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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

the raich stuff

Browsing through the blogosphere, doing my own personal, informal (and unscientific) survey, I see a pattern. Libertarian blogs seem to have the most commentary on the recent medical marijuana decision by SCOTUS, then conservative blogs and finally left-wing blogs. Obviously, the war on drugs is a core issue for libertarians so it's not a surprise to see that they have the most commentary. Conservatives are conflicted, on the one hand supporting the war on drugs and on the other professing federalism as an important principle. But what about the left-wingers? Why so little from them? I suspect the odd 6-3 line up among the justices has them temporarily befuddled and reluctant to acknowledge what is happening.

Radley Balko has noticed the lack of left-wing commentary as well but has also spotted an potential explanation for lefty thought on this issue from Matt Yglesias. Yglesias says what is no doubt on the minds of many leftists:
...the important issue here was the federalism one, not the medical marijuana one. Sympathetic as one might be to the defendants in this case, a victory for their side could have led to very bad consequences down the road. Advocates of marijuana law reform are welcome to press their point of view in congress [sic].
Balko says:
And there it is. The prominent writer for the "moderately liberal" American Prospect would rather let sick people suffer and die and side with giving ever more power to the Bush administration than give an inch toward letting states of localities govern themselves. Because, apparently, should his side ever get power again, Yglesias wants to be sure he can impose his policies on the rest of us. And siding with sick people now might hamper his ability to slap high taxes, heavy regulations, and liberal utopia on red staters later.
But I would say it's even worse. Yglesias is truly terrified of the notion that Federal power might be lessened even slightly. Does anyone in their wildest dreams think that, short of four Clarence Thomas clones being added to the court, there would be even the slightest chance that something like the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would be deemed unconstitutional? No, for the left, it is unbearable that "progress" be slowed, stopped or, horror of horrors, scaled back even the teensiest bit. Better to screw over the sick and the dying.

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