Anti-pot pol caught with pot seeks plea bargain

Posted on September 6th, 2011 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

Robert WatsonRobert Watson, a Republican Rhode Island state lawmaker charged with pot possession and DUI in Connecticut, is said to be hoping for a plea bargain in New Haven Superior Court. Watson, who has pleaded not guilty, lost his job as Rhode Island's House minority leader after his April arrest in East Haven. (AP, Aug. 25) Bloggers had a field day with his bust, because he had just recently made comments baiting liberals in his state as soft on immigrants, gays—and pot smokers! Here's what the "Irony Alert" blog in The Week had to say in its coverage of the coverage:

The story: In a comment Robert Watson wishes he probably hadn't made, the Republican minority leader of the Rhode Island House of Representatives said in February that the state legislature's priorities are fine "if you're a gay man from Guatemala who gambles and smokes pot." Last Friday, Watson was arrested in Connecticut for driving under the influence of alcohol... and possessing pot and a wooden marijuana pipe. OK, so "trace evidence of marijuana was discovered," Watson said. But "I vehemently deny" being drunk behind the wheel.

The reaction: This sure seems like the "divine retribution" that inevitably targets right-wing hypocrites, says Dennis Romero at LA Weekly. But his breathalyzer test did come in at .05, under the .08 legal limit, and "it's hard to prove one was under the influence of pot. Maybe he's got a case." No, the only case he has is a career-ending case of "extreme hypocrisy," says Joe Klare at The 420 Times. "To poke fun at people for smoking weed when you go home and do it yourself is not only tasteless, but it also proves you cannot be trusted to stand up for your constituents." Still, bad luck for him he was busted in Connecticut, says Max Read at Gawker. His home state, of course, is "far more friendly to Guatemalans, to gays, to gamblers, and, yes, to pot-smokers."

As we had occasion to say when cannabis was found growing at Osama bin Laden's Pakistan compound,  "Hopefully, this will expose the jihadi fundamentalists as a bunch of hypocrites—like most puritans." Just change "jihadi" for "Republican."

Photo: Rhode Island General Assembly


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