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Let's say a CEO does a great job for stockholders; he increases profits five-fold, treats the employees well, and causes the stock price to skyrocket. He's a superstar. One day the public learns that the CEO killed a guy to get ahead in his career, but the CEO doesn't get convicted because his clever attorney gets him off on a technicality. Assume in this hypothetical situation that the public correctly believes the CEO killed a guy to advance his career. Should the board of directors allow the superstar CEO to keep his job? Or is killing a guy to advance your career always a firing offense?

Okay, keep your answer in mind.

The next question is for supporters of President Obama. Let's say your political views map closely to the President's positions. He's your guy. But suppose you found out he once killed an American citizen in the United States to help his reelection. And assume, as with the CEO example, that the facts of the killing are undisputed and the President found a legal means to avoid prosecution. In that hypothetical case, would you still vote for President Obama? Or would you say it is a firing offense for a President to kill a citizen to advance his career?

I predict that every one of you favored firing the hypothetical CEO for killing a guy to get ahead. My second prediction is that every Republican reader of this blog favored firing President Obama in the hypothetical and imaginary case of him murdering a citizen to get elected. My third prediction is that supporters of President Obama will quibble with the hypothetical example, or my comparison to the CEO, or say President Obama is still a better option than Romney. In other words, for most supporters of President Obama, I don't think there is such a thing as a "firing offense."

For the record, President Obama did not technically kill anyone to get elected. That was just a hypothetical example. But he is putting an American citizen in jail for 10 years to life for operating medical marijuana dispensaries in California where it is legal under state law. And I assume the President - who has a well-documented history of extensive marijuana use in his youth - is clamping down on California dispensaries for political reasons, i.e. to get reelected. What other reason could there be?

One could argue that the President is just doing his job and enforcing existing Federal laws. That's the opposite of what he said he would do before he was elected, but lying is obviously not a firing offense for politicians.

Personally, I'd prefer death to spending the final decades of my life in prison. So while President Obama didn't technically kill a citizen, he is certainly ruining this fellow's life, and his family's lives, and the lives of countless other minor drug offenders. And he is doing it to advance his career. If that's not a firing offense, what the hell is?

Romney is likely to continue the same drug policies as the Obama administration. But he's enough of a chameleon and a pragmatist that one can't be sure. And I'm fairly certain he'd want a second term. He might find it "economical" to use federal resources in other ways than attacking California voters. And he is vocal about promoting states' rights, so he's got political cover for ignoring dispensaries in states where medical marijuana is legal.

So while I don't agree with Romney's positions on most topics, I'm endorsing him for president starting today. I think we need to set a minimum standard for presidential behavior, and jailing American citizens for political gain simply has to be a firing offense no matter how awesome you might be in other ways.

[Update: Congratulations to Politico for being the first to take this post out of context. I'm a little disappointed in Jezebel, Gawker and Salon for being slow to the party. Are all of their context-removers on vacation or something?]

[Update 2: Nipping on the heels of Politico, Mediaite.com weighs in with their own out-of-context outrage. They managed to throw in some charges of racism and something about rape. Well done.]

[Update 3: Kudos to Reason.com for doing a good job preserving the context of this post while still quoting from it. Notice their story headline shows they understand the central point of my post. And since their readership probably overlaps a lot with mine, my writing makes sense in their environment too. That rarely happens. -- Scott]

[Update 4: Meanwhile, at Huffington Post, where context goes to die, a key point in my blog post has been summarized as: ". . . cartoonist Scott Adams said he's under the impression Romney would be softer on marijuana than President Barack Obama." Is that how you would interpret my sentence "Romney is likely to continue the same drug policies as the Obama administration"? If not, you can't write for Huffington Post.

[Update 5: Daily Kos takes the context destruction trophy by proudly quoting from the Politico article's out-of-context treatment. Daily Kos scored a rare "double" by taking out of context a piece that was already out of context. Their under-informed readers chimed in to point out that they are sure I don't believe in evolution, which I've often publicly said meets the tests to be called a scientific fact. Another commenter points out that I must hate women because the Alice character is getting less time in Dilbert. You can't get that kind of insight anywhere but Daily Kos."

[Update 6: Newser.com gets an "A" for reporting the story objectively and even mentioning that context is an issue and readers can come here to see it in its native context. Nicely done.]

[Update 7: A little late to the party, but Gawker finally weighed in with a snarky dismissal of their misinterpretation of what I wrote. It's not a party until you guys show up. Can Jezebel be far behind?]

 

 
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-19 Rank Up Rank Down
Oct 19, 2012
This is hilarious. As I've stated earlier, I just wait for my wife to decide who she's going to vote for and then I just vote the same way. So I really don't have a dog in this fight, but...

if you think Romney wouldn't put 1000 people in jail for life to get elected, you are sadly mistaken.
 
 
-25 Rank Up Rank Down
Oct 19, 2012
@Scott

[I'm fascinated by the fact that objectivity is confusing to you, because that's the problem here. Objectivity is rare, so maybe you've never seen it before. An objective person says, "This outcome is most likely, but I acknowledge the smaller likelihood that something else might happen instead, and here's how it could happen." Partisans and non-thinkers say, "This will happen, 100%." -- Scott]

...and you should have foreseen it! Seriously, Scott, even folks like me who were trying to be fair to you were confused by that paragraph at first. And in the past you've claimed to have a superior ability to write in a way to deliver the effect you want/make the point you want to make. So what happened here? An off day? Rush job?
 
 
-19 Rank Up Rank Down
Oct 19, 2012
@JoeTheWebmaster

[ No, it just seems silly until you realize you're not going to get the president you want. Not enough people agree COMPLETELY with any given set of policies, so no matter who gets picked most people will find some gripe about their president. The best you can hope for is that by the time everyone else has rallied around their choices you will find a choice among the lot that you like. ]

[It still seems silly... which toe do you want smashed with a hammer? Right or Left.]

Yeah, thats more or less how Scott felt last week, before he concluded Obama was evil and Romney wasnt. thats how I felt until 2001 when I concluded the Republicans were irresponsible. thats how the green party folks felt until they realized that that sort of thinking helped Bush Jr get elected.

Im afraid thinking it just doesnt matter which party is in office just doesnt work in our system.
 
 
Oct 19, 2012
LOL at the updates. You probably should have included a DMD in your original post.


[Should the board of directors allow the superstar CEO to keep his job? Or is killing a guy to advance your career always a firing offense?]

Depends on the company. If it was haliburton, a texas death row execution subcontractor, a rap label, or PETA (they kill more animals than the pound) then yeah, a few extra deaths on your resume might be that little extra to land you an interview or let you keep your job.
 
 
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Oct 19, 2012
*looks at updates*
Not really surprising dude. You just love kicking the termite nest, cool. You don't want them to ignore you right?

Personally I just took the post as an extension of the 'given we don't know how things will turn out, you may as well vote in your own perceived best interests' principle you have been developing.
 
 
Oct 19, 2012
[Update 4: Meanwhile, at Huffington Post, where context goes to die, a key point in my blog post has been summarized as: ". . . cartoonist Scott Adams said he's under the impression Romney would be softer on marijuana than President Barack Obama." Is that how you would interpret my sentence "Romney is likely to continue the same drug policies as the Obama administration"? If not, you can't write for Huffington Post.]

Sorry, Scott, but HuffingtonPost got it right. Here, you're actually taking your own quote out of context. What you actually said was "Romney is likely to continue the same drug policies as the Obama administration. But he's enough of a chameleon and a pragmatist that one can't be sure. And I'm fairly certain he'd want a second term. He might find it "economical" to use federal resources in other ways than attacking California voters. And he is vocal about promoting states' rights, so he's got political cover for ignoring dispensaries in states where medical marijuana is legal."

So HuffingtonPost's characterization of what you wrote was entirely fair and accurate. After acknowledging that Romney was "likely" to continue Obama's drug policies, you then qualified the statement by doubting the very premise you just established.

If you're NOT expecting Romney to deviate from the current administration's policies re: marijuana, then your stated reason for supporting Romney doesn't make any sense. Or at the very least, it's an incomplete explanation. It doesn't make sense to say you're voting for Candidate A over Candidate B because if Issue X, if you believe the candidates will do take the exact same approach to Issue X.

And if you do believe that Romney will approach marijuana differently, then you have no legitimate gripe with HuffingtonPost.

Care to elaborate or respond?

[I'm fascinated by the fact that objectivity is confusing to you, because that's the problem here. Objectivity is rare, so maybe you've never seen it before. An objective person says, "This outcome is most likely, but I acknowledge the smaller likelihood that something else might happen instead, and here's how it could happen." Partisans and non-thinkers say, "This will happen, 100%." -- Scott]
 
 
Oct 19, 2012
Scott, nicely done! I am bit jealous. Now you are probably on more list than I am! Bless you and your checkbook!
 
 
Oct 19, 2012
@whtllnew

[ No, it just seems silly until you realize you're not going to get the president you want. Not enough people agree COMPLETELY with any given set of policies, so no matter who gets picked most people will find some gripe about their president. The best you can hope for is that by the time everyone else has rallied around their choices you will find a choice among the lot that you like. ]

It still seems silly... which toe do you want smashed with a hammer? Right or Left... Only candidate I could vote with confidence is Ron Paul.

I voted for O last term because he said he would not extend the patriot act... see how well voting for talking puppets work out?
 
 
Oct 19, 2012
UPDATE 8 - Fox News...

Cartoonist Scott Adams now endorses Romney after uncovering record of Obama's extensive drug use that lead to Obama murdering a man via muslim style be-heading over distributing cannabis on his turf. However, still no sign of his birth certificate record...
 
 
Oct 19, 2012
[Daily Kos takes the context destruction trophy by proudly quoting from the Politico article's out-of-context treatment. Daily Kos scored a rare "double" by taking out of context a piece that was already out of context. Their under-informed readers chimed in to point out that they are sure I don't believe in evolution, which I've often publicly said meets the tests to be called a scientific fact. Another commenter points out that I must hate women because the Alice character is getting less time in Dilbert. You can't get that kind of insight anywhere but Daily Kos."]


[Update 7: A little late to the party, but Gawker finally weighed in with a snarky dismissal of their misinterpretation of what I wrote. It's not a party until you guys show up. Can Jezebel be far behind?]

Keep em ccoming Scott. This discussion is so damn serious I can use the laughs.

 
 
Oct 19, 2012
I am an Obama supporter, and I would vote for him even if he shot a child holding a puppy on Christmas Eve on live television (the child holding the puppy, not the president). PRESUMING that the alternative was for Mitt to win the election, that is. If his opponent were Ron Paul, I would be torn...

But, in this case I have to assume that you are purposely riling up your audience with this ridiculous hypothetical. Certainly, you can't seriously believe that the president indicts, convicts and/or incarcerates anyone in this country.

On the other hand, if you are actually supporting Mitt over the president because of this one issue, you may not be the paragon of rational intellectualism I believed you to be.

That doesn't mean that I will stop enjoying your posts and cartoons, however.
 
 
Oct 18, 2012
In the current environment, with BILLIONS being spent to attack each candidate, is it really a surprise to Scott that most of the response, comments, and traction of the post are purely partisan and out of context? Bottom line- the massive voting on this particular post is because Republican zealots are psyched a prominent person is voting against Obama, and Democratic zealots are angry you gave the Republicans ammunition. Irony and subtlety get melted away quickly in the blazing hot fire of this primative campaign, and all that is left for most posters is "Obama killed a guy" and Dilbert votes Romney. I can't believe Scott is genuinely surprised by this.
 
 
Oct 18, 2012
Well, Seth McFarlane has endorsed Obama, so now I'm in a real jam.

'Dilbert' is great, but it's no 'Family Guy'. Sorry, old buddy.

 
 
Oct 18, 2012
i think thats the problem. we shouldnt be excusing.

repubs shouldnt excuse bush, dems shouldnt excuse obama.

FDR tried spending and taxes, and it took 20 years to return to prosperity. Obama tried that on a greater scale. theoretically, if its effective it should have worked nicely. 4 years of spending that dwarfs FDR should solve a Great Depression (if FDR strat works). yet we cant even solve a Great Recession with $6 trillion new debt.

there is no excuse for that. excusing leaders, who aspire to their positions, for taking bad advice is pretty craven too. when you ambitiously jones for the highest position in the world, you cant blame your own selected advisors.
 
 
-10 Rank Up Rank Down
Oct 18, 2012
Sorry, I should have added in my last post that Obama was an exception to that rule, but I excuse him on the grounds that he's following the best advice he can get on how to get us out of the recession he inherited.
 
 
Oct 18, 2012
@language

Look at DEFICIT SPENDING AS A PERCENTAGE OF GDP not TOTAL DOLLAR DEBT. Looked at that way the Democratic presidents do better than the Republican ones, at least since Carter.
 
 
Oct 18, 2012
whittlenew

im appalled you think obama is more likely to bring spending under control.

in 2001 when bush took office the debt was $5.6 trillion ($5.6 debt accumulated from 1776 till 2001)
in 2009 when obama took office the debt was $9.9 trillion ($4.3 debt from bush's 8 years)
in 2013 after obamas 1st term, the debt will be $16 trillion ($6 debt from obamas 4 years)

remember how bad everyone thought bush was? even if you wanna give bush credit for TARP (which bush, mccain, and obama all pushed), that still puts bush at 5.1 and obama at 5.2. and obama did his damage in 1 single term. hes twice as bad as bush. plus he also got our credit rating downgraded twice.

we know the big numbers are terrible, but what about health indicators? is americas wealth distribution more equitable in 2012 than 2008? did we buy $6 trillion worth of trickle down prosperity, $6 trillion worth of trickle up? What did we buy?

USA should be more healthy(prosperous/equitable). by a LOT. look at how he exploded the debt.

things arent more fair, things arent more prosperous, but we are in a deeper debt hole, without any signs of improved health. in fact, most ppl suspect unemployment is much higher than listed. health indicators are DOWN.

its highly unlikely that ANYONE would/could be less responsible than a 2nd obama presidency. patrons of a local payday loan company would show more restraint as POTUS than obama would.

----------
now if you wanna discount all the above, we are still left with the impact of obamacare coming down the pike. thats a silver bullet ALL BY ITSELF. it increases govt involvement and will be very expensive. its impact hasnt even been felt yet.

another obama presidency would be exciting, although i think establishment is steering it away from him.
 
 
Oct 18, 2012
@JoeTheWebmaster

[I hate presidential elections everyone goes for the lesser of 2 evils demo or repub, just silly. ]

No, it just seems silly until you realize you're not going to get the president you want. Not enough people agree COMPLETELY with any given set of policies, so no matter who gets picked most people will find some gripe about their president. The best you can hope for is that by the time everyone else has rallied around their choices you will find a choice among the lot that you like.
 
 
Oct 18, 2012
Wow Scott,, looks like you've officially arrived as a mover and shaker in the news media world. Congratulations, however, I'm a bit fearful that you'll let all this attention go to your head and become insufferable. http://www.newser.com/story/156051/political-drug-arrests-make-obama-unacceptable.html
And you thought the femi nazis were out to get you. Wait til the Obama faithful legions get a hold of you. Now you've really stirred up some s@h@i@t!!!! Thanks again for providing the amusement and making an otherwise listless existence a bit more bearable.
 
 
Oct 18, 2012
One heck of a way to get some sweet backlinks to your blog...
 
 
 
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