contemplated putting the FDA in charge of alcohol regulation, but when it made its budget proposal, that idea wasn't included.
I got to thinking about that this week in the wake of the excellent New York Times story about conflicts between the Obama administration and the FDA.
Does the Obama administration have some ulterior motive regarding alcohol regulation? My trust level of the President isn't very high, as he seems unwilling to give up searching for votes from the social conservatives who hate him.
Regarding the FDA story, apparently Obama is letting fear of Glenn Beck overrule science when it comes to food regulation. The story cites White House fears that requiring calorie counts for movie theater popcorn -- which the FDA wants -- would be mocked on Fox.
I've been meaning to take my camera to AMC 1000 Van Ness, which now shows calorie counts, just to demonstrate how enlightening they are. One package deal -- nachos and a humongous Coke -- has over 2000 calories, or all you should eat in a day. A large popcorn by itself is over 800 calories; cookies and candy have less. Why does Obama think people won't vote for him if they learn facts like these? The anti-science vote has been Republican for years now, which is why the Republican party uses global warming denial as a litmus test.
Overruling the FDA for political reasons is yet another example of Obama disappointing people who had hoped for a more scientific, liberal approach to government. Hammer-wielding federal thugs trashing Oaksterdam University this week as part of a "search" is another. (Was it necessary to bash holes in doors that could be opened?) Obama clearly wants to look "tough on marijuana" in November.
Is it possible that in Obama's political calculations, there will come a time when he wants to appear "tough on alcohol"?
As the Obama political team apparently has the FDA bent to its demands, is the TTB perhaps proving less compliant? Was last year's threat to eliminate it a warning shot?
What would a social-conservative agenda at the TTB be, anyway? The TTB doesn't control access to alcohol; that's done at the state level. An anti-alcohol TTB could slow down label approval just to add to the difficulty of doing business ... wait a second, that's already happened! Conspiracy theory! Except I don't really believe it, all reports are that the TTB is simply understaffed.
It's worth keeping an ear to the wind when Obama hits the campaign trail to see if he panders to social conservatives by talking about the dangers of drinking.