"No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions." --Thomas Jefferson to John Tyler, 1804.

Two resolutions

A Democrat of our acquaintance years ago liked to say that party platforms should say that “We’re in favor of peace and prosperity and happiness” – and leave it at that. Might be wiser.

Consider two items from the Washington Democratic convention at Vancouver, two policy decisions, both of which may give some aid and comfort to Republicans.

One of would would support a possible ballot issue (whether it will get access isn’t quite clear yet – it would be Initiative 1068) which would legalize marijuana in Washington. The vote favoring it was not close – 314-185 – although some delegates warned that in more conservative and politically marginal areas, that vote could become a club for Republicans to hammer Democrats with. Even if the measure never makes the ballot.

Our thought, though, is that the policy on legal mind-altering substances might be more useful.

The convention also rejected a proposal to privatize liquor sales, to allow (as California does) privately-owned stores, such as supermarkets, to sell liquor now sold only in state stores. That seems likely to be a popular position, sop what was the key argument that led to the party’s smackdown against it? The Tacoma News Tribune reported, “most cheered arguments that it would lead to more underage drinking while enriching businesses at the expense of well-paying government jobs.”

That’s otherwise known as playing into the Republicans’ stereotype of Democrats.

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