The Pot calling the Kettle “Dude”?
An emailer whose wishes to remain anonymous (paranoid from his gage binging, no doubt), offers the following as a solution to the NSA controversy. I present it with limited commentary, hoping instead that it will generate discussion all by its lonesome:
I think I have a way for the Bush administration to pretty much the anti-surveilance Left. Legalize marijuana (and, preferably but impossibly, other soft drugs.)
As a former paranoid and former drug user [LIAR!], I’m fairly well convinced that a large proportion of those worried about the “wiretapping” in the war on terror are not actual privacy absolutists, they’re just (consciously or unconsciously) worried that once the Federal Govt. has confirmed it’s right to these powers for the purpose of the War on Terror, they will begin using them for The War on Drugs.
End that possibility, and I think you will see a large part of the opposition melt away, or at least soften into irrelevance. I think this would be entirely analogous to the significant decrease in opposition to the war in Vietnam once the Draft was abolished. (And indeed, without the threat of a draft, all the vitriol spewed against the war in Iraq never manifested itself as feet on the ground.
Hell, if Republicans were smart, they’d be out in front of this for purely selfish reasons. Legalize pot, and you get the following electoral advantages:
1) The votes of lots of college students and other youth who vote Democrat just because they think the Democrats are cooler.
2) The utter decimation of the Libertarian Party, leaving it an even more intense collection of Nativists, Randroids and zero-tax Utopians.
3) Leftist Political Organizing becomes even more of an oxymoron, as their anger and bitterness becomes harder to sustain and an angry post on DU or Kos becomes a less compelling option than another game of Madden and a bag of Doritos.
4) Given #3, a significant rise in profits for Frito-Lay and Yum Brands.
What do you think, sirs?
The only thing I’d add—but one of the biggest obstacles to the plan that I can come up with off the top of my head (sorry, but it’s lunchtime, and I always follow my microwave Smart Ones™ Pot Roast meal with a doobie the size of a baby’s arm)—is that to pull it off, you’d have to completely rebrand “conservatism” in a way that so musses the cleanly-parted and carefully-sprayed hair of its social conservative public face that the ensuing battle, though probably necessary for the longterm success of the GOP, would lead to great violence: Hugh Hewitt and Glenn Reynolds in a steel cage deathmatch; Fred Barnes in tortoise rimmed glasses being served by a trashtalking Bill Ardolino in a dark and threatening hoodie…
It could get ugly.
But the basic premise—if we can presume that opponents of the NSA program really are concerned about mission creep (which I find unlikely, given the NSA’s circumspection)—might have some merit.
Plus, y’know—HASH BROWNIES, bros!