The oppositional party politicians vow to rewrite the “War On Drugs” manifesto in the U.S.!
Word is out that U.S. Senator-elect, Newark, N.J., Mayor Corey Booker has extended an invitation to ultra conservative Republican senator Rand Paul to work for a cause both men apparently have similar interests in.
And get this – Paul has accepted!
Corey Booker feels that the War on Drugs in Newark is a losing battle, entrapping and destroying hundreds of young lives and putting an enormous burden on taxpayers to house them in prisons.
“We have seen so much of our national treasure being spent in the drug war,” says Booker. “I’m not saying people [not take a] personal responsibility for their lawlessness, but what I’ve seen in Newark is a massive trap in this drug war and it’s not just a trap for the individuals being arrested. It’s a trap for taxpayers, communities and towns.”
Turns out Kentucky senator Rand Paul seems to feel the same way. At a campaign rally in September for Booker’s opponent in the race for the senate — Tea Partier Steve Lonegan — Paul showed up to support the republican candidate.
He started off with the usual spew of venom expected of politicians these days on the stump, but around the end of his speech, Paul dropped this unexpected bomb, opening the door to Mayor Booker’s invite;
“African-Americans are being denied the right to vote by driver’s license. You know the reason why they’re being denied the right to vote? They’re being put in prison as felons for non-violent drug crimes and kept there and for the rest of their life it ruins their lives [sic]. I’m not saying I’m for your white kid, black kid or brown kid using drugs, it’s not a good idea. But I’m saying a youthful mistake should not keep you out of the marketplace, able to get a job, and it should not prevent your right to vote for the rest of your life when you didn’t hurt anybody but yourself.”
Paul actually got applause from the Republican audience in attendance. I’m certain they were totally confused about his surprise ending.
After hearing this part of the senator’s speech, Booker was heard to say ” I want to work with him.”
Surprisingly, Paul Rand is one of the few Washington politicians who has been participating in a national conversation to rewrite the War On Drug’s manifesto. Back in September, during a packed public hearing of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, he compared the war on drugs to the racist policies of the Jim Crow era:
Mayor Booker believes that the law which hands down mandatory, minimum prison sentences for non violent, minor drug crimes should be revamped. And he’s pushing this idea as a way to cut government spending. A ‘twofer’ deal so to speak.
After hearing of Booker’s request to join forces, Paul Rand’s camp shot back this public statement:
“… Senator Paul will be pleased to work with any member who believes that mandatory minimum sentencing is unnecessary. He looks forward to senator Booker’s assistance on this important issue.”
How do I feel about the whole matter? Well, while I do think its unjust for some young man or woman’s life to be destroyed over a minor drug infraction, I would have been a whole lot more impressed if either of these men had put this kind of energy, publicly, behind saving the Voting’s Right’s Act which protected a whole lot more than just some pothead’s right to smoke weed in public without being harassed by the cops. If the dismantling of the VRA was not attempt to return us back to the Good Ol’ Days of Jim Crow, I don’t know what is. Case in point: Texas and North Carolina. The governors of these states are having a hootenanny enforcing new voter restriction laws aimed at nullifying thousands of Black, Democratic votes.
In the meantime, let’s see if Paul’s own party gets in the way of this unique, bipartisan initiative or will he succumb to the inevitable wrath rained down upon him from the formidable Tea Party machine and Ted Cruz (check out Cruz’s smug mug to the right of the video).
Color me suspicious of the intent of all parties involved.