Reddit Yet Another Platform for Obama to Ignore Marijuana Legalization and Other Serious Policy Questions

Yesterday afternoon, President Barack Obama took to the so-called front page of the Internet, Reddit.com, in order to answer questions from users in an AMA —"Ask Me Anything." Almost four million page views crashed the servers and Obama ended up answering a mere ten questions out of more than 22 thousand.

And, he ignored a lot of big issues, noted Slate:

Popular questions about medical marijuanasoldiers with posttraumatic stress disorder, and the president’s failure to close Guantanamo, meanwhile, went unanswered. “20 bucks says he doesn’t address this,” one Redditor predicted, correctly, about the marijuana question. “Should have been titled, Ask Me Almost Anything,” another grumbled.

To be generous, let's say five were legitimate questions and answers, including one on Internet freedom:

We know how Republicans feel about protecting Internet Freedom. Is Internet Freedom an issue you'd push to add to the Democratic Party's 2012 platform?

A: PresidentObama

Internet freedom is something I know you all care passionately about; I do too. We will fight hard to make sure that the internet remains the open forum for everybody - from those who are expressing an idea to those to want to start a business. And although there will be occasional disagreements on the details of various legislative proposals, I won't stray from that principle - and it will be reflected in the platform.

The sentiments are vague, but positive! That's nice. Questions about what Obama would do to remove the corrupting influence of money in politics (hilariously slanted in its wording, as if Republicans were the only ones cozying up to corporations and raking in their cash) were also answered, and those are real politic issues, so uh, good for the president there. Another query from a broke law student about their job prospects got some yay-ObamaCare in the semi-legitimate response from the president.

Another three or so were the gentlest of softballs, providing, for example, opportunity for the president to wax poetic about how hard it is to send brave American troops to die in Afghanistan. 

And four of them were pure marshmellow goo: "How do you balance family life and hobbies with, well, being the POTUS?", "What is the first thing you'll do on November 7th, win or lose?", "who is your favorite basketball player", and most irritating of all "What's the recipe for the White House's beer?"

Already meme worthy, that last one.

Clearly this is proof that the president is hip enough to realize that ignoring questions about marijuana on Google+ hangouts, is not where it's it.

Maybe it's not totally Obama's fault —Google/Youtube wussed out back in January by picking people who prefaced economics questions with "thanks for saving the auto industry" and  excluding all the questions on marijuana, including the highest voted question  by a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. 

Maybe it's absurd to expect anything from the president. Why would he do anything except accept fluffy questions, or slanted ones, ripe for self-aggrandizing answers? But that makes it all the more tiresome when he find another gimmick way to play man of the people for half an hour. Why even bother?

But we already know how Obama responds when faced with a direct question about marijuana legalization: after the 2009 youtube "townhall," Obama joked like a true politician, and then dismissed the question about legalization helping the economy with a breezy no. Ever since then, in spite of continued Internet-driven efforts to get Obama to actually take drug policy seriously, it's mostly been up to Attorney General Eric Holder, or Office of Drug Control Policy head Gil Kerlikowske to reassure people that the administration cares about science and health concerns, and that America doesn't have to choose between jailing people for drug crimes or forcing them into treatment.

There are other AMAs to check out, I recommend the kindergartener on her first day of school. Much more informative. 

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  • ||

    What's the recipe for reason's beer?

  • Rich||

    What is the sound of one hand clapping?

  • SugarFree||

    Warty squeezings and just a dash of the bitterest hops imaginable.

  • ||

    I know there's a bit of your "essence" in there too. There has to be. Earwax, or...something else?

  • BakedPenguin||

    Smegma?

  • ||

    I thought NutraSweet was circumcised, and therefore: no smegma. Warty? Is he?

  • ||

    No puny human circumcision could stop my smegma production.

  • ||

    "Morbo will now introduce the candidates: Puny Human Number One, Puny Human Number Two, and Morbo's good friend, Warty."

  • Tonio||

    Plus, not all circs are the radical sort, I've seen several "cut" guys who still had partial hoods.

  • Tonio||

    Smegma can be produced by other parts of the body, Epi...

  • ||

    See, I should have asked you instead of Warty, Tonio. I'll remember that in the future.

  • SugarFree||

    Smegma can be produced by other parts of the body, Epi...

    Like that white crusty you see on labias occasionally. Is she sick? It is normal? Or does she shred the toilet paper that thoroughly when she wipes?

    Don't know and I'm definitely not asking.

  • Hugh Akston||

    No weapon forged of man could hope to pierce SugarFree's foreskin.

  • SugarFree||

    No weapon forged of man could hope to pierce SugarFree's foreskin.

    That's why they used a rocket launcher.

  • Restoras||

    Excalibur?

  • Pip||

    Smegma (a word you don't want to Google image search).

  • sarcasmic||

    where it's it? what does that mean?

  • Mensan||

    What is it?
    It's it.

  • ||

    I like beer as much as the next guy, and perhaps more than the next girl, but White House beer? If there's one thing I don't want the government fucking up, it's beer! Not only should tax payer money be wasted on what I'm sure is a shitty beer, how can we even be sure it is drinkable when the government can't do anything capably?

  • sarcasmic||

    IIRC it's an extract based homebrew. Couldn't even go all-grain.

  • ||

    Yeah, it's probably dry malt extract with a little crystal malt steeped in it and honey thrown in at the end of the boil. If they're smart, they added to honey to the secondary, but I wouldn't count on it.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Their next beverage will be Victory Gin.

  • ||

    I kinda wanna brag about how prescient this tweet was, but that would be like bragging about how I accurately predicted the sun would rise in the east this morning.

  • ||

    If anyone actually thought the douchebag President would answer anything substantial, they need to get their head checked and maybe electroshocked a few times. What a pathetic gimmick from the empty suit.

    Professor Hathaway: That's a wonderful story, Bodie. I noticed you've stopped stuttering.

    Bodie: I've been giving myself shock treatments.

    Professor Hathaway: Up the voltage.

  • Tim||

    "What is the first thing you'll do on November 7th, win or lose?"

    Punch Joe Biden in the nose.

  • Rich||

    "Kiss a Wookiee good morning ...."

  • Tim||

    You win.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    A question prompted by earlier threads: Wouldn't MJ qualify as a culture war issue, and therefore, by Reason's logic, wouldn't that justify Obama in ignoring it?

    Or perhaps we're using some alternate definition of "culture war issue" which excludes marijuana?

    What, exactly, is the difference between a culture war issue and a "Serious Policy Question[]"?

  • SugarFree||

    Abortion... Abortion. Abortion. Abortion. Abortion. Abortion.

    Happy now?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Dope. Dope. Dope.

    There, I refuted those who think marijuana is a serious issue!

  • SugarFree||

    It's cute how you think this is a winning argument.

    Don't you have a clinic you could be burning down or a doctor you could be shooting?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    How can't it be a winning argument? It's based on yours!

    And if you recall previous threads, I was criticized for *not* being a terrorist - it was a sign of my Lack of Seriousness.

  • SugarFree||

    Abortion isn't a culture war issue for you. I get it. You'd be all for tying their legs together and throwing them in jail until it was time for the precious miracle of the birth of their rapebaby.

    You're very, very committed. Congratu-fucking-lations.

    But for a fuckton of people, abortion is not a black-and-white issue and they only come down on your side because the alternative is to be like those icky liberals. Just like keeping marijuana illegal because those hippies really really want it.

    And that's the distraction of culture war issues.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "tying their legs together and throwing them in jail until it was time for the precious miracle of the birth of their rapebaby."

    Translation: "You're the one who keeps showing me the dirty pictures!" (see below)

  • SugarFree||

    No, dipshit. You're the one that wants to use force to prevent and punish abortions.

    Your little leading questions fool no one. They are going to circle back to abortion because 99% of every post you make leads back to abortion and, besides, you've already made this argument today on a different thread. Today.

    Stop projecting your hang-ups and obsessions on everyone else.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Yes, I just keep showing you dirty pictures of rapebabies.

  • SugarFree||

    Cool story, bro. I'm totally doing what you're doing. Yeah. Totally.

  • ||

    Did you have to work to get this way?

  • SugarFree||

    His monomania is amazing complete.

    What should we do to lower the national debt? Abortion.
    How do we keep America out of wars of choice? Abortion.
    What's the best Beatles song? Abortion.
    Why is the sky blue? Abortion.
    What's the first name in the phone book? AAAbortion.

  • ||

    Guys, guys, guys, stop fighting. Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    If you quit arguing with the terrorist in your head, we might get somewhere.

    Right now, you remind me of the guy in the joke the punch line of which is: "You're the one who keeps showing me the dirty pictures!"

    http://www.bouldertherapist.co.....chach.html

  • BakedPenguin||

    What's the first name in the phone book? AAAbortion.

    They're great if you're stuck on the side of the road and need an abortion.

  • Zeb||

    Drug prohibition in all its forms is one of the more fundamental individual rights issues I can think of. It's not culture war any more than alcohol is. It isn't just tree hugging hippies that like pot, you know.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    It's a human rights violation which gets tied up in cultural attitudes, preventing a sensible solution.

    The sensible solution is that an adult's life and liberty is more important than stopping him from using a freaking plant.

    Too bad this issue is caught up in culture wars - I feel for you.

  • ||

    I feel for you.

    Sure you do.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Even people that don't give a shit about smoking dope per se can be concerned about what the WOD has done to the state of policing and civil liberties in this country. I guess if you think a concern about being executed in your home Brazil-style because retards in military gear got you confused with your neighbor is a culture war, issue, though, sure.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Maybe a bit of "culture war". But I think the incarceration of millions of Americans for MJ makes it a "serious policy question", as well.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I.e. how reasonable a policy is it for the US, States, and local municipalities to criminalize an essentially harmless behavior? As more citizens accept MJ use, or even engage in MJ use, does it still make sense to enforce, even step up policies that criminalize its use?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    So what I'm hearing is that it is possible for an issue to simultaneously be (a) culturally divisive and (b) vitally important.

  • Zeb||

    Oh, I see where you're going with this. Get a life.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Culturally divisive in the silly sense that old, conservative people in charge irrationally and unconditionally hate drugs. And on the other side of the argument are young people and rational people who will argue that MJ is no big deal. Neither side will change the other's mind, so in essence we are at a stalemate.

    You are trying to draw parallels between MJ and the abortion issue. But again, both sides are so entrenched in their thinking that there is a stalemate. I personally don't think its worth arguing about. I have internalized both sides of the argument, and I have made my own choice (pro-life, btw).

    However, I reserve the right to change my position.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Throwing people in cages for using drugs is wrong.
    Killing infants is wrong.

    Here is the thing: there is no agreed upon time to determine when the fetus becomes an infant.

  • Mensan||

    "... there is no agreed upon time to determine when the fetus becomes an infant."

    Sure there is: birth. The argument is at what point a fetus/infant (embryo, zygote, blastocyst, etc) becomes a person.

    "Killing infants is wrong."

    Obama disagrees.

  • ||

    Sure there is: birth.

    Except a lot of people disagree with you (and each other). Hence saying "there is no agreed upon time".

  • Mensan||

    Those people are wrong. Both terms have specific medical definitions. In humans, it is a fetus from the 9th week after fertilization until birth. It is an infant from birth until 12 month.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Obama campaign strategy:

    1) Blame Bush

    2) Class warfare

    3) "War on women"

    4) RACISM!

    5) Abortion

    6) Republicans are teh evulz

    Because after 4 years, Obama has nothing positive to run on.

  • Restoras||

    Well he did close Gitmo, so at least that's something.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Oh, my bad. He repealed DADT. That should generate lots of support.

  • ||

    Except that Gitmo is STILL OPEN.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Also, as a corollary to 6, Republicans are obstructionists (Republi-can'ts, if you will).

    See, he had all these awesome ideas that would fixed the whole economy, but they shot them down just to be dicks. But if you elect him again, the same thing won't happen, because... uh...

    Abortion!

  • Daryl Davis||

    Recreational drugs--pot, or other non-addictive, non-psychotic substances--ought be legalized, not because the drug war has failed, or because cartels would be put out of business; but solely because it is entirely possible to use them responsibly, harming no one.

    We cannot prohibit acts that are not inherently harmful, on the chance that some might come to harm. In the case of more powerful substances, the argument for prohibition is accordingly stronger. Furthermore, acts committed under the influence of even recreational drugs ought to be more harshly punished than otherwise, reinforcing the necessary link between individual liberty and public accountability.

    http://whatdirectdemocracymigh.....-of-drugs/

  • Zeb||

    "acts committed under the influence of even recreational drugs ought to be more harshly punished than otherwise"

    Why? If I drink a cup of coffee and beat someone up, did the coffee make it a worse crime?

  • Mr Whipple||

    No, but the three packs of Marlboros you smoked did.

  • cthorm||

    "Why? If I drink a cup of coffee and beat someone up, did the coffee make it a worse crime?"

    No. Minus 1 point for using a non-inflammatory example though.

    FTFY:
    If I (allegedly) snort some bath salts and eat someone's face, did the bath salts make it a worse crime?

    Answer: NO! The crime is eating someone's fucking face, not what went in your nose beforehand.

  • ||

    Answer: NO! The crime is eating someone's fucking face, not what went in your nose beforehand.

    Ding ding ding! We have a winner! However, you don't get any points since you didn't put in the form of a question.

  • ||

    This is one of the most nauseating things I've ever seen.

    ...sir.

    [–]karlfranks 1396 points 21 hours ago
    Who's your favourite Basketball player?
    permalink
    [–]PresidentObamaObama[S] 1565 points 21 hours ago
    Jordan - I'm a Bulls guy.
    permalinkparent
    [–]ivanvzm 2034 points 21 hours ago*
    damn right you are
    edit: ...sir.
    permalinkparent
  • RBS||

    favourite

    Doesn't the president know he only answers to Americans?

  • ||

    You forgot the sir.

    ...sir.

  • RBS||

    Do you think infant circumcision should be banned? What is your favorite Deep Dish?

    ...Sir.

  • The Hammer||

    Damn, that Kindergarten AMA went downhill....not as fast as I had assumed it would. Took over a hundred questions before it became a trainwreck and the centerpiece of the mother's upcoming divorce case.

  • ||

    "Drug prohibition in all its forms is one of the more fundamental individual rights issues I can think of. It's not culture war any more than alcohol is. It isn't just tree hugging hippies that like pot, you know."

    and it isn't just people that like pot that are against the criminalization of it, fwiw. i certainly do not like pot. i think it's lame as fuck. that's entirely tangential to my belief that govt. has no place criminalizing it.

    on a side note, after yesterday's shift, i would just like to offer a word of advice.

    if you are convicted felons, with illegal weapons in your car, sitting in broad daylight in an elementary school parking lot with a bunch of heroin and oxy in your car preparing to shoot up... well, that's a poor choice of venue.

  • Zeb||

    Wow. They really couldn't have found a better place to go?

  • Mensan||

    Where would you recommend instead?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Lucy! I realize that there's already kind of a caption as part of the meme, but how could you?

    Super easy even: Scumbag Obama

  • Lucy Steigerwald||

    Forgive me.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Never. I will take this slight to my grave.

  • Lucy Steigerwald||

    You're a tough crowd.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Regarding the law student question that turned into Obamacare cheerleading, here is the user summary for the redditer who posted it. It is his one and only post ever. Totally not a plant.

  • ||

    There's only one part of his answers that was very interesting. Did anyone note him saying we need a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizen's United?

  • ||

    Money has always been a factor in politics, but we are seeing something new in the no-holds barred flow of seven and eight figure checks, most undisclosed, into super-PACs; they fundamentally threaten to overwhelm the political process over the long run and drown out the voices of ordinary citizens. We need to start with passing the Disclose Act that is already written and been sponsored in Congress - to at least force disclosure of who is giving to who. We should also pass legislation prohibiting the bundling of campaign contributions from lobbyists. Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn't revisit it). Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight of the super-PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change.
  • phryxian houndmaster||

    Noticed. Record made. Hard to believe his handlers would allow that to remain for any significant length of time. He just admitted he'd introduce an amendment to repeal the 1st if he had his way.

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