Wow. Just Wow.

Charles "Cully" Stimson, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation ("devoted to the principles of free enterprise, limited government, and individual freedom"), responds to Jacob Sullum's reasonable observation that many of our current politicians' history of marijuana and cocaine use did not turn out to be a harbinger of ruin for them (primarly because they were never caught and punished by the legal system) with this stellar piece of logic:

Imagine this:

It's 3 a.m., and a phone rings in the vice president's quarters. A Secret Service agent answers the phone, listens, and then rushes into the VP's bedroom with the phone in hand and wakes him up.

Agent (placing his hand over the mouthpiece of the phone): Mr. Vice President, the president of Xyzistan has threatened to launch a nuclear strike in 15 minutes. You must respond.

Vice president: Where is the heck is the president? Why isn't he taking the lead on this issue?

Agent: Sir, he's coming down from his heroin high. We tried to wake him up, sir, but he's out of it.

Vice president: Give me the darn phone.

Other than demonstrating a hard-on for 24-style daydreaming, I'm not sure what this has to do with the issue Stimson was asked to discuss. In a normal world, people like Stimson would be laughed out of serious company, not given space in the LA Times. How does Jacob Sullum remain sane when dealing with people like this day after day? It's enough to make a man want a stiff drink.

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Playing Devil's Advocate

OK, what about leaders like Yeltsin who were rumored to be so inebriated that it actually did impair their performance significantly?

I guess that would be a good

I guess that would be a good reason to ban alcohol, amirite?

Or Presidents.

Or Presidents.