Democrats can’t afford to put it on the back burner any longer

Good article at Think Progress: Rand Paul Is Right On Marijuana, And That Should Scare Democrats Into Action

Rand Paul is fast becoming a real star for the Republican Party, right at a point where it has become painfully clear to their leadership that they have to reinvent the party or become irrelevant, appealing only to an ever-shrinking wacko base. Paul the younger provides the perfect opportunity — he’s seen as more mainstream in appeal than his father, and the notion of moving the party toward a combination of fiscal conservatism and social libertarianism is a direction that could yield votes.

Just last week, Rand talked about immigration reform in ways that would have been anathema to the GOP very recently, and had a remarkable number of those on the far right support him on it. He smartly changed the wording so it didn’t appear to be adopting the views of the left, and it seems to have worked toward galvanizing the Republicans to move toward immigration reform.

Now, he talks about criminal justice reform and drug policy reform, and he does it in a way that can appeal to swing voters, without completely alienating moderate republicans.

It’s interesting when I bring up Rand Paul to some of my progressive friends, they are so enraged by him, they can’t even calm down enough to talk about the issues (it’s like they put their hands over their ears and just repeatedly yell “Racist, Racist, Racist”). Ignoring what he is doing, and letting the GOP get caught up on immigration reform and get ahead of criminal justice reform would be a huge mistake for the Democrats.

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