Line of the Day (George Washington and Marijuana Edition)

“I mentioned that President and General George Washington did not advocate pot smoking and that if he did, we probably would not have won the American Revolutionary War”—from the web site of Lynne Torgerson, Republican candidate for the House, 5th District of Minnesota.

(The blog post from whence the quote comes is worth a read for a variety of reasons).

Granted, the aforementioned Father of our Country did not advocate smoking pot.  He did, however, cultivate hemp at Mount Vernon (which would get him in trouble with contemporary authorities).

Also, for what is is worth:  Washington distilled whiskey at Mount Vernon.

h/t:  Bruce Bartlett’s FB feed.

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Wow, that woman is all kinds of crazy.

  2. John Burgess says:

    For a riff on the theme, read Thomas Pynchon’s Mason & Dixon. He has an assortment of the Founding Fathers blissfully toking away. And a talking dog.

  3. al-Ameda says:

    Lynne Torgerson, Republican candidate for the House, 5th District of Minnesota.

    Michele Bachmann, LynneTorgerson: What is it about Minnesota and female Republican candidates for election to the House?

  4. Tsar Nicholas says:

    There’s something wrong with Minnesota. No, seriously, there’s something wrong with Minnesota.

    Jessie Ventura.
    Michelle Bachmann.
    Al Franken.
    Now this Lynn Torgerson nutbag.

    When a professional wrestler can become governor, and then Michelle Bachmann can become a representative, and then Stuart Smalley can become a U.S. Senator, we’ve moved far way from mere outliers to a distict pattern of prima facie loopiness.

  5. merl says:

    She made a good case for her opponent. Is she really working for him? She doesn’t have a contact email so I could ask her that.

  6. Penguin says:

    When I saw the headline, I instanstly thought of this clip:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3D1PM2pQ7E

  7. Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    @Penguin:
    Dammit, you beat me to it.

  8. J-Dub says:

    I just thank god that when the Founding Fathers were all high and came up with the framework of our government that one of them had the sense to write it down.

  9. J-Dub says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: We have a mouse in the Senate?

  10. Tsar Nicholas says:

    @J-Dub: Nah, we have rats in the Senate, not mice. Snakes too. Grifters. Scofflaws. FYI, “Stuart Smalley” was a character that Al Franken played on SNL.

  11. PogueMahone says:

    “Washington … did not advocate pot smoking and that if he did, we probably would not have won the American Revolutionary War.

    This is what is going on in your Republican Party folks.

    Please note that Libertarians, who actually have PROGRESSIVE positions:…”

    Umm. If our founding fathers did not have progressive positions regarding freedom, we would not have had an American Revolutionary War, congresswoman.

  12. @PogueMahone:

    congresswoman

    Just a candidate. So there’s that, at least.

  13. PogueMahone says:

    @PogueMahone: Forgive me… Candidate for Congress.

  14. Tsar Nicholas says:

    @PogueMahone: Well, let’s not confuse one nutty candidate for Congress up in the wilds of Minnesota with the rest of the Republican Party. You don’t believe the Democrat U.S. Rep. who thought Guam might “capsize” is representative of the entire Democrat Party, do you?

    Also, FYI, Libertarians are not even rounding errors in U.S. politics. You’re talking about less than one-half of one percent.

    Lastly, your terminology is all mixed up. Back in the day there were classical liberals. Today such people would be known as conservatives. Using today’s terminology, the Founders had a conservative set of viewpoints regarding freedom. Modern-day progressive thinking largely would have made them wretch and defecate. Taxes were anathema to them. Private property rights were paramount. Hell, there was at least one leading Founder who wanted the phrase “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” to instead read: “life, liberty and property.” The Founders also were quite keen on religious freedoms. If for example in the 1780’s you would have suggested to a Founder that a nativity scene was not an appropriate display for a public square they might have smacked you upside your head. Literally. The Founders also wanted limited government, not a leviathan. Limited government was the underlying goal of the manner in which the Constitution was drafted.

  15. Contracts says:

    Oh my god, that hair.

  16. Tillman says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: To be fair, they’d probably relent in their criticisms of our society and government if we promised them free 21st century healthcare.

    Honestly, none of the founders knew where the Industrial Revolution would take the human race, and most of them didn’t live to see it. Jefferson envisioned America as a giant rural agrarian society, so his revulsion would be biased.

  17. An Interested Party says:

    Well, let’s not confuse one nutty candidate for Congress up in the wilds of Minnesota with the rest of the Republican Party.

    No, of course not…if we want to look at putrid examples of GOP politicians, we can look at states like Oklahoma, North & South Carolina, and Louisiana, among others…

    Modern-day progressive thinking largely would have made them wretch and defecate.

    Modern-day conservatism thinking largely would have made then weep and ask what the hell happened to the nation they founded…

    The Founders also were quite keen on religious freedoms.

    As well as freedom from religion…

    The Founders also wanted limited government, not a leviathan.

    Umm, not so much Alexander Hamilton and the Federalists…

  18. Tsar Nicholas says:

    @Tillman: Yeah, but Jefferson’s insouciance of an industrial-based economy in this context is not germane.

    The comment to which I responded made reference to the Founders’ views about freedom. Jefferson’s views about freedom were derived from Locke. Read the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, authored by Jefferson. Very much a statement of the natural rights school of thinking. That doesn’t jibe with modern-day leftism, of which as you certainly know the main underpinning is statism. Other Founders when compared to Jefferson even were more hard core Lockeans. Check out the Virginia Declaration of Rights, written by George Mason. The money quote:

    That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

    Modern-day leftism is antithetical to those principles. That’s my primary point.

  19. @Tsar Nicholas:

    That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

    Modern-day leftism is antithetical to those principles. That’s my primary point.

    Granted, you are making up your own terms and they no doubt have their own meanings, but if you are talking about the contemporary American “left” as defined really by the center-left, then you are decidedly flat wrong (but if you believe yourself to be correct, that explains a lot of what you write),

    Also: trying to discern exactly what the Founders and Framers would think today is really an impossible task. Mostly I think they would be amazed and impressed that we still existed and were still using the same constitution. The notion that they foresaw the effects of modernization is an absurd one.

  20. Tsar Nicholas says:

    @An Interested Party: Dude, the whole federalist, anti-federalist dichotomy was a debate over the proper role of the federal government. None of the Founders, not even Hamilton, wanted a leviathan central government. Check out the Constitution. They enumerated to the Congress a short list of very specific powers. If the likes of Hamilton really had wanted a big federal government with plenary powers then the Constitution would have looked a lot different. To that end, by way of example, Hamilton probably was the biggest tax and spender of that whole lot, but if you had told him the federal government ultimately would wind up with a direct tax power on incomes his head would have exploded, just like those people in “Scanners.”

  21. Tillman says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    Yeah, but Jefferson’s insouciance of an industrial-based economy in this context is not germane.

    The comment to which I responded made reference to the Founders’ views about freedom.

    I find it perfectly germane. It situates Jefferson as a man of his time, and my contention is that the founders were men of their time with ideas of their time. The ideas were new for that era, but they still came about then. Their notions of freedom are not grounded in the same circumstances as ours’ are. The founders’ notion of free speech more than likely did not cover protesting funerals for soldiers with “GOD HATES FAGS” signs because the society they lived in would not have tolerated it.

    Modern-day leftism is antithetical to those principles. That’s my primary point.

    So, modern-day leftism is antithetical to the right of people to seek happiness and security? You have a rather dark view of fellow human beings, don’t you?

  22. Tsar Nicholas says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Where exactly did I say that the Founders foresaw the effects of modernization? Again, I’m talking about their philosophical viewpoints about freedoms, which in turn forged their viewpoints about governments.

    It’s touching that you wish to define modern-day leftism by reference to the “center-left,” but at best that’s an amazingly naive proposition and more realisitically it’s wholly disingenuous. The concept of the “center-left” as far a pure power politics is concerned is irrelevant. There are fewer center-leftists holding major elected offices today than stripes on the flag. They don’t have any real power. They barely have any influence. Merely by way of example, what happened when Heath Shuler challenged Nancy Pelosi for House Majority Leader? He didn’t get very far. Also, I don’t think Ben Nelson will be named the next DNC Chair, do you?

    When I speak about “modern-day leftism” I’m referring to the leadership and to the leading lights of the Democrat Party: Obama, Reid, Durbin, Schumer, Murray, Pelosi, Hoyer, Clyburn, Larson, Waxman, Conyers, et al.

  23. @Tsar Nicholas: The whole of the modern democratic party falls within the “center-left” properly defined. There are a few outliers, but pretending otherwise is simply to be profoundly wrong or, at least, to have a severely constrained view of what “left” constitutes in American politics (and, for that matter global politics and theoretical politics).

    You may not agree with the people you list, but you are going to have to demonstrate, for example, how said people reject:

    -The idea that all men are by nature equally free and independent,
    -That humans have certain inherent rights,
    -That those rights cannot be taken away save by due process of law.
    -Property rights.
    -etc

    That because people on that list think top marginal rates should be higher or because they value universal health care doesn’t qualify as as abnegation of the above list or any basic list of basic principles of classical liberalism.

    Supporting a moderate welfare state and some level of progressive income taxes is mainstream in American politics.

  24. An Interested Party says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: While it might be debatable whether or not Hamilton wanted a “leviathan” federal government, it is certainly the case that he wanted a strong, dynamic federal government, complete with the ability to tax citizens…oh, and his role at the Constitutional Convention was limited, hence, his influence on the Constitution…meanwhile, you really need to stop playing the same games as Allen West in how you characterize Democrats…that is, if you want to be taken seriously…

  25. J-Dub says:

    By the way, they started distilling whiskey at Mt Vernon again. The first batch went on sale last year: http://www.wtop.com/?nid=41&sid=2588921