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The Band -- "The Weight"

Welcome to the weekly open thread for policy discussions by DK Elections regulars. While the main Daily Kos Elections blog, an official subsite of Daily Kos, is strictly a policy free zone for discussions of politics and elections only, it can sometimes be hard not to bring up policy issues when talking about particular candidates or topics. In addition, some of us might like to have a thoughtful discussion with other regular commenters at DKE on issues of policy when most of what we usually talk about pertains to elections. Thus, this open thread and the group blog Daily Kos Elections: Policy will provide a forum to talk about issues without derailing DKE Live Digests for those who just want election coverage and debate. Feel free to follow this group and if you would like to publish a diary to the group blog page, just PM me about becoming a contributor.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Does Anybody Think Their Politics Could Have..... (6+ / 0-)

    .....been different than they were if they had a different upbringing?   Are you a liberal or a Democrat based mostly on your parents' values and your cultural surroundings or do you believe your ideological/political values are hard-wired?  Political nature or nurture, so to speak.

    It's hard to say for me.  Given that I grew up in a rural area with generally conservative values, it might just be an anomaly of my region's (and my family's) heavily unionized pedigree and hardscrabble battle with union-busting corporate barons during my most formative years that shaped me into a more liberal direction.  At the very least, I doubt my core policy concerns would be what they are if I was the son of a conservative farm family in south-central Minnesota rather than the son of a union steward who oversaw the collapse of the industrial base and all the fallout that came from that at a young age.  Is it possible I could have been a raging Tea Partier dripping with contempt for the very working-class people I personally identify with most if I had that upbringing?

    I like to think not, but given how much of my political identity was defined by upbringing, I can't say definitively that I wouldn't be.  I will say, however, that social issues were never heavily promoted in my political orthodoxy, and to whatever extent they were, it probably leaned more to the conservative side, yet I have always been instinctively left-of-center on most of them.  This tells me I'm probably wired in a way that always predisposed me to a left-leaning political identity.

    Anybody else here think it's within them to have embraced an entirely different political philosophy if they came of age differently?

    •  yes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mark27, Skaje

      I think many chalk up my views to being raised by left-wing parents, both in labor families going back nearly a century now. I'm sure that had an influence. I was actually pretty moderate until after my parents divorced and Bush became president, though . I grew up very comfortably and never went without, but after my parents split up, since my dad had nearly all of the income and I went to live with my mom until college, I have had few luxuries. It's only been a brush with poverty, but it's made the labor values I'd grown up around real to me. Plus things went crazy when Bush was president.

      We no longer ask if a man has integrity, but if he has talent. - Rousseau, Discourse on the arts and sciences

      by James Allen on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 10:25:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Quite possibly (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mark27, gabjoh

      I think many (but not all) of my beliefs come from my mother, a liberal college professor and a strong environmentalist. I'm sure it also helped that I was brought up in a secular environment in a blue state that doesn't like guns. I think that I would not be as strong an environmentalist as I am if not for my mother. My parents were also strongly anti-Dubya, and that plus the environment were the two issues that made me join the Democratic Party at the beginning.

      I also believe that my growing up in an outer suburb, coupled with my love of the outdoors and my personality, gave me a different perspective on the urban/rural divide than most Democrats (particularly those who live in cities) have. I don't feel that there's anything inherently good about cities, and I feel that urban Democrats ignoring rural voters is one cause of the Democratic Party's decline in support among rural voters. I'm sure that if I had been brought up in Boston or NYC, I would have quite a different perspective on urban/rural issues.

      As for social issues, my parents didn't discuss them much. Thus, I came to my beliefs on abortion, gay marriage, and marijuana on my own, without much outside interference.

      (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

      by ProudNewEnglander on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 11:24:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Also hard for me to say (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mark27

      Growing up in a liberal household with both sides of my family being heavily Democrat in a slightly Democrat leaning city in the northwest, when I started being interesting in politics around 12ish with the 2000 Presidential race I found myself really at odds with all of that. And as I grew older as a teenager it only made me more conservative.

      Why I am so different than the political leanings I grew up in I'm not sure. I think it can have an impact, but is probably one of many, many factors that help impact people's political views, especially given that most people aren't solid rocks in their views their entire lifetime.

       

      Age 26, conservative Republican, beautiful WA Third district, WA LD-19

      by KyleinWA on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 11:56:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Seems Like It Might Be An 80-20 Balance...... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KyleinWA

        80% are heavily influenced by the political and ideological leanings of their parents and the community they grew up in.....but the other 20% carve out their own identity.  I know plenty of others like you, in both directions on the spectrum, who defied their upbringing.

    •  Yes. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mark27, MichaelNY

      Considering that 80% of people align with their parents' politics, I'd say there's a solid chance being raised by two Republican would have made me one.  I have no reason to think I'm an exception rather than the rule.

      21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
      politicohen.com
      Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
      UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

      by jncca on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 01:04:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It absolutely could have (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mark27

      Thankfully my parents and grandparents never pushed either religion or politics on me and were more or less apolitical when I was growing up.  My immediate family was never religious and rarely voted, leading to very little family discussion on either topic.  Up until college I was strongly apolitical as a result and was allowed to form my own opinions on such topics.  

      Once in college I came to understand the tangible benefits of government programs like Stafford Loans and Pell Grants.  My college years (early-mid 00's) corresponded with the Bush years and the more I learned about conservative politics the more I grew to despise them.  After my own political awakening it was myself who ended up pushing my parents and grandmother from being apolitical to being solid Democrats.  

    •  possibly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mark27

      my dad's an indy and my mom's an R, but neither of them were/are fire breathing ideologues by any stretch of the imagination.

      I've always been fiercely independent mixed in with some defiance. I was kind of a lone wolf in grade school and since everyone was republican, I gravitated towards the democrats.

      I think if I grew up, however, in somewhere like berkeley, i might have gravitated towards the right.

      idiosyncratic, slightly anarchist, darwinist, moral relativist, fan of satire

      by bonzo925 on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 05:56:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Curious Where You Came From..... (0+ / 0-)

        .....where everyone else in grade school was a Republican.

        •  well this is interesting since the area is (0+ / 0-)

          marginal or lean republican at best but i came from the non Des Moines part of Polk County (West Des Moines/Clive area). But I was raised catholic and even though catholics have historically been democrats, I was part of only 22% of the school to vote for John Kerry in 2004.

          idiosyncratic, slightly anarchist, darwinist, moral relativist, fan of satire

          by bonzo925 on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 07:21:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Everyone in my 4th grade class voted Republican. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, Mark27

          We had a mock presidential election.  There was one really proud Republican fourth grader who sort of pressured everyone else into voting for Bush, though.  I know that was not representative of the community, because my precinct was only around 55/45 Bush.

          My parents definitely pushed their liberal politics on me at a young age.  I remember my mom used to pick me up from school with Air America radio on in the car.  However, as I grew older I didn't take their political opinions as seriously when forming my own.  They are the type that think Obama can do no wrong.

          It's funny - my parents really don't fit the Democratic constituency very well.  They were both white southerners and my dad was a manager at Cracker Barrel for a long time (the definition of Republican).  But they are both very liberal.

          •  Hmmm (0+ / 0-)

            My school was always pretty liberal, even though my town is only very light blue. In the mock election my elementary school had in 2000, Gore won by a wide margin. In my high school's mock election in 2008, Obama got about two thirds of the vote. Interestingly, they divided up the results by grade, and I found out that my year was the most liberal of the four years, and that the seniors at the time were the most conservative. I'm not entirely sure why.

            (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

            by ProudNewEnglander on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 08:08:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Well, sure, if things were different, they'd be (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen

      different.

      There's an old Eastern European saying: "If my grandmother had wheels, she would have been a cart."

      However, there's no way to predict what I would have been like if I had been raised by Christian Right folks in Oklahoma, because I wasn't.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 07:13:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  US special (6+ / 0-)

    forces have captured Ahmed Abu Khattala, the suspected leader behind the Benghazi attacks. Apparently this had been in the works for at least a year, but the Obama administration held off on giving the go on this until now because they were worried it would blow up Libya even more.

    Also if you were wondering when Fox News or the GOP would begin to spin this as a negative for Obama don't worry, they already have. Also Lindsey Graham is demanding the Obama administration treat Khattala as an enemy combatant and ship him to Gitmo.

    The Republican party is now an extreme right-wing party that is owned by their billionaire campaign contributors. - Bernie Sanders

    by ehstronghold on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 10:27:27 AM PDT

  •  question about Texas (0+ / 0-)

    a lot of people criticize them for their justice system and they do, in fact, execute a lot of people. But the tradeoff is that they are pretty lenient for non-capital offenses. So which would you rather have - harsh non capital offenses and no death penalty, or a death penalty but lenient non capital offenses?

    idiosyncratic, slightly anarchist, darwinist, moral relativist, fan of satire

    by bonzo925 on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 05:58:45 PM PDT

    •  No death penalty (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen, Mark27

      Because I can't stomach innocent people being killed, which has clearly happened in Texas.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 07:14:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  this (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        Life sentences can be reversed and the prisoners compensated if new evidence comes up that exonerates them. Wrongly executed prisoners can't.

        I'm ok with executing killers, but not with executing innocents, and I think it's hopelessly naïve to expect our system to get it right every time.

        SSP poster. 44, CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

        by sacman701 on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 09:58:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Does it need to be either-or? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, gabjoh, Mark27

      Why can't a state both abandon the death penalty and have a sensible punishment scheme for lesser offenses?

      •  well yes (0+ / 0-)

        but most states aren't like that. I think that the terminable (ie 20 or 30 years and not life) sentences for a lot of people unlikely to commit a crime again, makes having the death penalty more palatable. I do think the death penalty is basically a phony issue as most of them are never executed and most of them are still alive years after being sentenced to death.

        idiosyncratic, slightly anarchist, darwinist, moral relativist, fan of satire

        by bonzo925 on Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 10:55:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Neither..... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      .....that's like choosing between an ingrown toenail and a rash.  Both represent the purest and most dangerous brand of "big government", much as the right attempts to contextualize food stamps and universal health care as representing big government at its most frightening.

  •  Hillary Clinton and marijuana (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jncca, gabjoh, MichaelNY, Skaje

    this is interesting. She says she supports medical marijuana, and rather than saying she's for or against recreational use being legal:

    On recreational, states are the laboratories of democracy. We have at least two states that are experimenting with that right now. I want to wait and see what the evidence is.

    We no longer ask if a man has integrity, but if he has talent. - Rousseau, Discourse on the arts and sciences

    by James Allen on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 08:28:20 AM PDT

    •  That sounds pretty good to me (0+ / 0-)

      I'll have a look at the entire article at the link later, but from the excerpt you quote, it sounds like she's fine with states having their own policies on recreational pot but wants medical marijuana to be legalized nationwide. Is that accurate?

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 01:30:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sounds correct to me, although I don't know that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        she ever expressly stated she wants a federal law.  She might support medical pot on a local level, oppose legal pot on a local level but believe it should be allowed if the voters want it, and oppose any federal legislation regarding marijuana.

        Which is fine by me.  

        21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
        politicohen.com
        Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
        UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

        by jncca on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 01:48:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I want a total end to arrests based on possessing, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mark27, Skaje

          sharing, selling, or growing marijuana, nationwide, and especially an end to the imprisonment of anyone for any marijuana-related thing (I can't bring myself to use the word "crime").

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 02:11:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So you don't think (0+ / 0-)

            that any state or town should be allowed to make itself a drug-free state/town, and ban marijuana and other drugs?

            That position wouldn't go over well in New England, where we love local control.

            (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

            by ProudNewEnglander on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 02:39:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Like MichaelNY..... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY, Skaje

              I also "want" to see an end to prison sentences for marijuana charges....but I will concede your point that some states' rights protocols should be adhered to.  But the way the feds have typically gotten around that is withholding highway funds to noncompliant states.  Reagan did that to states that wouldn't raise their legal drinking age to 21 and I believe Clinton did it to states that didn't lower their BAC limit for DUI arrests to .08.  I would only approve of that tactic in matters of states abusing basic human rights (certainly not for legal drinking age) but a state the imprisons people for marijuana arrests could arguably be accused of abusing basic human rights.

            •  Should a state/town be allowed to ban other things (0+ / 0-)

              Personally, I believe a ban on marijuana possession/use violates the Constitution in the same way that a ban on contraception, abortion, or gay sex would violate the Constitution.

              •  I can't agree there (0+ / 0-)

                My support for marijuana legalization is based on a balance of harm, in which legalization is the very best policy and large-scale incarceration the worst imaginable in the US. I would actually also support legalizing cocaine and heroin, but regulating their distribution through dedicated clinics or something. There may be some drugs (meth?) that are so harmful that it is better for society if they are fought as hard as possible. After all, we restrict the distribution of poisons and prescription drugs.

                Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                by MichaelNY on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 09:00:19 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  If one could legally obtain (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MichaelNY, Mark27, jncca

                  small quantities of cocaine (but not meth) in government clinics, I think the vast majority of meth users would switch.  My understanding of meth's appeal is that it's so cheap compared to cocaine, and more readily available in small towns and rural areas.  I think most users are well aware it's more destructive than cocaine, but can't help themselves.

                  I think this is why rich people and celebrities vastly prefer cocaine to meth, because they can find and afford the former.

                  Legalize cocaine, and most of the meth epidemic should fade in time.

              •  of course they should be allowed (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ProudNewEnglander

                its called federalism.

                We no longer ask if a man has integrity, but if he has talent. - Rousseau, Discourse on the arts and sciences

                by James Allen on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 07:46:34 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Should a state be allowed to ban abortion? (0+ / 0-)

                  What about birth control?  Should a state anti-sodomy ban be upheld (assuming that it is banned for both gay and straight couples)?

                  If you want to go down the road of federalism regarding personal liberties, that's where it goes.  

                  •  If you think smoking is a personal liberty (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ProudNewEnglander

                    then are you a hard-line libertarian who also believes there should be no restrictions on the purchases of poisons?

                    Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                    by MichaelNY on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 12:29:56 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Define poisons (0+ / 0-)

                      There's a lot of stuff you can get at the supermarket that will kill or at least seriously hurt you, when consumed in large enough quantities.  If you're talking about stuff like extremely dangerous poisons that can be used for murder, there's obvious limitations on that.  Cigarettes are arguably poisons, but are only used on oneself.

                      •  second (3+ / 0-)

                        hand smoke.

                        We no longer ask if a man has integrity, but if he has talent. - Rousseau, Discourse on the arts and sciences

                        by James Allen on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 07:36:19 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  If you accept that people don't have the (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        sapelcovits

                        inalienable right to obtain any dangerous substance of their choice to kill themselves, the remaining question is not one of principle but some kind of balancing test.

                        I would heartily support banning cigarettes if I thought that were possible.

                        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                        by MichaelNY on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 08:12:15 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  And there's the difference between us (0+ / 0-)

                          I think that, over the long term, it is possible.

                          (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

                          by ProudNewEnglander on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 08:29:35 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  If it's not possible to ban heroin or cocaine (0+ / 0-)

                            how could it be possible to ban cigarettes? I don't want anyone to go to prison for smoking, cigarette possession, or dealing cigarettes.

                            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                            by MichaelNY on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 02:06:56 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I said over the long term (0+ / 0-)

                            I support a gradual phase-out of cigarettes. It would involve an increasing use of the sorts of measures that would make Mark27 apoplectic: sin taxes, bans on use in more spaces and places, tariffs and bans on imports, incentives for farmers to grow different crops, increasing the ease of quitting, etc. Over maybe two decades, these measures (coupled with the steady decline in smoking that is happening now) could reduce the rate of smoking to below 5 percent. Then they could be banned.

                            (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

                            by ProudNewEnglander on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 08:18:19 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  personally I do (0+ / 0-)

                    but that's a different issue.

                    We no longer ask if a man has integrity, but if he has talent. - Rousseau, Discourse on the arts and sciences

                    by James Allen on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 07:35:50 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  What I really want is federal legalization (0+ / 0-)

              Localities could prohibit local sales, as with alcohol.

              Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

              by MichaelNY on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 08:56:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I think localities should be able to be smoke-free (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Skaje, jncca

              in terms of marijuana the same way they can be dry in terms of alcohol - no local sales, but no arrests of local users who purchase elsewhere. I don't believe in a local right to incarcerate marijuana users, any more than to do the same to alcohol drinkers or tobacco smokers.

              Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

              by MichaelNY on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 09:01:58 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Towns should be able to ban the sale of marijuana (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Skaje, MichaelNY

              and other drugs, but I don't think they could outright prohibit it.

              There are still plenty of counties and towns in the south that ban the sale of alcohol.

          •  I'm with you on that one (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY, Mark27

            The federal government definitely has an interest in freeing people locked up for marijuana "crimes", and restoring full citizenship to those (primarily in the South) who have lost voting rights for it.

            I'd go further and do the same for all drugs, but I recognize that's a minority position even within the Democratic Party.

    •  Hillary Clinton (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      This is just my gut feeling, but I have serious doubts that Hillary Clinton actually supports legalization of pot at any level.  I suspect had she been President instead of Obama, she would have shut down Colorado and Washington's marijuana laws.

      But she is following the direction of the country.  I think she realized that marijuana legalization is now quite popular among her base.

      •  She might (0+ / 0-)

        Didn't she and Bill use to smoke back in the 60s? Certainly, he did (though he didn't inhale) and they had friends who did.

        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

        by MichaelNY on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 02:21:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  just as I doubted that either she or Obama (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        actually opposed gay marriage, I think both of them would be perfectly fine with marijuana being legal.

        We no longer ask if a man has integrity, but if he has talent. - Rousseau, Discourse on the arts and sciences

        by James Allen on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 02:30:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They Won't For Long..... (0+ / 0-)

          .....as soon as it's legalized, the politicians who currently support it will turn on it on a dime as a means of justifying higher and higher and higher taxes imposed on disempowered working-class 21-year-olds.

          •  Do you think (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            that the increase in taxes on marijuana (which I agree will likely come if marijuana is legalized) would result in fewer people using it? And if so, by what amount? How would that compare to the amount of people who use marijuana now?

            (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

            by ProudNewEnglander on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 07:23:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I Suspect That With Legalization..... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY

              ......which is likely to be pretty loosely regulated early on as it is in Colorado right now, there will be a normalization of marijuana much like alcohol and a corresponding surge in usage.  People who otherwise wouldn't have tried marijuana will once it's legalized, which will enlarge the customer base right before "concerned" politicians swarm in to the rescue with new taxes and regulations.  This will maximize the potential profits for the corporations that take over marijuana production and distribution and maximize the potential sin tax bounty for state and federal government.

              That's the trajectory I see, whether intentional or not on government's part at this stage.  But with a larger customer base, the black market for untaxed marijuana will return to compete with highly taxed and regulated legal marijuana and basically keep the cartels in business and the prisons full of marijuana users.  That's my long-standing fear of how this will play out.

    •  I Think That Will Be The Mainstream Democratic.... (0+ / 0-)

      .....position for the next few years.  And it's the wisest course in my opinion as it won't be until a big state like California legalizes recreational marijuana until we see the magnitude of the sharks-in-a-feeding-frenzy swarming by predatory corporate and state interests seeking their cut of the action.   I still think the best course of action is decriminalization.  In today's America, legalization will almost certainly equate to--a few years in the future--Philip Morris, RJ Reynolds, 500% excise taxes on wholesale, and rising criminal penalties on the basement-grower scofflaws who dare to stand in the way of all this corporate and government booty.

      •  I actually wouldn't be surprised (0+ / 0-)

        to see a liberal Supreme Court (if we get one in the next decade) strike down marijuana prohibition laws as a violation of privacy.  (the same way contraception, abortion, and anti-sodomy laws were struck down).  It would probably require the retirement of paternalistic liberal Justice Stephen Breyer, though.  

        •  Ugh, I hope not. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ProudNewEnglander, MichaelNY

          You can essentially strike down bans on anything as a violation of privacy "rights."  That's not a good path to go down.

          21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
          politicohen.com
          Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
          UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

          by jncca on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 09:21:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I'm really happy to see this (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen, USA629, MichaelNY

      I had assumed for a long time now she would demagogue against legal marijuana to try to burnish moderate credentials.  This is more than anyone could expect from a Democrat with national ambitions at the moment, and I am very pleased.

      As the years go on and more states legalize marijuana, I think she'll come around (as will many other elected Democrats).  But at the moment, I just want them to commit to staying out of the business of states that are legalizing it.

      •  As I said above (0+ / 0-)

        I don't think she'd be demagoguing.    Hillary Clinton, in my opinion, has left-leaning paternalistic instincts, which make her very skeptical of things like marijuana, guns, porn, etc.  Which is in deep contrast to Obama's left-leaning libertarian instincts.

        If my theory is correct, then Hillary Clinton's new position is a political one, not a personal one.  It is an indication that keeping marijuana illegal is one that is increasingly toxic among the Democratic base and among young people, and Hillary Clinton understands that.

        •  What's your reason for thinking this? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Skaje
          Hillary Clinton, in my opinion, has left-leaning paternalistic instincts, which make her very skeptical of things like marijuana, guns, porn, etc.
          Ironic, by the way, that you talk about Obama having libertarian instincts, considering his absolutely terrible record on pervasive spying and attempts at government secrecy about it.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 09:05:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Obama is - or at least was (0+ / 0-)

            very liberal and had libertarian instincts.  If you go back and look at his political views in the 1990s and early 2000s you can see that.

            But he just doesn't have the will to stop things like spying or drone strikes or imprisonment of non-violent drug users because the pro-establishment people in his administration are very much against that.

            •  I credit/blame him for his actions (0+ / 0-)

              I don't blame others. He didn't have to continue or worsen Bush Administration policies on spying or whistleblowers, and Bush Administration criminals could have been investigated and prosecuted.

              Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

              by MichaelNY on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 11:30:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  The Interesting Thing About Libertarianism..... (0+ / 0-)

              .....is that it has something for just about everybody on the political spectrum.  Hence we're now seeing all kinds of people (the latest being Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton) whose voting record puts them entirely at odds with libertarianism as a political ideology yet still fancy themselves soulmates with libertarians based on partial agreement on an issue or two here or there.  Insofar as Obama has libertarian instincts at all, I'd put him in this category.

              •  Except me (0+ / 0-)

                I'm probably one of the only people in the country for whom libertarianism has absolutely nothing for me. There's a reason why I sometimes refer to myself as an anti-libertarian.

                Thus, if Hillary does indeed have "left-leaning, paternalistic instincts", it would make me like her even more. Just as I have no problem with the Obama Administration's spying or drone use policies.

                (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

                by ProudNewEnglander on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 08:22:34 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  True....You Are Very Consistently Against.... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MichaelNY

                  ....anything libertarian.  Does this include foreign policy matters?  Would you identify yourself as being closer to Rand Paul or John McCain?  Obviously being against imperialist foreign policy doesn't necessarily make one a libertarian...but I'm trying to someplace where you're not on the side of muscular, paternalistic government!

                  •  I don't really align (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    jncca, MichaelNY

                    with either Paul or McCain on foreign policy. I think McCain is unnecessarily hawkish, but I'm no dove either. I generally try to take pragmatic, non-ideological stances on foreign policy. I'm usually cautious about sending troops to fight in foreign countries, but I do accept that it is sometimes necessary. For example, I supported Obama's sending more troops to Afghanistan, but I also agree with him that now is a good time to bring them home. I was against the Iraq War not because we were invading a country, but because we were invading the wrong country.

                    (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

                    by ProudNewEnglander on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 09:04:28 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  you're not the only one. (0+ / 0-)

                  We no longer ask if a man has integrity, but if he has talent. - Rousseau, Discourse on the arts and sciences

                  by James Allen on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 07:34:51 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  This is true (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mark27, MichaelNY

                I've been surprised at how many partyline hard-right Republicans are now claiming to be libertarian personally.  Maybe the word message tests better than conservative?  We had this big argument in the Live Digest the other day about "claim to be libertarian" versus "members of the Libertarian Party" and how different they are, considering how many partyline Republicans call themselves libertarian now, but would never ever vote for a Libertarian.

                As for Democrats, it's also become somewhat of a fad (one in which I admittedly have indulged in) of identifying as a "left-libertarian".  There really is something for everyone in the word.  I use it to accentuate my strong, even radical beliefs in civil/social libertarianism, but I of course despise economic libertarianism and am pretty much a Europe-style socialist on those matters.

                •  I Will State For The Record.... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MichaelNY

                  ....that I identified myself as a left-libertarian before being a left-libertarian was considered cool!

                  Seriously though, I concur completely.  The caricature of libertarianism is popular with the kids these days, which is why everybody from Mark Dayton to (not kidding you here) Sean Hannity are reclassifying themselves as libertarians.  But I think this "we're all libertarians until we find out we're not" predicament portends a gigantic vulnerability for the GOP cool kid of the moment Rand Paul in a general election.

        •  What Michael said (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, jncca

          I've never seen Obama as leaning left-libertarian.  Even well before the NSA stuff, he came across as a mainstream big-city Dem.  Closer to Dianne Feinstein than to Brian Schweitzer.

          But I do think there's some truth to the idea that Democratic politicians are starting to recognize that a significant part of the base wants legal marijuana. As such, I think more and more politicians are not going to risk antagonizing them, unless they are inherently die-hard drug warriors.

      •  Oh She'll Come Around...... (0+ / 0-)

        .....only because she'll discover from participating states that levying a massive tide of new taxes on disproportionately young and downscale marijuana users is a helluva lot easier than levying taxes on older and wealthier constituencies, even though the later is where virtually all the money in society is.  How such a ravenously predatory scheme fits in with the progressive project is a mystery, but I have absolutely no doubt she'll come around to legalizing marijuana five minutes before railing on it for preying on our children.

        •  you've already said this above (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          could we not have you derail this with your preoccupation over sin taxes?

          We no longer ask if a man has integrity, but if he has talent. - Rousseau, Discourse on the arts and sciences

          by James Allen on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 07:47:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No....Any Time The Issue Comes Up..... (0+ / 0-)

            ....the context from which legalization will be sabotaged needs to be raised.  I get that marijuana supporters on the left wants to whitewash this and pretend it won't contradict their other stated goals--particularly shifting tax burden away from the poor and towards the wealthy--but for as long as I have a pulse I'm gonna be around to remind people.

      •  she's actually flanking O'Malley on the left (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, Skaje

        I don't think anyone could have predicted this.

        We no longer ask if a man has integrity, but if he has talent. - Rousseau, Discourse on the arts and sciences

        by James Allen on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 07:48:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah it's incredible (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          I know we're supposed to avoid 2016 primary talk even in the policy threads, but damn are the non-Clinton candidates (Cuomo, O'Malley, Schweitzer) all looking awful at the moment.  If it's those four in 2016, I think you can all guess who I'm voting for.

  •  VA: T-Mac working forward on medicaid expansion (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    he line-item vetoed a bit in the budget preventing such a move and will strive ahead to expand medicaid executively:
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/...

    “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.” -The Doctor

    by KingofSpades on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 09:30:33 AM PDT

    •  It is very important IMO (0+ / 0-)

      that Medicaid is expanded directly instead of this "private option".  The "private option" is a only compromise that should be on the table if the Rs are willing to accept it.  But a message should be sent that there is a price to be paid for obstruction.

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