Saturday, February 23, 2008

Arizona Republicans, Drug Abuse, and Hypocrisy

QUESTION: What do John McCain and the late former Chief Judge William Rehnquist have in common besides that they were both Republican political hacks from Arizona? (Oh, did you think Rehnquist was just our former Supreme Court Chief? Well, he had a not-so-well-known role as a Republican hack challenging Hispanic and African-American Democratic voters in Phoenix, long before he became the Republican Hack-in-Chief of the US Supreme Court. For more background on Rehnquist, see Alan Dershowitz: Telling the Truth About Chief Justice Rehnquist - The Huffington Post.)

ANSWER: These two Republican politicians have both been drug abuse hypocrites.

Attorney and psychologist Stanton Peele wrote the following piece for the LA Times, back in 2000 when McCain was running for president against the convicted drunk driver from Texas: McCain's Double Standard: Hawk In The Drug War, Yet His Wife Got No Penalty. Here's the opening of that article:

"Much has been made of allegations of possible youthful use of illegal drugs by Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush. Meanwhile, his chief GOP opponent, Arizona Sen. John McCain, has admitted that his wife not only illegally used drugs but walked away from criminal charges. The McCains have worked to make Cindy McCain's addiction into a political asset--despite the fact that she stole the drugs from a charity she directed and used them while mothering four young children."
And as for Rehnquist, see the following: Chief Justice Rehnquist's drug habit. - By Jack Shafer - Slate Magazine. One would think Rehnquist's own drug addiction would have led him to have the slightest sympathy for criminal defendants over whom he sat in judgment, but one would be wrong.

Perhaps it is naive to think the War on Drugs should ever affect drug abusers in power.

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