Gary Johnson, Likely Libertarian Party Candidate, on Colbert Last Night


Gary Johnson did a good job hyping the non-kookiness of libertarian beliefs on wars in the Middle East, the drug wars, and gay marriage, among others. Colbert asks him why Johnson couldn't do well with the GOP; Johnson managed to answer without sounding whiney, and says his "message is the same as Ron Paul's…what happens to this message when he gets out of the race?," and talks up both fiscal sense and social tolerance.

I look forward to more chances for Johnson to use the bully pulpit of presidential candidacy to get this message out. Colbert is savvy enough about the LP to realize that it isn't a sure thing that Johnson will win the Party's hand, or at least thought it would make a funny set-up. Johnson says he hopes he can hit 15 percent as the LP's candidate.

Here's the video.

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  1. Johnson says he hopes he can hit 15 percent as the LP’s candidate.

    15% of what?

    I predict Ed Clark’s record stands.

    1. Naw. I bet he breaks a million votes.

      1. No chance in Hell.

    2. 15% in general election polling I presume.

    3. Maybe he meant 15% of the delegate vote for the nomination.

      1. Sound about right.

    4. He needs to get to 15% of the national polls to be included in the debates. Once people see him in the debates and realize there is an option other than team red or team blue he will get a much higher percentage in the actual voting.

  2. And fuck this registration and threaded comments shit.

    1. aye

      I only registered so some dick wouldn’t spoof my handle.

      1. Who you callin’ some dick?

        1. You are kidding me, registering a name doesn’t mean a thing?

          You are currently logged in as s?rcasmic. Not you? Sign out.
          No. I am logged in under my email address, my public name can be anything apparently, even some other users name.

          1. Don’t trust the above user.

          2. Just tried changing mine to someone else’s. Didn’t work. Your name is safe.

            1. Reason has some kinks to work out. As long as you don’t display your email, you can spoof most anyone.

              1. well then they must have their code monkeys snorting coke because that was fast. I guess I have to create a new email for this account just for people to send spam to.

              2. How do I know this is really me? Perhaps I am in the matrix and I am not really me.

          3. I think they’re using some tags or something that don’t show up. It sees it as “different” but appears the same.

    2. I hope you’re not posting from AZ.

      1. Fuck Arizona!

    3. If threaded is here to stay take a look at Rock, Paper, Shotgun for a nice way to thread.

  3. Anyone sympathetic to Johnson but voting for either black or white Obama should tell pollsters their voting libertarian so maybe he can get in on a debate.

    1. They’re, goddamnit.

    2. I thought we were calling it the 4th bush term in office? So then it’d be black or white bush. Which is a much more interesting topic.

  4. Gary Johnson is a thoughtful, well-spoken guy with executive experience and reform-minded agenda.

    Is that really the image that the LP wants to put forward?

    1. The LP needs to go big or go home. They should nominate The Macho Man Randy Savage.

      1. I pondered this seriously.

        1. You think I’m joking?

          Andre for VP.

          1. No, that’ll just inspire the deather movement.

            1. Well, it could use some inspiration.

              Maybe Junkyard Dog for VP.

              1. Intercontinental. Gotta to love it. Anyone else would have said ‘international’. Clearly a libertarian dis of the nation states and all the evil in the world they represent. But it also keeps the focus on being cosmopolitan instead of nativist. Could be, he was sucking up to the cosmotarians, and telling the Kochs what they want to hear?

              2. I rooted for Hacksaw back in the day because he was from Glens Falls, which is as close to a Vermonter you’re ever gonna see in the WWF/WWE.

          2. He talks like Joe Biden’s internal monologue sounds. No offense to Andre.

            1. Andre does not take offence.

      2. Gary Johnson is a competent governor with more years of executive experience than the two current mainstream alternatives combined, and left office with a higher approval rating than either of them. I’m surprised that the Libertarian Party has committed to further marginalizing itself by running someone who might actually be good at his job.

        1. Don’t you mean “won’t actively abuse it”?

          1. Same difference, really.

        2. more years of executive experience than the two current mainstream alternatives combined

          Damn, that’s a good point.

    2. i guffawed at this.

    3. They nominated Bob Barr last time, so there’s hope.

      1. It’s too bad Johnson can’t follow Barr’s example and run his mustache for Vice President.

    4. “Gary Johnson is a thoughtful, well-spoken guy with executive experience and reform-minded agenda.

      Is that really the image that the LP wants to put forward?”

      To answer that question I’ll quote notorious LP activist, Starchild:

      “? we can’t ride on our image forever.

      “Eventually people will discover that some Libertarians are doctors,lawyers, and family-types who go to church every Sunday, so it’s better if we are upfront about it now.”

      1. Good one, Starchild!

  5. You know Gary Johnson is a spoof candidate because he comes from someplace called “New” Mexico.

    Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up.

    1. Lets see what Alex Jones has to say about that.

      “It’s a conspiracy to condition to Americans to to all things Mexican (like Taco Bell and Chiles and Doritos) so that one day all of America will be called New Mexico, and Arabs run Hollywood.”

  6. 1. I never thought I would be so happy to succumb to an autocratic, oppressive, power play like registration. Sweetness and Light,
    2. I feel like I should be singing a song similar to “the day the music died.”
    3. Or perhaps “fuck da POLICE!” (not sure really)
    4. I will miss Herc, I was going to vote for him.

    Now, on to the article at hand:

    I think Johnson did well on Colbert. I also think he will do well in the general (i.e. 2%-4%) if he gets the nomination. I have seen the LP shoot itself in the foot before and I take nothing for granted.

    Sam, play it again. For old times’ sake.

    1. It would be pretty fantastic for ballot access reasons if Johnson got > 5%. Right now, he’s polling @ ~7% — usually support for third parties is overstated, but who knows? Maybe Johnson can pull it off.

    2. You realize that registration only prevents spoofing, right? (or at least it will once they stop treating whitespace as significant in usernames) It makes spamming only slightly more difficult.

      1. Once again, Professor Pomeranian talks authoritatively about something he knows nothing about. And is wrong…of course.

        1. Explain.

          What’s preventing someone with large quantities of time on their hands from registering 100 usernames on a lazy afternoon, then unleashing a torrent of spam over the weekend? Reason can’t ban those usernames fast enough to stop a dedicated spammer.

          And don’t say they’d just IP ban them because they could IP ban without registration; there are obviously ways around such things (as an expert address parser like yourself surely knows).

          1. There are many ways. They already have keyword (and more sophisticated language parsing) filters. Note that Mary couldn’t post a damn thing about primitivism any more, and that was her absolute favorite. This even applies to handles, too.

            If a griefer/spammer can’t say anything disruptive, they’re not really succeeding, are they?

            The entire system for keeping out griefers has been upgraded and is more sophisticated. And on top of it all, they are actively moderating it. Do you think they would go to all this trouble to just be back where they started within a week?

            1. Yes, I’m quite aware of machine learning applied to text processing, but that doesn’t require registration. As for your confidence that the reign of the griefers is over… like that Buddhist monk always says, wait and see.

              My point was that registration per se only solves a subset of the problems.

            2. I mean, no offense, but you and others have predicted the demise of the griefer several times before. Remember when you guys were creaming your pants over how great that “+1 me” system was “working” for a few days until he/she/it dialed the spamming up to 11 the next week.

              1. And, as you can see, it doesn’t prevent spoofing (unless you tie your email to your handle as you’ve done).

                1. The 7:47 post is of course not me. I thought my email and handle were tied together. The evasion I saw before was using whitespace characters.

              2. If you think we thought the “+1 me” was going to drive her away, you’re an idiot. It was solely to annoy, like all of the other stuff. Mary was clearly too obsessed to be run off that way.

                The registration was to primarily stop the spoofing and allow better tracking of commenters. There were other anti-griefer measures added in the registration upgrade, however. Better ones.

                1. What’s the story with Reasonable functionality? No more posts in the last minute, 5 min, 15 min…

                  What about the direct/show all and ignore functions?

                  I don’t deal with change well.

                  1. They probably changed the page format in a way that broke that functionality.

                2. Perhaps not you personally, but I certainly remember tarran and either Bingo or BakedPenguin castigating me for doubting the effectiveness.

                  Oh, and here’s you defending it too.

                  And that little game rendered even more threads unreadable than WI did alone. It’s OK to destroy Tokyo if you at least stop Gamera in the process, but if you’re just doing it to annoy him you’re a piss poor excuse for Godzilla.

      2. “slightly more difficult” is all it takes to scare me straight.

    3. Alot of liberals (including many who foam at the mouth at the mentioning of Ron Paul) like Gary Johnson more than Obama.

      If he does Ed Clarke’s low tax liberal schtick (which would be accurate considering that almost all of Johnson’s non-libertarian views are liberal) I think he could do better than any third party candidate in recent history.

      1. That would end as soon as he became a threat to BO. You saw what happened to the liberal love affair with Ron Paul once it looked like he had a glimmer of hope to become the GOP nominee.

        1. @ Tulpa
          Not all liberals think the same, and in the case of Paul he takes conservative stances on abortion and immigration unlike the bulk of libertarians plus there’s that newsletter thing. Johnson on the other hand is a complete social liberal who isn’t against abolishing social security or medicare. paul wouldn’t abolish those either as president but because he speaks in principle most of the time most think he would.

          1. Don’t worry, they’ll find some fringe reason to claim he’s the anti-Christ if need be. Every significant leader from the right “not left” in my lifetime has been the anti-Christ. Even the insignificant ones, like Bob Dole and now Ron Paul and his son Rand. Racist anti-Christs, every one.

      2. if I could spoof handles I don’t know if i would reply as Raimondo or Rockwell. Either way it would be about how Johnson is some liberal neocon who hates everything libertarian.

        1. I wonder if they sent Raimondo, Lonewacko, and Dondero that “invitation to comment” email?

          1. Thanks for the idea!

            1. OOPS wrong account!

              1. Just confirming it!

                1. Post your beeper number to verify you are the REAL Dondero.

                  1. I meant that I confirmed that i’m Anarcho Cosmo, hence “OOPS wrong account”

                    1. I don’t know why they would they would actually want the real Eric posting here, unless they just want to chum up the waters (wouldn’t be surprised). If they want to take this handle from to give to him for that purpose then whatever. Nothing I could do about that either way, but regardless I do like it.

                    2. I suggested in another thread that someone invite LoneDipshit back. That would be a real treat; like going back in time.

                    3. He’s pretty active over on the Atlantic, so he can’t be that hard to find.

          2. What’s an invitation to comment email?

            1. If “invitation to comment” was one word it would be an adjective.

        2. I hope someone takes the handle “Tony” before Tony gets it. I want the token gay of the boards to be a libertarian, specifically a cosmopolitan anarcho-capitalist, or “anarcho-cosmo”.

  7. I agree, Doherty, The LP could be the balance tilter in a true multi-party parliament system.

    Instead there are ZERO LPers in Congress. The Greens have just as little power,

  8. I realize Reason isn’t partisan, but they should do a week-long special, maybe interview all of the potential nominees from the LP. I saw the interviews with Gary Johnson and WAR, but it would be nice to do a really general thing covering all the bases.

  9. I can see Johnson helping Obama, inasmuch as he could peel away enough blue in NM for Romney to carry.

  10. I’d be very happy to have GEJ as the LP candidate, and I’ll vote for him. What sank his attempt at the GOP nod was the electorate’s refusal to give up on drug prohibition. That may still be a tremendously limiting factor.

    I wouldn’t dump the position, though.


    1. Or abortion or geyz or foreign policy. Definitely not poop jokes.

    2. It’s foreign policy. They don’t take anyone seriously that isn’t itching to bomb Iran back into the stone age.

  11. I saw him last night too. Wish he got speak more though.

  12. Gary Johnson and Ron Paul are only advancing the same agenda in the way that Alpha and Beta Centauri are the same dot of light when viewed from Earth.

    Johnson is pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, and propane-borders and comes from a very different place in his libertarianism from Ron Paul’s. He also seems somewhat unenthusiastic about reforming the Fed and the rest of the monetary system.

    Of course, since I’ve grudgingly accepted Romney as a lesser evil I’d certainly accept Johnson in a heartbeat, but he’s not a carbon copy of Paul.

    1. RP has inferred on multiple occasions that his position on marriage is to get the government out of it but you’re right on the other two. If Johnson gets the LP nomination he’ll be my first ever vote for a pro-choicer. So long as he would nominate good judges (who would overturn Roe v. Wade as it is shitty law whatever you personal views) and opposes federal funding I can vote for him.

    2. I’m a single-issue hexane-borders voter.

  13. Can we have a televised Libertarian debate series?

    I think there are still some Americans out there who aren’t completely lost as to what a libertarian is and we can’t just ignore them.

    1. Some on Youtube, but it can’t be real; it has public sector quality audio:

      1. Oh lord that is depressing.

        I heard approximately seven people clapping during applause moments.

    2. All we need is a TV station that will run it. C-SPAN had the convention on a few years ago, but you probably know how many people watch C-SPAN.

      I believe they had candidate debates on during the 2008 LP convention.

    3. Nope. Van Jones nailed us to the wall. We wont be able to hide in the dark like roaches anymore. He got us pinned in the light. Jig is up.

      1. So I have to be a racist now too?

        I never really liked white people anyways.

        1. I can do racism fine, but the hard part for me is the bitter resentment. ‘Why do they get to dance like Pomeranians in heat in public but I’m expected to walk from point A to point B from my house to my workplace and back’, sort of whining has never been my strong suit.

          1. Is the pomeranians a new thing?

          2. Man we have to WHINE too?

            How am I supposed to portray this terribly inaccurate caricature if I have to force myself to whine whilst being racist?

            1. We’ll figure out. There has to be a trick to it.

              Is the pomeranians a new thing?

              That was one of the options as a spelling correction for whatever jibberish I originally used. It looked about right so I went with it (sad part, I’m not even kidding about this one).

              1. I wonder if it suggested that because “pomeranian” appears above in Epi’s attempt at making fun of me.

                1. Holy crap, that’s spooky– my original was a mishmash of Persian and Iranians that I tried to use as one word.

                  1. Got a long haired wild cat that wails like a baby living in the tobacco barn in my woods out back. I think it has taken care of my snake problem this year:(

              2. A lot of memes get started by accident. You may be onto something.

                1. It looks like Professor Pomeranian doesn’t understand his nickname. How sad.

                  1. I choose not to understand. If anything, I overstand.

      2. Killazontherun: Cleavon Little is awake?

  14. So, looks like either I write in Johnson or sit another one out.

  15. Palin/Giuliani would be the ultimate LP ticket!

  16. History of the World Part I is on IFC right now.

    1. Unfortunately, IFC interrupts their movies for commercial breaks.

      It’s too bad TCM is spending all week spotlighting Star of the Month Doris Day.

    2. Awwwwwwww.

    3. See: JEWS IN SPACE!!!!

      Thank God Mel Brooks did all his movies in the 70s and the 80s. Today the race baiters would shit a brick over the content.

      1. Where all the white women at?

  17. Off Topic: Skateboarder, 12, lands first-ever 1080 with vid…

    1. Nice, dam kid get off my ramp.

  18. But what does David Gergen think?

  19. Hey! Look at me, I’m MNG!

  20. Don’t rely on Colbert for blackjack advice … you hit 16 unless the dealer shows 2-6, but he’s right about the aces.

  21. One thing that Johnson does right is to explain the libertarian message in a way that can appeal to liberals. Most other libertarians (and I’m sorry to say this is true of Reason) seem to be more wedded to the right, and tend to engage in a lot of kneejerk lefty-bashing. It’s a shame – there is a huge opportunity to convert people from the left, if only we followed Johnson’s example.

  22. I think Gary Johnson did very well on Colbert. He is not afraid to lead with the most controversial LP issues or positions and he has two terms of successful gubernatorial experience behind him. I agree with Flex Nasty that his appeal to liberal-leaning folks is a plus and something that the LP sorely needs. So what’s not to like? Assuming that Ron Paul will be jilted in Florida this year, it appears as if the LP, with Johnson as its standard bearer, could very well be the realistic alternative for those who detest politics as usual. Works for me.

  23. How do people get over that stuff/ I often wonder.

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