I may have been a little harsh in yesterday’s prediction that “the next four years are going to suck.” That’s what I get for concentrating too much on the Presidential race. It turned out there was some good news last night.
First of all, the Republican rape guy lost. Actually, both Republican rape guys lost. I don’t think Richard Mourdock meant what he said in quite the way people took it, but following on the heels of Todd Akin‘s idiotic “legitimate rape” remark, he probably didn’t stand a chance.
Second, Californians voted to modify their “three strikes” law to require the third felony to a be serious one, just like the first two. No more 25-year prison sentences for shoplifting.
Third, voters in Maine, Maryland, and Washington passed ballot measures legalizing same-sex marriage, and Minnesota voters rejected a measure that would have prohibited same-sex marriages. This is the civil rights movement of my time, and it’s exciting to see it make so much progress.
Fourth, voters in Colorado and Washington passed ballot measures legalizing marijuana. They’re not just talking about medical marijuana,either. They legalized marijuana for recreational use. This is a huge blow against the war on drugs, and I can only hope for more.
Fifth, Gary Johnson got over 1.1 million votes, making him the most successful Libertarian presidential candidate in recent years. That’s not the 5% Libertarians were hoping for, so the news media will probably still ignore the Libertarian party in the next election, but maybe they’ll pay more attention to Johnson next time he runs for something.
Despite that, Gary Johnson is not the most successful Libertarian candidate in this election because…
Sixth, in a stunning development, Houston criminal defense lawyer (and friend of the blog) Mark Bennett received an astounding 1.3 million votes in his run for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. I think most of those people were voting against the Republican in a race without a Democrat, but still, that’s a hell of a fine showing.
I do still stand by this bit I wrote yesterday:
Neither of these men loves liberty, and we’ll be stuck with one of them for the next four years.
It looks like we’re stuck with Barack Obama.
Medical marijuana has been legal under California for a while now, but it remains illegal under federal law, and the Obama administration has been conducting armed raids on marijuana grow operations since he was elected. When I heard that marijuana had been legalized in two states, my first question was whether Obama would (a) respect the will of the people of those states, or (b) be a dick about it.
The answer came swiftly:
The U.S. Department of Justice reacted to the measure’s passage in Colorado by saying its enforcement policies remain unchanged, adding: “We are reviewing the ballot initiative and have no additional comment at this time.”
So it looks like plan (b). He’s going to be a dick about it.