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Dick Morris Tells John McCain to Propose Harsher Cocaine Laws

I noted last week the tendency of our revered political strategists to find themselves stuck in the 80's, arguing that harsh lock-em-up rhetoric is the only way to discuss drug policy in an election.

Well, along comes Dick Morris to prove me right in The Washington Post with this recommendation for John McCain:

Go after the Democrats for their proposals to lower sentences for crack cocaine to make them equal to those for powder cocaine. (Instead, McCain should urge raising penalties for regular cocaine.)

Obviously, the crack/powder disparity is a more nuanced political issue than something like medical marijuana. Still, I have a hard time imagining that voters in 2008 want to hear the candidates promise harsher drug laws.

It's not 1988 anymore. People know those crack laws were racist. People know about our unsustainable, out-of-control prison population. And people know the punishments for cocaine are already plenty harsh. I'm not sure where public opinion breaks on this issue, but I doubt Dick Morris does either.

If I had to guess, I'd say McCain will probably follow the path Morris proposes. The appeal of attacking a candidate who's admitted trying cocaine, and now supports a reduction in crack sentences, will be great. On the other hand, if McCain does this, he'll be standing up for a notoriously racist law in an already racially-charged election.

The candidates should choose their words carefully on this one, as should any political strategist who still thinks proposing longer drug sentences is always a guaranteed winner at the polls.

(This blog post was published by's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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This is rich!!!

OMG, I'm looking forward to this general election ticking time bomb.

"The appeal of attacking a candidate who's admitted trying cocaine, and now supports a reduction in crack sentences, will be great. "

Bush did cocaine but while President gave pardons to cocaine traffickers.

The racism takes off the smiley mask

And reveals the snarl beneath it.

As anyone who does the research quickly learns, the drug laws were meant as a means of legal oppression of minorities. Oh-so-genteely, of course; no overt epithets, save from the bottom-most of the drug prohib food chain. But the hate...becomes very evident. That hate has once again risen to the surface.

Since the number of African American Republicans is microscopic compared to the Democrats, it becomes clear what this is: code. As in 'dog whistle politics'. As in using words like 'inner city' as code for 'African-Americans' to show the faithful that the core Repub antipathy towards minorities is still alive and well. It doesn't have to be overt, save for the densest members of their Party.

The Repubs must really be desperate to pull this one. Pity the Dems don't have anyone who can stand up to their crap and throw it back in the Repub's teeth. If they did, they would have stopped the DrugWar long ago; if only because of the way it savages their base. But they don't care; they are the 'half' of the 'One-And-A-Half party system' and it suits them just fiiiiiiine.

one word

[email protected],Vancouver,B.C.Canada remove the word "often"and you have it.

Dick Morris's Bad Advice

Good letter from Families Against Mandatory Minimums

two of a kind

[email protected],Vancouver,B.C.Canada What can you expect from two political dinosaurs like these?McCain is a true believer in the drugs'r'bad thank you Mr.Mackey,and Mr Winters' so lost in the dark he cant find his ass with toilet paper.I'm sure they'll both be a bad memory come January so let's just make sure we all vote in November.

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