Does anyone have quotes or official positions of the candidates on the drug war? I found this article by Bill Maher interesting:
October 13, 2003
A fair number of Independents could be lured in, or back to, the Democratic Party. For me, a litmus test for that would have to be confronting the Drug War, and as I see the media and the Democratic presidential contenders both taking a huge whiff on the opportunity the Rush Limbaugh story provides, I am not encouraged.
For many years, I've been asked 'why do you read the Enquirer?' and have always said, "because I want to know what's going to be in the New York Times next week."
So, a week after I read the Limbaugh story in the Enquirer I read the rehash of it today in the Times, and again: Media, Pols, hello! If any time was the perfect time to make the case about the massive double standard that is the Drug War, this is it. Rush tearfully talks about his addition to a "medication." Yeah, well everybody likes their "medication" in different forms, pally. It would be funny, but substantially the same thing, if on the 6:30 news they sold bourbon and had the voice intone, "Ask your doctor if Jack Daniels is right for you."
Or pot or whatever it is that mixes better with your body chemistry. Because that's all the Drug War is, persecuting people with a different body chemistry than Plan A. Why does one person like scotch, and another loathes it and likes vodka? Or one like cocaine, and another Metabolife?
Who gives a fuck, that's why. The bottom line is, we all pick our poison and shouldn't arbitrarily punish and shame some, and accept and coddle others. There's nothing about preferring the high from oxycontin or liquor or speed (caffeine, ephedra, etc - speed, the drug America really loves) that makes you morally superior to people who like pot or mushrooms or even heroin for that matter, because that's what Oxycontin is, heroin in a pill. Gee, no wonder it's popular.
When it comes to Rush and pills, an analagous situation would be Reagan and guns. After Reagan got shot, what an opportunity to change that debate on guns! Who could argue about at least debating it while he lay in the hospital from a gunshot wound - like how JFK's program got passed so easily after his assassination, or even Bush's after 911.
But Reagan whiffed. Rush has the chance to change America for the better here. But it must involve his admitting the fundamental truths about drugs:
A: Almost all Americans do them, legal or otherwise; B: It's wrong to inconsistently treat fact A.
And Rush, if you don't see it that way yet, let me put it like this: When you're furtively meeting people in parking lots and exchanging ANYTHING in cigar boxes through car windows - OK, that's a drug addict. Issues of personal responsibility is where I often walked with Rush, and this is a classic. A true test of the man. If he comes out of rehab and says, 'I was wrong about our approach to drugs,' he could single handedly change the way America looks at this problem. If he admits that what separates him and Noelle Bush from crackheads is nothing. Nothing except money, race and lawyers. OK, well that is actually quite a lot. But nothing in the way that makes one of them a stronger or better human being. And that's what Rush has to say:
"I am no better or stronger than a crackhead. I lived for the drug, just like he did; obsessed about getting it all the time, like he did; corrputed and lied about everything else in my life - career, health (the hearing problem is related to this, no doubt - check the amount he was taking daily - Elvis is going "whoa, dude, slow down with that shit"), relationships, like he did. And we both deserve the same treatment: compassion!"
Because Rush wants, and is already getting, a lot of compassion for this. Let me add my full hearted endorsement of that, and hope for a successful rehab, and a happy life for him whatever he wants to do thereafter. Rush Limbaugh was the first one to say "Bill Maher was right" when I was in the hot seat after 911, and I will always appreciate and remember that. He also has a good sense of humor, and enjoys jokes I've done about him. I want to be able to back him.
But he's gotta keep it real when he gets out. If he starts living the morally indefensible double standard he has been defending his whole career, game over. He learned nothing, or is too weak to admit it. That would be a shame, because I think he has it in him to do this, and the power and accomplishment from turning this battleship around would be, well - a rush.