Working as Designed

I held an unpopular opinion during the Reign of Error that was Chimpy McStagger: I believed he was actually clever, if not cunning. Everyone looked at his clearly stupid antics and saw a buffoon, but I looked at his results that so benefited his paymasters and donors.

Chimpy clearly was a success for those that hired him.

In a similar way, I look at Nancy Reagan’s Just Say No To Drugs laws, which include mandatory minimum sentencing. Never has so much damage resulted from a plan to rehab a designer dress stealing socialite whose poll numbers tanked after she blew the budget to buy some nice dishes.

It is clear to me that Nancy’s draconian laws worked as designed, as black and brown faces were whisked away to the gulag (let’s not forget that St. Ronnie used the racist dog whistle better than most with Cadillac-driving welfare queens and young bucks eating t-bone steaks as his continuation of the Southern Strategy) and we lost a generation of people of color to the prison industrial complex, the GOP ginned up fear and rode a white wave of racism to this day.

And it should be no surprise then, that from the ’80s onward private prisons became a growth industry. And prison-owners became major donors to the GOP, certainly at the state level. The plan worked as designed.

That is why I am surprised by Eric Holder’s announcement this week that the Justice Department will no longer press mandatory minimum sentences against many low-level drug crime offenders:

“Too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long, and for no good law enforcement reason.”

“While the aggressive enforcement of federal criminal statutes remains necessary, we cannot simply prosecute or incarcerate our way to becoming a safer nation.”

This has been the domestic policy of the US from Reagan onwards, and so this marks an incredible change. And not to split hairs too much, this includes the policies of Clinton and Obama to date.

Who knows, maybe someone will finally spot Nancy Reagan volunteering at the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic to help addicts recover? Afterall, she claimed that getting people off of drugs was her life’s work.

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0 Responses to Working as Designed

  1. Bruce388 says:

    As Charles Pierce would say it’s not racism. It’s NEVER about racism. Ronnie began his 1980 campaign in Philadelphia, MS. Philadelphia, of course, is the location where three civil rights workers were killed in 1964.

    The only way it could have been more obvious was if Ronnie had shown up in his bedsheet holding a burning cross. It’s not a dog whistle if people can hear it.


  2. zencomix says:

    They said they weren’t going to go after the marijuana dispensaries in states where it is legal, but then they did anyways, so I don’t really put much stock in what Eric Holder has to say. Maybe it’s just a shakedown, a thinly veiled threat to the private prison owners, “Hey, start donating more to the Democratic party or we start drying up the pipeline”.


  3. HarpoSnarx says:

    I’ll never forget Nancy’s nighttime raid in the ghetto with Darryl Gates.

    Potemkin would have been so proud.


  4. jo6pac says:

    What eric the holder is really saying is we will let out all the old & sick so they can become homeless and die. It’s cost the govt. to much money to keep them alive behind bars besides that makes more room for all of those Mary Jane people.


  5. Bruce388 says:

    Nancy had at least two other “life’s work,” I believe: Blowjobs for the right Hollywood people and getting knocked up/married to her Ronnie.


  6. Road to Escondido says:

    Let’s be careful. How many low-level drug crimes do federal prosecutors take to court? Most low-level drug crimes are prosecuted by local district attorneys. And most of them run campaign ads ginning up fear of scary young blacks and Latinos aimed at old, white voters. Now how many district attorneys does anyone believe will drop that winning “tough-on-crime” formula?


    • Tengrain says:

      Thunder & Zen –

      Well, there is nothing I would not put past Holder (and had anyone checked that he is breathing?), but it seems remarkable–if true, and I have no reason yet to believe it is anything less than the true–and that was my point.

      The pot collective down the street has been remarkable undisturbed, by the way.




  7. You know, when I first became aware of Nancy Reagan my first thought was, “she’s a Hollywood starlet? Really” But as Bruce notes, her well known skill wasn’t shown on the big screen. So yes, a good blow job can get you into the White House.


  8. zencomix says:

    The thing about some pot collectives going undisturbed and others being raided is quite similar to farms and meat packing plants that use undocumented /falsely documented immigrants. Some farms and meat packing plants get raided, and others do not. My cynical, suspicious tendencies start thinking that this is where the shakedown comes into play. You don’t want your meat packing plant or pot collective raided, you start greasing a few palms.

    I agree, it’s really great that Eric Holder is talking about this stuff. It would be nice if it were true.