Sullivan has been seeking U.S. citizenship for some time now, so a misdemeanor could hinder his progress. But, why in the world is the U.S. Attorney's office concerned about this? Was it a case of a high profile media figure getting special treatment? Did Andrew Sullivan give the federal prosecutor a hand job? Who can say!?
Well, the judge who ultimately did allow the dismissal is very pissed off about all of this because, honestly, what if every crazy blogger tried to smoke pot, on Cape Cod?
Actually, U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert B. Collings was more worried about inequality under the law. He wrote:
"...a dismissal would result in persons in similar situations being treated unequally before the law. … persons charged with the same offense on the Cape Cod National Seashore were routinely given violation notices, and if they did not agree to [pay the fine] were prosecuted by the United States Attorney … there was no apparent reason for treating Mr. Sullivan differently from other persons charged with the same offense.”When Judge Collings asked why the U.S. Attorney's office wanted to drop the charge, Assistant U.S. Attorney James F. Lang said that "Collings had no power to inquire why the U.S. Attorney had decided to have the charge dismissed." Shady, right?
Why the U.S. Attorney's office has any interest in protecting Sullivan and his citizenship goals (remember, shielding him from "adverse effects" was the excuse they gave—siding with Sullivan and his lawyer—when asking to have the charge dismissed) is a mystery. Again, what business is it of theirs? Why were they in collusion with Sullivan? Again, hand job?
Whatever you think about marijuana laws, the irony here is amazing. For years, Sullivan has been fighting ardently and admirably for equality, but when he needs to get himself out of a jam, he seeks and accepts special, unequal treatment that others don't have access to. While some might see this behavior as arrogant, hypocritical and selfish, at least it explains why Andrew Sullivan wants to be a U.S. citizen so bad: He'll blend right in.