Campaigns/Elections

Gary Johnson Runs for President: It's Official

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Very libertarian-leaning former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson has officially announced he's running for president with the Republican Party in 2012, during a New Hampshire press conference today.

Here's some of his reasons why, via Chicago Tribune:

"Today's mess didn't just happen. We elected it—one senator, member of Congress and president at a time," Johnson said in a statement. "Our leaders in Washington, D.C., have 'led' America to record unemployment, a devalued currency, banking scandals, the mortgage crisis, drug crisis, economic crisis, loss of our nation's industrial might—and a long list of other reminders our nation is way off course."

Reason has had its eye on this very refreshing political figure for a long time. Some highlights:

*Michael Lynch's very early 2001 profile of the then-Gov.

*Johnson loves Ron Paul.

*Ron Paul loves Johnson too, and Johnson doesn't see why you can't run a light if you are sure there's no one endangered by doing so.

*Johnson is sensible on immigration.

*Johnson thinks pot legalization is a very vital issue.

*The Atlantic thinks Johnson deserves to hit the big time.

I've seen Johnson do his basic presentation a handful of times over the years, most recently just a couple of weeks back. I'm pleased to say he's getting better at it: more capable of answering questions deftly, projecting a little bit more charisma and passion. (He is a very, very "normal guy" in demeanor, almost sleepily calm, which may well hurt him in the heat of a presidential race.) He likes to stress his experience as a veto-happy governor to show he can ride herd on a Congress that will doubtless fight against a President Johnson; he's climbed Everest and smoked dope, and he wants you to know it. (He also, eccentrically, was quite open in discussing his coeliac disease.) He's been a successful businessman and his New Mexico political career happened with the same out-of-nowhere swiftness his national one will have to.

He seems solidly libertarian along all realistic metrics for a national politician. His basic pamphlet from his Our American Initiative he was passing out at the recent event has a disturbing line that effectively advocated a national I.D. card in order to work in the U.S. as part of his immigration plaform. When I asked him about this, he said he'd re-thought that position since the pamphlet was printed.

He handled eccentrics gently, seeming unwilling to tell people hyped up about things like the Amero or GM foods that maybe they have their facts wrong, and let a questioner imply without sharply rebuking him that the AMA's cartel restrictions on medical care were a purely private, not government, matter. Sharp rebukes seem in general not a part of his rhetorical repertoire, and he might want to work on that. He rejected the notion of running with the Libertarian Party because the "idea is to win" and seemed uninterested in seeking a Senate seat from New Mexico when encouraged to do so.

When asked what differentiated him from Ron Paul, he mentioned immigration and abortion. At this point, a built-in and enthusiastic national fan base also differentiates them, though that might change now that Johnson's officially under the media presidential candidate spotlight. Whether it will shine brightly on him remains to be seen.

He seems to find his libertarian conclusions so natural and sensible that I think he fails at times at hooking into opponents from their own perspective and explaining why they should consider his libertarian policies even if they lack his libertarian philosophy, and that's something he's going to have to get great at as he faces a world of voters and media who decidedly do not share his basic outlook. But that his voice will be out there in the scrum during the main context in which Americans think about political ideas–the presidential race–is a great thing.

There will I'm sure be more on this announcement from Hit and Run as time goes by. In the meantime, Johnson talks to Reason.tv:


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255 responses to “Gary Johnson Runs for President: It's Official

  1. As was pointed out on another thread, if he wins, he would be the third president named Johnson.

    Considering the quality of the previous two, I am hoping that is not an omen.

    1. Isn’t Gary Johnson taller than the others, though? That would make him the biggest Johnson.

      1. Rumor is that LBJ was not only the biggest presidential Johnson but he also had the biggest presidential johnson

        1. Well, he was from Texas.

          1. I know what you mean. He was a liar.

            1. Fuck you, Aresen. Just fuck you.

    2. Maude Lebowski: Does the female form make you uncomfortable, Mr. Lebowski?
      The Dude: Uh, is that what this is a picture of?
      Maude Lebowski: In a sense, yes. My art has been commended as being strongly vaginal which bothers some men. The word itself makes some men uncomfortable. Vagina.
      The Dude: Oh yeah?
      Maude Lebowski: Yes, they don’t like hearing it and find it difficult to say whereas without batting an eye a man will refer to his dick or his rod or his Johnson.
      The Dude: Johnson?

    3. Third time’s a charm?

    4. You know what they say, “third time’s the charm.” We can only hope.

      1. Curse you, nested comment threads. (Shakes fist.)

        1. Squirrels, man. Blame the squirrels.

    5. Third time’s a charm?

    6. They say 3rd time’s a charm.

      1. Third time’s a charm, Freckles.

        1. Same with bush?

          3rd bush… ya marry.

  2. I’m super excited about this!

  3. Glad to see him joining the field. I’m curious to see if Ron Paul decides to run, now that Johnson is in the mix. From the little I have seen, Johnson seems to do a better job articulating his positions, compared to Paul.

    1. I think Paul will campaign, he certainly has the money for it, and hope he has the good sense to throw his weight behind Johnson when the time is right, before the primaries start.

    2. I hope Paul runs long enough to be in the debates. Someone said earlier that it would be great to watch these two in the debates. I’d love to see both of them shred Romney, Gingrich, etc.

      1. I wasn’t very impressed with Paul, during the 2008 debates. Of course, his opponents tried to make him look like a nut job, but he didn’t seem to do a good job countering.

        The best example of this; when Paul stated, correctly in my view, that US foreign policy contributed to 9/11. When douche bag Giuliani went after him for his comment, Paul just reminded me of the wimpy kid in the playground, who was just beaten up for his lunch money.

        Nothing wrong with that, but their is no denying that a certain amount of charisma is necessary, if you want to convert the masses.

        1. Paul tends to wait politely for his turn, state the facts and his position clearly and enthusiastically, and wait politely for the attempted rebuttal.

          Even so, I’d still like to see him in the debates.

          1. Actually, RP often speaks in an elliptic and disconnected way.

            Unless you’re already down with what he’s saying, it doesn’t make much sense.

        2. GOLD!

          GOLD!

          GOOOOOOOOOOOOLD!!! Heheh, YES SIR, GOLD will solve our economic problems, I tells ya!

          1. Ignore this crazy man!

            1. We need to abolish the national bank, stop accepting paper money unless backed by gold and silver, and pay off the debt!

              Because it worked so well when Andrew Jackson did it!

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panic_of_1837

              1. Never stop using drugs, and you’ll never have to suffer the symptoms of withdrawal. Brilliant.

          2. You pick the day that gold goes over 1500 to try out your newly minted sarcasm, Mr. Fiat Fetishist. God, you are fucking stupid whoever you are.

        3. The first time around, everyone portrayed Ron Paul as a nut — then he raised 35 million dollars and took 4th place in the delegate count. And since then, his son won a seat in the senate on fundamentally the same platform.

          This time around, the Republican mainstream will attempt to make him look like a doddering old fool that isn’t physically able to run the country (I don’t foresee many direct attacks on his policy).

          So when the younger, more telegenic Johnson stands on the stage promoting roughly the same agenda, both will benefit.

          1. (I don’t foresee many direct attacks on his policy)

            HAHAHAHA!

            * whew, that was a good one *

            oh, wait, were you serious?

            1. Depends on whether or not the core of the Republican party decides to start a civil war with the Tea Party movement.

              I should have been more clear. I don’t think that the mainstream candidates will continue to say that Paul is a weirdo that believes in fanatasies. But, I do think they’ll take the condescending path of saying that Paul has interesting ideas but they will never work in “real life”. Which is why it is important to have another candiate saying similar things.

          2. This time around, the Republican mainstream will attempt to make him look like a doddering old fool that isn’t physically able to run the country.

            .

            So he’s John McCain?

            1. Or Bob Dole.

        4. Another HUGE benefit of Johnson over Paul: No newsletters. No trutherisms. No hate group money. He can officially appeal to the Left.

          1. Dude (or dudette), they’ll find a way to hate him. He’s part of TEAM RED after all.

  4. Very likely gets my vote in the primary. . .and in the general, if he makes it that far.

    A bit of a long shot, but a legitimate dark horse contender, given the tenor of the times.

  5. Well, let’s see if he is a libertarian.
    A libertarian would
    1) Voucherize the Veteran’s Administration, wiping out the 250,000 VA employees, and setting veterans free to find health care in the open market as they wished.
    2) Wipe out the home mortgage interest tax deduction.
    3) Start an American Foreign Legion, in which foreigners could for 10 years, but gain neither citizenship nor pension nor lifetime VA coverage.
    4) Wipe out the USDA.
    5) Eliminate Education, and HUD.

    Oh, I could go on. No GOP-Tea Partier will ever take on the GOP-lard-eaters.

    Check out federal payrolls by agency.

    Check out these stats: By employment, largest federal departments:

    Defense: 3,000,000
    Veterans Affairs 235,000
    Homeland Security 208,000
    Treasury 115,000
    Justice 112,000
    Energy 109,000
    USDA 109,000

    We also have

    HUD 10,000
    Labor 17,000
    HHS 67,000

    All these employees vote, and can qualify for fat civilian, or even fatter military pensions.

    Sure, the GOP will do something about his.

    Sure.

    1. Time from original post to first purity test: ~20 minutes.

      And you people call yourselves libertarians. Pathetic.

      1. And you people call yourselves libertarians. Pathetic.

        I believe the greatest purity test for a libertarian, is how quickly / effectively they begin administering purity tests to others. Even in the LP, nothing says “libertarian!” like shouts of, “(insert name)’s not a libertarian!”

        1. And that’s why Johnson isn’t on the LP ticket. I, personally, think its best to hold purges after a successful revolution, but most LP gatherings disagrees.

          1. Stalin would agree. Better break eggs after hoi polloi buy omelette.

          2. Factually, the LP wanted him badly and he ignored them, because they are a huge waste of time bickering off in their little corner.

      2. And he made a negative comment about lard. That high-carb-eatin’ so & so!
        Objectivists like me know mere libertarians like him pick nits all wrong, without the epistemological blah blah blah zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
        [End irony, begin wrinkly]
        No wonder we lose so much. If you aren’t nice to your friends they won’t want to play with you.

    2. I’ve seen a “10 questions” article today in which Gary definitely said he would eliminate the Depts. of Education and HUD. So there’s one answer for ya.

      1. I have no faith that anyone elected by the GOP, regardless of libertarian rhetoric, sentiments, or intentions, will be able to accomplish substantial, true libertarian goals. Thus, I am saddened whenever such people as Gary Johnson or Ron Paul stick with the Republicans. People who want to make a real difference (if it is indeed still possible to make a real difference!) need to win office, free of compromising major-party entanglements. My hope is that the LP can get “just enough” party structure and resources to provide the financial and ideological foundation for strongly libertarian candidates who would otherwise have to work “within” (and thus, sell-out to) the major party machines. We’ll see what happens for 2012.

        1. Except that, realistically, if you don’t have a -(D) or -(R) after your name, you have no chance whatsofuckingever of being elected president. Last presidential election, the libertarian party candidate wasn’t even on Connecticut ballots.

          1. Exactly, AND the last LP candidate had far more national name recognition than Johnson. Maybe that’s why Johnson ignored them?

    3. 3) Start an American Foreign Legion, in which foreigners could for 10 years, but gain neither citizenship nor pension nor lifetime VA coverage.

      What’s libertarian about this again?

  6. Ugh. I suppose I’ll have to register as a Republican so I can vote for him in the primaries. A couple years ago I spent almost six days as a registered Republican so I could vote for Ron Paul, and I still feel dirty every time I think about it.

    I need a shower.

    1. Don’t forget the bleach.

    2. Your first mistake was deciding to vote.

      1. No, that decision was okay; it was the first and only time I got to vote for a candidate rather than against his opponent.

        1. Dude, you know what would be a sweet system? The ability to literally vote against a candidate. In other words, my vote would cancel out a vote for that person.

          The only problem is that I would still only have one vote, and wouldn’t be able to vote against everyone.

          1. None of the above.

            1. If your voting against someone, shouldn’t it be “All of the above”?

              1. Instead of Epi’s idea, not in addition.

                1. I’m gonna start voting “present” for everything. I might even register as present.

                  1. I’m gonna start voting “present” for everything. I might even register as present.

                    Just write in ‘NO CONFIDENCE’ — theoretically, it might be unexpected enough to cause at least one person to think of something for at least one instant, which is almost infinitely more effect than your vote will otherwise have. Assuming your ballot is manually inspected, that is — I’m not sure if they are unless the mechanical tally is equally split within a certain threshold. Seems that we see that in about every other election these days though, doesn’t it?

            2. In combination with a rule that required 50% plus 1 vote to take office, we could keep lots of dickheads from ever taking the first office in their careers.

              1. Especially if candidates that garnered a NOTA couldn’t run again for the office again for two cycles or so.

                1. They need to put some real skin in the game. Anyone that loses to NOTA has to refund the state’s expenses for putting them on the ballot.

                2. i think if you lose a primary you have to sit out a cycle. all those guys to lost to mccain. banned.

                  1. that would have stopped Ronnie Raygun from defeating Jimmy

                3. Agreed. Especially if you’re talking about the sun’s cycle around the Milky Way Galaxy.

          2. That would be glorious.

          3. I’m up for it.

            When you get right down to it, most people are voting against the other team, anwyay.

            How wonderful it would be to see candidates taking home a negative vote total.

          4. Either that or a “none of the above” box on the ballot would do great things for the electoral system.

          5. The establishment would never allow it. The first president elected after they did that would have a popular vote total of -10 million or so, and everyone would realize just how shitty our political system is.

    3. Not in Texas. You can vote in any primary you like- but only 1.

      1. same in VA — open primary

      2. In NH you have to register, but you can do it at the poll and then redeclare yourself as undeclared on the way out.

        I don’t understand why you can’t vote in more than one primary.

        1. Because they want to choose their own candidates, not have them chosen by people who have no commitment to the party.

    4. I feel your pain Jennifer. Becuase I live in Maryland, the de facto general election is the Democratic Party primary. Therefore, I am a registered Democrat. Unless one of the Republicans pulls way ahead in the field, I will have to re-register as a Republican before the 2012 primary.

      1. You can vote for Johnson in the primary, which may help him get the nomination. If Maryland is going to go democratic in the general no matter what, it’s the primary where you need to concentrate.

        1. That would be true if president of the US were the only office you had an interest in the election for.

      2. Since there’s no Libertarian primary, I’ll be more than happy to vote for Johnson in the (R) primary.

    5. Did your vote for me make you all tingly clean and fresh Jennifer? And more than just a little moist?

    6. How does not being registered Republican help you if you plan on voting? Are you concerned about democratic primaries? I’d hope you weren’t concerned about libertarian primaries.

      GOP primaries are the only primaries that matter right now. If you don’t like who they pick (I usually don’t) then just vote L in the general like I do. No registration required.

  7. So, bets? Given the profoundly weak Republican field right now, I’d say he has a slim chance of getting the nomination, but still near-zero. I hope I’m off because I’d actually vote for president this time.

    SLD about him not being totally libertarian or something.

    1. I’d give him around a ten percent chance. Maybe a little higher if he improves on the campaign trail.

      1. Speaking of percentages, here’s Johnson on the budget:

        That outrage is based on the fact that we’re bankrupt. Forty-three cents on every dollar we’re spending is borrowed and people are outraged over spending that’s out of control and the fact that taxes are going up across the board. It’s my belief that we need to cut government spending by 43%.

        I like the way he does math.

        1. Wow, that cuts through the bullshit even better than the 19% solution. It’s just what Americans need: short, nearly monosyllabic, and the logic holds up to a cursory glance. Maybe he can win.

          And I wasn’t being sarcastic; that is literally the best, most to the point statement I have heard a pol make about the budget in…well, in a long time.

          1. It’s just what Americans need: short, nearly monosyllabic, and the logic holds up to a cursory glance.

            This can’t be repeated often enough. The electorate is so mindnumbingly stupid that things have to be framed in such a way. Of course, the problem is when people start asking the “where are you cutting 43%?” question and then you find out that every pet contituency shits its intestines out over the potential cuts.

            What I seriously hope is that a guy like Johnson will be candid enough to say to people: “at the current levels of spending and with projected spending only increasing, the rich alone don’t have sufficient money to fund the government. If we want to continue with spending at the rate its at, taxes on all incomes, including middle class incomes, will have to reach European levels in excess of 50%, and even then, there is no guarantee that level of taxation will be sufficient to balance spending. If that is what you want, vote for my opponent, whether his name be Mitt, Newt, or Barack. However, if you wish to keep most of your income in echange for the responsibility of being the master of your own fate, vote for me.”

            1. And then his opponent will say, “Nonsense! I won’t raise anyone’s taxes but the rich by a single dime, and we won’t have to make any draconian cuts!”

              And then he will win.

              1. Sadly, the NEA and AFT have so diluted the citizenry’s ability to analyze actual numbers that I suppose a little calculation illustrating the inability to do this wouldn’t work.

                FML.

                1. I seem to recall Reagan illustrating the concept of inflation in a debate by pulling out a few coins to show the diminished buying power of a dollar. Very simplistic.

              2. It pisses me off that you’re right.

                1. That was a reply to Reality.

                  Also, Karl Rove isn’t that smart, he just fully understands what Reality said.

              3. Then I come and you have something mix of violent bloodletting where those who can take their frustration out on the cause of this misfortune.

            2. Why do cuts have to be a political football. Every department, agency, or grant gets cut by 43%, 10% a year for 4 years. It’s really pretty simple.

      2. Any bets to the number of “Freedom Watch” and “Stossel” appearances he makes?

        1. Unfortunately he could take over both of those hours entirely and not move the needle. The electorate is sadly focused on Nancy Grace, Keeping up With the Karashians and American Idol.

          Maybe if he fell down a well with a trashy heiress while singing karaoke… maybe then he’d have a chance.

          1. He should have done “Dancing With the Stars”.

          2. One hard night with Charlie Sheen might get him in office!

    2. FWIW, according to Intrade, the probability for him to be the Republican nominee is currently 1.5%. They still haven’t priced in his declaration to run fully (it’s at 80%), so let’s be generous and say people are giving him a 2%-ish chance. I’d say it’s more than that, but not much more. He’ll garner more of the vote than that, but it’s tough to see him building enough total support within the Republican party to dethrone potential philosopher-kings like Palin or Trump.

      1. For him to have a 2% chance at being the R nominee, he’d need to have WAAAY more than 2% support — he need somewhere around 15 – 20% of the vote in a very splintered field.

        1. Right, although he’d probably need at least 45% support to win. It might be tough to peel enough voters off beyond his core support.

          1. Way early.

            1. Not by the standards of the past 35 years, it’s not.

          2. Nah, 25% to 30% could be sufficient to win in a crowded field. 45% would be a total lock with as few as 2 other big name candidates.

            1. Take this 3 way special election race that briefly put Charles Djou in Congress in May of 2010:

              Charles Djou 39.4%

              Colleen Hanabusa 30.8%

              Ed Case 27.6%

            2. Ah, but then you’d need much less base support for 2% to be reasonable. Regardless, I don’t think his chances are great, although he’s definitely got my vote.

              I guess I have to register Republican, though. Damn.

  8. I certainly hope Ron Paul runs too, and I’m looking forward to watching both of them shred those assholes Romney and Huckabee in the debates.

    -jcr

    1. Assuming they’re invited, of course.

      1. Yeah, Trump and Newt will have debate podiums before Paul and Johnson do. Hell, the GOP will probably exhume the corpse of Richard Nixon to kick around some more before they deign to share the stage with those filthy libertarians again.

      2. If they’re not, they could hold their own debate, and more people would see it.

        -jcr

  9. This really made my day.

  10. Johnson/Paul (either one) in 2012. Bookmark it.

    1. Johnson’s going to need a more traditional conservative as VP if he has any chance.

      1. (flashes BF grin)

        1. Butt Fucking grin?

  11. It’s kind of sad that Johnson is pretty much the best-looking dwarf in the republican mine. He’s going to have to work like hell though to get any oxygen from the media. Ron Paul has been running forever; I’d be surprised if Johnson’s name recognition right now was more than one or two percent.

    1. What am I, chopped liver?

      1. Not even chopped liver. And pate makes me vomit. So thats what I think of you TimmyP

        1. He’s not quite as bland as Mitch Daniels.

  12. Could they (Paul & Johnson) run together? They could call themselves “running mates”, or to really beef up their libertarian street cred, “life partners”.

    In all seriousness, could there be a Rand / Johnson (in any order) ticket in ’16?

  13. What does Johnson think about the GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLD standard? That’s the real question!

    Personally, I favor free silver at a ratio of 16:1, and also want the Spaniards out of Cuba!

    Johnson/Paul ’12: Building a Bridge to the Nineteenth Century!

    1. yes, what TT said!

      1. So, the dollar losing 98% of it’s value in the past 100 years doesn’t bother you?

      2. My plan is to dismantle the Federal Reserve and pay off the debt immediately–you know, the same policies we had right before the Panic of 1837!

        1. Indeed, and just if we had another Panic of 1837! There would be wild speculation leading to a bubble and then a crash, with record unemployment and full recovery not until 4 or 5 years later! Just imagine the horror!

        2. Nevermind that the Great Depression happened on our watch. by the way, we’re neither Federal nor do we have Reserves.

          1. From the mind-numbingly deep reservoir of idiocy documented in real time over at Politico’s ‘The Arena’…

            Moderator Seung Min Kim asks:

            Does gold’s recent strength in the markets give legitimacy to Texas GOP Rep. Ron Paul’s long-held belief that the country should use gold as currency?

            To which State Rep. James Byrd, Wyoming House of Representatives (D), responds:

            No. The gold reserve backs the dollar. We should leave the current system in place because the dollar is one of the currency standards for the global markets.

    2. That’s very insightful. I can understand why any right-thinking modern western man would oppose ending the crackdown on drugs in America. 1.5 million prisoners is certainly inadequate. And the regressive idea that the state has no role to play in marriage? That’s 17th century barbarism right there.

      And the quaint notion that the government not run significant deficits for indefinite time periods? That’s positively neolithic.

      1. We’ll go back to the god old small government days of 1899, when children worked in coal mines for 12 hours a day and heroin was sold over the counter at your local pharmacy!

        1. Yes, yes. Do go on. I like the cut of your jib, sir.

        2. *raises hand*

          I…I would like to buy some heroin over the counter, please.

        3. We’ll go back to the god old small government days of 1899, when children worked in coal mines for 12 hours a day and heroin was sold over the counter at your local pharmacy!

          LOL!!! Because of course the only reason why children don’t work in coal mines today is big government. If we reduce federal spending by any amount, soccer moms across the nation will be shipping their children off to the mines!!!!

        4. I don’t think you are really Ron Paul.

        5. “when children worked in coal mines for 12 hours a day”

          Lies. This is the era of green energy. Children will work go back to a simpler, pastoral life, working on the family wind farm.

          “heroin was sold over the counter at your local pharmacy”

          Does this mean the government will stop requiring manufacturers to adulterate their products in order to poison people who use higher dosages than the government prefers?

  14. I like this guy. This is MY horse. MINE!

    As much as I do like fringe candidates like Paul and Johnson they just expose the loathsome qualities of their party. And the media will tell me that these guys can only LOSE LOSE LOSE because they are cazy lunatic wackos.
    I don’t think the Republicans can run an establishmentarian campaign and unseat Obama.

    But they will try, sigh.

    1. Yup. I believe the Republicans can lose an election against anyone.

    2. And the media will tell me that these guys can only LOSE LOSE LOSE because they are [crazy] lunatic wackos.

      Rearden Metal is dangerous, according to the State Science Institute!

    3. I don’t think the Republicans can run an establishmentarian campaign and unseat Obama.

      I don’t think who ends up running against Obama even matters all that much. Presidential reelection campaigns are referendums on how people feel about the incumbent, the economy, and the general state of the country.

      If the economy has shown significant improvement 18 months from now and gasoline and food aren’t outrageously expensive, Obama will win easily.

      If the economy still sucks and around two-thirds of the people still feel like the country is on the wrong track in 18 months, Obama will lose to any republican who isn’t seen as being completely bonkers.

      1. I have to disagree, slightly, because when I think of the 2004 election, Kerry was a bigger turd than Bush and it really hurt Team Blue’s chances.

  15. His basic pamphlet … has a disturbing line that effectively advocated a national I.D. card in order to work in the U.S. as part of his immigration plaform. When I asked him about this, he said he’d re-thought that position since the pamphlet was printed.

    In some circles, this may be called pandering.

    He’ll get my vote easily (so far), but that’s quite a turd in the punchbowl.

    1. A city councilman knocked on my door in the last campaign and I asked him about the part of his flyer that said he wanted to beef up the sex-offender registries. He said he didn’t really mean it, but needed to gin up support.

      But there it was, on the flyer. To me that was worse than him actually believing it.

      1. If someone puts something on the flier, then tells me to my face that she was lying about that, I wonder what else she will lie about, and scratch her off the list.

        (Feel free to change the gender of the pol here.)

        1. Well, what you want is a politician who tells you the truth and lies to all your enemies. Seriously.

          1. I mean it. This is the essence of politics. Everyone can’t get hir way, so you have to figure out how to get the support of enough people who oppose each other.

    2. …a disturbing line that effectively advocated a national I.D. card in order to work in the U.S. as part of his immigration plaform.

      We “effectively” already have a national ID card in this country – claims to the contrary printed on its face notwithstanding – it just isn’t a photo ID. Social Security cards are being issued to children as young or younger than one year old.

  16. We’re sticking with Ron Paul. For obvious reasons.

    1. You’re not real people so you don’t get a vote so it doesn’t matter.

      1. Our DNA suggests otherwise.

        1. Sorry, but I’ll need to see a long-form birth certificate.

          1. Haaah hah!

          2. In the name of Margaret Sanger, just give us the time and we’ll produce one.

        2. You still don’t matter.

          1. If our right to continue living doesn’t matter, how safe are the rights you have left?

            1. Sorry, sluts, it’s coat hangers in the back alley and/or prison for you!

              1. Sure, level the playing field! Dammit, we didn’t ask to be conceived. Is an unintended pregnancy anything like an unintended hangover?

                1. Yeah, and you won’t ask to be born either.

                  1. I’ve never heard them asking not to be killed…just saying.

                    1. That’s always been my justification for killing people who snore too loud.

  17. Does the media have video footage of the massive piles of dead, burning babies, who starved to death while Johnson was governor of NM?

    1. dramatic reenactments for Dateline already are in production

      1. Outstanding. In a pinch, they can always run footage of the gang wars in Mexico, then conveniently insert the word “New” in front of it.

        1. Outstanding. In a pinch, they can always run footage of the gang wars in Mexico, then conveniently insert the word “New” in front of it.

          They can just run footage of gang wars in New Mexico from when Johnson was Governor. Wouldn’t be that hard to find. There were over 1000 murders in New Mexico during his time as Governor. I believe the highest murder total on record occurred during his time in office.

          Not that he had anything to do with that…it just ain’t that hard to find violent crime footage in NM.

    2. As a resident of New Mexico, I have seen that footage on the local news. Fortunately, it did not get much national play because Americans outside the state thought it was footage of Regular Mexico.

      I reeeeeeeeeeallllllly wish that Gary Johnson would get the Republican nomination. I can’t wait to vote for him, if for no other reason than his veto pen. Most laws passed nowadays are bad laws, so IMO a good rule of thumb would be for President Johnson to veto everything. I’d be just fine with that.

    3. He nipped that in the bud by supporting abortion rights.

  18. The debates are gonna be insane. Though I can almost guarantee they’ll be framed to exclude the libertarian wing as much as possible while giving the floor to the likes of Trump and Romney as much as possible

    1. I tend to agree. The one thing that could shake things up, Johnson has been speaking at a lot of FreedomWorks events. For better, or worse, it will be interesting to see if he has any Tea Party traction.

      1. Tea Party traction is what he’s banking on. I think he’ll have a hard time surpassing Herman Cain in TP support. They’ve both been working the circuit, but Cain is getting more notice so far.

        1. Judge Napolitano should be one of Fox’s panelists to ensure that the GOP won’t be served softballs.

    2. The Trump effect may be a massive blessing in disguise.

      If Trump is present in these debates, there is a chance a lot of people who are not politically interested or people who would never identify as Republican (due to Social Cons) might tune in just to see the circus.

      Then, Gary Johnson gets a chance to make his spiel. People might all of a sudden think, “whoa, this is new.”

      1. My money is on Trump being out before the debates.

  19. This is great news! Even if they don’t win, I’m sure RP and GJ will influence the debate, especially if non-libertarian genuine fiscal-con Christie joins the race.

    1. IMO The debates are more important than the presidency at this point. If Johnson magically became president right now, he would be powerless to make dramatic cuts as long as even tea partiers want to keep their Medicare and respond positively to aspects of obamacare and more financial regulations. Americans need to be challenged with the question “what is the proper role of government?”. I hope that question comes up on the debates frequently.

      1. Great point. Lordy what I pay to have Yaron Brook moderate those debates.

        1. If the same number of people who are going to watch these debates, watched this debate instead:
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVA5nE3TIsk
          It would do more good for this country than any president.

          1. I only watched the first 7 min a while back. Even that far in the Liberal seemed shaky. I imagine YB killed it.

            1. Yeah. I appreciated rappaport’s intellectual honesty and I did think he did a pretty good job considering all his arguments amounted to “WHAT?!? but such and such group would die in the streets!”, but no, his appeals to emotion never had a chance against Brook’s principled logical arguments. You should watch the whole thing if you get the time. It’s really good.

      2. Even if practically everyone wants Medicare and aspects of Obamacare and finreg, that leaves a lot of room for very dramatic cuts when you have the veto and need only 1/3 of either house to side with you.

        I’ve thought for a long time that socialized medicine is inevitable. But if the entire rest of the economy is de-statized, socialized medicine will seem a small price to pay.

  20. GOOOOOOOOLD STANDARD!

    Because what we REALLY need is a massive deflationary spiral followed by a worldwide depression!

    1. Citation needed.
      Does Article 1, Section 8 mean nothing to you?

      1. GOLD! That’s the soloution!

        Gold and over-the-counter heroin! It’s the media’s fault that my views are incredibly unpopular!

        1. One ounce of gold bought the same amount of gasoline in 1940 that it buys today.

          I guess that sounds pretty goofy to you. But then again, you’re a goof.

          1. That shut him up

        2. Gold has retained its value better than the dollar and the War on Some Drugs is an epic failure. Your point?

          1. These two tie in together interestingly.

            Proof of inflation: When I was in high school, the old line was that weed was worth its weight in gold (assuming an Oz = a troy oz eventhough it doesnt). At the time, gold and a zip of quality doja would both run about $375. Now, the doja is probably about the same price, but gold is at $1,500.

    2. Because what we REALLY need is a massive deflationary spiral followed by a worldwide depression!

      Oh, that’ll happen eventually. Fiat currencies always end in tears.

      1. Fiat currencies always end in tears.

        If, by fiat, you mean government-monopoly fiat currencies, then I agree. Barring that, i.e. in a fully competitive environment, I see fiat currency as the most elegant and suitable form of currency. That is, I would prefer money whose value is measured solely in terms of its ability to communicate value, rather than one whose physical makeup dictates that it will also serve other unrelated purposes.

        1. In a competitive environment, there’s no such thing as a fiat currency. Who would accept a note redeemable in nothing if they didn’t have a gun to their heads?

          -jcr

          1. It depends which note you’re talking about. At the end of the day, what one really wants from money is that when he works for it, it does neither increases nor diminishes in value over time just by sitting in his pocket. In an environment of competing currencies, the fittest one is that which best satisfies this requirement of value stability. When using a commodity for this purpose, the currency-producer’s job is complicated by the fact that the currency he offers possesses multiple dimensions of value — it exists not only as a conductor of value, but also as a value in and of itself.

            That is to say, it is my opinion that in an open currency market, unbacked fiat currencies, being most easily adjusted to accommodate continually shifting market demands, will always tend to beat out commodity-backed ones. Commodity monies would still exist, but they would tend to be speculative in nature, not being widely used for common everyday trade.

    3. Because what we REALLY need is a massive deflationary spiral followed by a worldwide depression!

      Actually now that you mention it, yes, that is exactly what we need to get all this malinvestment that’s built up over the last century purged from the system. Keynes was FUCKING WRONG…infinite inflation and consumer spending does not lead to infinite prosperity.

      1. I just hope Johnson doesn’t make the mistake of calling Obama a Keynesian. Of course, Obama is a Keynesian (as is most of the GOP field) but when the average American hears “Obama is a Keynesian” their first reaction is:

        “No he’s not, he was born in Hawaii.”

        (sadly, I think there is actually a poll somewhere that revealed this)

        1. HA, I didn’t even think of that, but it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if you’re right.

        2. It was a banner at the Restoring Sanity rally and a video of crowd reactions:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouXB-tvUF4w

          1. I now blame you for destroying the last shred of hope I had for mankind.

          2. Did the interviewer end up telling them what it meant? That’s a follow-up video I’d like to see.

        3. WOWW!! That’s terrible! I’ll bet a bunch of my coworkers think I’m a birther.

          I also saw a study which showed that something like two thirds of Americans think the maxim “from each according to his ability to each according to his needs” came from either the constitution or declaration of independence.

      2. The honest thing to do is to deflate the dollar until it’s trading at 1/20 of a Troy ounce, and then abolish it.

        -jcr

  21. Hey look, it’s Edward. Goody.

    1. Hey look, it’s…our usual bevy of endless trolls. Who suck. Did you ever think you would lament the disappearance/banning of LoneMoron, or DONNDERROOOOO, or even Dick Hoste?

      1. I would trade Grego for 10 Dick Hostes, dude. At least he doesn’t pretend to be a libertarian.

        1. Dicky did in fact pretend to be a libertarian. Or at least, we weren’t real libertarians because we did support his “freedom” to kick blacks out of his country.

          1. *didn’t* fucking typing

          2. I thought Dick Hoste was the one who was spamming for some racist crackpot party called the 3rd Platform Party, or something like that. Am I confusing him with another racist crackpot fucker?

            1. Hoste is straight-up White Power. It’s Slap the Enlightened! who is American 3rd Position, the crypto-White Power schmucks.

            2. Given the ill timed sarcasm in the Paul troll supporting fiat fetishism and shit for brains mainstream sensibilities, likely a Wonkette member.

              1. They should really stick to picking on people in their own mental weight class, like toddlers with Down’s Syndrome.

      2. I get our shitty trolls confused so easily now. The Truth is the one who has a fetish for Chinese overseers, right? Or maybe that one is Danny. Christ, bring back Lonewacko.

        1. The Truth is the fascis…I mean state authoritarian fetishist. Danny’s just a TEAM BLUE moron.

          Why won’t you un-ban LoneIdiot, reason? Why?!?

          1. SRSLY. If we have to put up with ?? reminding our Oriental masters that he can be helpful rounding up Western devils to toil in their underground sugar caves, we should at least have LoneWhacko reminding us that the BrownHoards are teeming over the border every day, breeding like rats, growing those dirty mustaches.

            It’s all about balance, folks.

            1. I always thought TT came across as more of a xenophobic black flag/concern troll — like, if a guy came on and obsessively talked about how superior black people were and their dick sizes and that white people were doomed to have tiny dicks because they refused to embrace the tenets of national socialism, you’d probably guess that he actually was a white supremacist trying to twist an indignant reaction to repeated insults into an irrational hate that serves his malign agenda.

              TT comes across as a (no hyperbole intended, for once) fascist, which almost certainly makes him an ardent nationalist, and most likely an American one. I’m not saying a Chinese nationalist would be above trolling Americans for shits and giggles, but I do think a Chinese nationalist would come across as Chinese.

          2. At the beginning, I thought that s/he might be a deliberate troll, the aim of which was to demonstrate how the planks of the major party platforms are basically just collections of arbitrary positions. So basically the point would have been: pick some positions from each party and attempt to present them as a completely separate third position, in an attempt to demonstrate, by trolling partisans into calling you logically incoherent, that there is no inherent logic to the makeup of the parties.

            I thought, hey, that’s sort of a great idea. You just get into a bunch of arguments with everybody possible, saying the most seemingly-illogical things, and you stick to it. You do it until it starts to feel like it’s a real political ideology that you’re espousing. All you’re lacking at that point is a name and a mascot.

            My party, for instance is going to be pro-choice, anti-gay, pro-immigration, anti-gun rights, pro-property rights, militarily adventurous, monetarily isolationist, strongly federalist, and so on — I’m sure you can fill in the the blanks as to the remainder of our platform’s planks. We still don’t have that name and mascot thing going, so if you have any ideas, feel free to join up. We’re going to have a hoot burning up political message boards across the internet — until we catch on and people start to actually ‘think’ our way.

  22. If you thought Republicans treated Ron Paul with contempt, just watch what they do to this poor guy.

  23. If he gets the nomination, and promises to end the Fed, he would be wise to avoid school book depositories.

  24. *Johnson loves Ron Paul.

    *Ron Paul loves Johnson too, and Johnson doesn’t see why you can’t run a light if you are sure there’s no one endangered by doing so.

    *Johnson is sensible on immigration.

    *Johnson thinks pot legalization is a very vital issue.

    *The Atlantic thinks Johnson deserves to hit the big time.

    Sadly, these are all reasons he doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell among your mainstream GOP voters

    I mean, what… *the Atlantic*? Yuppie urbanite magazine. When Johnson is guest-hosting the 700 Club, let me know…because until then, he’s just a replacement for Ron Paul in the libertoid fanboi TeenBeat scene…

    I get the feeling we’re going to be getting Gary Johnson fandom up the wazoo from now until 2013.

    1. because until then, he’s just a replacement for Ron Paul in the libertoid fanboi TeenBeat scene…

      That’s TigerBeat to you, motherfucker. I’s a grown-ass MAN.

  25. Too bad Johnson doesn’t have a chance. On the issues he’s better than Paul.

    He just lacks the man’s passion.

    1. so what you’re saying is that you yearn for a passionate man’s Johnson.

      I knew this was going to go south (pun) real quick.

  26. Excellent candidate. Let’s hope he wins it all.

  27. It’ll be hard for the mainstream GOPers to characterize Johnson as a kook if The Donald is in the field. In fact, bookend Johnson between Trump and Huckabee and he’ll be the most appealing candidate of all.

    1. This is the most positive plausible optimism I’ve read all day.

      Thanks!

      1. I’ve been thinking this myself.

        Honestly, compared to pretty much everyone else running, he seems pretty normal.

    2. That’s a good point. Someone should put up an insane candidate to take the heat off of the libertarian one(s).

  28. One question: did he ever have Lew or Murray ghostwrite a newsletter?

  29. The fact that he was a Governor gives him a bit more “legitimacy” as a candidate in my opinion than Ron Paul.

    Ultimately, it would be nice to see them support each other on a debate stage and refer to all the other candidates as
    “the establishment candidates” in a denigrating manner.

    e.g.:
    “If you elect one of these establishment candidates, you’re going to get the same big-government status quo…”

    1. As a quick review of the last handful of POTUSA’s since Reagan: Reagan, Clinton, and W. Bush were former Governors. Seems that the duties of a governor are more similar to those of a president than any other political position.

      I have been looking forward to Johnson entering the fray. I don’t think he has a chance in Hell of winning, but that’s true of anyone I may actually want to vote for.

      1. Agreed. Unfortunately, unless we go into a double-dip recession before Nov. 2012 and/or gas goes to $5.00/gal and stays there, there is little chance of anyone beating an incumbent. (It’s only happened twice since WW2, Carter and Bush 41. Carter lost due to a bad recession (and to a lesser extent, the Iran hostage handling) and Bush lost due to Ross Perot (the quirky but likeable Billionaire).)

        I find myself torn between, on the one hand, hoping the economy improves for general welfare purposes and, on the other, hoping it tanks so that we have a shot at getting responsible governance for a change.

        1. How do you figure Bush lost because of Perot when the exit polls said otherwise? Are you going by the theory I’ve heard that Perot timed his anmts to break Bush’s momentum?

        2. there is little chance of anyone beating an incumbent. (It’s only happened twice since WW2, Carter and Bush 41.

          Aren’t you leaving out Ford? Carter beat him, and then Carter was beaten by Reagan. Then Bush the Elder was beaten by Clinton. That would make three times.

    2. The fact that he was a Governor gives him a bit more “legitimacy” as a candidate in my opinion than Ron Paul.

      But he was Governor of NM. Many aren’t even sure that’s part of the US.

  30. Maybe disappointed progressives will vote for him in the primaries due to disappointment with Obama on wars, drugs and the gays.

    1. I think most of them would, if it didn’t mean they’d have to switch registered parties.

      Mandatory party loyalty by law: disenfranchising voters since the 19th century.

      1. And by “most” I meant “many.” Qualifier confusion.

      2. Well, what do you think political parties should be? Just arbitrary categories picked by voters in a primary? Or actual organiz’ns actually represented by their nominees?

      3. How do you think political parties in other countries operate?

    2. Why would any progressives, beside the gays, be disappointed with me on those issues ?

  31. Paul and Johnson would NEVER make it running as President dividuallyin. Their best bet is to run as a unified ticket. I’d take either one as President

  32. individually

  33. individually

  34. Here’s my thing: Johnson probably won’t win the primary if he doesn’t greatly reach outside of the base. The good news is that Democrats aren’t having a primary. Ask your average Obama voter (especially college kids) if they’d rather have President Huckabee or President Johnson, I think they’d honestly say the latter. He fixes all the problems the Left had with Bush, and he doesn’t have Ron Paul’s closet full of skeletons and cobwebs. Thus the key to getting Johnson the nomination is to appeal to the now-disenfranchised Obamabots, get them to switch parties and vote for Johnson in the primary, and hold Obama accountable for his broken promises. That’s the only way I can see him overcoming the populist SoCons who run the base. It’s not the greatest plan, but between far Lefties voting for him and libertarians/genuine Tea Party people supporting him he would easily be able to

    1. …overcome the SoCon constituency and get the nomination. Now if he did get the nomination, we could expect the SoCons to break off and go third party, and Obama would win. But regardless…

    2. I’m not confident the avg. Obama voter would pick Johnson over Huckabee.

    3. You know what? Even that scenario would be worth it, at least to prove that it CAN happen. It would scare the bejeezus out of both party establishments, even if Obama won.

      A scared government is a less powerful government

  35. He won’t win and probably won’t be noticed that much (I’d like to be proved wrong), but what he’ll succeed at is continuing to supply the real power with ridiculous hokum that’s just convincing enough to stupid people to effect massive plutocratic looting for which they wholeheartedly cheer.

    1. Sigh…..

      Obama is going to leave office a very wealthy man. So are his friends.

      Tony, who got the most corporate donations in the last election? The Democrats have got you so scared of the Republicans that you can’t see the forest. THE DEMOCRATS ARE MUCH BIGGER FRIENDS OF CORPORATIONS THAN PAUL OR JOHNSON WOULD BE

      1. True. But that very fact is why they have no power. I’d rather the power be on the side of the sane people. It’s not perfection, but it beats waiting for the second coming.

      2. And trust me it’s not DSCC emails that have me scared of Republicans. It’s the proto-fascist theocratic legislation they are currently passing all over the country. I have a huge beef with the Democrats for not making people as scared as they should be–thanks in large part to the corporatist creep that has infected that party as well.

        1. Totally. Nothing says “theocratic proto-fascist” to me like Johnson’s public statements about not attending church (and Jesus being a mere “historical figure”) and his support for more open borders, access to abortion, and radically scaled-down Wars on Some Drugs and Some Countries. He’s like some Khomeini/Mussolini hybrid, that one.

          Tony and I, we’ll exercise real power by voting for an establishment candidate who’s been sold to us as the lesser evil. That’s the ticket.

          Seriously, please tell me I’m just being trolled.

          1. Also, if we vote for the winning team I heard we get some kind of prize.

            1. Also, does it bother you that the current administration is funding real theocratic fascists?

              Probably not.

  36. He won’t win and probably won’t be noticed that much (I’d like to be proved wrong), but what he’ll succeed at is continuing to supply the real power with ridiculous hokum that’s just convincing enough to stupid people to effect massive plutocratic looting for which they wholeheartedly cheer.

  37. He’s not much of a politician. The legalize pot thing will get him the most attention. The privatized prisons fiasco from his governorship will be a small dust up. But I agree…next to trump he’s gonna look pretty slick.

  38. i really don’t understand why u guys are promoting gary johnson so much, largely to the exclusion (and often to the detriment) of ron paul. ron got the most money from active military in 08. he’s won cpac. the RP “revolution” has unquestionably gotten bigger since 2008. the audit the fed bill went from having no co-sponsors and being considered quackery to having pols line up to get on the ron paul actual grassroots bandwagon. and yet again reason magazine, like the snooty, know-it-all, aging punks that you are, decides not to let ron paul into ur little beltway club, and to short change a guy who has done more to promote libertarianism in the public mind than the entire staff of reason combined will do in their lifetime(s). like it or not, to a lot of ppl he’s the public face of ur movement, and bitching about it in blog posts (not this one in particular) and promoting gary “ron paul-lite” johnson is not going to win over the thousands of college kids who were woken up by ron paul youtube videos. seriously u guys. big tents will always beat exclusivity and beltway purity tests (or however u came about picking gary johnson at ron paul’s expense). of all the ron paul things ive seen on hit and run, i’d say about 50% have been negative and unnecessarily so. but when gary promises to reconsider his support of REAL IDs, that’s enough for u. Reason #843 LRC blog > hit and run

    1. Marketing! You might have noticed that BO won largely on marketing (cute logo, sayings) and white guilt. RP is an old, haggard white guy – peoples ain’t buying it. GJ exudes confidence and competency – that sells. Toss in some fiscal sanity in the face of $5 gas and 9% unemployment and huge deficits, and you have a potent force. Huck or The Donald or even Mitt unfortunately may crowd out GJ by appealing to retro cons. 84% of people believe in gods, which will be poison for GJ.

  39. Ron Paul is a more true choice than Gary Johnson.

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