As we make sense of this week’s sea change — of the Great Shellacking Democrats took on Tuesday — some caution is in order.
In 2006, voters did not choose the Democrats because of what they were or what they promised, but because of what they weren’t: corrupt, clueless Republicans. Now, Republicans should remember that they were mainly chosen because they aren’t Democrats: that is, hopelessly narrow-minded, self-righteous, and corrupt.
So, what should Republicans do?
Maybe it’s not to start out of the gate by repealing Obamacare, which its namesake would simply veto.
In Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, DC, voters approved the legalization of recreational marijuana use. In California, with Proposition 47, Golden State voters ushered in a new regime, downgrading many, many drug violations and former felony crimes to misdemeanor status.
This is the people of the states leading.
They are rejecting the “get tough” approach both parties have supported for decades, an approach that has had the dubious result of being most popular with public prison workers’ unions and the private prison lobby
Opposing drug use may be socially “conservative.” Politically speaking, however, granting government nearly unlimited police powers, and without regard to objective results, is not.
If the Republicans want to lead in Washington, they should follow the people in these bellwether elections. Back them up. End the Drug War and, with it, the Prison-Industrial Complex. Return criminal justice back to the states, where the Constitution originally put it. And where modifications can be more easily made.
Return to federalism. Return to reason.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.