"Maybe a Little Blow" Becomes a Bestseller

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Obama's new book The Audacity of Hope is selling a hell of a lot of copies:

Since it went on sale Oct. 17, the book has sold 182,000 copies, according to Nielsen BookScan, which accounts for about 60 to 70 percent of a new hardcover book's sales by tracking purchases at large booksellers like Barnes & Noble, online retailers and independent bookstores. Mr. Obama's publisher, Crown Publishers, said the book is in its seventh printing, with 860,000 copies in circulation.

In it, according to New York Times reviewer Michiko Kakutani, Obama is very "candid about his youthful struggles: pot, booze and 'maybe a little blow,' he wrote, could 'push questions of who I was out of my mind,' flatten 'out the landscape of my heart, blur the edges of my memory.'"

Here's hoping 860,000 more people get annoyed about the continuing low-key hypocrisy of Democratic support for the drug war.

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  1. I’d settle for one major media interviewer asking Obama if he should have gone to jail for his drug use, and if not, why he isn’t trying to rein in the war on drugs.

  2. Here’s hoping 860,000 more people get annoyed about the continuing low-key hypocrisy of Democratic support for the drug war

    Who are you fooling?

    these kinds of admissions are food for people’s belief that youthful indiscretions ‘happen’, but age and wisdom bring on sense of responsibility and concern that other youngsters not repeat ‘errors’ of their own past… by stumping that I CAN PROTECT CHILDREN BETTER THAN ANYONE = I ONCE WAS ONE!

    the best you can hope for is that dems will not push any more bad legislation or increase minimum sentencing guidelines, and maybe, hope to god, please please end D.A.R.E.

    jg

  3. R C Dean, you’re hopin’ for something pretty audacious there…

  4. Obama even admits to inhaling.

  5. I did have sexual relations with that woman. And it was goooood.

  6. Obama is very “candid about his youthful struggles: pot, booze and ‘maybe a little blow,’ he wrote, could ‘push questions of who I was out of my mind,’ flatten ‘out the landscape of my heart, blur the edges of my memory.'”

    I wish more politicians were a little more honest about there drug experiences. I think it would increase debate on drugs to an appropriate level (instead of the ol’ “drugs are bad mmm’ K”).

    Even though I disagree with a lot of Obama’s policies, I give him credit for his honesty.

  7. Edit: …about there drug experiences.

    “there” should be “their”

    Sorry about that, I just woke up.

  8. I wouldn’t trust anyone with any sort of authority who hadn’t indulged or over-indulged when they were young adults.

  9. My questions for Senator Obama:

    1. Would you be better off today if you had served jail time for your drug use?

    2. Would our society, as a whole, be better off today if you had served jail time for your drug use?

  10. I’ll take a hypocrite who offers lukewarm support over a true believer any day.

    You would prefer, maybe, that everyone who isn’t a Drug War true believer eliminate themselves from political relevance entirely?

    Singling out those willing to take baby steps for abuse is the winning formula that’s made libertarianism and drug law reform the political powerhouses they are today.

  11. We’re all overlooking the big question: Why does this book suck so much? I mean, it is a terrible terrible read, and it is very short on any actual suggestions. Just a pamphlet for a future presidential run, I think. Clearing out the closet so that all the questions get answered early.

    Awful book. But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Former speeches have shown the guy’s banality. He seems perfectly nice, but for freak’s sake, lay off the shite metaphors.

    We’re not Red, or Blue, but Purple?? What the -HELL- does that even mean? That marketing shine makes me grimace.

    Ah well, I guess it’s no worse than any other self promotion book. I’m going back to reading Awaken The Giant Within.

  12. . . . makes me grimace.

    Har-Har

  13. My guess is that where this kind of admission is leading is to crucify any kind of true reform of the drug laws on a cross of “treatment”.

  14. I’m pretty sure that quote is from Dreams from my Fathers, his first book.

  15. I’ll take a hypocrite who offers lukewarm support over a true believer any day.

    Perhaps from a policy perspective this is true and at any rate I haven’t seen anyone really claim otherwise yet. However, I’m not convinced that it isn’t the lukewarm hypocrites who do the greater damage. Their even tepid acquiescence (and often it is hardly tepid) gives cover and undue legitimacy to the hardliners.

    You would prefer, maybe, that everyone who isn’t a Drug War true believer eliminate themselves from political relevance entirely?

    I didn’t see anyone make this claim. Allowing them have their political relevance hardly means those of us opposed to the WoD should remain silent about their hypocrisy.

    Singling out those willing to take baby steps for abuse is the winning formula that’s made libertarianism and drug law reform the political powerhouses they are today.

    Nice swipe at libertarians – funny how it keeps getting more compelling every time we hear it… Yeah, questioning how politicians behavior / life experiences square with their demands on the behavior of those they seek power over, expecting them to answer tough questions on important issues and hoping that people use this information to actually think about the implications of the policies supported by those politicians is really abusing them.

  16. “Singling out those willing to take baby steps for abuse is the winning formula that’s made libertarianism and drug law reform the political powerhouses they are today.”

    So, joe, what you’re saying is that Obama has advocated baby steps that move in the direction of decriminalizing drug use?

  17. continuing low-key hypocrisy of Democratic support for the drug war.

    How is supporting a position consistent with your beliefs hypocrisy? If he’s converted to an anti-drug stance based on experience with using drugs and then not using them, he’s hardly a hypocrite.

    Many libertarians over the past few years have supported right-wingers – who actually have notched up the punishments and civil liberties infringements. Now Ward is blaming the Democrats for the problem?

    At least some of the drug offenders these days got nailed through no-knock searches and other civil liberties drive-bys that the Democrats have railed against.

    I’m not saying Ward is wrong to complain about drug war lunacy. But the Republicans of the last 6 years have a lot more to answer for – on a lot more fronts – than the Dems do right now where the drug war is concerned.

    If you’ve going to complain, at least complain about both.

  18. Ezra,

    I’m quoting his speech in front of the Democratic Convention a few years back. He may have put it in the book also, but I didn’t see it put exactly that way (although he did mention the whole split nation thingy). I just think its a hugely gimmick-y thing to say. It makes me clench my teeth. Reminds me of “the best america is yet to come” or “compassionate conservative” etc etc. Just another marketing slogan.

  19. If he’s converted to an anti-drug stance based on experience with using drugs and then not using them, he’s hardly a hypocrite.

    Sure, but that is a big if. It seems more probable that his anti-drug stance is based more on his desire for political power than on his experience with drugs. Still, what do you call it if he thinks that even though he was able to make that journey and end up a US Senator with all the power and prestige that commands, nobody else should make the same journey because he now has the wisdom to see the error of his ways? Well, okay, that in itself would be fine but apparently he doesn’t stop there. Rather than limit himself to persuading others that they shouldn’t make the same mistakes as himself, he would have anyone who doesn’t take his advice and do as he says, not as he did, thrown in prison to rot instead of having the chance to work through it like he did and end up a productive member of er… I mean a Senator. So even if he has legitimately changed his views now, if he doesn’t think he (and/or society) would have been better off had he been thrown in the slammer and ass-raped into seeing the light about drugs a bit sooner, but is now willing to condemn another person to that fate then, I don’t know, maybe it isn’t rank hypocrisy, but perhaps we could call it something like “low-key hypocrisy.”

    If you’ve going to complain, at least complain about both.

    Really, madpad, has there any lack of complaining about both around here?

  20. if he doesn’t think he (and/or society) would have been better off had he been thrown in the slammer and ass-raped into seeing the light about drugs a bit sooner, but is now willing to condemn another person to that fate then, I don’t know, maybe it isn’t rank hypocrisy . . .”

    I do.

  21. 2. Would our society, as a whole, be better off today if you had served jail time for your drug use?

    Actually, in his case, yes. It would have kept him from running for office.

  22. When Obama says he’s learned from his mistakes and that young people should avoid the substance abuse problems he had for their own benefit, he’s probably absolutely right and certainly not any sort of hypocrite.

    When he says they deserve felony convictions and jail time for doing so but he didn’t, that’s a whole ‘nother story completely.

    You know still it’s still possible to be against a certain sort of behavior without wanting to criminalize it at the same time. Unless Obama is willing to come out and say he deserve to be a convicted felon, then yeah calling him a hypocrite is fair game.

  23. Let me think about how he might deal with this situation. He’d gaze into the camera (or at Oprah) with a soulful expression on his face, and say “when I used drugs, I risked ruining my life. I risked prison and even death. Only by the grace of God [whose existence, polls convince me, it would be wise to acknowledge] did I escape from such a horrible fate, and now I can urge other young people to shun the path I trod then and instead follow the path I’m treading now.”

    Say this no matter what the specific question. Keep gazing soulfully. Maybe (depending on how white voters would react) add some “personal remarks” directed to “African-American young people,” combined with suggestions that drug legalization would “endanger more young people” by making do dumb stuff like he did.

    Gaze wistfully some more.

  24. Brian Courts,

    “Yeah, questioning how politicians behavior / life experiences square with their demands on the behavior of those they seek power over, expecting them to answer tough questions on important issues and hoping that people use this information to actually think about the implications of the policies supported by those politicians is really abusing them.”

    Let’s look at the reaction Ward offers to Obama’s statements about his own drug use – statements made in the service of humanizing those who use illegal drugs, in the midst of a drug war that treats them as inhuman monsters:

    “Here’s hoping 860,000 more people get annoyed about the continuing low-key hypocrisy of Democratic support for the drug war.”

    That was a cheap slam at a politician who hasn’t done a damn thing to advance the drug war, and a blatantly partisan one at that. But, hey, I bet it gaver a nice little buzz of self-righteousness.

    mediageek,

    “So, joe, what you’re saying is that Obama has advocated baby steps that move in the direction of decriminalizing drug use?”

    How many politicans can you name that have admitted using coke? In a way that invites understanding, rather than as a platform to denounce the “demon powder?” I can name one.

  25. This is nothing more than him insulating himself against this “coming out” later when he runs nationally. Now, he can say, Clinton-like, that’s old news.

  26. Can’t disagree too much with those responding to my post and Again sums it up nicely with, it’s still possible to be against a certain sort of behavior without wanting to criminalize it at the same time.

    My only point is that Obama is a blip on the radar comapared to the screwball b.s. of the Republicans over the past few years.

  27. “My only point is that Obama is a blip on the radar comapared to the screwball b.s. of the Republicans over the past few years.”

    Bingo.

  28. Johncjackson: that’s a matter of ability to do real damage when you’re in a minority. get back to me after a year or two of the dems in control. in the words of a famous philosopher, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

  29. That was a cheap slam at a politician who hasn’t done a damn thing to advance the drug war, and a blatantly partisan one at that. But, hey, I bet it gaver a nice little buzz of self-righteousness.

    joe, I guess it is a matter of perception, but I just don’t see that as either a cheap shot at Obama or blatantly partisan, beyond the obvious fact that it is criticizing Democrats. I think “low-key hypocrisy” is a rather apt term for the Democrats support of the WoD over the years and their failure to challenge, in any meaningful way, the cultural conservatives of the GOP on this issue. As it happens, Obama’s book is just a current and topical chance to call out the Democrats on this, which I think it is fair to do. Hoping that this leads to more people getting annoyed with the Democrats on this issue also seems fair and I certainly share in that hope. Not because I have it out for Obama (I really know very little about his views) but because I think it is time for the Democrats to make a serious attempt to articulate a position on the WoD that doesn’t dodge such inconvenient questions such as whether someone like the Senator should have done time for his youthful indiscretions.

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