Listening to the radio Thursday a radio host threw out a question to a guest: How long before Jeff Sessions puts the weight of the Justice Department behind enforcing federal marijuana law? The guest mused that they had to destroy Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid first, so she thought about 6 months or so.
Some questions popped into my head immediately. Will the administration go about this in their usual ham-handed way and announce one day that they are going to enforce the laws and then start rounding up elderly and disabled medical marijuana users within the hour, dragging them into lockup.
If they do this, once more the administration will make the object of their hate look extremely sympathetic in the public square. For an administration that is supposed to be so publicity savvy, these guys have been the greatest thing that has ever happened to their perceived enemies.
All during the campaign and then right out of the box Muslims were a major target based solely on their religion. They then enforced their rule by detaining any and all Muslims entering this country at airports. This creates huge sympathy among the American public for American Muslims and others who work or live in the US with green cards or as permanent residents.
What it also does is give anti-American jihadists the best recruiting posters ever. “See” they say, “It’s just like we told you – they hate Muslims and want to kill you.” Jihadists immediately labeled the Muslim ban by the administration as the “blessed ban.” Thus they can claim that the US is showing its true colors about Muslims.
Or how about the shutting down of Elizabeth Warren as she attempted to oppose the nomination of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. When Republicans invoked some real ancient rule to gag her and then went on the news to explain it they gave Senator Warren much, much more publicity than she ever could have garnered any other way. Then when Mitch McConnell gave his explanation for gagging Warren he summed up the Republican attitude toward women – “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” McConnell also gave Warren a much better campaign slogan than any group of advertising brains could ever concoct.
The administration has picked cabinet secretaries based on their opposition to the department they have been picked to lead. Thus naming Betsy DeVos at Education has really helped highlight the problems of public education in this country while the administration will be trying to destroy public education.
Civil Rights has had some focus as anti-civil rights crusader Jeff Sessions takes the helm at the Justice Department. He is a stark reminder of the reasons why such legislation as the Voting Rights Act was needed. Once again as the administration seeks to really roll back civil rights, the public is given a reminder course on why such laws are so necessary.
Looking ahead we all know that healthcare (the ACA, Medicaid and Medicare) will soon be targets as will Social Security. My expectations are that their attacks on those programs will be so fumbled that all these programs will enjoy renewed popularity.
So what about cracking down on marijuana? For one thing, my guess is that it will come out that such a crackdown was pushed by a couple of industries like alcohol and privatized prisons. Neither of these industries elicit much sympathy. When law enforcement starts locking up granny or the kid that gets cannabis oil for epileptic seizures any sympathy falls totally to marijuana users.
One silver lining to the cloud that is 45’s administration is that when they start banging the drums of war against Iran, most Americans including the corporate media, will be extremely wary of anything that comes from the current White House.