That vacillation became evident as he kept talking about crack-vs.-powder sentencing, which has come to symbolize racial injustice in criminal justice. He said that if he were to become president, he would support a commission to issue a report “that allows me to say that based on the expert evidence, this is not working and it’s unfair and unjust. Then I would move legislation forward.”
That was a puzzling statement because the US Sentencing Commission, created by Congress in 1984, has long said the system is not working and reaffirmed in April that the 100-to-1 ratio “significantly undermines” sentencing reform.
Obama asked if he could make a “broader” point. “Even if we fix this, if it was a 1-to-1 ratio, it’s still a problem that folks are selling crack. It’s still a problem that our young men are in a situation where they believe the only recourse for them is the drug trade. So there is a balancing act that has to be done in terms of, do we want to spend all our political capital on a very difficult issue that doesn’t get at some of the underlying issues… [emphasis added]
So I guess we’ll just have to put up with the massive drug war destruction if Obama is President, so we don’t waste too much political capital.
None of Obama’s pet summer school and early childhood programs will mean very much if Mommy and Daddy are in jail.