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The insufferable Ruth Marcus and David Brooks

January 3, 2014
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Both Ruth Markus (The Perils of legalized pot – Washington Post) and David Brooks (Weed – Been There. Done That. – New York Times) came out with columns where they both talked about their own enjoyment of pot and their certainty that it should be illegal for the rest of us.

Brooks:

For a little while in my teenage years, my friends and I smoked marijuana. It was fun. I have some fond memories of us all being silly together. I think those moments of uninhibited frolic deepened our friendships.[...]

In legalizing weed, citizens of Colorado are, indeed, enhancing individual freedom. But they are also nurturing a moral ecology in which it is a bit harder to be the sort of person most of us want to be.

Marcus:

I have done my share of inhaling, though back in the age of bell-bottoms and polyester.

Next time I’m in Colorado, I expect, I’ll check out some Bubba Kush. Why not? [...]

Still, widespread legalization is a bad idea,[...]

So the reason to single out marijuana is the simple fact of its current (semi-)illegality. On balance, society will not be better off with another legal mind-altering substance. In particular, our kids will not be better off with another legal mind-altering substance.

I was planning on dismantling their columns, but it turns out the entire internet has been doing exactly that all day. It’s turned into massive ridicule. Very enjoyable.

bullet image Adam Serwer, MSNBC: A tale of two pot users: OK for elites, illegal for others

On Friday, two major newspaper columnists, Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post and David Brooks of the New York Times, admitted to using marijuana. Yet just as all three of the above presidents presided over a criminal justice system that imposes harsh punishments for marijuana use, Marcus and Brooks argue against Colorado and Washington’s marijuana initiatives, on the basis that marijuana is bad for you. […]

Presumably, Brooks and Marcus don’t think of themselves as criminals who should have gone to jail for their drug use, any more than our three past presidents. Marcus all but acknowledges as much, saying that “[t]hrowing people in jail for smoking pot is dumb and wasteful.” But that’s what marijuana being illegal means in most states and under federal law: It means people go to jail.

It almost never means, however, that people like Brooks and Marcus go to jail. 

bullet image Juli Weiner in Vanity Fair does a spot-on satirical impression of David Brooks’ column David Brooks: Been There. Done That.

In reading Brooks, citizens of Bethesda and certain parts of Brooklyn are, indeed, enhancing lazy thinking. But they are also nurturing a moral ecology in which it is a bit harder to be the sort of person most of us want to be.

bullet image David Weigel at Slate: Ruth Marcus, David Brooks, and reefer madness

The shared Brooks/Marcus thesis is that marijuana was basically all right for young people to try years ago, before they became columnists, but that legalizing it will lead to a worse and lazier society.

bullet image Charles Pierce at Esquire: Two Dopes

In my days of doing the blog, I have pondered, often, the teleological conundrum of whether an omnipotent god could make a stick big enough to shove up his own ass. When this speculation becomes too difficult, I make myself a lesser case — is it possible for anyone to have a bigger stick up their ass than the one currently residing in the nether quarters of David Brooks? Today, at least, I have the answer to the latter question.

Yes, it is.

Come on down, Ruth Marcus, famous NSA apologist, weeper for misunderstood torturers, recent Glenn Greenwald heavy-bag workout, and scourge of teenage potty-mouths everywhere, and a woman who makes the late Erma Bombeck read like Rosa Luxembourg and who makes David Brooks sound like Richard Brautigan.

The two of them wrote essentially the same column today.

bullet image Judy Berman at Flavorwire: David Brooks’ and Ruth Marcus’ Anti-Weed Columns Condensed for Maximum Stoner Hilarity

David Brooks and Ruth Marcus evidently drew the short straws at the New York Times and Washington Post (respectively), each 50-something writer filing an anti-legalization screed made highly awkward by the fact that both have done their share of toking in this lifetime.

bullet image Jonathan Fischer at CityDesk: Ruth Marcus and David Brooks Smoke Pot: A Play in One Act

bullet image Gary Greenberg: I Smoked Pot with David Brooks – fun satire based on the Brooks column.

bullet image Atrios at Eschaton

They both want Official Disapproval of activities they happily participated in once upon a time because kids today, but Offical Disapproval means people go to jail. Not Brooks and Marcus of course, or their kids, but other people.


And for a special bonus:

Here is the clip of Glenn Greenwald completely dismantling Ruth Marcus on CNN regarding Snowden. If you don’t want to watch the entire thing, just check out Glenn’s first response at 1:45. It’s time someone took these Washington elite to task.

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Pete Guither is the editor of drugwarrant.com

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