There is No “Conservative” and no “Liberal” in Wine Politics
One of the most notable aspects of the various wine and alcohol-related political battles is that they rarely breakdown on partisan (Right versus Left) lines. There is no Republican view of alcohol regulation. There is no Democratic view of alcohol regulations.
I was reminded of this upon reading, “Free America’s Beverage Markets” by Kevin Kosar, a Senior Fellow at the Right leaning R Street Institute. In this piece, Kosar takes to task the states’ various absurd, archaic and mostly anti-consumer regulations. He sums up this view in writing that the 21st Amendment “does not mandate the rampant anti-consumer statutes and regulations that are so common States can do better. Legislators should support consumer choice, private enterprise and free markets by clearing out anachronistic and protectionist alcohol regulations and statutes.”
This piece published by the right leaning R Street Institute during the battle over rolling back the Granholm v Heald decision is substantially similar to an older piece by the left leaning Progressive Policy Institute:
“Given the growth and innovation we have seen in the alcohol industry, and the benefits to consumers of a vibrant national market for new products, it’s hard to see how anyone can make a valid case that the Granholm decision needs to be rolled back, or that distributors can’t continue to flourish in a competitive market, even if they no longer get to put their hands on every product moving into and out-of-state markets.”
The fact is, there is no conservative and no liberal policy where alcohol regulation is concerned. There is only money. Rarely do larger principles guide lawmakers and regulators when considering how to regulate (or deregulate) alcohol sales and distribution. In fact, you can nearly always predict a lawmakers position on an alcohol-related issue by examining their campaign contributions.