A MoveOn founder sits down with a Tea Party leader in a quest for common ground:
Joan and I were introduced almost two years ago by a mutual friend, Ralph Benko. Ralph concluded his introductory email between us with something like this line: “God help the politicians if the tea party and MoveOn.org ever agree on anything.” Well the time has come for us to find some agreement. If you disagree, let me ask you a few questions that I’ve asked many of my friends on the left and right.
How many of you voted for trillion-dollar deficits? I haven’t yet met the voter who did, yet representatives on both sides of the aisle continue to impose them on us.
How many of you think we have the premier education system in the world, where the dollars and are efforts are focused on our kids? Hmmm…none of you? Then why are so many of our politicians on both sides of the aisle wedded to the status quo, and we see so little change?
How many of you think that our criminal justice system is the best in the world, and the War on Drugs has been a tremendous success? Hmmm…anyone…left or right? No? Then why are so many of our incumbent representatives on both sides of the aisle so weak when it comes to making any real criminal justice reforms?
How many of you think that we have far too much unproductive, government mandated paperwork? Everyone? Then why can’t we get our elected representatives at all levels to do something about this?
There is much common ground on these and many other issues. And it is on these things Joan and I are focused, and on which our discussions focused on Saturday.
The War on Drugs jumps off that list. This war may have made sense forty years ago but art this point my sense is that we are being carried forward by mindless momentum. Republicans want to appear tough on crime, Democrats don't want to appear soft on crime, so the Coalition of the Unwilling lumbers forward with no exit strategy or a plan for victory.
In the current political environment, a don't think a former member go the Choom Gang is the best guy to declare defeat in this war. In fact, just as Nixon, the penultimate anti-Communist, could go to China, abstemious Mitt Romney would have been the perfect guy to de-escalate the Drug War. Bygones.