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Editorial: Toni Preckwinkle’s goofy circle of hell

President Ronald Reagan 1987  |  AP file photo

President Ronald Reagan in 1987 | AP file photo

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Updated: September 23, 2012 6:14AM

Toni, Toni, Toni.

Even as we were writing the editorial to the left on Tuesday in praise of Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle for her enlightened approach to juvenile justice, she was stepping in it Downstate.

Participating in a panel discussion at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Preckwinkle remarked that former President Ronald Reagan deserves “a special place in hell” for his role in the war on drugs.

When the audience gasped, she asked, “What? You didn’t like that?”

Reasonable people can disagree on the Reagan administration’s drug policies. Reasonable people can believe, as we do, that he took too much of a punitive law enforcement approach, rather than a public health approach.

But we can disagree on policies without — quite literally — condemning the man.

Perhaps Preckwinkle momentarily thought she was back home in Hyde Park, trading liberal quips over wine and cheese.

Fortunately, she apologized later in the day. She was smart to walk this one back.

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