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MADD As A Hatter

Before I begin this piece, let me make one point clear: I have absolutely no truck with drunk drivers. Anyone who gets behind the wheel while impaired ought to be punished, and punished severely -- a couple of decades in Pound-Ass Prison would be a good start.

That being said, I think MADD has finally gone completely off the deep end.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving got its start when a woman buried her son and decided she would do all she could to keep other mothers from having to do the same because of drunk driving. The group she started can claim a lion's share of the credit from turning public perception of DWI from a laughingstock to a scourge. It is a tremendous achievement, and this country is a far, far better place for what they did.

In later years, as their victory over public opinion has faded and people simply can't conceive of a time when drunk driving was a laughing matter, they have struggled to remain relevant and find a new purpose.

They have tried to get more involved in fighting drunk driving, even going so far as to accompany police at sobriety checkpoints.

They have attempted to parlay their moral authority into backing seat belt laws, placing "refusing to buckle up" on the same ethical plane as "getting tanked and hurling down the highway in a ton and a half of metal."

And now, they're going after "riding while drunk." They don't like the idea of Amtrak offering "free" drinks to passengers who pay for premium treatment. And they're backing a "no drunks" car that detects whether or not ANYONE in the car might be impaired.

In one of my earlier pieces about MADD, I made an observation that I think bears repeating: get a bunch of mothers together for a political purpose, and it seems almost inevitable that they will end up wanting to mommy us to death.

Thanks but no thanks, MADD. You did a truly great thing, and you deserve the thanks of a grateful nation. But you've "jumped the shark," and it's long past time you rested on your laurels.


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Comments (19)

Absofreakinglutely. <... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Absofreakinglutely.

My breaking point was lower than yours.... "Drunk" was defined in my state by a BA of 0.1. Fine.

They increased penalties for crossing that threshold. GREAT! Fantastic...

But then they wanted the threshold to be lowered to .8... then to .6...

Now I'm all for locking up drunk drivers... but silly me, I'd like them to be drunk.

Defining "drunk" as anyone who has a small piece of rum cake is as dangerous (politically) to our republic as drunk drivers.

Although MADD had a lot of ... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Although MADD had a lot of good reasons for doing what it did, I occassionally got the vibe this was to some extent a temperance movement in disguise.

At this point I think you c... (Below threshold)

At this point I think you can fully expect them to endorse a new prohibition period.

This is what single purpose... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

This is what single purpose movements do. In the 1950's it was the March of Dimes Against Polio. Then polio was cured so instead of folding up shop and losing some jobs, they changed to childhood diseases. Madd did good work, but now that they have accomplished their goal, they need to make themselves relevant. ww

MADD has done some good thi... (Below threshold)
Denise:

MADD has done some good things and I shudder to recall some of the stupid stunts we pulled back in the 70's before the idea of a designated driver was common.

I got fed up with them after I made a donation. My name was mispelled on the form and I began receiving dozens of monetary requests from other groups with that same mispelling. They had sold my name.

Shades of the Water Closet ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Shades of the Water Closet Testing Unit.

Why doesn't one of these whacks board an Amtrak with an axe?
========================

I'm gonna have to disagree ... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

I'm gonna have to disagree with you Jay.
get a bunch of mothers together for a political purpose, and it seems almost inevitable that they will end up wanting to mommy us to death.
That's not just mommies, it's any activist group. Once they fix what they tried to fix they don't want to stop getting that money and also lose their absolute moral authority.
Isn't the head of MADD a man?

Wonder why MADD is being so... (Below threshold)
marc:

Wonder why MADD is being so selective? Why only Amtrack?

Or is this the first shot heard and the future will see MADD protesting alcohol on airplanes, Limos and cruise ships?

You're right JT, they've jumped the shark, you can see the prodigious "dorsel fin scars" on their backsides.

Drunk driver killed more po... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

Drunk driver killed more poeple then guns

It's a prime example, but n... (Below threshold)
Jay:

It's a prime example, but no different from any organization that achieves close enough to its stated purpose, then won't go away. Or that develops the primary impetus of self-perpetuation and even growth, bureaucracy-style.

What happens when Giganto Cerebral Impurity Fund actually finds a cure for Cerebral Impurity? And since there are people depending on GCIF for their pay and all, why should GCIF go all out in finding or encouraging cures, rather than foot dragging or denouncing anything that might threaten them by being a cure, or at least a new and productive approach? They need enough apparent progress to keep the ruse up and the donors coming, but not so much that they are put out of business, even though there are plenty of other lines of research their people could move into pursuing after the plaudits and kudos subside.

MADD was too successful. They've controlled cavities so well, they now have to encourage cosmetic dentistry- oh wait, wrong group.

MADD has flipped over into creepy. They're turning evil and need to go away now.

jp2, I recall hearing about... (Below threshold)

jp2, I recall hearing about ONE Bush arrest, and a Cheney arrest seems vaguely familiar.

Unless, of course, you're referring to Kennedys, and I've NEVER voted for any of them in my life.

J.

You deleted that comment? W... (Below threshold)
jp2:

You deleted that comment? Weird. It had nothing objectionable other than pointing out your hypocrisy.

You voted for two drunk drivers:

How do you reconcile the fact that you think drunk drivers should be in prison for two decades (w/ anal rape) AND that they are well-suited to be your President and Vice President?

Not hypocrisy, jp2, incompe... (Below threshold)

Not hypocrisy, jp2, incompetence in trying to do you a favor. I was attempting to delete the one you posted on my other posting, but I must have clicked on the one on this thread as well. You'll notice I did answer it anyway...

For the record: jp2 posted his question earlier, but put it on the "Israeli" posting, then apologized for putting it on the wrong thread. I thought I'd do him a good turn by deleting it and his apology from that thread, but I wasn't careful and deleted both versions.

My apologies, jp2. It was entirely by accident.

Also for the record, here's jp2's original comment, reconstructed from my e-mailed notification (I don't think I can un-delete the original):

"Anyone who gets behind the wheel while impaired ought to be punished, and punished severely -- a couple of decades in Pound-Ass Prison would be a good start."

Umm...for Pres and VP didn't you vote for two guys who together had multiple DUI convictions? Twice?

J.

I thought it was odd that t... (Below threshold)
jp2:

I thought it was odd that the comment was deleted. Thanks for clearing it up.

"and a Cheney arrest seems vaguely familiar."

Kids, this is a great example of selective memory here. He actually had two DUI's. I can provide you with links if you want to become more familiar, which I'm sure you don't.

You seem to mention Bill Moyer's DUI when you write about him - I look forward to the same treatment of Bush and Cheney.

And I am still interested in how you spin voting in two drunk drivers to the White House.

It is also worth pointing o... (Below threshold)
Mark L:

It is also worth pointing out that "W" was never "arrested" for drunk driving. He was ticketed, just like you would be ticketed (and not "arrested") for running a stop sign today.

Back when he was stopped, drunk driving was viewed as a civil issue, not a criminal one unless complicated by aggravating circumstances (like driving your car off a bridge drunk and killing someone). It's hard to believe, but it is true. That is one good thing MADD did.

It is not really fair to hang a felony on someone who committed a civil violation when he did the deed, even if it is a felony today. "W" was stopped because he was driving very slowly on the paved shoulder, not because he was weaving down the road at excessive speeds. That kind of thing was done back in the 1960s and '70s by all sorts of people. The thinking went 'how else will I get home?"

When I was in my teens and early 20s I was one of the few in my circle that would drive a drunk friend home rather than letting them do just that -- drive very slowly home while blitzed so that "they would not be a danger. People thought I was weird because I would not drive drunk and would not let friends drive drunk.

jp2:Kids, this... (Below threshold)
marc:

jp2:

Kids, this is a great example of selective memory here. He actually had two DUI's. I can provide you with links if you want to become more familiar, which I'm sure you don't.

Then why didn't you?

And I am still interested in how you spin voting in two drunk drivers to the White House.

No spin needed. If that were an important criteria for holding office a good portion of the American populace wouldn't be eligible to hold a position of dog catcher.

MADD is behaving like NAACP... (Below threshold)

MADD is behaving like NAACP and Labor Unions

valid at one point in history, but continuing to be raving lunatics today...

Besides Jay, your post evoked images from South Park (Bigger Longer, and Uncut)...of the Mother Brigade starting a war against Canada (coupled with all the violence, killing, and blood), over a few naughty words.

And I am still intereste... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

And I am still interested in how you spin voting in two drunk drivers to the White House.

And yet, voting an admitted pot smoker (whether he "inhaled" or not---still it's a controlled substance, even back in the 70s) is A-OK.

Sorry pal, the law was quite different then than now. LBJ and IKE were voracious cigarette smokers, and they smoked IN THE WHITE HOUSE. Nowadays that can get you some pretty hefty fines.

(Before you even try the "Bush snorted cocaine"--you better come up with some solid evidence for it.)

Look around you. This is w... (Below threshold)

Look around you. This is what America is becoming. Everyone (not just MADD) is trying to, as you so eloquently put, mommy us to death. Seatbelt laws, smoking laws, and drug laws are just the beginning. At what point do you think McDonalds won't be able to sell Big Macs anymore because they cause heart attacks?

Since when is it this countries responsibility to keep me safe?

-GL




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