Opinion: The Politics of Drug Policy

It’s an intractable issue in the news daily, so the proposed, much-debated and now-delayed Senate Republican health care bill had to do something to answer the opioid addiction crisis in America. Add to that the basic political realization that in many of the states that supported Donald Trump and Republicans, a high percentage of people are hurting — to turn a blind eye would be a problem for America and for the GOP on many levels.

Many fear the Senate bill is not enough to meet a challenge that is intertwined with unemployment, the economy and more. Though, at least — and some would label it the very least — the uncertain yet compassionate reaction contrasts with the harsh strategy the Justice Department has laid out for other low-level drug offenders.

So while establishing a drug policy in America, one that would fight the disease of addiction as well as the crime and violence that arise from the drug business, our lawmakers and leaders would seem to be setting up a strategy of contradiction

Opinion: Trump Policies on Voting and Criminal Justice Quietly Move Country Backward

While the Trump administration is in a state of perpetual turmoil, some of its promised policies are proceeding as planned. Support from a Republican Congress is softening with each cringe-worthy headline about slips, leaks and feuds; still, its members, mindful of the president’s loyal base, are proceeding with caution.

And when you step back from the chaos, don’t expect to see any progress on other issues — such as voting rights and criminal justice reform — that once promised a bit of bipartisan cooperation.

 

In North Carolina, Rand Paul touts tea party diversity

CHARLOTTE — Earlier this week, Rand Paul was showing the flag in North Carolina, the one that says “Don’t Tread on Me.”

The Republican senator from Kentucky could not boost his guy in the North Carolina Republican Senate primary  into a runoff. But was his appearance at a Greg Brannon rally on the plaza outside the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Monday more about 2016?

Paul brushed aside questions suggesting any such thing, saying: “I think that’s probably too complicated” and “I don’t know if you can read too much into the tea leaves.” But he certainly made the case for a broader tea party base that coincidentally would help any presidential aspirations he might harbor.

Rand Paul’s Bill Clinton-bashing is political. But he has a point.

Rand Paul, the U.S. senator from Kentucky and an all-but-certain contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, is hitting Democratic Party claims to be the party for women with attacks on Bill Clinton’s infidelity with an intern in the White House.

Is it a political maneuver to tarnish top rival Hillary Clinton with guilt by association? Of course. Is Paul taking aim at a popular Democratic Party fundraiser, just as the former president is about to campaign for 2014 candidates, including Alison Lundergan Grimes, who is challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Paul’s own state of Kentucky? You bet.