Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has moral obligation to pardon every drug offender, Libertarians say
WASHINGTON, DC -- Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has a moral obligation to pardon every nonviolent drug offender, Libertarians say, after insisting on Tuesday that his daughter's latest drug episode should be treated as a "family matter" rather than as a criminal matter.
"Why is Noelle Bush sitting in a rehab center while other drug-law violators are rotting in prison?" asked Ron Crickenberger, Libertarian Party political director. "The answer is obvious: Because her father happens to be a hypocritical governor who believes in one standard of justice for his family and another standard for yours."
Police were called to the Center for Drug Free Living on Monday after employees reported finding a "white, rocklike substance" believed to be crack cocaine in Noelle Bush's shoe. The 25-year-old daughter of the Republican governor wasn't immediately arrested, police say, because clinic supervisors refused to cooperate with police and wanted the matter handled "in house."
Gov. Bush, whose daughter has had previous drug violations, told the Associated Press: "This is a private issue as it relates to my daughter and myself and my wife. The road to recovery is a rocky one for a lot of people that have this kind of problem."
But the question Libertarians are asking is: Why shouldn't every American get the Noelle Bush treatment?
"Gov. Bush is exactly right that drug abuse should be treated as a private, medical problem rather than as a criminal problem," Crickenberger said. "Unfortunately, Bush is an ardent drug warrior who believes in throwing ordinary individuals in jail for committing the same 'crime' as his daughter – which makes him a despicable Drug War hypocrite as well.
"Why does Bush believe that other young men and women should be locked inside steel cages for years for doing exactly what his daughter has done?
"Why should other Americans have their lives ruined and their careers destroyed by a drug conviction while he hands his daughter a get-out- of-jail-free card?
"And why must other families be torn apart when a loved one is dragged off to prison while he visits his daughter in a cozy rehab center?
"The fact is that individuals with drug problems harm only themselves, and perhaps their families. But a politician with a hypocrisy problem has the power to tear everyone's family apart."
But there's a way that the governor can redeem himself, Libertarians say:
"Gov. Bush should grant every nonviolent drug offender in the Florida state prison system a full and immediate pardon," Crickenberger said. "Then let them join his daughter on the road to recovery."
"You can save the planet, I'll save your seat"- Uncle Kracker, Better Days "Confucious say: Man with hand in pocket feel cocky all day!"- Crank Yankers
Originally posted by BoromirMarkI don't. Drug users need to fry, up to and including cigarette smokers.
I think this is incredibly near sighted and stupid. As a man who has, on occasion, smoked (both tobacco and otherwise), and who has seen many things in the drug community through various other people, I say the thing that is really necesary IS rehabilitation. Most people realize their mistake after they've taken drugs. But the simple fact is most of them are simply given one option, to continue the addiction. And the courts have upheld the belief that people are not responsible for their own addictions, as based on the settlement with the tobacco companies.
On a seperate note, Marijuana should be legal. Lets tax it and find out why those drug dealers make so much money.
Sorry, just a little rant.
(edited by chazerizer on 12.9.02 0032) Its just one. Better now than when it really matters. Really. Pens camp on Thursday.
Neither of you picked up the apparent sarcasm in the “they need to fry” line? I did.
I'll take the opposite view. I don't believe that Gov. Bush should pardon every nonviolent drug offender in Florida, I believe he should submit his daughter to police authority. It's not the executive branch of government's job to make laws, it's their job to enforce them. If Jeb wants to propose a change in the drug laws, he should make that proposition to Congress. Yes, Governor Bush has the ability to pardon every non-violent drug offender in Florida. But by doing so, he would be defying the laws of his own state.
Besides, who's to say that everybody who's abused drugs even wants to be helped? I'm sure drugs probably ruined the financial lives of many of them. Why would they even want to get out of jail? Hell, they get free room and board.
If Jeb wants to show he's a stand-up guy (and he's not, mind you-- he practically gift-wrapped the Presidency for his brother), he has to understand that the law must apply to EVERYONE-- regardless of whether or not they're related or not. I'm sure this is probably against Jeb's religion, though (after all, he handed Dubya the presidency on a silver platter). To coin a phrase from Marcellus Wallace in Pulp Fiction: It's a hard motherfuckin' fact of life, but it's a fact of life his ass is going to have to get realistic about. I mean, bottom line is, if Jeb weren't the governor, his daughter would definitely be in prison. Why the hell should he be allowed to abuse his power like that?
And while we're on the subject of Jeb Bush and Florida-- you had two motherfucking years to fix your voting process, asshole, and it still wasn't enough!
“Now put that thing back where it came from or so help me-- Oh, hey! We're rehearsing a scene from the upcoming company play called Put That Thing Back Where It Came From Or So Help Me.”-- Mike Wazowski, Monsters, Inc.
Two-Time, Two-Time Randomly Selected Weiner of the Day, 5/27/02 and 7/3/02
Well, a couple things there, eke. First I think the position that Bush now has to pardon every drug offendor in his state is more about pointing out the flawed thinking behind Jeb's "It's a family thing" position. It's used to point out that if Jeb really believed that jail time is not the best way to treat drug abuse, then there would be thousands of convicted drug offendors out on the streets. I'm sure the voters of Florida would just love that.
And while I actually do think that jail time is NOT the answer to the drug problem in this country, I also think that Noelle Bush should go to jail. If the people you elect break the laws that they're meant to uphold, then the system is corrupt. And if Noelle Bush does not go to court the Jeb Bush is convicted of Abusing his power as Governor, and being a hypocritical elitist. Not the kind of man I'd vote for.
And even if Noelle was taken to court? Betcha either she doesn't get convicted, or that she serves the minimum amount of jail time in the cushiest facility they've got. I mean seriously, who wants to be the DA who put the governor's little girl in jail? Whoever it is won't have a job for long.
"You gotta hate somebody before this is over. Them, me, it doesn't matter."
"Hate, who do I hate? You tell me."
"Who do you love?"
-Wintermute to Case in William Gibson's Neuromancer
It all goes back to the old argument about “we are all equal under the law, but some people are more equal than others.”
If Jeb Bush is going to refuse to let his daughter be arrested, he is violating the law. If Joe Schmoe's daughter was caught with drugs, Joe Schmoe couldn't do a damn thing about it. Whether or not the police have parental permission to punish young drug offenders is irrelevant. What we have here is a deliberate abuse of power, and Bush is saying that the law does not apply to him or to his family.
What if Noelle were accused of selling drugs to others, or caught illegally smuggling drugs? Would it be such a cut-and-dried issue then? Would Bush be able to do anything to prevent Noelle from being arrested?
What if Noelle had killed someone else?
Basically, I don't care who the hell Bush is. His family should be subject to the same laws as everyone else.
(edited by ekedolphin on 16.9.02 0743) “Now put that thing back where it came from or so help me-- Oh, hey! We're rehearsing a scene from the upcoming company play called Put That Thing Back Where It Came From Or So Help Me.” --Mike Wazowski, Monsters, Inc.
Two-Time, Two-Time Randomly Selected Weiner of the Day, 5/27/02 and 7/3/02
Of course, this: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/02/national/02HUNG.html (password required) is what truly matters. Which also provides further evidence that economics has much less bearing on the real world then economists would like to admit.