Gary Johnson

Bill Kristol and (a) Bush Looking Libertarian for a Place to Vote

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On his Twitter feed today, neocon thought leader Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard thinks out loud about voting for Gary Johnson, while acknowledging he doesn't like what he knows of his relatively non-interventionist foreign policy (though most of the world would be relatively non-interventionist to Kristol, who actually lauds being proudly "pro-war" as a core part of his version of Republican identity).

Bill Kristol Twitter

The best thing Kristol had to say was that "a vote for [Johnson] is a symbolic vote for the Constitution and against both demagogic authoritarianism and demagogic nanny statism." 

Others on the neocon right are happy to just go straight to Hillary Clinton with their support.

I should hope that Johnson would be resistant to the siren call of trying to satisfy Bill Kristol with his foreign policy commitments, and in the Trump age it's clear Kristol commands few (metaphorical or literal, luckily) armies in our mighty nation, but it's an interesting sign of a political scene on the right in chaos nonetheless.

And while neither none of the major politicians named Bush have yet been bold enough to do so, despite obvious dislike for Republican candidate Donald Trump, Bush brother Marvin did come out openly for Gary Johnson on a D.C. sports radio call-in show, as Buzzfeed reports:

"That's why I'm voting libertarian, 100%, these two guys—and nobody knows about them, people think it is sort of a wasted vote—but, both Gary Johnson and Bill Weld were each successful two term governors who balanced their budgets," Bush said. "So they're fiscally conservative and their essential message is get bureaucracy off our backs. It used to be a part of what the Republicans believed."

"I want to have a conscience," added Bush regarding his inability to vote Trump. "I want proven effective people running this country and so, I want to be able to go to bed at night and so I don't really care about that."

NEXT: On Donald Trump and the rule of law, cont'd

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  1. RENEGADE PARTY TO THE WHITE HOUSE OR BUST

    1. My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do… http://www.Trends88.com

    2. Hey!

  2. Would that they fought the Democrats this hard in 2008 or 2012. Assholes.

    1. They fought as hard as McCain and Romney!

  3. I’m surprised all neocons aren’t going Hillary, since she’s pretty close to being aligned with them on many things. Didn’t they used to be interventionist democrats back in the day?

    1. It’s the misogyny, duh.

    2. I do find it odd that the Iraq War vote was such a Democrat litmus test in 2008. Now? ?\_(?)_/?

    3. I think they are, just more subtly. A neocon endorsing Johnson probably scares more people to the Dem fold than they would attract.

      1. “A neocon endorsing Johnson probably scares more people to the Dem fold than they would attract.”

        If Kristol was enthusiastically endorsing him and Johnson was going around talking about a New American Century like what happened with Rubio, I would run the opposite direction. But I don’t think Johnson is going to embrace the neocons.

        1. Exactly. If Johnson did that, I would be voting Con Party or something.

          Or just staying at home.

    4. If I recall correctly the Urkobold (whatever happened to that? and Pro Libertate, where’s that guy?) predicted she would get the Republican nomination in 2008. Seemed plausible.

      1. Haven’t seen ProL in quite a while…

    5. yeah, that’s what i was just saying. and not ‘back in the day’, so much, either. its their DNA.

      i dislike the term “interventionist”; all foreign policy schools involve some rationale for the initiation of force (*in its myriad forms) in pursuit of self-interest. my dumb analogy – its like calling all “non-vegans” ‘Meatists

      The distinction is in how you define the national mandate and what constitutes self-interest.

      Neocons are basically Wilsonians, who think that the desired end-state for intl affairs *should be* a Western-Secular-Democratic hegemony. the fall of the Soviet Union left open a historic opportunity for the US to enforce global peace through superior-firepower. And that the goal of US foreign policy should be to further this end above all other concerns – INCLUDING subordinating US economic interests, or those of other currently non-hostile powers.

      that means they don’t care what the costs are for anyone else in the short term. they’re concerned about ensuring a perpetual Pax Americana through crushing anyone who dares to look at us sideways. and that in the long run, this is supposed to turn out swell.

      their mortal enemies aren’t “Non-interventionists” – they’re realists who don’t believe that Mono-polar international affairs are sustainable. Indeed – the problem with any mono-polar system is that it turns the Big Daddy into everyone else’s enemy by default.

      1. What people don’t really understand is that Neonconservatism is basically no different than how Democrats already see the world;

        Look at Samantha Power.

        Leftist “humanitarian interventionists” want to ‘change the world for the better’ in exactly the same idealistic way. And they think they have a moral mandate to do so, in exactly the same way. And while they may *prefer* to use UN pressure and sanctions and all sorts of other things, they don’t blink from sending in the marines when they get the chance.

        The Democrats think that by using cajoling and incentives and sanctions and round-table discussions and conferences and summits and peace-talks and …. you get the idea….. that they’re NOT the bad-guys.

        But their objectives are basically the same as the Neocons. They’re just as hostile to the idea of a multi-polar, balance of power in the world.

        1. This is why democrats have gotten us into all the interventionist wars of the last 100 years, less Iraq.

          And they were totally on board with Iraq, too.

        2. I don’t think the balance of power in the world means the same thing now as it did in the last century. We’re too globalized now. Everyone depends too much on everyone to maintain their quality of living. The balance of power in the past was about competing visions of how civilization should be organized. The market/trade based civilization won and thoroughly converted nearly the entire globe. Now the balance of power is inherently mono-polar, market/trade based. And this is a good thing. A few uncivilized vestiges of the old power centers remain and continue to peck away at the new power structure, but they don’t have nearly enough power to do permanent harm. Too many people depend on the current system for their own wealth and well-being.

          The US never did need to intervene militarily and does not need to intervene now. The success of the western economic system speaks for itself and the world has been listening. If anything, our military interventions have slowed the development of our mono-polar power by giving people a good reason to hate us despite the prosperity that that power brings.

          The Dems and Reps are just fighting over who gets to skim extra prosperity off the top in order to support their misguided pet projects.

          1. We’re too globalized now. Everyone depends too much on everyone to maintain their quality of living.

            Many people were thinking that in August, 1914.

            1. Which was true. It wasn’t the people who thought that that started WWI. It was the racketeers in charge who navigated into that spectacle. What the people still had at that point that fighting war was “fun” and a way for a man to “earn his stripes”. Modern (then) warfare of the trench and mustard gas type taught them differently.

          2. The Dems and Reps are just fighting over who gets to skim extra prosperity off the top in order to support their misguided pet projects.

            Technology is removing so many middle-men from the landscape. They lift right out. Travel agents and investment managers have been replaced by apps. One can only hope people find out real soon that the governmental ‘middle-man” lifts out just as easily. But I don’t think their superstitions will allow them to come to that realization.

          3. I don’t think the balance of power in the world means the same thing now as it did in the last century.

            Of course it doesn’t mean the same thing,but it certainly exists.

            If you don’t think it still exists/matters, you haven’t been paying attention to what’s happening in places like Crimea, South China Sea, or Sudan/Egypt/Ethiopia, etc.

        3. NeoConservatives are just anti communist liberals who were kicked out of the Democratic Party after the Vietnam war. They are total Wilsonians. All of the bullshit about Iraq being invaded for its oil was just that; bullshit. Iraq was invaded to enforce and affirm the power of the UN. It was the most Wilsonian war America has ever fought. Neoconservatives are Wilsonians.

          1. anti-communist?

            Trotsky was anti-Stalin but he was okay with communism.

      2. all foreign policy schools involve some rationale for the initiation of force (*in its myriad forms) in pursuit of self-interest.

        Fear, Honor and Self-Interest. It’s so frustrating that Thucydides 2400 years ago knew this, and modern “thinkers” refuse to acknowledge it.

      3. It’s nice to see a more thoughtful and reasoned foreign policy discussion on here rather than the usual “non-interventionist” line which, ultimately, is a vague, meaningless term.

    6. Ironically, they probably irrationally suspect any Democrat of possibly being a crypto-pacifist much like so many Democrats irrationally suspect anyone right of center (including libertarians) of being a crypto-klansman.

  4. Others on the neocon right are happy to just go straight to Hillary Clinton with their support.

    And why not?

    Neocons are not “conservatives”.

    they’re effectively ‘moderate democrats’ who disagree with the left’s foreign policy bullshit pretenses.

    e.g. they dislike multilateralism, they’re super-supportive of anything Israel does, they dislike diplomacy which relies on mutual lies (e.g. iran), they like unilateral use of US military power, etc.

    they’re democrats who want to kick people’s ass and force them to comply. which is about as close to Hillary as anything imaginable.

    but otherwise, they don’t really give a shit about the expanding federal authority, wasteful parasitic bureaucracies, the police state, etc.

    1. Not democrats, they are Trotskyites.

  5. “I want to have a conscience,” added Bush regarding his inability to vote Trump. “I want proven effective people running this country and so, I want to be able to go to bed at night and so I don’t really care about that.”

    How selfish can you get…

  6. Marvin’s endorsement is good enough for me.

  7. What kind of an asshole self-identifies as “pro-war”?

    I mean, I can understand the difference of opinion on the wisdom and necessity of getting involved in various foreign conflicts. But to call yourself pro-war just seems a bit evil. At best, war can be a necessary evil.

    1. These guys seem to be that rare beast; something in the mainstream American political spectrum worse than leftest democrats. They have no compunctions about expanding state power, and want to kill lots more people.

    2. What kind of an asshole self-identifies as “pro-war”?

      An asshole.

    3. BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD, SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE

      1. As big as the libertarian tent is, there’s not really philosophical room in it for devotees of Khorne.

        1. Only the strong survive. The weak exist to serve the strong.

          Sounds pretty libertarian to me.

          1. The TAP?

            Total Aggression Principle?

          2. That’s not really what Khorne’s into. Killing random, weak people doesn’t please Khorne, he’s all about finding the toughest, baddest motherfucker you can and kicking his face in. It’s less ‘the weak exist to serve the strong’ and more ‘the strong need to constantly beat the shit out of each other to become stronger’.

    4. I have to assume it’s a blunt, neo-con way of saying that they’re pro-intervention whenever American Interests are threatened. But yeah, it’s a dumb thing to say.

    5. What kind of an asshole self-identifies as “pro-war”?

      If you believe =

      that every war the US engages in, it will win

      *because the biggest military and the best technology means inevitable victory – and that the terms of victory can be narrowly defined as “destroying any significant enemies; and fuck what happens afterward, because no matter how badly the after effects, nothing that takes our enemy’s place will ever dare challenge US power again

      *also, because using the military enables a range of self-perpetuating realities: it keeps the military stronger than any other by necessity — and it demonstrates to any potential wanna-be enemies what the price is for opposition to US authority: immediate and utter destruction.

      that the US sacrifices nothing in conflicts

      *because we spend shitloads on the military whether we’re using it or not; it should be constantly being used, because then it is serving some purpose;

      *and that the purpose is always just, because it is ultimately making the rest of the world “safer” by preventing the rise of any other competing threat. It keeps regional conflicts from turning into actual war, because both parties fear US reprisals more than they fear each other.

      … and much much more! War is the health of the state.

      1. War is the health of the state.

        Very true. Otherwise the state would just be a bunch of transfer payments and that’s lucrative, but boooooring.

      2. ….for clarity – if you believe those things, you can call yourself “pro war” and feel not a twinge of internal conflict.

        The real magic trick is how someone who thinks of themselves as “anti-war” ends up siding with very similar ideas when they say things like,

        “We need to ensure that the US maintains its leadership position in the world”

        …which is the main criticism of people like Trump

    6. I could kinda respect someone who is pro-war if they were some weird Bushido code type who wants to run off himself and fight and die a martyr to go to Valhalla or whatever.

      But neocons aren’t lining up to form their own militias to go fight the Iranians. I think rather they get a certain power rush from the idea that they are using other people (mainly those in the military) as pawns in a chess game.

  8. The Libertarian message should be really easy once the candidates get the attention.

    Supporters of Trump are looking for government to save us and to run our lives from the right. Supporters of Clinton, especially with a platform written by Sanders, are looking for government to save us and to run our lives from the left.

    Vote for the only candidate who does not want government to save you or to run your lives — just for government to let you be and let you make your own lives.

    1. just for government to let you be and let you make your own lives

      If that ever happens anywhere on earth, someone please let me know so that I can get to packing.

      1. Making one’s own life is a terrifying prospect for the unprepared…

  9. “I want proven effective people running this country…”

    Does this remark fly blithely over the heads of the shallow critics, talking heads, peasants and slaves who (however rightly in that case) trashed Trump for his savior complex? Do they ever connect the dots? Do they ever retch in a moment of horrific realization?
    Hell, no.

    You got hundreds of millions who will pull the November lever, because they yearn and depend on their security blanket: someone who will “run this country!” It ain’t just a figure of speech. It’s a mindset.
    They don’t get it. And they never will.

    1. There’s not much difference between Jeb and Hillary. They are actually the same person, except that Hillary has a bigger war boner.

  10. Better call Jodie Foster: John Hinckley, Who Tried To Kill A President, Wins His Freedom

    http://www.npr.org/sections/th…..is-freedom

    1. Just in time for the election…

      1. How long before Trump reports to us that a young Ted Cruz secretly met with Hinckley just days before his attempted assassination of Reagan?

        1. More likely, Sidney Blumenthal tells Hinckley that Trump debauched Jodi Foster.

          1. She can debauch me anytime she pleases.

  11. Marvin Bush? Is he the Tito Jackson of the Bush family?

    Assholes like Kristol have to be hit hardest by this election. They’re completely out of favor in their own party now, and on the outside looking in. And being inside is the only thing they give a shit about (besides blowing things up).

    1. That’s basically why they’re #NeverTrump. It’s not principles driving their objections, it’s that he isn’t beholden to them or their base whose influence has dwindled. People like Kristol would rather nominate a losing candidate that they can claim as a member of their club, instead of a winning candidate that doesn’t need them or their faction. That’s not a value judgement about Trump either, they would’ve have been #Never(Ron)Paul if he were on track for the nomination for the same reason. In the neocon view, either they get to be the kingmakers of the GOP, or no one gets to be.

    2. As I understand it, prior to 9/11 neocons were on the fringe of American politics. After it, Bush turned to them and they ran with it. The rest is history.

      So it’s possibly they will once again recede back to where they were pre-9/11.

      In the meantime, they’ve done quite a dance.

      1. I think they already have. I can’t think of any names for their brand that aren’t widely regarded as a pejorative. They themselves typically call themselves simply “conservative” and then set themselves apart by being full on liberal interventionists in foreign policy, watered down democrats on fiscal and economic policy and then picking pointless fights on social/cultural policy.

        1. What’s Krauthammer doing these days?

  12. The best thing Kristol had to say was that “a vote for [Johnson] is a symbolic vote for the Constitution and against both demagogic authoritarianism and demagogic nanny statism.”

    Well, better late than never. But the imp of the perverse would compel me to ask him ‘why now?’ I mean, he’s been perfectly OK with that demagogic authoritarianism and nanny statism for decades previously.

    1. He doesn’t mean a word of it. If Johnson were by some chance elected, Kristol would turn on him in a minute. If I had to bet how a Johnson administration would end, it would be with Democrats and establishment Republicans impeaching Johnson and removing him from office over some bullshit “scandal” as all of the crap weasels like Kristol who supported Johnson to stop Trump showed their true selves and replaced him with a more acceptable Weld.

      1. And Weld is still better than Clintrump.

        1. He wouldn’t be operating under the thumb of guys like Kristol because of the threat of impeachment. And even if he were, that doesn’t make my point about Kristol any less valid.

          1. While I’m pretty skeptical about your thesis regarding Johnson, your point about Kristol is absolutely accurate. One of the biggest “Aha” moments in my becoming a libertarian was Bill Kristol giving a dismissive response that actually evaded the actual question to a question I had at a lecture he gave. It was blindingly obvious that the guy’s thinking amounted to wishful thinking supported (that others were supposed to worry about making a reality).

      2. Sometimes old tricks are best: maybe Kristol will ‘accidentally’ get caught giving Johnson a BJ in the oval office, only now the Republicans and Dems will be united in impeaching him for such a vile act. I think Kristol will take one for the team.

  13. Bill Kristol can go jump in a wood chipper.

  14. Marvin Bush? Is that the one with the afro who played bass for Parliament?

  15. I guess now that the Dem convention is over, it’s a slow-ish news day?

  16. I have no beef with Johnson supporters. I disagree with Johnson on several things but he is a perfectly respectable candidate. Kristol, however, is not your typical Johnson supporter. You really can’t overstate what a mendacious arrogant ass this guy is. He claims to have left the Republican party because his “principles’ will not allow him to vote for Trump. Okay, that is his right. The problem is he is now voting for Johnson. Johnson is a Libertarian. Johnson has spent his entire public career fighting against a large portion of what Kristol claims are his principles. If you took the names away and put up a laundry list of the policies Trump, Johnson and Kristol each supported, there would be more overlap between Trump and Kristol than between Johnson and Kristol. But Kristol is not making a principled stand by voting for Johnson? Bullshit.

    Kristol was on some Sunday morning show a while back and someone asked him why he couldn’t just go along with Trump and try and influence him towards more acceptable policies. Kristol responded and I quote “that would require conservatives to become followers and we are used to being leaders”. What an arrogant fuck.

    i suppose Kristol’s vote counts the same as any other. I would however advice libertarians from getting to close to him, however. This dog has real fleas.

    1. I have a hard time seeing Johnson pander to this crowd. But if they want to vote for him, fine. All I ask is that they do so quietly.

    2. Fleas is being too kind. This dog has heart worms and probably cancer too.

    3. Oh, it’s pure spite, anyone can see that.

  17. neocon thought leader Bill Kristol

    WHEEEEEEEE!

  18. Nothing Kristol has ever advocated and come to pass has worked out well. History has repudiated every one of his theories and mantras. Only pundits and politicians can survive and even thrive with such a storied history of being utterly wrong.

  19. How y’all GayJay supporters like being on the same bandwagon as Bil Kristol and one of the Bush brothers?
    As long as the LP was gonna sell out they shoulda drafted MITT ROMNEY to carry the banner.

    1. I support anyone jumping on the bandwagon.

      We need 35-40% of the vote (to win outright, probably about 25-30% to throw it into the house). Have you met 40% of America? We are gonna need some votes from people we dislike.

    2. In your case, how do you like being on the Trump Train with David Duke, the Klan, etc.?

    3. I hope you are enjoying your trolling.

    4. How they vote is up to them. If they bring in more votes than they drive away, I’m happy for them to announce widely who they are voting for. That doesn’t mean Johnson has to cuddle with them.

    5. Yeah and in you’re in so much better company with Chris “Soprano” Christie, Bill Kristol’s next “great hope” Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Peter “IRA Sympathizer” King.

  20. “”both Gary Johnson and Bill Weld were each successful two term governors who balanced their budgets,” [Marvin] Bush said””

    I bet he’ll have fun explaining that remark to W.

    1. Of course the trouble w that is the states all have balanced budgets in terms of cash, which is how they count it.

  21. “neither major politician named Bush has yet been bold enough to do so…..” Among the two former Presidents and the candidate known as Jebra, I wonder which one is the odd man out?

  22. Remember when Kristol called GW Bush a chicken shit coward after Bush declined to go to war with thug-Russia over its fight with penny ante thug-Georgia?

    BwaHahaw!

    1. I just assumed Kristol mistakenly believed Russia had just invaded the state of Georgia and was poised to take Florida.

  23. The truth that Warfare begets Welfare, and Welfare begets Warfare clarifies the whole discussion. It’s all a matter of the eggs and chickens order.

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