Getting Into Shape For The Election


Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Ordinary Times. Relapsed Lawyer, admitted to practice law (under his real name) in California and Oregon. On Twitter, to his frequent regret, at @burtlikko. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.

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26 Responses

  1. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    Is it really good politics? That’s almost as distressing as this action is.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      I don’t know that he’s buying votes with this. I mean, I don’t see anyone switching on account of this action.

      I *DO*, however, think he’s increasing donations from a handful of folks.

      Otherwise it makes no sense on pretty much any level.Report

      • Avatar b-psycho in reply to Jaybird says:

        I *DO*, however, think he’s increasing donations from a handful of folks.

        Pharmaceutical companies? “Private” prison corporations? Cartel bosses (wink)?Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Jaybird says:

        I was sort of leaning in this direction, but the more I think about it, the more I see political value in it. Not that everybody is excited about it, but that it removes an issue (“crime”) where his party is sometimes vulnerable. It gives him something easy to point to if he’s accused of being weak on drugs. With comparatively little political downside.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Will Truman says:

          I don’t buy it.

          The evidence that I would need is for someone to show me where Obama has been attacked by anybody for being weak on Medicinal Marijuana.

          I makes a lot more sense that he’s being paid by the prison guard unions… and I think it’d be easier to find evidence of that.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

            This issue goes way deeper than prison unions. Think private prison complex/state-corporate nexus/soft on crime politics/inner city social control/extensions of federal power/support for local executive power/and finally, maybe Obama hates freedom.

            Take your pick.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

              The whole “Obama is playing 11-dimensional chess” thing seems less and less likely with every passing day.

              What’s the simplest explanation?

              Is it money?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                You misunderstand me. I’m with you on the eleven dimensional chess thing. i just think that the answer is overdetermined. It could be any one of a wide range of potential choices that make him act this way, *none* of which are liberal or democratic.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Stillwater says:

                … do you honestly think that none of those Wall Street firms blackmailed Obama with death threats against his kids?Report

  2. Avatar Vertov says:

    This is disgusting. Yet I’ll vote for Obama again since the next choice seems like the wrong direction for the country.

    It doesn’t seem enough to shrug your shoulders and say that democracy is the least worst form of government. This policy amounts to simply picking on the weak to placate the biggest, loudest, dumbest voters — who will vote for the other guy anyways.



    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Vertov says:

      Complaining about people who will vote for the other guy anyway after opening with how you’re going to vote for Obama anyway is a brilliant metacommentary on shrugging.Report

    • Avatar James K in reply to Vertov says:

      This is the essential trouble with democracy. You get a narrow range of options and each of them has been carefully crafted to appeal to the median voter, or close to it.

      If you don’t like the options you are presented with then your vote really isn’t good for much.Report

    • Avatar Koz in reply to Vertov says:

      “This policy amounts to simply picking on the weak to placate the biggest, loudest, dumbest voters — who will vote for the other guy anyways.”

      The idea that the voters are dumb is the refuge of electoral loser. It’s also not true most of the time. The problem with American policy isn’t that the voters are dumb, it’s that the libs are bad.

      For example, think about monetary policy. According to one train of thought we’re supposed to have a loose policy now in order to generate growth and (beneficial) inflation. There’s something to be said for that, but the reason why it’s not happening is because the citizens don’t trust the policymakers to devalue the dollar into oblivion a la Weimar or Zimbabwe. And if we continue the fiscal path that we’re on, that’s exactly what’s going to happen. Therefore we need to cut spending for the sake of the medium and long-term viability of the economy. But what’s preventing that? Libs, of course.

      Therefore, the problem isn’t the voters. It’s the libs.Report

  3. Avatar wardsmith says:

    Just a distraction from “Fast and Furious”. Nothing to see here folks, move along, move along.Report

  4. Avatar Kolohe says:

    The other option is that it’s *not* Holder or Obama deciding this, and they’ve lost control of their bureaucracy, (modulo don’t care enough to rein them in)

    When you read some accounts* of the Afghan war decisions, this scenario doesn’t seem all that far fetched to me.

    *accounts to be sure, told by people with an axe to grind.Report

    • Avatar James K in reply to Kolohe says:

      How could he lose control of the bureaucracy? This isn’t like Yes Minister where Hacker couldn’t fire Sir Humphrey, no matter how annoying he was, Obama appoints the agency heads. In nay event if he’s lost control of the bureaucracy then he’s failed as President.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to James K says:

        A big deal was made in the last administration on politicizing the Justice Department; the pendulum could have very well swung the other way. But like I said, apathy may be as big, if not bigger of a part. And FWIW, the current head of the DEA is a holdover from the previous administration.

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to James K says:

        Obama appoints the agency heads. That doesn’t mean he actually has the power to tell them what to do and make it stick.

        The head of the CPSC, for example, has specifically stated that it doesn’t matter what Obama says about anything at all, she’s going to do what she thinks is right, even if that means obliterating the domestic small-business manufacturing industry through overregulation.Report