Lou Dobbs, who is already missing way too many brain cells, is apparently getting high sucking on the tailpipe of the drug war this week (or am I mixing metaphors?)
From last night:
DOBBS: Abusing them, dependent upon them, and the drugs are last week hailing a decline in drug use. I mean, it is just remarkable.
We have been engaged in a three-decade-long war against drugs, this government. And we’re failing.
And this broadcast is going to continue its series of reports which we began tonight on “The War Within,” and we’re going to focus on this, and we’re going to try our level best not only to increase the body of public knowledge, but try to spur this government into some action to help twenty thousand young Americans who are being killed every year.
It’s just — it’s disgraceful. It’s horrible. It’s tragic.
Christine, thank you very much.
That leads us to the subject of our poll tonight.
Do you believe we should commit to win the war on drugs in this country? Yes or no?
And if you thought that was a badly worded poll question, check out tonight’s:
Do you believe only a nation bent on its own destruction would continue to permit its population to consume 2/3 of the world’s illegal drugs?
Lou has been at this kind of nonsense for some time. You may remember that he recently unfairly maligned Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.
So I’m guessing that during his drug war week, Lou isn’t going to bother address the excellent letter that Ethan sent him last week:
When I wrote my open letter to you on the subject of U.S. drug policy in 2003 (which a friend has archived here), I honestly thought that you might consider its points. I was, of course, sadly mistaken. 2 1/2 years later, you’re still spouting the same spectacular damage.
You state, “A group of law enforcement agents now say that effort is actually fueling drug trafficking and violence, and they say the answer is to end the war on drugs.” You call this argument “idiocy.”
Can I assume that you do not dispute the first half of this statement? After all, the ONDCP itself has confirmed in its ads that drug money funds crime and terrorism. This is not disputed by the vast majority of drug policy reform advocates, as far as I can tell — except in the sense that the ONDCP’s emphasis on marijuana is telling and hilarious and seen by anyone with a functioning cortex as precisely the cynical maneuver that it is.
I further assume that you will not dispute the connection between Prohibition II and the $500 billion black market that it has inaugurated. Had we not “banned” drugs, that $500 billion per year might have gone somewhere a bit more productive. Even Milton Friedman, while he might have had issues with the “somewhere a bit more productive” angle, questioned why we would fund our enemies quite so readily. Of course, you’re much smarter than Friedman, and I can only assume that you’ll get around at some point to telling us how and why.
That leaves the second half of your statement. We could take you right out of 2007 and plunk you down in the dying days of Prohibition I, and your argument would hold up just as well — which is to say, not at all. You’re the Eliot Ness of the new millennium, and it’s kinda cute, except that it’s helping to destroy more lives than it could ever possibly save. When the first nuclear blast goes off in one of our cities due to drug profits, I have no doubt that the witch hunt will begin in earnest, with you at the forefront. At that point, it will be too late to speak of irony.
What you appear to want is a silver bullet. A silver bullet is not forthcoming, Lou. At least within the context of the drug war, you have betrayed yourself as a liberal of the destructive variety that conservatives such as you routinely accuse all liberals of being. You want the federal government to come in and Fix Things, heedless of the angels of your better judgment, who are crying out that neither public health nor supply and demand work as you’d have us believe.
I challenge you to produce evidence that prohibition has ever worked. It doesn’t count in the event that the end result was the adoption of more lethal drug B after the banning of less lethal drug A. You can’t do it, Lou. You simply can’t. Bathtub gin hurts you; crack cocaine destroys you. But you’ll keep trying, even as our land of the free cements its role as the world’s number-one incarcerator — at your well-deserved expense.
Most of these drugs, now so vilified, have been with us in one form or another since the beginning of recorded history. (And yes, I include the Bible, if you feel like going there.) If you want to lock people up for plucking a God-given plant from the ground, in the face of much greater dangers, it’s going to be increasingly upon you to explain why — especially when, by all appearances, it’s only increasing the danger that we’re both going to get blown up.
If wishes were horses, prohibitionists would ride. True conservatives, meanwhile, should recognize that legalization and regulation would tax those who use drugs, instead of taxing the entire U.S. populace to the tune of a laughably inadequate $80 billion per year.
While I’m a private citizen with no organizational ties, I have little doubt that history will show that I worked for your purported cause even as you worked against it. What with the vast resources at your disposal, I respectfully suggest that there is little excuse for this.