Mitch Daniels' Disappearing Felony

Yesterday The Daily Princetonian published a profile of Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels that focuses on a drug bust during his junior year at Princeton:

Officers found enough marijuana in his room to fill two size 12 shoe boxes, reports of the incident say. He and the other inhabitants of the room were also charged with possession of LSD and prescription drugs without a prescription. Daniels and his two roommates in 111 Cuyler Hall, Marc Stuart '71 and Richard Stockton '71, were arrested and, after plea bargaining, Daniels eventually escaped with a $350 fine for "maintaining a common nuisance." The charges against Stockton were eventually dropped.

Daniels, a Republican who served as George W. Bush's budget director, portrays this incident as a youthful mistake for which he paid an appropriate price. "I don't make excuses for anything," he says. "Justice was served." Yet he does make excuses. In a 1989 Washington Post op-ed piece that the Princetonian quotes, Daniels attributed his arrest to the "unfortunate confluence of my wild oats period and America's libertine apogee," writing:

On my college campus, just as on most college campuses, marijuana was as easy to obtain as Budweiser beer and was viewed with equal complacency. For a time, I was a carefree consumer of both.

Stockton, his ex-roommate, likewise tells the Princetonian:

We just kind of did what college juniors did. It was very normal to what the college culture was.

Statistically speaking, however, smoking pot was not normal in 1970, when Daniels was arrested. Survey data from the early 1970s indicate that maybe a third of 18-to-25-year-olds were smoking pot. What Daniels retrospectively identifies as "America's libertine apogee" was in fact just the beginning of an upward trend, at least as far as drug use went. According to data from the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, marijuana consumption among college-age Americans peaked in 1979, when half of them reported smoking pot in the previous year. The Monitoring the Future Study shows a similar trend among high school seniors. Daniels' attempt to minimize his responsibility by claiming everyone was doing it exaggerates the extent of marijuana use when he was in college.

More important, Daniels' assertion that "justice was served" obscures what a huge break he got. Under current New Jersey law, possessing more than 50 grams (about 1.8 ounces) of marijuana is a felony punishable by up to 18 months in prison. Given the amount of pot Daniels had (enough to fill two shoeboxes), he easily could have been charged with intent to distribute, which under current law triggers a penalty of three to five years (for less than five pounds). And at the time of Daniels' arrest in May 1970, New Jersey's marijuana penalties were even more severe. Six months after his arrest, the New Jersey Supreme Court decided a case involving an 18-year-old who was caught with a tiny amount of pot (clearly just for personal use) and got a sentence of two to three years in prison. Concluding that "the sentence was entirely too harsh," the court noted that state law set a minimum sentence of two years but allowed it to be suspended for a first offense. The court ruled that "a suspended sentence with an appropriate term of probation is sufficient penalty for a person who is convicted for the first time of possessing marihuana for his own use." Given the legal situation prior to this ruling, Daniels was incredibly lucky to get off with a $350 fine, and he was able to do so only because he did not actually plead guilty to marijuana possession—only to the lesser offense of "maintaining a common nuisance."

In light of these facts, The American Prospect's Paul Waldman is right to fault Daniels for minimizing the consequences he avoided:

His logic seems be this: When the police found me with a huge amount of drugs, I was given a slap on the wrist, and I then went on to a productive life. Which shows that kids today who did what I did ought to have to leave school and get chucked in jail with murderers and rapists.

Daniels' whitewash is especially troubling in light of the policy recommendations he made in that 1989 op-ed piece, which he wrote when he was president of the Hudson Institute:

In calling for enforcement of drug laws against even casual users—publicizing the names of arrestees, at least minimal fines or jail time for those convicted and requiring no-use policies from colleges and other beneficiaries of government funds and so on—[drug czar] William Bennett is exactly right. The threshold test of seriousness on the drug issue—for President Bush in reviewing the plan and for your congressman in reacting to it—will be their enthusiasm for these sections. In my opinion, any public official who shrinks from user sanctions should be disqualified from further participation in the drug debate.

Daniels, with his two shoeboxes full of marijuana, was not exactly a "casual user." Under New Jersey law then and now, he committed a felony. Yet he got away with a slap on the wrist, and here he is advocating "jail time" and a criminal record, with all the ancillary penalties that entails, for anyone caught with half a joint.

As Waldman's American Prospect colleague Adam Serwer points out, Daniels' galling hypocrisy is mitigated by his more recent support for sentencing reform, including reduced penalties for nonviolent drug offenders. But if Daniels really thinks a $350 fine is an appropriate penalty for someone caught with several ounces of marijuana, he should at least support decriminalizing possession. Currently in Indiana, the amount of pot Daniels had triggers a sentence of six months to three years.

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  • Juice||

    And this is John Stossel's favorite governor?

  • Other Derp||

    So he smoked pot in college, who cares.

  • Juice||

    But don't YOU dare smoke pot in college!

  • Kristen||

    RTFA - it only has to do with his pot smoking in that he thinks that "justice was served" in his case, but that nowadays college kids caught with weed should be thrown in Federal PMITA prison.

  • kiwi dave||

    There needs to be a short, brief epithet for politicians who got away with youthful drug use but want to utterly destroy the lives of youths who do the same thing now. The term "chickenhawk" brilliantly encapsulated the same type of hypocrisy when it comes to military action -- we need an equivalent for drugs.

    I think we should have a competition, with a fine bottle of single malt for the winner.

  • ||

    "DrugWart"

  • perlhaqr||

    I like this one. Short, to the point, brings the German "Blockwart" term to mind.

    http://munchkinwrangler.wordpr.....he-decade/ for those in need of a succinct definition of the term.

  • ||

    Weedwhacker?

  • Nephilium||

    Cuntpickle.

  • Tonio||

    Bongocrit?

  • ||

    OK, please explain how you came up with that because I have no idea.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    I'm guessing a conflation of "bong" and "hypocrit".

  • ||

    Ahh, I see. Then I would take generic Brand's submission below, mix it with Tonio's, and get "hitocrite".

  • Brett L||

    I figured it was a Matthew McConnaghy tribute. But I lived in Austin in the late '90s.

  • ||

    Crip-o-hit

  • ||

    THCocrite

  • ||

    Weaseldouche.

  • ||

    Mine is kinda long, but it captures the feeling I have about this:

    upagainstthefuckingwallwithabulletinthehead-ocrit

  • ||

    Dittohead?

  • ||

    "My parents?"

  • Fat Crack Ho||

    Hypocritical cocksucker.

    I don't drink, so maybe an Outback gaft card or something?

  • ||

    So, you're suggesting that drugs should be legal only for college students? That's brilliant. In one fell swoop, we solve the problems caused by the WoD and our higher education woes.

  • ||

    I couldn't care less that he smoked pot in college. But just maybe he shouldn't have been an asshole twenty years later.

    Maybe he should admit there are lots of other people who did, and are doing, hard time for less.

  • ||

    Statistically speaking, however, smoking pot was not normal in 1970, when Daniels was arrested. Survey data from the early 1970s indicate that maybe a third of 18-to-25-year-olds were smoking pot. What Daniels retrospectively identifies as "America's libertine apogee" was in fact just the beginning of an upward trend, at least as far as drug use went.

    I suspect that kids at Ivy League schools were a bit ahead of the curve.

  • Fat Crack Ho||

    Maybe Mr. Sullum's definition of normal differs from mine, but to me, any activity being partaken in by a third of the population can be considered "normal."

  • ||

    Not that it matters, because behavior that harms no other shouldn't be illegal, but a third of 18-25 year olds is not a third of the population. It's a third of 18-25 year olds. I'd say it was abnormal then, but I couldn't tell you when exactly when the tipping point hit us between the early 70s and today.

  • zoltan||

    Do as I say, not as I do.

  • ||

    Daniels' hypocrisy merely demonstrates what libertarians have always contended:

    POWER is the most dangerous drug and that people will give up all ethics and commonsense in the pursuit of it.

  • ||

    Exactly. He's a politician. If you expect anything else, you're insane.

  • Douglas Fletcher||

    Statistically speaking, however, smoking pot was not normal in 1970...

    Aside from the question of whether or not this guy is another hypocrite politician, I don't have any problem believing that pot smoking was widespread among people who were undergraduates at places like Princeton in 1970. If that survey data back then was accurate, it would have included surveys of places like the deep South, Texas and the working class in the midwest, which probably lagged a bit behind in adopting hippie culture stuff like taking illegal drugs. I lived in Memphis for a @1971 & I remember there being much less of that kind of thing than what I saw when my family moved back north to Maryland.

  • ||

    So, apparently no one at Reason has sufficient command of photoshop to put in his hand what he's clearly making a gesture for? Or would that get y'all sued?

  • ||

    (damn, threaded comments, why you play me like that.)

  • ||

    Jacob, how old are you? Because i was smoking pot in 1970, also 1968, 1969, 1971...you get the picture. And even if that survey si right, whcih I doubt, the 2/3rds that weren't smoking were mostly OK with their friends who did. That is not a reason to question Daniels' honesty.

    The bullshit he says about the war on drugs is more than enough.

  • ||

    Meh. Like I needed another reason to kick Daniels to the curb.

  • ||

    Make sure you do not make the perfect the enemy of the good.

  • Ice Nine||

    I'm guessing that Daniels didn't exactly do a great deal of research or any independent statistical analysis before he made that statement. Give me a break. I was in grad school - in flyover country - at that time and it by god sure felt like it was the libertine apogee. Sex and drugs and rock 'n roll was no joke. So he was off a few years when he spoke loosely about the times. BFD. Aside from the dead-on verity of the notion of his hypocrisy in latter day advocacy of drug sentencing, that article was an exemplar of mountain outa molehill.

  • ||

    I dunno, I think there is something to the question of exactly how "libertine" America was in 1970 compared to 2011. Support for legalization peaked at, what, 35% or so in the seventies? Now we're basically at 50/50.

    You don't get to excuse yourself by saying "it was part of the culture back then" if it's an even bigger part of the culture right now. Which it is.

  • ||

    It's hard to get a handle on the right number. Polling is a bitch, thanks to cell phones.

    Protip: The most accurate #s are from YouGov.

    They actually show the highest approval rate for pot, too.

    Unfortunately, the opinions of older voters (parents, WWII generation, etc.) count for more.

  • ola||

    This is why I like to read the Reason blog. Daniels has been getting love from the repubs lately and there was something about him that didn't quite add up. Now I realize it. He's a fucking hypocritical asshat who needs to explain his asshattery about getting a fine for a lesser meaningless charge that would put any other jerk in jail, subject to asset forfeiture and life long filling out job applications about whether they've been charged with a felony. Fuck wad.

  • I would agree, BUT||

    If he were pushing to crack down on pot users I would agree: definitely a FUCK WAD (though obviously he was dealing out of that shoe box). But unlike some other fuck wads in positions of power, like Smokin' Barry, he is leaning the other direction.

  • ||

    needs to explain his asshattery about getting a fine for a lesser meaningless charge that would put any other jerk in jail

    "I'm better than them."

    Alternatively: "I've got yer explanation right *grabs crotch* HERE!"

  • ||

    Baby boomer politicians:99% hypocrites on pot. My generation sucks.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Not just the politicians. The idiot voters! It's crazy that the same voters who used pot (or even harder drugs) in their younger years, and/or had friends who did the same, suddenly insist that politicians support the drug war and apologize for any past drug use before they will vote for them.

  • ||

    +1. That shit is everywhere. Why do people go full retard when they pop out some kids?

  • mr simple||

    I have a friend who's father sat him down at the age of 18 and told him, "Son, I did a lot of drugs when I was young, and I suggest you do the same."

  • Brett L||

    Nice. I may have to save that one.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Better add, "Don't get caught, or you're fucked."

  • ||

    Why do people go full retard when they pop out some kids?

    Because they're fucking stupid. Most people lack the ability to metacognize, and so never question why they are going full retard. Just a moment's reflection would get them to realize that they did it too and are OK. But they don't.

  • ||

    I think there are two reasons, birth control and the decline in infant mortality. I not kidding. It used to be that people had huge numbers of kids since they didn't have access to birth control. And they needed to since many kids died very young. Now people have very few kids and they most all live to adulthood. It only makes sense that people would be protective to the point of insanity now.

  • ||

    Perhaps, but there is a societal/peer pressure feedback mechanism involved.

    I was essentially an only child (sister 10 years younger) and we used to go play in the woods all day long, jump our bikes without helmets, get stitches, drive around without seat belts, drink martinis, etc. My parents weren't non-conformists, that's just what everyone did. And one or two child families were already the norm at the time.

  • ||

    I've always said that Western nations place a much higher value on a person's life because our kids don't die off anymore. I actually tried to explain this to the guy who called me to solicit donations to the "Make a Wish" Foundation and he was pretty aghast...

  • Fatty Bolger||

    OK, but the fact that so much of the danger of drugs comes from their illegality destroys a lot of that argument.

    What's more dangerous for your kid - smoking pot, or going to jail for smoking pot? Smoking legally obtained pure marijuana, or something that could have who knows what chemicals in it? Going to the corner pharmacy, or having to do business with a drug dealer?

    How can they not see that?

  • Apogee||

    Because when you're young, you're not involved in the profit of restraint yet.

  • Masturbatin' Pete||

    What's more dangerous for your kid ... Smoking legally obtained pure marijuana, or something that could have who knows what chemicals in it?

    We've all heard "drug dealers put other stuff in marijuana omg wtf!!" from drug warriors, but has this ever been true? I've purchased weed from a lot of shady characters over the years, and I have never known one to spike marijuana with anything other than a shitload more seeds than I was expecting.

    I mean, who in his right mind wants to covert a pot-distribution charge to a distribution charge for something punished more severely?

  • Zeb||

    I don't know which is worse, the ones who turn around as soon as they had kids, or the ones who got a bit out of control with their own indulgence and now say "I couldn't handle my shit, so no one else should be allowed to".

  • ||

    There is nothing worse than a reformed addict. They are the most tiresome people on earth.

  • ||

    Hah, hell yeah.

  • DNS||

    There is nothing worse than a reformed addict. They are the most tiresome people on earth.

    How's MNG?

  • ||

    Agreed. Our generation sucks.

  • ||

    Little known fact: not only did his daddy the $350 fine, the cops shot his neighbor's dog. That dog used to bark all night while he was baked off his gourd, and tripping on that amazing 70s acid, so it was pretty much a win-win.

  • ||

    Yet another reason to despise Daniels.

  • ||

    Despise? Given the full-scale moronitude of The American Voter, we ought to be kissing his feet and buying him tabs...

  • ||

    I keep waiting for a politician whose reaction to the Pot question is "Of course I smoked Pot in college. I did a lot of stupid things while I was in college. Next question."

  • Fatty Bolger||

    And my question to that politician would be, why do you favor putting young people in jail for doing the same thing you did?

  • ||

    I mean, that's basically the Bloomberg/Obama line. Hell, even Newt Gingrich echoed that refrain. The problem is, there's nothing at all stupid about smoking pot in college. The youthful indiscretion schtick is weak as can be.

    What we need is for someone to answer, "I smoke pot sometimes, and there's nothing at all wrong with it."

  • "I didn't inhale." How's that?||

  • yonemoto||

  • Kristen||

    I keep waiting for a politician whose reaction to the Pot question is "Of course I smoked Pot in college. I smoke pot now - it's wonderfully relaxing after dealing with derp, derp, derpers all day long. Next question."

  • robc||

    Gary Johnson. Only it was cocaine, not pot.

  • ||

    To me the 1989 quote says everything I need to know about Daniels. It is not that the quote is any worse than many things othe drug warriors have said or that coming from someone else, I couldn't forgive the quote. Indeed, there are otherwise good but misinformed people who truly believe that drugs are evil and think we need to have draconian punishments for those who use them. But these people realy believe that and never come anywhere near drugs. Daniels is not that person. He apparently was a pretty heavy drug user in college.

    And further his arrest had to have been a pretty serious emotional incident in his life. It is not like he could have forgotten that he had once been arrested for drugs. No he knew and remembered. And he also knew that he got off lightly. Yet, in spite of this he is nearly 20 years later argueing for other people not to get off. Worse still he does so without mentioning his experience. It would be one thing if in 1989 he were saying "I was arrested once and should have gotten jail time but didn't and I did a horrible thing". But that is not what he is doing there. He is instead just acting like it didn't happen and gleefully argueing for the jailing of people for doing the very thing he did but did not recieve jail time.

    That tells me that he is a fucking sociopathic piece of shit who is completely incapable of empathyzing with anyone but his own plight. I am serious. Daniels doesn't belong anywhere near any position of power and certainly not the Presidency.

  • Robert||

    The trouble with the "sociopathic piece of shit" characteriz'n is that I think the great majority of people in that position would feel the same way as him. In other words, the problem is that society is sociopathic, not that he is. You have to compare against the norm. So that shouldn't count as a strike against him.

  • ||

    Bullshit. I don't think most people would be that way at all. I think most normal people would look at their experience and emphathize with someone in a similiar situation and think that we should also give them a break.

  • ||

    Sort of like how Rush empathizes with drug addicts?

    But seriously, yeah I agree, 100%.

  • ||

    Honestly, I think Rush is pretty silent on the Drug war. I have challenged numerous critics of his to produce an actual transcript of him saying something like Daniels is saying here. None of them have ever been able to meet my challenge.

  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    I use to listen to Rush everyday back in the late 80's. His position back then was, if drugs were legal everyone would take them. So drugs have to be illegal. Knowing what we know about Rush now. He was talking about himself & thinking all of society is like him.

  • Jim||

    Here's a link to several quotes, with audio:

    http://www.indybay.org/newsite.....528341.php

  • ||

    I am not buying those quotes. Most of the Rush quotes put out by the lefty blogshpere have since been proven to be fake.

  • ||

    Yeah, to be fair, I've probably spent a total of 5 minutes listening to the guy my entire life. But I can't imagine he's actually in favor of drug law reform.

    Plus he seems to pile the culture war crap on pretty heavily. I'm not that impressed by an Oxy addict's admonishment of deadbeats.

  • Jim||

    Most of the fakes don't give the date transcript.

    Plus, it's too easy to simply declare any evidence that we don't like "fake" and move on. What right-wing websites are going to post quotes that may make him look bad?

    I have heard him say things on the radio that indicates he supports the drug war. Since you probably won't believe me either, and you won't believe referenced quotes on the internet because they were posted by "lefties", then what evidence WOULD you accept? I'll find it (short of my having to pay for transcripts).

  • MlR||

    You've listened to him 5 minutes and are sure about his position on drug law reform.

    Okay...

  • ||

    ---"I am not buying those quotes."---

    I am. I have listened to Rush occasionally over the the past 15+ years. It's always good to know what the other sides think. I distinctly remember him saying, if not those exact words, words and sentiments very similar to them.

  • Robert||

    It's like faulting Geo. Wash., etc. for owning slaves. That was normal in their society.

  • ||

    First, George Washignton and company ought to be faulted for owning slaves. They knew it was wrong and admitted as much. They were just too greedy and enjoyed their cush lives too much to give up their slaves. That is their moral failing. That doesn't mean they didn't do other goo things or that we shouldn't listen to them when they were right. But they definitely should be faulted.

    And this is not even comparable. There is nothing about society that forces you to think that we need draconian drug laws. Medical marijuana and legalization referendums have consistently won sizable minorities of support. Being anti-prohibition, while a minority position, is no longer an outlier position.

  • ||

    a $350 fine

    What is that in 2011 dollars?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    A lot less than a nickel in prison.

  • Robert||

    I don't think this is hypocrisy. I think he's saying, and probably actually believes, that because some people like him got off easy, now society has to make up for that by being more strict with the current generation.

  • ||

    You may be right. And if you are, Daniels is actually worse than if he were being hypocritical.

  • Robert||

    Well, yeah, but the trouble is that that's perfectly normal.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    If you're trying to make us truly hate the guy, job well done.

  • ||

    Fuck Daniels, and if he's what you say, fuck him even more.

    Go be a GOP shill somewhere else.

  • ||

    Out of the people who have a reasonable chance of being elected President of the United States, who's more libertarian?

  • perlhaqr||

    If that's shilling for the GOP, I'd like to see more just like it, because I now have an instinctive loathing of this guy.

    Run Gary Run!

  • ||

    Somebody should ask if he thinks "justice was served" in the case of that fucking scumbag junkie welfare queen Jim Irsay.

  • Ted S.||

    Remember, Irsay moved the Colts to Indianapolis in no small part because the Maryland legislature threatened eminent domain on him.

    That's why the Mayflower moving trucks left in the middle of the night.

  • Ed Zacharias||

    Wait -- he had size TWELVE shoes?

    And he's only 5'7?

    Hmmmmmmmmm

  • ||

    yeah, it doesn't seem to make much sense. Those were someone ELSE'S shoe boxes.

    And he has a small penis.

  • ||

    Clown shoes.

  • ||

    "Carl, let her go! You're highly infectious. Carl, I'm afraid you've been clowned."

  • ||

    Carl: "Yeah, I thought my flipflops felt a little tight"

  • Rock Action ||

    Check the pin-pricked pupils and crazy eyes on that guy. Get the dogs, fellas.

  • ||

    "Shoot the dogs, fellas."

    FTFY.

  • mr simple||

    And here I've been going along thinking Daniels was an ok guy. I wouldnlikento know where he stands on the issue today, though, before I judge him completely. The 80s fucked up a lot of people. He was probably coked out of his head when he said that.

  • ||

    "He was probably coked out of his head when he said that."

    LOL. I would love to see other Presidential candidates make jokes about this during debates. Hey, Mitch, is that a shoe box I saw you carrying before the debate? Know where I can score some good weed?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    They won't, because it would just expose their own hypocrisy.

  • ||

    I'd be more interested if anything referenced in this article had happened in the last 20 years.

    Is everyone else here the same as they were a generation ago?

  • ||

    If Daniels wants to apologize for the 1989 letter and come out against at least the more draconian aspects of the WOD, then fine. But if he is not willing to do that, fuck him.

  • fish||

    "He was probably coked Koched out of his head when he said that."

    I thought we were spelling that differently now.

  • ||

    "Survey data from the early 1970s indicate that maybe a third of 18-to-25-year-olds were smoking pot. "

    Please allow me to correct the quoted sentence.

    Survey data from the early 1970s indicate that a third of 18-to-25-year-olds were naive enough to admit to smoking pot when surveyed.

  • ||

    It's naive to answer a survey truthfully?

  • ||

    No, but it's is also not unreasonably paranoid to answer falsely.

  • ||

    This is hugely important. Given the limitations on self-reported survey data, we have NO clue about either the absolute rates of drug use or their fluctuation over time.

  • Zeb||

    I'm not convinced that a lot of people lied on those surveys. Or why it would be naive to admit to drug use on an anonymous survey. It's not as if all the people who said "yes I smoke pot" were all disappeared in the middle of the night one day. I'm sure some people do, but there are probably fake responses in either direction. I know I always answered those stupid drug surveys accurately. I was an A student who did everything I could get my hands on and wanted to be represented in those results.

  • Mitch Daniels||

    Like many kids, I also shoplifted a little in my younger days. OK, to be honest, I did it a lot. Pretty much every day for a year, actually. Anyway, I was eventually caught, and paid a minor penalty. However, the years have taught me the error of my ways. That is why I know support a minimum prison term of 2 to 5 years for first offense shoplifters. We must do this, for the children.

  • Mark Ciaveralla||

    I thought that too, even though I am still unrepentant. Tread carefully Mitch!

  • ||

    Is everyone else here the same as they were a generation ago?

    I *still* don't give a shit what you drink, smoke, snort or shoot. And I sure as hell don't think you should be tossed in the clink for it.

  • The Other Kevin||

    Is everyone else here the same as they were a generation ago?
    The country isn't the same, either. In 1989, the official GOP stance was that the "awesome" War on Drugs started by Reagan was going to save us from junkies and Latin American dictators. Would you expect anyone in the GOP to oppose a key Reagan policy right after he left office? Was Ron Paul even speaking up then?

    Again, I'd like to see a more recent response from Daniels.

  • mr simple||

    I though Nixon started the war on drugs. Also Ron Paul was definitely speaking out as the Libertarian presidential candidate in 1988.

  • Masturbatin' Pete||

    No man, it was Aslinger. Yeah, that's it. At the behest of William Randolph Hearst, who owned timber companies and didn't want hemp made into paper. Yeah, right on. But wait, wouldn't cheap paper have helped a newspaper publisher? Wait, what?

  • The Other Kevin||

    It was Reagan that went full throttle against drugs in the 80's. "Just say No" and all that crap.

    My Ron Paul history is a bit rusty. But he was a hell of a lot less popular then, and I'll bet "End the War on Drugs" seemed like a wacky idea in 1988.

  • mr simple||

    Right, I'm not saying it was popular. I know he was outspoken against the WoD because of the clip of Ron Paul on the Mort Downey Jr show they linked on this site awhile back. You should mos def look that up on YouTube if you haven't seen it.

  • Masturbatin' Pete||

    It was Reagan that went full throttle against drugs in the 80's. "Just say No" and all that crap.

    As much as I'm opposed to the War on Drugs, I don't really have a problem with telling grade school kids to politely turn down offers of crack.

  • 1980 Redux||

    He's still better than just about anyone else right now.

    Besides, you guys cry and moan about imperfections in everyone, but wake up: it's a two party system. Who else are you going to vote for, a democrat? Just admit that you're Reluctant Republicans, vote the party line, and justify it yourself that it's the "lesser of two evils". We welcome your votes, because just like the enviro-nazies who vote dem, you KNOW you can't vote for the other side, so we have you, hook line and sinker, even though we'll feel free to continue to ignore most of your platform after you help us get elected.

    I'm not trying to be a jerk, or a troll. Just a dose of bitter reality.

  • ||

    Just because Obama has made voting Demcoratic a completely insane option, doesn't give Republicans the right to run a piece of shit or excuse them from the bounds of moral conduct.

    Fuck Daniels. The country deserves better than this.

  • 1980 Redux||

    "Just because Obama has made voting Demcoratic a completely insane option, doesn't give Republicans the right to run a piece of shit or excuse them from the bounds of moral conduct."

    Actually yes, it does. It's a two party system. Period. If Obama has made voting dem "insane", that gives us the complete, free license to do what we want, regardless of how shitty you libs may find it, because it's less "insane" than the dems. That's how a two party system works. It doesn't matter how awful one side is, as long as the other one is worse.

  • Zeb||

    But the whole system sucks. And it is not going to change as long as people go around talking about how it is a two party system and will never change.

  • ||

    The dicks on the right aren't getting my vote. It may be a two-party system with two shitty parties, but we can still abstain.

  • ||

    It doesn't even matter.

    A politician's words are worthless. Do you remember GWB said "we need to stop nation-building" or that Barack Obama promised we wouldn't see our "taxes go up by a dime?" Bush the father asked us to "read my lips" and Clinton promised a "middle-class tax cut." Let's just say those things didn't pan out.

    At some point, some politician is going to break with the War on Pot.

    But we have no idea who s/he is, when it will happen, or what party they will be from.

  • Zeb||

    I think a good number of libertarians are former liberals who figured out that there is a difference between voluntary and coerced activity and that most on the left are full of shit about individual liberty.
    I've voted Republican once or twice in my life. And I have sworn never to vote for a D or R again, at least for federal office unless by some miracle someone like Paul or Johnson gets on the ticket.

  • Jim||

    Believe it or not Zeb, you just described my move into libertarianism almost perfectly. I also hit upon Austian economics around the same time, and that did it. I think a lot of people only think we come from the right, but I personally was full blown socialist liberal before "waking up".

  • ||

    Fuck you, Republican scum. I don't vote, so you get nothing from me.

    You aren't a lesser evil. You're just a different evil. So take your TEAM and shove it as far up your ass as you can.

  • 1980 Redux||

    Hilarious, since all of you are talking in the Romney thread about supporting Palin, or Christie. And everyone gives complete support to Walker for busting those commie union scum.

    Sounds like a lot of people talking about supporting / voting for my TEAM. Meaning you're just GOP-lite shills. Hey, I'm not complaining: we need the votes. Thank you!

  • ||

    Wow, not only are you a TEAM RED shitbag, you can't read either. That's not surprising. If you think I'd vote for anyone, TEAM RED or TEAM BLUE, you're as stupid as you appear to be.

    So once again, you will never get a vote from me, and have fun being a shiftless, integrity free hypocritical scumbag who undoubtedly watches child pornography while auto-asphyxiating and injecting liquid cocaine into your genitals. And then talks about family values the next day.

  • 1980 Redux||

    Apologies, I wasn't talking about you specifically. I was speaking about a large number of the people commenting in that thread.

    Many, many on this website would vote for Christie if he ran; none will vote for Obama. Guess what? That makes you GOP. Be proud. Join the fold, and stop being self-delusional that you can vote for Christie, or Palin, or any of the others, and still be holding true to libertarian ideals. Not gonna happen. Either vote for an (I), a third party, or admit that you're one of the Big Two.

  • ||

    Just because there are a number of GOP supporters here who pretend to be libertarians but somehow always end up voting Republican doesn't change the fact that there are a lot of people here who 1) won't vote, 2) will only vote LP, or 3) will vote for whomever in their area seems better on certain issues, regardless of party.

    So once again, you can blow me and stuff your TEAM into whatever orifice your species traditionally crams things. You'll never, ever get my vote or the vote of a shit ton of people that consider themselves libertarian. And dumbfuck statements like "Meaning you're just GOP-lite shills" will lose you even more votes, just like 8 years of Bush fucked you good.

    Keep it up, you zero integrity schmucks; soon you'll have even the actual GOP-lite shill libertarians hating you too.

  • 1980 Redux||

    I seriously thought about leaving out demeaning comments like the "shill" one, but figured, I'm not here to win friends and influence people. Most of them are already voting my way anyway, so I don't need to do any convincing.

    I agree with you that many on here don't vote Republican. However, I'm willing to bet that a healthy portion of them do, much more than do dumbocrat. Even if they're holding their noses while they do it, complaining, the vote doesn't count any less. They can bitch all day long about "half a loaf of bread is better than none", but guess what? You're still voting the whole loaf into office! A lot of people here call Rand and Ron heroes, but they still have an (R) after their name. Jeffords and Lieberman proved that if people actually support your positions, you can win as an independent. The fact that none of your libertarian heroes have done so, speaks volumns.

    Each vote for a Republican candidate, even if they don't emphasize it, is a vote for strong social conservatism, because that's part of what the party is based on. So again, thank you all, and goodnight!

  • ||

    You have utterly alienated a tremendous number of libertarians, yet you just have to convince yourself that they're going to vote for your TEAM, because you don't give a rat's ass about "strong social conservatism". You care about winning. You have no principles, you just say you do.

    You partisan losers really are contemptible. I mean, wipe-you-off-my-shoe contemptible.

    Enjoy your endless conflict with TEAM BLUE, locked in an eternal cycle of win/lose/win/lose. I'd rather actually enjoy life.

    Oh, and if you fail to win the White House from a schmuck like Obama, I will laugh so fucking hard.

  • perlhaqr||

    This trolling is so perfectly crafted that it makes me wonder if it's really a Democrat trying to convince libertarians to not vote GOP.

  • ||

    If Team Red nominates Huckabee (a definite possibility, albeit unlikely), the Team Red 'libertarians' are going to sit out November 6, 2012 en masse.

  • reform||

    The fact that Huckabee being nominated is a longshot shows that libertarians can actually impact the republicans. Political parties are about moderating different factions. But you can usually help move the whole mass in one direction or another. At least if you work at it.

    I honestly don't get why folks on this blog are so apeshit against incrementalism. Considering Libertarian didn't even exist as a discrete title not that long ago people are acting like taking part in our political process is a mugs game. Libertarian ideas are spreading and slowly large chunks of the republican party are taking those ideas in.

    If libertarian ideas are good eventually they will win out because they conform better to reality. If we don't believe in the marketplace of ideas why have such strong faith in any other type of markets?

  • d.eris||

    The only wasted vote is a vote for a Republican or a Democrat. Freedom and independence today begins with freedom and independence from the tyranny of the two-party state.

  • ||

    Aren't all shoe boxes the same size? What difference does it make that they had "size 12" shoes in them at one time?

  • Zeb||

    More relevant would probably be the brand and style of the shoes that came in the box. Were these loafers, python boots, what?

  • OJ SImpson||

    It's the brand name that counts.

  • ||

    Is everyone else here the same as they were a generation ago?

    Nope. Less naive, better informed, and, therefor, more libertarian.

    Thanks for asking.

  • ICGAMBLER||

    With a continuous pinch of skepticism.

  • Paul||

    Some observations on this post.

    A governor (whom I know nothing about) smoked pot, as did almost all of his circle of college friends, and he admits it. He was smart, probably didn't talk to the police first, and got off lightly.

    Statistically speaking, however, smoking pot was not normal in 1970, when Daniels was arrested. Survey data from the early 1970s indicate that maybe a third of 18-to-25-year-olds were smoking pot.

    Seems like a nitpicky argument. 1/3 of 18-to-25 year olds... my bet is that the 1/3 were kids going to college at places like Princeton, whereas say, BYU probably didn't see the level of Marijuana smoking that Princeton did.

    Then the post goes on to talk about what would happen under "current New Jersey Law".

    What I'm taking away from this is that this country is less tolerant of marijuana and illegal drugs now than it was then-- something that I bitch about constantly on every H&R marijuana thread. We're going backwards, not forwards, and this post merely illuminates that point.

    The fact that Daniels writes off his former ways but explicitly or implicitly supports the modern-day drug war means he's like pretty much every sitting public official alive today.

    Remember, it's only former officials that do op-eds condemning the drug war.

    Daniels, with his two shoeboxes full of marijuana, was not exactly a "casual user."

    You mean Daniels and his roommates weren't casual users. And you know what else? Probably sold some to his friends, too. Like everyone else did in those days at Princeton.

    Of course he could have been nailed for "intent", but he wasn't, probably like many other white college aged kids with money at the time.

    While I appreciate the whole hypocrisy angle, if we crucified every politician for hypocrisy, our government would cease to exist...

    Oh wait.

  • ||

    Fuck this fake ass arab with size 12 shoe.

    Some may slobber over this shitcunt 'cause he claims to be fiscally conservative, but what's the use of lower taxes when you are rotting in jail for essentially engaging in commerce.

    I know people that lost their fucking youth for holding a lot less than Mr. Daniels, and I couldn't see them advocating for more stringent drug laws(they were actual human beings though). Maybe Mr. Daniels needs to spend 5, oops he had acid, 15 in the pen, to see the error of his ways, 'cause I don't think that he has learned his fucking lesson.

  • Congress||

    but what's the use of lower taxes when you are rotting in jail for essentially engaging in commerce.

    Did someone say 'commerce'?

  • ||

    Oh dang it, you just made me kick my (non-existent) dog.

  • Gladys Kessler||

    It's the thought (or lack thereof) that counts here.

  • Gregory Smith||

    Obama did cocaine, crack, and pot, but since Obama is black I guess reason is afraid of criticizing him.

    Come on reason, if you can bitch about republicans, you can bitch about Demon-crats.

    Next Smoking Ban? Bus Stops.
    http://libertarians4freedom.bl.....stops.html

  • ||

    You know, I was starting to think you were a sockpuppet because you're such a retarded neocon yet infuriatingly use the label of libertarian, which would be a really good troll. But no one would put that much work into your shitty blog just for a trolling.

    Which means you are legitimately this much of an idiotic tool.

  • Nobel War-Pig Obama||

    of course reason is afraid to make fun of Barry.

  • Born-Again Barack||

    for religious "reasons"

  • Mr Obama||

    What is clear is that the rhetoric needs to be toned down.

  • Michelle Obama||

    My Barack loves when I take the girls on a long trip.

  • iReggie||

    Come on Barry, let's swing over to Chi-Town.

  • DubWa||

    Don't leave me out of this discussion.

  • 1980 Redux||

    +1000!

    Been reading the comments for a few weeks now, and you're one of the only people with consistently good sense around here.

  • 1980 Redux||

    ^^ In reference to Gregory Smith

  • Ballpunch||

    The basic fact is, now that I'm in my 40s, there's damned little I did in college that I could justify, let alone endorse.

    Don't hate a guy for getting older and wiser. It doesn't always mean you're a hypcrite - sometimes it just means you've gotten smarter.

  • ||

    Freedom for me, but not for thee...

  • ||

    You're a hypocrite if you don't report to prison to be punished for all the things you did when you were "stupid" twenty years ago.

  • Ballpunch||

    Then I take it you're all for slavery reparatons, then. Stupid colonials, that'll teach 'em. I mean, us.

  • ||

    So if someone kills one of your family members you're okay with them going free if they aren't caught for twenty years?

  • Robert||

    Depends which family member it was. I get living family members mixed up, you think I remember how any of them died?

  • ||

    If I join yer church can I eat peyote without worrying about the fuzz?

  • Robert||

    You should always peel off the fuzz before eating the peyote.

  • ||

    Sorry, I didn't say you should report to prison for the stupid things your great, great, great grandparents did while they were in college. I'm talking about what YOU did.

  • Apogee||

    Exactly - he should voluntarily do 15 in the can so he can 'even out' his debt to society.

    Oh, he won't do that?

    What an asshole.

  • ||

    It's funny how Ballpunch's comment indirectly illustrates the absurdity of prosecuting victimless crimes. Imagine if Daniel's crime was rape instead of selling drugs. Could you imagine politicians and media types seriously claiming that serial rape was a lark of youth, and that Mitch had 'grown up'?...nope.

    Yet, the amount and variety of drugs that they were caught with, not to mention what they weren't caught with, would have surely landed them in prison for as long as rapists.

  • Ballpunch||

    Near as I can tell, you're indicting Daniels for not getting busted today instead of 1970-whatever.

    If you've never looked back on your own youth with some sense of facepalm embarrassment or outright remorse, then you just plain haven't learned anything.

    Damn that Daniels for not seeing what statutes would be on the book just 40 short years in the future! What are they teaching at Princeton, anyway?!

  • ||

    Do you think that Daniel's should be prosecuted now for any other drug crimes that he may have committed, but was not arrested for?

  • ||

    So in effect, you're saying that, most people, left to time and increasing maturity, will look back on their youthful indiscretions and realiza it's a bad idea. Like you and Daniels, and well, most everyone else. If you believe this, then why do kids need prison to reform their drug habits? Apparently, they'll grow out of their youthful ways and become healthy, productive members of society. Problem solved without ruining a young person's future with prison and a criminal record...

  • ||

    Mitch Daniels:

    In my opinion, any public official who shrinks from user sanctions should be disqualified from further participation in the drug debate.

    Maybe anyone caught with two shoe boxes full of weed, acid and prescription drugs (sans a prescription) should at a minimum be disqualified from the debate.

    Lots of other people would have to wear that one for the rest of their lives. After their release from prison, that is.

  • Masturbatin' Pete||

    Two shoeboxes of 1970's weed? Hmm. Well, we're always being told that today's marijuana is SO MUCH STRONGER than what you smoked at Woodstock and therefore is DANGEROUS. So based on that I'm guessing that back in 1970 it took most of a shoebox before you felt anything.

  • Robert||

    Nothing forces you to have slaves either, but it's silly to judge people in comparison to what you think here & now, rather than what the people in their place & time think. Otherwise you'd have to conclude 99.999% of the universe is very evil. I mean, what about all the living things that don't operate as non-aggressors? What about rocks that fall on people? They're just acting in accordance with their characteristics, they're not evil.

  • Holy Cow||

    1980 Redux and Reform:

    Great posts. Politics is like sports-- you win by chipping away at your opponents wherever and whenever you can.

  • ||

    He doesn't deserve jail for possession. He deserves jail for aggravated hypocrisy.

    -jcr

  • ||

    I was in college just before Mitch. Except in Texas, the authorities were "easier" on college students (probably due to the "but for the grace of God, there goes I" phenomenon). That was the police/prosecutors/judge's choice. Mitch would have been doubly foolish not to take advantage of the "deal" the prosecutor offered him.

    His personal experience is irrelevant to his decisions as a government official. If your approach was adopted, no one would get charged with anything but Class 1 crimes. Believe me, there is not a policeman, prosecutor, or judge who didn't commit an act that might be a "felony" in his or her youth. Their luck in not getting caught should affect but not control their adult, professional judgment.

    That is just how it is. When we grow up, we need to act like adults.

  • ||

    There are no words that could adequately describe the stupidity of your argument.

    We are all lesser for having been exposed to it.

  • Hoosier Daddy||

    This article is fucking retarded, Mitch Daniels is a great guy, he has done a lot of good for Indiana, and writing an article trying to pin some shit that happened 40 years ago back on the guy is childish. Yes, a shit load of people use drugs, Mitch used to, it's not a big deal now is it? You act like former drug use some how makes you incompetent, grow up. Make up for this shit write an article about what a good guy Mitch is, because this is close to slander, jesus.

  • ||

    Drug use and dealing are not victimless crimes and Mr. Daniels should rot in fucking prison for his transgressions.

  • ||

    Mitch admits smoking pot- jail him! Obama admits to chronic cocaine use- give him another 4 years! Mitch must look like a serious threat to the author- LOL

  • ||

    That's just the tip of the iceberg. Screwing IPALCO, which got him investigated, pimping Prozac for Lilly, running up this deficit, destroying education and signing several hate laws in Indiana.

  • ||

    Mitch Daniels, former marijuana user, has signed a bill into law making possession of salvia divinorum a felony offense in Indiana effective 7/1/2011. Thanks to Mitch, a young person in Indiana could now receive a sentence of 6 to 20 years for this offense.

    Typical republican hypocrisy, folks, both on both the philosophical level and the personal level. Aren't republicans the self-proclaimed advocates of small non-intrusive government and personal liberty? Why is Mitch happy to lock up kids for doing no more than he once did himself?

    We'll can only rid ourselves of these jackasses at the ballot box.

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