The Long Reach of America’s “Limited” Government
Schizoid Republicans — the gift that keeps on giving. Out of one side of their mouths they shout “Freedom!” and “limited government.” Out of the other side, they’re constantly screaming for a huge government crackdown on everything imaginable.
They want government to be small enough to drown in Grover Norquist’s bathtub; and this same bathtub-size government needs to be big enough to monitor everybody’s private life 24/7/365.
Conservatives’ newest urgent problem: American citizens who do something in a foreign country that’s legal in that country but illegal in the U.S. How can we sleep at nights, knowing that somebody somewhere is getting away with something that should be against the law? Fortunately, Rep. Lamar Smith (R—Inbred) has the solution to this Earth-shattering problem. He’s introduced the Drug Trafficking Safe Harbor Elimination Act of 2011.
According to the linked article, this bill “would make it a federal crime for U.S. residents to discuss or plan activities on foreign soil that, if carried out in the U.S., would violate the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) — even if the planned activities are legal in the countries where they’re carried out.”
Examples include: smoking (or buying/selling/distributing) marijuana in a place where pot has been decriminalized (e.g. Amsterdam); taking part in a needle exchange program in a foreign country; or even purchasing an over-the-counter medicine in a foreign country if that same medicine requires a prescription in the United States.
A civil liberties attorney said:
“I don’t see any interest other than to a desire to impose our moral and cultural preferences on the rest of the world.”
You mean like American Exceptionalism and all that. Yeah! America is unique in all the world — a Beacon of Freedom. And America’s Freedom will be forced down the throats of all the rest of you Podunk countries. Got a problem with that???
Lamar Smith is hereby invited to take a long walk off a short plank.