Election 2012

Gary Johnson: "Everything We Do Has an Unintended Consequence"

Republican presidential candidate Gary Johnson on Obama's Middle East speech, U.S. relations with Israel, and his recent PAC setback.

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The GOP primary field continues to dwindle. Following in the departing footsteps of Fox News host Mike Huckabee and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who announced this weekend that he will not be running for president. Political commentators say Daniels' exit is good news for former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, but could it also be good news for former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson? Associate Editor Mike Riggs spoke with Johnson on Friday about President Barack Obama's Middle East speech, what role the U.S. should play in the Arab Spring, Johnson's support for Israel, and the problem his PAC faces in Utah.

Reason: What did you think of President Obama's speech on Middle East policy?

Gary Johnson: It kind of scares me, the notion that we're going to be injecting ourselves into other countries' affairs when they're not posing a threat to our security. I wouldn't be telling Israel what to do. I have met with Netinyahu before, and I think that it's wrong to think we have the solution to any country's foreign problems. It would be analogous to foreign country telling us how to conduct our own affairs. We don't want to hear that. We understand our problems, and I'd like to think we understand the best way to deal with those problems.

The notion that we're playing a bigger and bigger role abroad sounds to me like more and more conflict, less of a chance to extricate ourselves from the entanglements we're in.

Reason: What role, if any, should America be playing in the Arab uprisings? It seems like there's a way to encourage democracy, but not at gunpoint.

Johnson: I just think everything we do has an unintended consequence. We take out Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and Iraq was the check against Iran. Iran was more concerned with Iraq and Saddam Hussein than with any other country, and now all of a sudden, Iran—which I would argue is not a military threat to the U.S.—now we have to be vigilant of it. That is an unintended consequence. It plays out in everything we do. We pick winners and losers—who are the winners that we're picking? Do they ultimately rear their heads and become more of a problem than the first problem we were addressing to begin with.

Reason: Jon Huntsman on Good Morning America [Friday] expressed some doubt about Afghanistan and what we should be doing there 10 years after we first arrived. You and Congressman Ron Paul have both said we should leave. Herman Cain has also questioned our purpose in staying. Are people wondering if now is the time for the GOP to come around to leaving Afghanistan?

Johnson: I think the majority of the party believes this. I think the majority of Americans believe this. Outside of believing it, it's the right thing. Involvement in Afghanistan, I thought, was totally warranted. We were attacked, we attacked back, but after six months of being in Afghanistan, I thought we had pretty well effectively wiped out al Qaeda. And yet, there we are, 10 years later.

I'm outraged that we're building roads, schools, and hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that we're doing it with borrowed money from China that we're paying interest on. I'm outraged.

(Interview continues below video, "Former NM Gov. Gary Johnson's Vision for a Truly Free America.")


Reason: Congressman Paul has said we should end financial aid to all of the Middle East, including Israel. What should the U.S. be doing for Israel? What are the risks of upending the status quo?

Gary Johnson: I'm opposed to any foreign aid, because we're borrowing money from China, that we're paying interest on, to give to other countries. So I'm opposed to foreign aid to all countries. But I think it's important to distinguish between foreign aid and foreign alliances, or espousing that the military be cut by 43 percent. To do that, I think it's important that military alliances play a part in that. The notion being that if we're going to cut military spending, our allies need to pick up the slack.

To cut defense by that much and still maintain vigilance against terrorists worldwide—which I think is a serious threat that we should be vigilant against—we should remain a military ally of Israel into the future.

Reason: Your PAC recently ran into trouble in Utah. You think you're going to have that cleared up pretty quickly?

Johnson: Well, I don't know if it's any trouble at all or very simply a missed deadline. I don't think it's a big issue at all. I haven't even checked on it, to tell you the truth. I'll do that.

NEXT: Reason Morning Links: Postmillennial Edition

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  1. “Everything has unintended consequences?”

    Sorta like when they banned sex with children?

    1. That one still rankles.

    2. Huh, when did they do that?

    3. Yep, back in my younger days I was a police officer in Kansas. In Kansas, it is a felony to have sex with a 14 year old. While on the surface that sounds grand, there is no exception for age of the offender. Thus, I probably charged two dozen 14 year old kids with Rape for having sex with their 14 year old boyfriends/girlfriends. Better yet, I didn’t have a choice in the matter because of domestic violence laws that took all discretion on the matter away from the officer.

      I don’t think that was the intention of the laws, but there it is.

    4. Right because forcing children to have sex in no way violates the libertarian ideology of “you can do what you like with yours as long as it doesn’t infringe on the rights of others to do the same”

      Moron

      1. fail

      2. I doubt highly that A.C.Baby’s comment was aimed that the libertarian merits of protecting children against sexual exploitation. I believe he was attacking the assertion that EVERYTHING has unintended consequences as he saw no unintended consequences for banning sex with children (which I pointed out a specific flaw in that thought).

        However, while I tend to believe with Johnson that there are, in fact, always unintended consequences of laws, that, in itself, is not a reason to not enact a law. Some things (like banning sex with children) are important and the unintended consequences should be dealt with with revisions to the law.

        1. I don’t think he is saying we should never enact laws because of unintended consequences. He is saying that politicians never consider that there will be unforeseen consequences and so they never weigh that against the NEED for a law. They ignore any possible downside, exaggerate the positives and then act incredulous when it turns out badly.

  2. Any time some asshole starts he comment out….”I just think blah, blah…” I write him off. What the fuck does that mean…I just think???

    1. “What the fuck does that mean…I just think???”

      As opposed to “I just feel” which is a guaranteed way to lose my attention.

      I would much prefer someone who makes decisions based upon what they think instead of how they feel.

      1. Yeah….what the fuck is “just” for???

        1. A qualifier. An attempt to give one’s proceeding statement the appearance of moderation or rationality.

    2. Maybe if you didn’t write him off you could figure out what it means?

      I like Johnson, but I agree that his way of phrasing his answers comes off as a bit wishy-washy. Then again, if we’re honest, no one knows anything besides his own thoughts.

      1. It might be a wishy-washy way to start a sentence, but the answers end up being specific.

      2. “no one knows anything besides his own thoughts”

        I wish I knew my own thoughts.

      3. “I like Johnson, but I agree that his way of phrasing his answers comes off as a bit wishy-washy”

        Good thing he has 8 years of governing a state effectively while shrinking the size of government to end such ambiguity.

        1. You’d think that it would be enough, but it seems that your average voter is far more concerned with a president looking (and by extension, sounding) presidential than in said president having any tangible governing history.

          Exhibit A: Our Lord and Savior, Barry O.

          1. “your average voter”

            And that is why my argument fails

    3. I like “I just think” better than “Look” as introductory verbage.

      1. How about “I know”, “I’m right about”, and “Fuck you”.

      2. Let me be clear. Look, I just think this is unimportant.

    4. “Sorry, but…”

  3. There’s a huge thing missing from Johnson’s comments about Israel. It’s not about abstractly ‘telling Israel what to do’ it is about conditioning our economic and diplomatic support.

    Even if we were not giving extraoridnary economic and diplomatic support to Israel we could still have an opinion on ME affairs they are involved in (just like we can have, say, an opinion on what China should do regarding Tibet), but it would be much less big of a deal.

    1. MNG|5.23.11 @ 11:04AM|#
      “There’s a huge thing missing from Johnson’s comments about Israel. It’s not about abstractly ‘telling Israel what to do’ it is about conditioning our economic and diplomatic support.”

      Yep, don’t tell ’em what you believe is best, bribe ’em.

      1. In the other thread sevo came out for the principle that it is ok to take land via force, now he is for unconditional giving away of benefits. Wow, you’ll be at the socialist book club of the month meetings before you know it sevie!

        1. MNG|5.23.11 @ 11:12AM|#
          “In the other thread sevo came out for the principle that it is ok to take land via force,…”

          Which is a palpable lie.

          1. I’m confused, so you you think Israel should give back the land it occupied via force in 1967?

            1. I don’t want to start an endless historical argument, but saying that Israel occupied land via force in 1967, while technically true, leaves out a whole lot of important context, like how they had the Egyptian, Syrian and Jordanian armies massing on their southern, northern and eastern borders and Gamel Abdel Nasser was vowing to push them into the sea. Its true that Israel struck first, not waiting for what seemed to be an imminent attack, so I don’t know, does that make them the aggressor in this case?

              1. Nope, no need to argue that historically. Assuming the war was just from Israel’s side that still cannot justify the continued occupation of land via force.

                1. There’s an old saying, to the victors go the spoils. They kicked three much bigger aggressor countries asses, countries that showed every intention of kicking Israels ass, they get to keep the land they took doing it. Do you seriously believe anyone would be crying right now for them to give Israel back had Israel lost? Well, of course no one would, because those Jews would be dead and that would be a barren desert now…

                  Israel gave them gaza, a place they had made profitable and beautiful and what did the “palestinians” do? They turned it into a sewer and are now blaming Israel.

              2. saying that Israel occupied land via force in 1967, while technically true, leaves out a whole lot of important context

                Absolutely true. Part of the problem with discussing Israel is that everyone has his own time point at which to start.

                No doubt, Jews dreamed of recreating Israel since the day ancient Israel was destroyed. The dream became more real when the Brits acquired Palestine in WWI and those-who-wanted-to-reestablish-Israel (I hate to use the term “Zionist” since that word has been made into a pejorative) started moving to Palestine and talking about how to ethnically cleanse Arabs from the future territory of Israel. The Arabs saw what was going on and tried to organize a resistance, but the Brits, being old hands at empire, broke up the effort. The Jews had a little more success in organizing their fledgling freedom-fighters. The years between WWI and WWII were a PITA for Brits as they got hit by both Arab and Jewish terrorists/freedom-fighters.

                Some people ignore all of that and start their talking about Israel in the context of the Holocaust. Others start their talking at the beginning of the ’67 war or at some other point in modern Israel’s short history. Still others start their talking at the point a bomb blows up a crowded school bus or when there is an airstrike against a target in the midst of a civilian population.

                All I know is that Israel is not America and the American government that I vote to elect should be representing the interests of American citizens, not the interests of the citizens of other countries.

                Unfortunately, American politicians are too used to running an empire to avoid inserting the US into every conflict in the world. Bring the troops home. In the absence of a worldwide ideological threat to the US, such as communism was, stay out of other countries’ affairs.

                1. J the M, where to you get your history information, Wikipedia? You make is sound like a centuries long conspiracy. The majority of Jews moving to Israel just wanted to live there, because they were fleeing persecution from the Russians and the Arabs. The plans for a establishing a state in Israel only gained speed when the Ottoman Empire started to fall. Serbia’s independence was the role model. The Ottoman Empire’s genocide against the Armenians pushed more Jews towards independence, because they realized that they could be next on the Ottoman Empire’s list.

                  1. You make is sound like a centuries long conspiracy.

                    I didn’t mean to. It would only be natural for Jews to want to reestablish Israel during their diaspora. That doesn’t mean that there were Jews actively seeking to reestablish Israel for 1800 yrs.

                    I don’t know why you see what I wrote as being in contradiction to what you wrote other than the fact that you have added more details to the story. Don’t try to tell me that the Jews moving to Palestine didn’t have plans to reestablish Israel, though. The jewish terrorist/freedom fighter attacks against the occupying British (Are you denying that they occurred?) is a clear indication that they had greater ambitions than just finding a place to relocate their families. I understand that insisting that Jews moved to the region just to escape a pogrom fits the jewish self-narrative that they are the world’s biggest victims, but there is more to the story than that. The world is never so black-and-white.

                2. I demand a return of my homeland. The Jewish and Palestinian invaders need to be removed and the land needs to be returned to its lawful owners, the Canaanites, from whom it was taken unlawfully by force!

                  The Hittites, Jebusites, Kenites, Perizzites and Ammonites would also like their neighboring lands to be returned to them.

            2. MNG|5.23.11 @ 11:42AM|#
              “I’m confused…,”
              No, you’re a lefty hoping your sleazy attempt at sophistry might not get noticed.

              “…so you you think Israel should give back the land it occupied via force in 1967?”
              Winning a war of self defense and keeping the territory thereby won /= “take[ing] land via force”.
              Sophistry noted.

              1. Again, one of us is confused. Is a war of self defense not a war, fought via force? Was the land in question Israel’s before the war? It was after. Was the land given to them?

                Or is your principle that land and property gained via forceful self defense is OK? So if my neighbor trespasses I get to have his car?

                Awesome.

                1. I can then assume, had the agressors been sucessful and obliterated the Jews, you and Obama would now be loudly lobbying for a reinstatement of the Jewish state?

                  1. If Israel had lost the war and been pushed into occupied territories for decades then, yes, I would advocate that we push for them to get their land back and be granted their autonomy. But what you really want to do is accuse me of being an anti-Semite because I’m critical of our Israel policy, so why not just get right to it?

                    1. [ so why not just get right to it?]

                      Anti semantic is an option for sure, but I’m going with intellectually lazy.

                    2. What do you mean anti-semantic?

                    3. MNG|5.23.11 @ 1:21PM|#
                      “If Israel had lost the war and been pushed into occupied territories for decades then, yes, I would advocate that we push for them to get their land back and be granted their autonomy…”

                      Easy to say, since it didn’t happen. Hypothetical noted.

                2. Was the land the Palestinians’ before the war? If memory serves, it was Jordanian and Egyptian, before that British, before that, Turkish.

                  1. And before that, Roman.

                  2. The land was recognized as England’s, they were going to let the UN partition it between a Jewish and Palestinian state. Conflict erupted and Israel proclaimed itself. Later in 1967 Israel occupied these lands from various countries surrounding it. That’s how I’ve always understood it.

                    1. Recognized by whom as England’s? You think it was OK to have the area occupied by a European country?

                    2. No, the people should have been able to be autonomous. Turkey ‘gave’ it to England, and England essentially was going to give it independence letting the UN administrate the process. I support that as better than denying the people autonomy.

                    3. They “gave” it to England? Hmmmm, so my grandfather didn’t have to fight for the British against the Turks?

                      And why is it the Turks’ to give?

                    4. Wow, you took a long time to come up with this, and look how little it gains you. The Brits took it from the Turks, yes.

                      Now, here is the thing: at some points the Brits thought the thing to do was to let the two groups living there establish their own autonomous nations. Do you think that was the right thing to do?

                      Then, when they did that, a war broke out. Things settled. Another war broke out and lands and people were seized and occupied. What to do now for those people?

                    5. That’s not my business. If I were Dictator of Israel and it WERE my business, I’d cede Gaza back to Egypt, carve out what I think I’d need for defensive purposes in the West bank, and give the rest back to Jordan.

                      This has to do with practicality. International relations are orthogonal to personal morality.

                    6. Nations and their actions should not be judged morally? That seems pretty striking.

                    7. gaza is egyptian since the peace treaty.

                    8. sorry, make that the sinai. syria could also sign a peace treaty w israel & probably recover the golan.

                    9. I’d cede Gaza back to Egypt

                      Begin tried. Sadat said “no thanks, we just want the canal and the oil back.”

                3. “Or is your principle that land and property gained via forceful self defense is OK? So if my neighbor trespasses I get to have his car?”

                  This is a terrible analogy as they are in no way equivalent to each other. When you boil it down nations don’t do things on principle they do things as a matter of survival and self interest. For example, Israel didn’t occupy the Golan Heights because it wanted to be a dick. It occupied it because it denied the Syrians, their enemy at the time, a strategic location from which they could strike at their nation. Why did the US annex Texas? Because it moved the US Mexico border away from its most important southern port, New Orleans, by hundreds of miles. You can be critical of Israel policies, just know this, just as this article states there are unintended consequences, lose a war and your going to end up paying. Israel doesn’t give a flying fuck whether or not it offends your principles, just as we didn’t give a fuck when we annexed the south west.

                  1. If you want to argue that Israel, among other nations, often acts contrary to most recognizable principles, I agree.

                    But look at your argument, it is like this: the world is this way so why argue about how it should be? Apply this to libertarianism. Any libertarian can admit that the world has way too much government in it, so why argue about how it should be?

                    1. MNG|5.23.11 @ 1:30PM|#
                      “But look at your argument, it is like this: the world is this way so why argue about how it should be?”
                      Uh, no. The world should be without aggressors.
                      If the aggressors initiate force and lose, and still promise to continue aggression, the defender should remove from them the power to do so. Like, for instance, the land from which to launch further attacks.

                  2. “Why did the US annex Texas? Because it moved the US Mexico border away from its most important southern port, New Orleans, by hundreds of miles.”

                    A better argument would be that the annexation occurred ultimately because the population of Texas was almost all English speaking. Mexico owned Texas, but never settled it itself, instead inviting in English speaking settlers, the culture of which came to dominate. At that point, it made more sense for Texas to be part of the US than part of Mexico. Something to think about considering the current open border policy with Mexico.

                    Remind me, did the population of the Golan Heights contain a lot of Jews? If not, then your analogy is flawed.

                4. Yes it was given to them. Like Puerto Rico was given the the US.

                  If elections have consequences, surely wars do.

                  1. You think that wars should determine who gets to rule who and what land belongs to who, and you are a libertarian?

                    Wow.

                    1. MNG|5.23.11 @ 1:35PM|#
                      “You think that wars should determine who gets to rule who and what land belongs to who, and you are a libertarian?”
                      Naturally, you’ll attempt to conflate initiating force with self-defense.
                      You *are* a lefty

                      “Wow.”
                      Sleazy.

                    2. Oh no, not conflating it. Just saying neither justifies property confiscation/occupation.

                    3. Nice to know you think the way we took possession of Puerto Rico as legitimate.

                    4. MNG|5.23.11 @ 1:39PM|#
                      “Oh no, not conflating it. Just saying neither justifies property confiscation/occupation.”

                      OK, false analogy. Thanks.

                    5. No false analogy at all. We are discussing Israel’s gaining of property via war and for the sake of argument I’m assuming it was self-defensive war. And so my respone to Barry was:

                      You think that wars should determine who gets to rule who and what land belongs to who, and you are a libertarian?

                    6. “Should” has nothing to do with anything. Scarlett Johansen should be giving me oral satisfaction three times a day. The reality is that it ain’t gonna happen. National boundaries EVERYWHERE are set by the outcomes of wars and invasions, then sometimes modified in treatymaking. Israel is the norm in that respect.

                    7. If we cannot push for something because it is not the way of the world then you should cease pushing for smaller government, because that is not the way of the world.

                      You’re making something called the naturalistic fallacy.

                    8. So, why are you favoring 1948 boundaries, which were armistice lines (not borders)? You know, lines set by a, ummm, war? Why not 1973? 1921? 1918? 1848? 1776? 516? 400 BCE? Why aren’t you calling for the breakup of Turkey? Should Texas be independent (wait, I’d like that!)? France be reconstituted, with Alsace going back to the Holy Roman Empire, Provence joining up with Oc, and Burgundy separating? Split Germany back into East and West?

                      You want, in the name of a very narrow view, only encompassing Hebrew territory, to unscramble eggs. You can rage against the Second Law of Thermodynamics, but you can’t get around it.

                    9. MNG I understand your point but that’s not the world we live in. No matter where you live or what the boundaries are, you have to work with what you’ve got. And yes I do think even if territory is acquired by force, sovereignty matters. Border disputes and changing principalities and territories are a part of human history. If we’re going to sit here and keep score of all the grievances and reparations one group of people owe another we’ll be here till the end of time. Not saying it doesn’t matter, but at some point you have to accept the boundaries that exist and work for change peacefully within the system. The principles of libertarianism apply to any size of government anywhere in the world and are universal to ethnicity, language, and religion. It’s less about what the boundaries of a nation are and what ethnicity or religion are its inhabitants, it’s more about does the government respect individual liberty. If in 1776 Mexico had conquered America but established the same Constitution and respect for individual liberty that the US had, I would happily be calling myself a Mexican right now.

                5. MNG|5.23.11 @ 12:57PM|#
                  “Again, one of us is confused.”
                  Again, sophistry noted.

                  “Is a war of self defense not a war, fought via force?”
                  Absolutely. So?

                  “Or is your principle that land and property gained via forceful self defense is OK? So if my neighbor trespasses I get to have his car?”
                  Evasion noted.

                  “Awesome.”
                  No, sleazy sophistry.

                  1. How about point blank: you think property gained via self-defensive force is OK?

                    1. MNG|5.23.11 @ 1:39PM|#
                      “How about point blank: you think property gained via self-defensive force is OK?”

                      OK, point blank; when are you returning your land to the Amer Indians who once occupied it?

                    2. Haha, and this is the guy who accused me of evasion.

                      Thanks for playing.

                6. MNG, your analogy does not hold, because you have the option of calling the cops on your neighbor and suing in court for damages. There is no neutral arbitration system for when countries fight. The question should be: If one nation harms another, does the second have a right to compensation for that harm?

                7. “Or is your principle that land and property gained via forceful self defense is OK? So if my neighbor trespasses I get to have his car?”

                  I could be incorrect, but I believe lawsuits are a form of gain by force.

    2. Can’t we just get the fuck out of the Middle East and let them immolate each other? They are a perpetual clusterfuck that we keep getting in the middle of.

      1. Take some time and read The Jewish War by Josephus. 2000 years ago and it’s the same shit in the same desert.

        1. Same tired trope “this conflict didn’t start in 1948, it started 2k years ago”. Nope. The western powers carved up Palestine and imposed their desired political structure, all without asking the residents at the time. Surprise, surprise. Some people got mad about that and are still mad about that while most of the people who caused the problem are dead and gone.

          1. The Palestinians never had a country proper, that is also a myth. One thing that is never noted is that the neighboring Arab countries shuffled the Palestinian population because they were ‘problematic’. The west may have carved up Palestine, but that is just the latest chapter in the shit show that is known as the middle east.

            1. “The Palestinians never had a country proper”

              And for twenty centuries neither had the Jews.

            2. “The Palestinians never had a country proper”

              Never said they did.

              The western powers carved up the territory commonly referred to as Palestine

              Happy now?

          2. j the m, the Ottomans were the occupying power there for 500 years, but you fail to mention that. You’ve got the ethnocentric belief that history starts when the White men arrive.

            1. You’ve got the ethnocentric belief that history starts when the White men arrive.

              False. I’ve written nothing that even suggests that. But when the Turks were occupying the region, there was no chance that Israel would be reestablished. That possibility didn’t arise until the British took over.

          3. The western powers carved up Palestine and imposed their desired political structure, all without asking the residents at the time.

            End the RomanIsraeli occupation! Free IsraelPalestine!

            Wait, what are we talking about again?

      2. Episiarch, I would like to get the USA out, but too many Liberals keep us in the middle of it, because they enjoy watching the bloodshed and milking the conflict for awards.

    3. Netanyahu read Obama the riot act last week. And deservedly so.

    4. Uh, it sure seemed like Johnson wants to quit that economic support. And it also appears that Obama is already dismantling the diplomatic support.

      In that context, I don’t see anything “huge” that’s “missing”.

  4. Political commentators say Daniels’ exit is good news for former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, but could it also be good news for former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson?

    I wasn’t aware that those three were pro-drug and pro-abortion…cause that’s the kind of candidate whose withdrawal would help Johnson.

    Oh wait, there aren’t any.

    1. Tulpa makes an excellent point, one that SIV has made too. Johnson is not going to do much in a GOP primary because he’s pro-choice and pro-immigration. That’s deadly there. This is why, for all his baggage, Paul is the most libertarian candidate who can make a difference, he’s safe on those issues.

      Still, I like Johnson and hope he runs to make people talk about things that otherwise may not be talked about.

      1. See I’d rather Johnson run for a bit for the GOP nomination to get his name out there, and withdraw before the primaries to launch an independent campaign. He’s got as much appeal to the Left as to the Right, and the Left would be more likely to vote for him as an independent (and he should target his campaign to independents on both sides so as not to be the spoiler – not that that would matter in a Romney vs. Obama match).

        1. I don’t see the left liking him at all. If you advocate limited government, that threatens them on too many levels.

          1. exactly – they may like his abortion and war stances, but in the end what counts is government social enginering – most democrats become so because they think the world is unfair and it is government’s job to make it more fair. They will never vote for someone who wants to tax and spend less.

            1. If Johnson wins, you’ll all be eating rancid meat within a year.

              1. WTF are you talking about?

                1. Oh didn’t you pay attention in public school history class? If we elect free market folks we’ll instantaneously be living in Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle!! Just remember kids, we need tons and tons of government around to make sure that kind of thing never happens again (even though it was 120 years ago and technology and standards of living have gone way up since then).

                  1. and it didn’t exist even then, because “The Jungle” is propaganda fiction.

          2. I don’t see the left liking him at all.

            Maybe not the mythical “left”, but there are a lot of fiscally conservative Democrats out there. Reason’s own poll shows 60-plus percent of Democrats want a spending cap, for instance.

            1. ^^This^^

              In my experience, most democrats are no so because they love big government and progressive social engineering, but because they HATE social conservatives and Team RED’s bending over backwards to cater to them.

              1. I agree with you, Mad libertarian guy. The social issues are the big motivators for a lot of people. That’s why I think libertarian leaning Republicans have the best change against Dems in the general election — they can neutralize a lot of moderate Dems and independents’ fears about the GOP’s social stances.

  5. I don’t believe that Mitch Daniels is out. He had a bevy of important columnists pushing him and a great astroturf campaign going.

    1. Yeah, except for the whole factor of his wife. His wife left him and the kiddies for four years, to move 2,000 miles away, for reasons that baffle all but Rule 34. She has some skeletons in her closet that she, and my extension Mitch, do NOT want uncovered.

      1. She was a community activist in Chicago? Who knew?

        1. Yeah his wife would have gone through some serious scrutiny. And it’s actually pretty sad. Cause it’s okay for men to act like jerks in their marriage, but a woman still isn’t allowed to make any mistakes even if it happened 20 odd years ago.

  6. Just another American political hack making excuses for Israel. I tell you, until the American populace gets up it’s backbone and tells the politicos what we, as a majority think of ALL of our intevention in the Mid East we will continue to watch these elected buffoons squirm everytime the “I” word is mentioned in their presence. That is unless they are Christian Zionists.

    1. Johnson says we should butt out, Razor Ray. What exactly do you want the USA to do, start bombing yet another Middle Eastern nation on a “humanitarian” mission? Are you planning to sign up for the army to help with cause?

  7. It’s odd how we hear so much about obscure governors like Mitch Daniels and Tim Pawlenty and what impressive presidential timber they are, while the mainstream media and conservative pundits ignore Gary Johnson, even though his record as governor puts theirs to shame.

    1. The tastemakers (media and party leaders) have determined that, for whatever reason, Johnson doesn’t have a chance. They will only change their mind if he starts actually getting mindshare in polling and in some elections.

      1. I’m not sure the tastemakers are aware that New Mexico is a state. They probably think Johnson came from Mexico and, since they can’t speak Spanish, they don’t know what to say to him.

    2. I’m sorry, that was a shitty answer – Johnson is too easygoing & not suave enough to impress the pundits. The media & pundits are a bunch of shallow cocksuckers who fall for a pretty face/dynamic personality/ideological reflection of themselves. It’s like what wimpy guys call the asshole syndrome. Girls would often rather have an interesting asshole than a boring attentive man.

      1. Exactly. Interesting makes for easy story telling. Writers don’t want to be forced to think.

        Case in point: BHO

  8. This is really shoddy,propaganda and reason failed to ask a single tough question, proving once again that it wants to be part of the kept “libertarians” who are basically republicans that smoke pot. Here would be a good question to ask, next time: If you give a country billions of dollars in economic and military aid every year you pretty clearly should have some voice in their domestic and international policy, right? Much like how if you are a stockholder in a company you have a voice in determining how the company is run. How does a libertarian publication fail to follow the money?

    I wonder what would happen if we let the market function and stopped giving billions of dollars every year to Egpyt and Israel and let things in that region work themselves out.

    It would definitely deflate the militarist ultra-right of both countries, since without foriegn funds to boost it the Egyptian military is dysfunctional and loses its undemocratically large role in civil society, and without subsidy from the US Israel would have to negotiate realistically–I also wonder what would happen if we let the free market work and sold newer (but not the newest) military technology to whoever wanted it instead of moralizing, interfering, and creating unsustainable political situations which the US taxpayer ends up having to subsidize indefinitely. Israel without the US is South Africa, not in a moral sense, but politically, economically, and militarily.

    1. *yawn*

      Are you Team Blue, or Team Red?

  9. Why don’t we bring back all the furniture factories and make more Jobs and start doing instead of talking about what needs to be done,After all we have enough people that are unemployed and be willing to help our economy grow!!! We need to bring back the Jobs that are our source of survival

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