Hmmm... d'ja ever have a sneaking suspicion that the National Conversation was created to replace that other gimmick known as "Kicking the Can Down the Road"? Comparing political procrastination to a childish game has just been officially banned from the lexicon by Lake Superior State University, anyway, along with such gems as "job creators" and "double down."
There are so many National Conversations going on all at once that I can barely hear myself thinking like Andy Rooney. The loudest official gab-fest today, now that the planet is simultaneously drowning and going up in flames, is the National Conversation about Climate Change. The situation is so dire that President Obama is already mulling a National Summit on it. It will then be only a matter of time before "Summit Like It Hot" morphs into a special re-mulling Task Force.
Joe Biden will not be available to "do" climate change, since he is already tasked with doing gun control. That issue quickly evolved from a desultory can-kicker of a conversation during the campaign to a must-do-now issue in the wake of the Newtown massacre. I can foresee gun control morphing into a 2,000-page mess of a bill, replete with pork and corporate welfare. It bodes ill that the National Rifle Association has inexplicably been invited to meet with the Task Force. And you know what their knee-jerk response to "force" is: More force. Force in schools, force in neighborhoods, force in malls, force in movie theaters. We all remember what happened when the insurance leeches and pharmaceutical industry were invited to a seat at the table during health care reform negotiations. They ended up writing the law themselves, to enrich themselves.
And speaking of the NRA, did you (I mean, d'ja) ever wonder why ObamaCare protects gun rights? Were you even aware that it did? I sure wasn't. It turns out that the NRA, along with the usual suspects, was also inexplicably invited to help craft the Affordable Care Act. As a result, it is now against the law for doctors to ask patients about their firearms during intake screenings. Theoretically, a disturbed individual who has a hankering to commit mayhem can seek psychiatric attention and rest assured that any information about the arsenals he has squirreled away at home can never be part of his permanent medical record. It's the Don't Ask, Don't Tell clause of ObamaCare. Page 2,037, to be exact.
It's only a matter of time before the NRA is asked to join the Climate Change Task Force. There will probably be new laws enacted requiring all citizens to pack heat in their Hurricane Emergency Preparedness Kits, and to fight fire with fire power.
Of course, there are certain topics that will remain indefinitely stuck in the mire of the National Conversation, probably never evolving past that stage to actually become a summit or a task force. Marijuana legalization falls into that category. A petition on the White House website for pot legalization finally got enough signatures to force an official response. It comes from top Drug Thug Gil Kerlikowske:
Thank you for participating in We the People and speaking out on the legalization of marijuana. Coming out of the recent election, it is clear that we're in the midst of a serious national conversation about marijuana.
(and here he quotes President Obama talking to Barbara Walters)" …this is a tough problem because Congress has not yet changed the law. I head up the executive branch; we're supposed to be carrying out laws. And so what we're going to need to have is a conversation about how do you reconcile a federal law that still says marijuana is a federal offense and state laws that say that it's legal."Meanwhile, I may be wrong in my notion that "having a conversation" is at the bottom of the prioritization totem pole. I forgot about the real pit of despair, which involves our elected officials just holding their ears and ignoring stuff. Tom Angell, a marijuana legalization advocate told The Huffington Post:
"From 'legalization is not in my vocabulary and it's not in the president's,' as Gil Kerlikowske often used to say, to 'it is clear that we're in the midst of a serious national conversation about marijuana' is a pretty stark shift," he said. "Of course, what really matters is to what extent the administration actually shifts enforcement priorities and budgets, but I sure do like hearing the U.S. drug czar acknowledge the fact that marijuana legalization is a mainstream discussion that is happening whether he likes it or not."Of course, there's a very familiar monkey wrench in the works when it comes to legalizing pot. You guessed it: the NRA. The War on Drugs is a lucrative enterprise, requiring lots of weapons and ammo for both the cops and the drug cartels themselves. The Obama Administration has not made weapons trafficking enforcement a huge priority. D'ja ever wonder why? Should we be having a Conversation about it?