Apparently, Obama has picked Biden for his VP. Certainly disappointing, though not hugely significant, since:

  1. I really don’t expect drug policy reform to come from any President who actually gets elected. and
  2. I don’t expect the V.P. to have much power in setting negative policy.

But let’s review:
Biden was a hard core drug warrior for a very long time. He tried his best to outdo the first President Bush in 1990 in developing a drug control strategy in the Senate that was just as tough, and included expanded use of military in the drug war.
In 2003, after earlier failed attempts, he managed to sneak the Reducing Americans’ Vulnerability to Ecstasy Act (yes, the RAVE Act) into law, moving us toward an increased police state.
Oh, and yeah, he helped create the office of the Drug Czar.
Now, to be fair, he also introduced a bill to reduce sentencing disparities between crack and powder cocaine.
It’s possible, from looking at his record, that his drug warrior stance has softened somewhat over the years. Still, he’s far from demonstrating any kind of acceptable overall position.
While he has refused to answer vote-smart issue questionnaires, it is possible to see how his voting record has stacked up in Civil LIberties/Civil Rights.
Biden voted the same way as the ACLU…

  • 1996: 39%
  • 1997: 33%
  • 1998: 67%
  • 1999: 50%
  • 2000: 57%
  • 2001: 50%
  • 2002: 60%
  • 2004: 80%
  • 2006: 89%
  • 2007: 75%

Appears to have a strong potential trend toward improvement, particularly post-911.
Again, as V.P., he’s not that much of a concern. It seems to me that he would be much less dangerous as V.P. than McCain as P.
But, if something happens to Obama, or if Biden continues on to be President after Obama, I sure hope his learning curve is quickly continuing to improve.

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