Roger Stone vs. Jeff Sessions on Pot Legalization
Yes, as we saw earlier this morning, Roger Stone is in the news again: his ‘back channel’ conversations were not just with Julian Assange but also with Guccifer 2.0:
I’ve said it before I’ll say it again. When advancing a Unified Theory of Russia Interference-like Louise Mensch has done
My Theses are:
1. Never underestimate Roger Stone
2. And don’t forget about Anthony Weiner. How that all went down, how he was set up, catfished, the whole exhaustive timeline, must be figured out. The Comey letter was not just some-very lucky-accident for Trump and friends.
Of course, Jeff Sessions has his own issues in Russigate.
He keeps not remembering things he did, conversations he had. Just like Stone doesn’t recall whether he talked to Guccifer 2.0 or whether he didn’t talk to Guccifer 2.0.
But Roger Stone had a recent interview with
Glenn Greenwald News The Intercept that was very interesting on a number of points. Like how he whines about Russiagate:
“This meme begins at the instant Donald Trump said that if the Russians have Hillary Clinton’s missing emails, they should release them. From that point on, Trump-is-in-bed-with-Putin becomes a talking point of the Clinton campaign, and their allies in the Obama administration, who include the people in the intelligence agencies, who are, after all, political appointees at the top, second, and third levels.”
So maybe it was a big mistake Trump saying that then, hey? Like you made a big mistake bragging about your back channels to Wikileaks? And Trump’s surreal appeal to the Russians also begun an FBI investigation into Trump’s Russia ties.
But there was another seemingly peripheral point of interest in this piece; actually there were a number but this one might seem to be of less note. Yet I think it actually highlights something important about Roger Stone’s mode of combat-and indeed, the larger Republican party’s.
“Generally, I think communications between the president and myself should remain private. But my views are well known. You can find them on Twitter. For example, one cannot oppose federal power and cite states’ rights on the transgender bathroom issue, and then turn around say that you support states’ rights to legalize medical marijuana, and then turn around and say that you’re going to crack down on states that legalize recreational marijuana. There’s an intellectual inconsistency there. It is also harmful to the Trump coalition. Although a lot of anti-marijuana conservatives voted for Donald Trump, it’s not their motivating issue. On the other hand, for a lot of young voters and libertarian voters in the Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Gary Johnson realm, this is the issue for them. They voted for Trump based on his assurances about states’ rights. Lastly, legal marijuana is a regulated, billion-dollar business. If you crack down on the three states that have passed recreational marijuana, you’ll lose roughly 200,000 jobs. States and counties will go bankrupt because they’ve already budgeted the tax revenue. So that’s an example of the kind of issue about which I’d be happy to share my opinion with the president.”
This is notable to me first and foremost because Stone very really discusses his own policy views. He’s the opposite of conservative advocates like Grover Norquist, the NRA, prolife groups, etc.
Stone is a GOP operative, He prides himself on being a GOP hitman going back to the Nixon years. Indeed, he seems to agree that he’s more a Nixon Republican than a Reagan Republican.
But he doesn’t talk much about policy. Regarding Nixon, he says Nixon didn’t have an ideology-as opposed to Reagan or George W. Bush; Bush Sr. also didn’t have an ideology.
So why is Stone discussing his supposed belief in pot legalization here?
1. He’s just sincerely telling them what he thinks. Ok. By the way, I have a Trump U subscription I think you’ll love. Best school in the country. No, in the world.
2. He’s concern trolling. He knows that a large percentage of the readers at Glenn Greenwald News believe nothing is more sacred than making weed legal. You have the conservative and lefty libertarians. You have the Bernie Bros.
Stone also knows that a larger number of readers at Glenn Greenwald News hate Hillary Clinton which will make them at least somewhat openminded to him.
This is how Stone works. It’s his modus operandi.
According to journalist Marc Ames, a longtime Stone-watcher, the mainstays of the Trump-Stone alliance are three:
1. Roger Stone’s dirty tricks specialty is manipulating vote fractures, and weaponizing anti-establishment politics to serve the electoral needs of mainstream Republican candidates.
2. Roger Stone and Donald Trump have been working together since the mid-1980s, mostly on sleazy campaigns to help Trump’s casino business, but also in politics.
3. Roger Stone and Donald Trump worked together in at least two major “black bag” operations manipulating anti-establishment politics to help the mainstream Republican presidential caon ndidate.
Weaponizing anti-establishment politics to serve the electoral needs of mainstream Republican candidates.
That’s not just Stone’s MO. It’s the MO of mainstream Republican candidates and politics. All mainstream GOPers run against ‘Big Washington, Big Government, of taking government back to the states, back to the people.’
Just this morning, Steve Scalise-unlike Trump he’s definitely heard of David Duke; he campaigned with him in 2002-was waxing poetic about how destroying Obamacare and causing 20 million to lose their healthcare will give Americans back their freedom:
We don’t want Washington bureaucrats in control of our healthcare, we want to put people back in charge.
Ok, so that’s the marketing of mainstream Republicanism. Stone can suggest that he’s a ‘libertarian’ that he believes pot should be legalized. He says he’d be ‘willing’ to talk to Trump about that. Maybe he ought to talk to Jeff Sessions.
“Attorney General Jeff Sessions is signaling that the Trump administration plans to make changes to policies the Obama administration implemented to seek less serious charges in some drug cases.”
“In a memo sent to federal prosecutors nationwide Wednesday, Sessions called on them to crack down on violent crime. Most surely already view that as a core part of their duties.”
“However, another passage in the directive says changes in Justice Department charging policies are in the offing.”
“I encourage you to employ the full complement of federal law to address the problem of violent crime in your district,” Sessions wrote. “Further guidance and support in executing this priority — including an updated memo on charging for all criminal cases— will be forthcoming.”
“Legal experts said the language indicates that Sessions is planning to make significant revisions to policies Attorney General Eric Holder issued in 2010 backing away from prior directions that prosecutors seek the most serious viable charges in every case and in 2013 calling for prosecutors to avoid seeking mandatory minimum sentences in some cases by leaving the quantity of drugs seized out of charging documents.”
“My take is the Holder memo is toast,” said Ohio State University law professor Doug Berman. “Holder said you don’t have to charge mandatory minimums and it looks like they’re going to say, ‘Oh, yes, you do have to.'”
So mandatory minimums are back. So the white, millennial, libertarian types reading The Intercept go home thinking ‘Roger Stone is right about Hillary though. And he makes a good point, pot should be legal.’
Meanwhile, black and brown folks are the big victim of the reality of Trump and Sessions who Stone did everything he could-including committed treason-to put in office.
And the white boys reading The Intercept go home blithely unaware.
“Roger Stone’s dirty tricks specialty is manipulating vote fractures, and weaponizing anti-establishment politics to serve the electoral needs of mainstream Republican candidates.”
Check. They are weaponized. And they keep electing mainstream Republican candidates.
P.S. If you enjoy my blog and my support of #TheResistance-I’m also considering a 2018 run against GOP Congressmen Peter King of the NY 2nd district-then please consider a donation.