Saturday, July 18, 2009
Jeff Sessions is a senator from Alabama. His full name is Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III. You know, Jefferson like Jefferson Davis, Beauregard like General Beauregard?
He's a Southern white guy and he thinks that's pretty cool, even if the rest of us don't. 23 years ago, he was appointed to be a federal judge by Ronald Reagan, but he didn't get the job. He had made a few jokes, like he thought the Ku Klux Klan was not so bad until he learned some of them smoked marijuana.
I'm sure that was hilarious in context. I guess you had to be there.
So now he gets to question Sonia Sottomayor about her "wise Latina" comments, and he gets to be the bad white guy beating up on the nice Puerto Rican lady who rose from humble beginnings.
Bad, bad Senator Sessions!
And then he made some comment about crack cocaine, so we got to make fun of him.
Ha, ha, stupid Senator Sessions!
When he was talking about that "crack cocaine thing", what he was talking about was reducing the penalties for selling crack. Like many drugs when they are unknown to the general public, crack was put forward as the worst thing in the world, and penalties for crack were made far more severe than penalties for the same amount of regular cocaine. The consequence of this is overcrowding of prisons, something people on both sides of the aisle are starting to see as a real cost of governing problem and both Republicans and Democrats are trying to do something about it.
Also, crack cocaine is demographically a "black drug", while regular cocaine is more of a "white drug", so this adds to the over-representation of African Americans in our prison population.
Jeff Sessions is doing something that will decrease the burden on the African American community. Let's give him some credit for that.
While Sessions may have thought two decades ago that pot was the bad thing the Klan did while the rest of it was okay, other politicians, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, the governor who wants to pay people like me with IOUs, are actually discussing the pros and cons of legalizing marijuana, again to look at the possibility of reducing the costs of governing and in this case, possibly increasing the tax base.
Democrats and Republicans have serious differences on many issues. On most of those issues, I agree with the Democrats, except where I think the Democrats are too soft. As my friend Padre Mickey has joked, I'm registered as a Democrat because in California, Sandinistas can't vote in the primaries.
In the Padre's defense, it was a hilarious joke in context. Maybe you had to be there.
But that said, we still have to live and work together, and if we can start to make the drug laws in this country make more sense, with Republicans and Democrats working together, that will be a major step in the right direction.