Gary Johnson

The Worst Two-Party Tweet About Gary Johnson and Jill Stein You'll Read This Month

New Yorker staffer and former Carter speechwriter Hendrik Hertzberg says letting third-party candidates into debates is like enabling, uh, Rosie Ruiz?


It takes genuine effort to cut through the clutter of Twitter-stupid this election cycle, so let's all give a vigorous golf clap to New Yorker staff writer and former Jimmy Carter speechwriter Hendrik Hertzberg for not just straining a sports metaphor, but snapping it in half and feeding the remains to coyotes:

Tell us more about the 1%, Rick. ||| @RickHertzberg

So, having the Commission on Presidential Debates—which was founded three decades ago as a joint operation by the Republican and Democratic parties, in a move that the League of Women Voters described at the time as the perpetuation of a "fraud on the American voter" and "the hoodwinking of the American public"—allow any candidate receiving less than 15 percent in national polls (strike that, less than "at least 20" percent, Hertzberg now says) into a debate would be like, er, cheating in a marathon? He must mean that special kind of marathon, where there are only two runners, each representing a team that automatically qualifies, and the rules for any would-be outside entrants are written by the insiders' coaching staffs. Leading many of Hertzberg's colleagues in the elite media to conclude that the competition is "rigged."

Hertzberg's Twitter feed, which reads (appropriately enough) like a pool report from inside the pro-Hillary Clinton media tank (sample: ".@WIRED's pro-HRC editorial is thoughtful, calm, and curiously reassuring"), is filled with plenty of such comical third-party sports metaphors. "A US general election," he informed us Aug. 2, "is not like a horserace. It's one-on-one, like an NBA final, a Super Bowl, or a World Series." B-b-but, what if you play for the Federal (or Mexican!) League? Rub some tobacco spit on it, kid: "There were 17 GOP choices, 3 Dems. @DrJillStein shoulda made it 4. To make the Series you gotta win the pennant."

Well, at least he's just arguing that you can't win as a third-party candidate, which is almost always true (except when it is not); surely he's not gonna reach for that old trope about how a vote for X is a vote for….oh Christ.

This line of argument (I won't call it "thinking") presupposes that the individual franchise inherently belongs to a pre-existing bloc, which is a curious interpretation of democracy. It also contains no opt-out for when a voter's tribe nominates someone he or she finds untenable. What if the Democrat was Joe Lieberman? Or George Wallace? Too bad: Think Progress says we've got to stay at home.

Such tribalist, all-or-nothing habits are what produce a debacle like we'll have tonight, when a private organization not controlled by the self-dealers at Commission on Presidential Debates is holding a candidate forum that gratuitously excludes the man doing better than any third-party candidate since 1992. Unhappily for the Hendrik Hertzbergs of the world, the youngest generation of voters don't begin to understand these ancient loyalty oaths, and are also (not coincidentally) disproportionately supporting Gary Johnson.

Bonus Hertzbergania: That time after the 2012 election when he said that now his people might start treating President Barack Obama with skepticism: "He was the champion of our side, he vanquished the foe….. [but] now liberals don't have to worry about hurting his chances for re-election, so they can be tougher in urging him to do what he should be doing."

NEXT: Police Chief Chides Union for Neglecting Safety, Boycotting Colin Kaepernick

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  1. “If we hit that bullseye, the rest of the dominoes should fall like a house of cards. Checkmate.”

    1. I’m not as big a fan of velour as you are.

      1. EROTIC!

    2. “So now what we are dealing with is the rubber meeting the road, and instead of biting the bullet on these issues, we just want to punt.”
      (Chicago Tribune, cited by The New Yorker, August 13, 2007)

      1. they should have stuck with kicking the can down the road

    3. “The walls had fallen down and the Windows had opened, making the world much flatter than it had ever been–but the age of seamless global communication had not yet dawned.”

      (Thomas L. Friedman, The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century, 2005)

    4. “Top Bush hands are starting to get sweaty about where they left their fingerprints. Scapegoating the rotten apples at the bottom of the military’s barrel may not be a slam-dunk escape route from accountability anymore.”

      (Frank Rich, The New York Times, July 18, 2008)

      1. Wow, I don’t think I’ve seen that one before. That is unparalleled.

    5. Started working at home! It is by far the best job I have ever had. I just recently purchased a Brand new BMW since getting a check for $25470 this 8-week past. I began this 6 months ago and I am now bringing home at least $92 per hour. Go to this website and click tech tab to start your own business….

  2. I agree with that twit. A libertarian taking PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION to win a race? BAN Gary Johnson from debating on the grounds of HYPOCRISY. And Jill Stein for being anti-women.

  3. This line of argument (I won’t call it “thinking”)

    Hell, it’s pretty generous to call it “arguing.”

  4. Hendrik Hertzberg is a very serious person. He has no time for this tomfoolery.

    1. He was voted Cirque du Soleil’s worst-ever audience participant.

    2. Plus he’s smarter than all of us because he works at the New Yorker.

      1. Yet, he still hasn’t figured out how to tie a bow tie.

        1. I haven’t bought a seersucker suit yet, but I did purchase a 3 piece white linen suit. I’m leaning towards bow tie.

          1. For 3 piece linen, I would definitely go bow tie, but really, we need GILMORE’s wisdom here.

            1. I’m anxiously awaiting his opinion. I almost didn’t get it, but I got a crazy good deal since its end of summer.

                1. I want a quality hat. It will take time. I already have a garden, so close enough.

                2. And a yacht, a tiger, and 50 kilos of cocaine

        2. Even worse is that awful cheap wing collar shirt. A guy like him should get a proper shirt for dinner jackets.

    3. Does his last name mean “Heart Town”?

      1. No, it means “City of 1 Cycle per Second”.

        1. Mountain of 1 cycle per second.

          Berg = mountain.

          Burg actually means castle.

    4. I loved him in Die Hard.

      1. “Hillary, bubby, I’m your white knight.”

  5. I think the glasses make his face extra punchable.

    BTW, I’ve been waiting on one of our web sites to publish something publicly so I can show y’all, regarding 3rd parties. I think it’s juicy, given that it’s a .gov web site. But damned if the fricken thing ain’t still in draft mode!

      1. Lists of addresses and names, documents consisting of evaluation reports of logistics of mass rail transport, GPS coordinates of FEMA sites in rural areas.

        Nothing that interesting.

        1. B-o-o-o-o-ring! Let me know when the Feds turn up some more hacked nude celebrity selfies.

        2. E-mailed by Hillary Clinton, who claims she didn’t know such things could be classified.

    1. I think the glasses make his face extra punchable.

      Thank you! I’m glad someone pointed that out.

  6. one-on-one, like an NBA final, a Super Bowl, or a World Series

    1 on 1, like Dodgeball.

    1. Hendrik Hertzberg drinks his own urine. Because it’s sterile, and he likes the taste.

    2. But only during Sudden Death.

      1. Prepare to witness the greatest happening in sport!

    3. It’s a bold strategy Cotton.

  7. The metaphor works if you think about it the right way.

    The other runners have gotten so used to always winning the races that they’ve grown fat, complacent, and lazy. They rigged the race so there are only ever two in the running. They’re the most unpalatable, unworthy pair to ever be put forth. Then the rules are changed because the American public is unhappy with watching the farce we’ve been calling a race and want other options. The supporters of the two cry foul, not fair, we did all the hard work rigging the system so the very worst of us could win and you want to enter an actual runner who would win on merit if we hadn’t kneecapped him before the race so that he’d have to crawl the whole marathon.

    1. So then, does that make the CPD the “Jeff Gillooly” to the Libertarian “Nancy Kerrigan” in this sports analogy?

    2. I read it more like after WWI European politics obtruded upon American notice, mainly as deadbeats. There was Soviet communism and German national socialism. Both preached looting for altruism, but the commies didn’t love the Baby Jesus myth. And that exactly sums up the differences between their Kleptocracy clones to this date, 96 years after the NSDAP and Soviet became things. The GOP inherited National Socialism thanks to the Herb Hoover administration, and the union goons and collectivists who supported prohibition until 1932 infiltrated the Dems.

  8. Voting for a third-party candidate is apparently Schroedinger’s Vote. You could actually be voting for either of the major-party candidates, but you won’t know which one it is until the election is over.




    3. If my vote were the one that would break the tie between Clitrump in my state, I would happily leave them tied.

      1. My family’s tried to harangue me with the “If you won’t vote for Hillary you’re voting for Trump!” argument. My response was that if my vote for Gary Johnson caused Trump to win Florida, and Trump winning Florida caused him to win the election, I’d be ecstatic. Not because I want Trump to win; quite the opposite. Just because.

        1. I suppose “Fuck off, I’m not voting for a criminal” wouldn’t be an acceptable response?

    4. Entities able to do long division vote for platforms so that they may change the laws. Laws are what let cops shoot black kinds in the back for bonuses and asset-forfeiture bounty long after the geezers who passed them die in office in their 10th term. Repealing those laws is what spoiler votes do. This is no more complicated than simplifying a fraction, and anyone, scratch that, any thinking entity can handle the arithmetic.

  9. he very obviously has no clue that this kind of smug fuckholery creates Trump voters.

  10. Thanks, Hendrik’s autism.

  11. I’m trying to recall that one fiery and memorable Carter speech, where he …. No, that was Nixon. How about that time …. crap, that was Reagan. Wait there was that … shit, Bubba Clinton’s speech. Was it … never mind, Bush II.

    I got nuthin’.

    1. Maybe he gave us Malaise.

      In a completely inept administration, even Carter’s fans don’t defend how he got his message out. And this asshole has a job somehow.

  12. responses all negative..

    @RickHertzberg isnt it exactly the opposite? Old parties get free media and automatic ballot access. They get to “run” the race in Cadillacs

    @RickHertzberg This is quite possibly one of the dumbest things you’ve ever said.

    @RickHertzberg Marathon analogy? 3rd parties start 50 miles behind the starting line.

    @RickHertzberg Are you saying letting 3rd parties into the debates is cheating?

    @RickHertzberg this is exactly the same thing

    .@RickHertzberg and @HillaryClinton’s method is so much more honest, right?

    @RickHertzberg Do you have a concussion?

    @RickHertzberg And who does the “Letting”? Oh, right = the cabal of GOP and DNC insiders that form the debate committee.

    1. I liked the one that was just a gigantic middle finger.

  13. Johnson should stage his own debate, with an orange wig, an empty pantsuit, and a cardboard cutout of that Herzburgerwaffle clown.

    1. The cardboard cutout of Shmendrik Hertzberg could be the moderator.

    2. Or he could just debate an empty stool like Clint Eastwood did.

      1. Any other opponent would have wiped the floor with Clint’s face. What a disgusting impostor!

  14. You really should never forget that journalists are more than anything stupid. If they were not stupid, they would not be journalists. What an idiotic analogy.

    If you want to give a sports analogy for this, the analogy is letting Stein and Johnson in the debate is like the NCAA giving the winners of small conferences an automatic bid in the basketball tournament. Like the winners of these tournaments, Stein and Johnson are almost certainly not going to win the entire thing. But their presence in the tournament annoys the hell out of the established teams and over the long term poses a threat to them as occasionally a team like Gonzaga stops being a small school and becomes a big player itself. Same thing here. Letting Stein and Johnson in the debate creates the chance that their minor party eventually becomes a major one.

    This shit isn’t hard. But I guess it is when you are stupid, which journalists are.

    1. You had a chance to offer a withering indictment of the MLB wild card system and you squandered it.

      This is why 9/11 happened.

      1. I KNEW John was at the bottom of that. I KNEW it.

      2. I actually don’t mind the wild card. Yes, I am really that big of a monster.

        1. They have wildcard slots for battlebots and it works pretty well.
          /nerd trying to relate to sports

          1. Yeah, but the final bout of the ’16 season was a complete bust. How long did it last? 10 seconds?

            1. Pretty spectacular destruction though. I agree, the beta vs tombstone was a better fight than the final.

        2. You probably like artificial turf and DH. Fucking monster.

    2. This shit isn’t hard. But I guess it is when you are stupid, which journalists are.

      You attribute idiocy where I attribute malice. Otherwise, you’re right.

      1. Porque no los dos?

    3. I would also like to submit the suggestion that Philip Glass’ summer camp crush has never actually watched any of these sporting events.

      1. “It was a magic time at Lake Chipeechawa…”

      2. I think that is a pretty good bet.

  15. I recall being taught in the ’70s that we had a “two party system.”

    I don’t recall the GOP debate being limited to those over 15%.

    “All candidates with a 3-percent average in the polls will make the main stage, with any tally above 2.5 percent being rounded up. ”

    Unclear why they couldn’t just say the threshold is 2.5% Maybe this is some sort of IRS 1040A math.

    1. good point

  16. “… let’s all give a vigorous golf clap…”

    You’re doing it wrong.

  17. Jackie Robinson “played” baseball by getting a promoter to sign him to a team. Same deal: letting third parties into debates.

  18. A Clinton supporter, much like old Hilldog herself, will argue any point from any angle using any amount of specious reasoning to protect her from scrutiny or competition. Logic and reason need no apply, it’s that they want their girl to win and to carry their vision, whatever the hell that might be.

  19. “Scientific fact: a vote for Jill Stein is a vote for Donald Trump”

    And, as we all know, Democrats are the party of science and Republicans are science-deniers.

  20. On top of everything else, this dickhole has a really good name for a Nazi war criminal.

    1. I watched the boys from Brazil recently. It was very odd watching Peck as a Nazi.

  21. Interesting implication that third party candidates don’t work nearly as hard to get recognition. I somehow suspect Hillary Clinton didn’t spend much time personally worrying about whether the state of Ohio would even let her use the name of her party on their ballot. So it seems a bit to me like she’s the one with a golden path to the finish line.

  22. Now that’s a punchable face.

    1. I’ll chip in for your bail.

  23. “Let’s all give a vigorous golf clap to New Yorker staff writer and former Jimmy Carter speechwriter Hendrik Hertzberg”

    If somebody called me a former Jimmy Carter speechwriter, I’d sue for defamation–but this guy really is that and brags about it?!

    He’s not the one who actually wrote the infamous malaise speech, is he?


    I’d rather cop to adultery than have people think I was a former Jimmy Carter speechwriter.

    On my resume, I’d put down that I was in prison . . . rather than tell people I was Jimmy Carter’s speechwriter.


  24. I have to say thins about Hendrik Hertzberg: He really knows his place and wants you to, too.

  25. Ralph got the Democratic party to include ecological national socialism alongside its usual communist party planks. Lynch mobs looking to jail real scientists for thoughtcrime has been the result of those spoiler votes.
    Prohibition made beer a felony for nearly 14 years till it wrecked the economy, and those mystics averaged 1.4% of the vote to get it passed. The commie income tax was passed in peacetime right after the People’s Party got 8.5% and elected 3 looters to the House in 1892. Neither Kleptocracy party had an income tax plank at the time.
    Bottom line: small party spoiler votes are worth 6 to 36 times a vote wasted on some grinning idiot WHEN IT COMES TO CHANGING THE LAWS!

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