For example, national polls show a growing willingness to allow homosexuals to marry, especially among younger voters. Same-sex marriage is going to be commonplace in a few years. But it won't be because New Jersey showed the way.
New York is on the brink of repealing its draconian Rockefeller-era drug laws, which robbed judges of discretion in sentencing and filled the prisons with nonviolent offenders, a disproportionate number of whom were black or Hispanic. But New Jersey clings to its law establishing no-drug zones in the vicinity of public schools, which has had the same result. Senate President Dick Codey, D-West Orange, has hinted that he might allow a proposed modification to come to a vote this spring, but so far there has been no sign of it.
Medical marijuana? Thirteen other states, including Sarah Palin's Alaska, have legalized the use of pot for medical purposes under tight restrictions. Their laws suddenly became significant rather than merely symbolic when the Obama administration announced that federal drug officials henceforth would honor those laws, rather than override them, as happened under President George W. Bush.
So, what happened to Our Fair State's liberal bent? Five other states allow everyone to marry, but not here; we stuck with separate-but-unequal civil unions. Massachusetts has near-universal health care. California is studying whether or not they should legalize and tax marijuana.
Here? We're re-electing Chris Smith. How's that fit in to "progressive leadership"?
Amick is right; New Jersey is no longer a progressive leader in many issues. How sad.