A reader writes:
I don't buy that a backlash is waiting in the wings if Prop 19 passes. For starters, if polling is at 44% in favor of a prohibition-type issue, there's likely a Bradley Effect that makes it a near coin-toss. As for the 54% opposed, that doesn't mean 54% that would take to the streets with signs and pitchforks. Many of those opposed are likely stating a simple preference when asked, but in the end would just go about their days and lives if marijuana was legalized.
Furthermore, a lot of conservatives would find themselves in a trap. How can the Tea Party crowd make noise about an issue of increased liberty and state sovereignty without appearing like complete hypocrites?
If they take the side of prohibition it will split their ranks. If they accept it (or support it), you will find that Boehner and company will just want to avoid the issue altogether. I suppose the religious right would perhaps mobilize a bit, but it really isn't a God issue and my hunch is they feel they have bigger battles to fight.
I'm very interested to see it play out, because a lot of conservative libertarians are going to have to walk the walk. I live near Atlanta, in Neal Boortz country, and he has claimed a pro-legalization stance for years. By proxy, my otherwise conservative Republican in-laws have claimed the same. I'm curious to see if it's a position they're actually willing to see carried out, or if it was just a stance of association. I think for a lot of people this will be a moment of rubber meeting the road, and like the increase in support for gay marriage after Iowa, New Hampshire, et al, people will come to the realization that frogs will not rain from the sky.