Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics


The Socially Conservative State of…California?

By: inoljt,

California is generally thought of as a very liberal place. The Democratic Party is certainly doing well; Republicans are at an all-time low almost everywhere in the state.

This applies to social positions as well. The stereotype is that Californians are very socially liberal. California is, after all, home to San Francisco and Berkeley – the natural environment of the godless hippie and homosexual. Hollywood is also located in California, and Hollywood’s not exactly a bastion of social conservatism.

It may surprise some, then, to note that in the past four years Californians have voted against gay marriage, marijuana, and the abolition of the death penalty.

More below.

A Note About Marijuana Legalization

Do I believe that marijuana should be legalized?  Yes.  Would I vote for legalization if I were a member of Congress?  Yes.  Would I support bills that decriminalize marijuana at the state level?  Yes.  Would I have voted for either the Colorado or Washington initiatives that legalized, rather than merely decriminalized, marijuana in those states?  No.  Would I have signed the bill that Colorado governor John Hickenlooper did to establish a regulatory scheme for marijuana in his state?  No, I would have vetoed it.

At first glance it doesn’t sound logical that I favor legalization of marijuana and yet would oppose the various initiatives at the state level to do so.  How, exactly, are these seemingly conflicting viewpoints not contradictory?

The answer lies in the second question I ask.  The other four questions all deal with state-level issues.  That second question is one of federal power.  Individual policies are important, but there is something even more important than individual policies.  That is respect for the federal Constitution, which includes acting in accordance with its provisions.

Hunting Galileo: The Right's War on Science (Part I)

While Waxman may have accused Republicans of presiding over the “most anti-science” Congress in history, Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) tells Mother Jones that his colleague’s characterization doesn’t even go far enough: “This is the most anti-science body since the Catholic Church ostracized Galileo for determining that the earth revolves around the sun.”

Mother Jones, emphasis added

I wish it were possible to collect information about all the wrongdoing of the GOP into one diary, but even a series of books would probably find such an endeavor impossible. Even fully covering a specific topic is, realistically, far beyond the scope of any single diary. In trying to provide an aggregate summary of any currently relevant topic, the best I can give is a brief overview of the most recent and egregious Republican transgressions.

Today we address in brief (kind of) the GOP’s war on science.

Open Thread: Late Night Grab Bag

According to Congressional Quarterly, in terms of winning Congressional votes on issues he took a stand on, Obama had the most successful Presidential first year in generations (based upon more than five decades of CQ keeping records).

“His success was 96.7 percent on all the votes where we said he had a clear position in both the House and the Senate. That’s an extraordinary number,” Cranford says.

The previous high scores were held by Lyndon Johnson in 1965, with 93 percent, and Dwight Eisenhower, who scored 89 percent in 1953. Cranford notes that George W. Bush’s score hit the high 80s in 2001, the year of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. But Obama surpassed them all, Cranford says.


While the road gets tougher moving forward (due to members of Congress preparing for their own campaigns/re-election efforts in the 2010 mid-terms and the likely subsequent loss of seats in both House and Senate), Obama has made his first year historic by yet another measure.