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Thu Oct 18, 2012, 03:39 PM

David Sirota: "The libertarian/marijuana conspiracy to swing the election" (Colorado)

Wednesday, Oct 17, 2012 05:00 PM PDT
The libertarian/marijuana conspiracy to swing the election

Robocalls urge pro-drug legalization voters to support libertarian Gary Johnson, and could push the state to Romney

By David Sirota


The term “perfect storm” is so overused as to be a pathetic cliche — but alas, in politics, it is about the best phrase to describe Colorado in the upcoming election. The state could decide the outcome. And if it comes down to that, it will likely be messy, for we are watching an epic convergence of factors that seem poised to make the square state 2012′s version of Florida in 2000.

Here in the center of the Intermountain West, we have polls showing a nail-bitingly close race between the Democratic and Republican nominees for president. We have a chief election official, Secretary of State Scott Gessler, who has tried both to engage in mass voter purges and to block the mailing of ballots to eligible voters, all while openly saying a “good election” is one in which “Republicans win.” On the ballot, we also have a headline-grabbing ballot initiative about marijuana legalization and a popular former two-term governor of a neighboring state, Gary Johnson, running a Libertarian Party presidential candidacy.

The armchair pundits in Washington and New York typically write off these latter two factors as forces destined to aid the president’s reelection campaign. The conventional wisdom is rooted in oversimplified cartoons and caricatures of voter preferences. Essentially, the idea is that the marijuana measure will bring out liberal, Obama-loving hippies, yuppies and crunchies from Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins, while the libertarian candidate’s campaign will siphon conservative votes that would otherwise go to Mitt Romney, thus making Johnson the Republican “version of Ralph Nader,” as the New York Times predictably projects. But that kind of hackneyed red-versus-blue story line — so prevalent in the national media echo chamber — ignores how these forces are playing out on the ground.

The marijuana ballot measure, for instance, is defying conventional Democrat/Republican and liberal/conservative narratives, effectively scrambling the political establishments of both parties. In the last month, Colorado’s Democratic Party elite, led by Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock (D), have repositioned themselves as committed drug warriors proudly leading the charge against the ballot measure to end the costly war on weed (this is particularly stunning for Hickenlooper, considering his famous career as a drug pusher). Meanwhile, former Colorado Republican congressman Tom Tancredo and a group of fellow GOPers made headlines recently when they wholeheartedly endorsed the measure. Put this together with the libertarian streak in Colorado’s Republican politics, and it becomes clear that the pot initiative could boost voting in ways that don’t correspond to traditional red-versus-blue turnout models and stereotypes.

This is particularly true considering the intersection of the pot initiative and the Johnson campaign. Despite the punditocracy’s narratives to the contrary, the former New Mexico governor has already been taking as much — or more – support away from Obama in Colorado as he has been from Romney, according to polls. And Johnson’s anti-Obama effect could be come much more pronounced in the next few weeks, thanks to how his supporters are deftly leveraging all hoopla around the marijuana initiative to sharpen their candidate’s appeal and message to disaffected Democrats.

<snip>

more at link

If Obama loses Colorado, the pot people are going to claim credit. They will say the results show that opposing marijuana legalization can cost you an election.

14 replies, 1444 views

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Arrow 14 replies Author Time Post
Reply David Sirota: "The libertarian/marijuana conspiracy to swing the election" (Colorado) (Original post)
Comrade Grumpy Oct 2012 OP
Comrade Grumpy Oct 2012 #1
B Calm Oct 2012 #2
Z_California Oct 2012 #3
Bandit Oct 2012 #4
Comrade Grumpy Oct 2012 #5
AverageJoe90 Oct 2012 #9
DevonRex Oct 2012 #6
madinmaryland Oct 2012 #7
Ruby the Liberal Oct 2012 #8
Oldenuff Oct 2012 #13
porphyrian Oct 2012 #10
OldHippieChick Oct 2012 #11
Separation Oct 2012 #12
RainDog Oct 2012 #14

Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Thu Oct 18, 2012, 03:42 PM

1. Here's the robo-call going to Democratic voters:

"Hello fellow Democrat. Like you I was thrilled to vote for Barack Obama in 2008. In 2008, candidate Obama promised not to use the Justice Department to prosecute medical marijuana in states where it was legal. But the real Obama did just that, more than doubling prosecutions, putting people in prisons and shutting down medical marijuana facilities in Colorado. That’s not the change you wanted on health freedom. But you can still be a force for hope and change by voting for Gary Johnson."

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #1)

Thu Oct 18, 2012, 03:58 PM

2. I don't like everything Obama has done,

but being a one issue voter is just plain stupid.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Thu Oct 18, 2012, 04:00 PM

3. Hate to say it

But if the President loses Colorado he has only himself to blame. This administration's MMJ policy is inexplicable to me, especially given his position in 2008. Hopefully Colorado MMJ patients (and stoners in general) understand that electing Mitt Romney (which a vote for Johnson would facilitate) will make things even worse.

I have a feeling that things will ease up a bit after 11/7.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Thu Oct 18, 2012, 04:48 PM

4. I believe there are as many or more Republicans that smoke pot than Democrats.

Pot really is not a partisan issue from all I can gather...

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Response to Bandit (Reply #4)

Thu Oct 18, 2012, 05:49 PM

5. I don't know about pot smoking, but...

...all the polls show considerably more support for legalization among Democrats and independents than among Republicans.

In Colorado, Johnson is peeling away three voters from Obama for every two he peels away from Romney.

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Response to Bandit (Reply #4)

Thu Oct 18, 2012, 07:59 PM

9. Might be true in Colorado, but in the rest of the country? Quite the opposite. n/t

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Thu Oct 18, 2012, 06:39 PM

6. Luckily Coloradans aren't stupid. We can mark

our ballots for Obama AND yes on marijuana. Nobody but a fucking idiot would vote for Gary Johnson. Doubt they can figure out how to vote in the first place.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Thu Oct 18, 2012, 07:16 PM

7. And these idiots think the War on Drugs will be reduced with a President Rmoney.



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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Thu Oct 18, 2012, 07:16 PM

8. Well, this is mind blowing.

Dilbert creator Scott Adams is endorsing Romney because he thinks he will be less heavy handed on MMJ than Obama. Talk about tortured logic.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/18/dilbert-scott-adams-romney-marijuana_n_1982132.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003

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Response to Ruby the Liberal (Reply #8)

Thu Oct 18, 2012, 11:30 PM

13. Rmoney has stated publicly

that he will fight MMJ "tooth and nail".Having said that,Johnson is the only remaining candidate who says he will support legalization.No offense,but the President has already shown his true colors on this issue by allowing the targeting of dispensaries in California.I am not a single issue voter,but truly,this really troubles me,especially when he specifically said he would not.I find it especially offensive,that ANY politician should think he or she can dictate to me what I can legally do or grow in the privacy of my own home.

Integrity....this country needs some.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Thu Oct 18, 2012, 08:01 PM

10. I don't know. Let's not prematurely demonize potheads or assume they're too high to know better. n/t

 

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Thu Oct 18, 2012, 08:07 PM

11. I really like David, but

sometimes he gets a little carried away. In the first place, no one except Democrats has a list of Democrats. Robocalls can't just go out to Dems. Secondly, the Dems in my county issued voter guides in favor of the medical marijuana initiative. Think Johnson will pull from Romney, not Obama.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Thu Oct 18, 2012, 08:15 PM

12. I think it's funny

Every time I see one article claiming people voting for Johnson will pull votes away from Rmoney, giving the win to Obama. Ill see another saying a vote for Johnson pulls votes away from Obama, giving the win to Rmoney. Me personally, I think a person actually voting for Johnson (and I know a couple) wouldn't vote for either to be honest.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Fri Oct 19, 2012, 12:52 AM

14. I mentioned this here long ago

specifically the issue of Johnson pulling away some votes from Obama - and I was ridiculed for thinking Johnson could have any possible effect on the outcome of the election or that people who are in the pro-legalization camp might make a protest vote.

I hope that doesn't happen, but the reality is that Colorado's legalization initiative is popular b/c there are more libertarian than right wing conservative Republicans in CO. I don't know if that means anything for Obama - if those libertarians would've voted with fiscal conservative Romney or with "not religious right crazy" Obama.

What those who don't pay attention to the cannabis issue misunderstand is that it's not a "one issue" issue. There are a host of issues this one issue touches upon and the one that really strikes a chord in Americans is the idea that a govt. entity can, against best evidence, refuse to alter their bad policy that takes away the right to choose. The law is also applied in a racist manner, is a way to bump rural, mostly Republican population numbers via private prisons, has created corruption and violence within our law enforcement entities...

prohibition was also bad law and created more problems than it solved.

sometimes people decide "Enough," when they can read the evidence for themselves, but apparently the DEA and DHHS have lost the ability to do the same - unless they make an exception for a pharmaceutical company.

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