measure, proponents chanted and marched to Capitol Hill, held a sit-in at the office of Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and promised to keep urging congressional leaders to let the District govern itself.
A voter-backed measure to legalize marijuana passed overwhelmingly last month, bringing a debate about drug policy that had simmered in faraway Western states to the nation’s capital.
Then Congress stepped in. With the simplest of policy orders — a few sentences tucked into a 1,600-page spending bill — negotiators all but invalidated the will of D.C. voters.
[Protests begin as Congress tilts toward upending D.C. law legalizing pot, by Aaron C. Davis and Mike DeBonis, Washington Post, December 10, 2014]
1. The most important first. If Congress can do this on a local referendum about marijuana "with the simplest of policy orders — a few sentences tucked int a 1,600-page spending bill," why can't Republicans do this about amnesty?
2. As Ann Coulter bluntly told the left-libertarian student group Students for Liberty, libertarians shy away from conflict on things like employment discrimination and freedom of association because "you want to suck up to your little liberal friends and say, ‘Oh, but we want to legalize pot.'" The GOP Establishment has given these giggling faux dissidents the perfect tangential issue to get upset about. The pointless Beltway Libertarians can pretend to be relevant and rebellious now. I'm expecting a Jack Hunter column any day that will decry the decision as racist.
3. The long term political consequence will be to strengthen the movement for Washington DC to become a state, which would give the Democrats an automatic two seats in the Senate as long as they remain the party of Government.
4. Republicans just confirmed themselves among white moderates and swing voters as stodgy reactionaries who want to run people's private lives. Your typical white college student is far more offended by marijuana prohibition than by enforcement of immigration law. And if the GOP was indeed serious about getting its share of the black vote up even a point or two, this decision doesn't help.
If anything, I've actually grown more supportive of the Drug War in recent years. But even if you favor marijuana prohibition, this is a relatively extreme tactic to use on an issue that can't possibly help the new Republican Congress. It also dramatically weakens the principled argument for subsidiarity, something most conservatives feel they should at least give lip service. And with John Boehner's new vibrant son-in-law, he can't even keep pot out of his family, let alone the District. It's hard to take any "anti-drug" arguments seriously. [Speaker John Boehner's future son-in-law busted for pot: report by Daniel Beekman, New York Daily News, April 25, 2013]
But it does show the Beltway Right's priorities. Cripple outreach, sabotage party unity, guarantee snarky and hostile media coverage, and confirm utter surrender on the issues that matter, like immigration. Mission accomplished for the Beltway Right.