Tag Archives: Libertarian

The Libertarian Case for Mitt Romney – Take Two

In the spirit of the upcoming debates, I think I will indulge in something I rarely do, and honestly, I usually discourage others from doing it. However, given the fact that we’re looking at a close race in November, I consider it extremely important to keep the race from turning into a fiasco for conservatives in general.

Austen Hufford (CC)

Stephen Green, the Vodkapundit, ostensibly started this round of trying to make a case for Libertarians to vote for Romney. And that was followed with a reply from Doug Mataconis at United Liberty, claiming there is no reason for Libertarians to vote for Romney. Both made excellent points, but neither really made a case for Libertarians to vote “for” Romney.

Mataconis pointed out something that has regularly made my blood boil every time anyone mentions it – Romney was Governor of Massachusetts when they passed a healthcare law that was ostensibly a precursor to the Affordable Care Act. Please do note exactly how I worded that statement, because it is important. At the time that this legislation was passed, Massachusetts had a Democrat majority in their legislative branch. Romney was the minority voice. The legislation enjoyed widespread support of the citizens – not surprising, since they were the ones that put the liberal majority in control in the first place. So, that made it highly likely that even if Romney had vetoed the legislation, it would have still ended up the law of the land. What was Romney’s great sin, then? If we have gotten to the point where following ideology of a given political party requires behaving in a delusional manner, denying the reality of the situation on the ground, then we are really far worse off than anyone is suggesting.

And Green already did point out that this was one very good case against Libertarians voting for Romney, in spite of the fact that he was theoretically trying to point out the opposite. Of course, there was also the mention on both sides that we are faced yet again with a presidential race where voters are left with making a choice between the lesser of two evils. This also is nothing new, as I’ve regularly pointed out that I have never voted “for” a President – have rarely voted “for” any candidate for any office, in point of fact. But, there is a slight chance that may actually change for me this year.

Everyone has been focusing on Romney’s past in politics and in business from a negative perspective – conservatives complaining about him playing nice with liberals in Massachusetts, and liberals complaining about his success in the business world. We’re currently dealing with a sluggish economy, with at least a few experts warning of a double-dip recession. Why is the debate over whether or not Romney is a good candidate for Libertarians to support centered on the liberal v. conservative argument in the first place?

Libertarians need a reason to vote for Romney. Libertarians are for free markets – ostensibly, pro-business, presuming we’re not talking about promoting crony-capitalism. Unless I missed something, no one is running about saying that Romney is a stupid man, so it is probably safe to assume that he is not planning to draw from his experience in the Governor’s mansion when it comes to dealing with the economy. Unless he is a colossal idiot, he’s going to rely heavily on his business experience, and on what he learned when he dragged the Olympic Committee out of debt in Salt Lake City. But, given that the liberals love to demonize him for being a success in business, of course he’s not going to hit the campaign trail with that as the centerpiece of his stump speech. Given his past experience with the Dems in Massachusetts, he already knows that’s political suicide. And that brings up another point Libertarians seem to love to bring up – Romney’s ability to play like Reagan, when it comes to compromising. I think a reality check is needed here. No matter how much anyone would like to wish it otherwise, the bottom line is that whoever ends up in the White House at this point will need to be damn good at the art of compromise. Obama is not. Romney is.

It’s been said countless times – we didn’t get in this mess overnight, and we’re not going to get out it that quickly either. Also, we are not going to see any large portion of the Libertarian platform adopted by our government until the Libertarian party gains far more representation on the Hill, and in state houses across the country. That is not to say that Libertarian values do not enjoy wide support from the people. That is merely pointing out the fact that people have not started voting en masse according to those values, if for no other reason, because there are not a lot of candidates out there running on them. Until there are far more people putting themselves on the ballots nationwide on the Libertarian party ticket, we will not see those values move into our government, period. So, the only thing left for Libertarians is to support candidates from the two major parties with at least a few of the values they hold dear. I’m being generous here, since Democrats that are for Libertarian principles, outside of social issues, probably do not exist.

The Libertarian case for voting for Romney is that he is obviously pro-business. He is the candidate that will at least do something useful when it comes to promoting free markets. On a far more practical level, he has been there and done that when it comes to pulling organizations (corporate and non-profit) out of being deep in debt. Since any president is only as good as his best advisers, Romney has a far better crop to pick from when it comes to foreign policy, and domestic affairs. And finally, if I had a dime for every time I have seen self-proclaimed Libertarians sing the praises of Paul Ryan and his plans for the economy and healthcare… well, you get the idea. And that in itself should be a huge incentive for Libertarians to support Romney. If he is willing to put someone you at least like and respect a little in as Vice President, it is insane to think that he would slam the door in the face of others with similar philosophies. Again, the shift to Libertarian values, and building the Libertarian party will not happen overnight. It will happen on the back of the GOP, with Libertarians slowly moving into positions of power in GOP administrations.

The bottom line is that there will never be a perfect candidate for the presidency (or any other office.) It takes a special kind of crazy to place one’s name on the ballot, so by definition, every candidate is flawed at least in that way. As for the Libertarians? The reality is that the party is not positioned to place someone in the White House, yet. Barry Goldwater pointed out long ago that the GOP would be finished if it was taken over by the religious right. He was right. It will happen. Sooner or later, fiscal conservatives will break away from social conservatism in the GOP – they will realize it is no less expensive to promote social conservative ideals than it is to promote socialist programs. And where will they go? Of course, the most likely destination is the Libertarian party. We’re already seeing the rifts over this, with the literal blossoming of “Libertarian leaning conservatives” on the scene. But, if the Libertarian party goes down in history for stealing this election from Romney, that inevitable movement will be pushed back by several years, at least. Is it better to stand purely on principles that have no real hope of being implemented in government for decades, or is it better to take at least a couple baby steps in the right direction? It is an important choice – arguably may be an historical one. But, make no mistake, if Romney loses, the Libertarian movement could easily be set back by years, if not decades. If the idea that “Gary Johnson supporters caused a Romney loss” would stick, that could be devastating to the Libertarian movement. It’s not fair, but it’s the reality of the situation. If you doubt it, by all means, go ask Ralph Nader. Personally, I don’t want to see the Libertarian party relegated to political irrelevancy. Do you?

Dear Libertarians, 2012 Is Not Your Year

I am a card-carrying member of the GOP, primarily because I reside in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As a fiscal conservative, I find myself agreeing more with the Libertarian platform, but it is not in my best interests to register as one. The Keystone State is not known for being groundbreaking in anything political, as in we are largely behind the curve. We’re one of a handful of “control” states, where the Commonwealth enjoys a virtual monopoly on the sales of the wines and spirits. The computerized polling stations are still only partially implemented state-wide, and we still rely on paper tallies to certain extent in most counties. We’re followers, not leaders, for the most part. But, there is one thing that some here complain about that we actually do right. We have closed primaries – we can only vote for candidates running in the party we are actually registered to vote.

DonkeyHotey (CC)


That is how it should be everywhere. It is the entire point of a primary. The election is held so that the members of a given party can choose their candidates for the general election. And we rarely have even one candidate for many offices that is registered as Libertarian. There are rarely any candidates for any of the “third parties” recognized here, including Independent, Green, and Socialist. And now there is talk of former Gov. Gary Johnson fighting to be on the ballot here, presumably to “send a message”. My question is, who does Johnson want to send that message to? Obama? Romney?

“A former George Bush campaign insider told us, ‘Your Libertarian Presidential candidate Gov. Gary Johnson may determine who wins this Presidential campaign,’” Howell wrote. “You and I and our fellow Libertarians can seize this huge opportunity – IF we’re ready for the last 6 weeks before Election Day.”

That’s from Carla Howell, the Libertarian Party executive. Now, either Howell is extremely stupid, or she sincerely wants to hand the White House to Obama for a second term. If that is what the Libertarian party leadership stands for, I wonder what the rank and file Libertarian voters really think about that. Maybe she drank the same Kool-Aid Rand Paul has, and views the political landscape with the same lens. As Ramesh Ponnoru already observed, it is facile to assume that Libertarian views on social issues would virtually guarantee more moderate Democrat and Independent votes in traditionally blue states. For one thing, it ignores what I refer to as “brainless voting” – the ability of voters to simply choose “straight ticket” instead of actively choosing in each race. It is a depressing fact, but there is still at least a plurality of voters in many precincts that know nearly nothing about the candidates and issues they are voting on in a given election – they simply cast a ballot on party lines. That alone makes a case for the resurrection of poll tests, not to exclude a given race, but to exclude individuals that don’t bother learning anything about the people or offices they are choosing.

And there lies one of the major reasons why we still have a two-party system. History tells us where the current Libertarian movement is during this election season. Johnson could go down in history as the GOP’s Ralph Nader. Eye Desert made the observation that Republicans need to start listening to Libertarians, and most importantly, he has pointed out two possible outcomes if Romney does not win. If the GOP blames Libertarians, it could spell the end of the party. If not, it could mean a stronger, big-tent conservative party. It’s a solid thesis, and is nothing new. Barry Goldwater predicted the potential demise of the Republican Party years ago. He was there for the beginning of the takeover of the party by religious leaders, and the rise of social conservatism as we know it now. And Goldwater knew that would cause rifts within the conservative movement. Add in the big government spending that has been adopted by the GOP over the years, and that is a toxic mixture that has given rise to this latest growth in popularity for the Libertarian Party, and the Tea Party.

But, we’re not there, yet. The Libertarian message is growing in popularity, but it is not enough. Until it makes sense for voters in states like Pennsylvania to switch their parties to the Libertarian side, we’re not there yet. And, sad but true, until the Libertarian Party sheds its fringe image due to people like Ron and Rand Paul, we won’t see multiple candidates up for election in closed primaries, like we do for the Democratic and Republican parties. While I would greatly enjoy seeing the GOP forced to address its problem with overspending and overly invasive legislative objectives in the name of saving everyone’s souls, we can’t afford four more years of Obama, period. It boils down to this – right idea, but absolutely the wrong time. Sure, it might feel nice to buck the system, and vote for Johnson this November. However, if supporters of Johnson end up handing Obama a second term, then what? I don’t agree with Eye Desert on this one. If the Libertarian Party ends up getting blamed for a Romney loss this fall, the GOP will destroy the Libertarians, rightfully so. It’s what the Democratic Party should have done to Nader and the Green Party, but unlike that party, losing the Libertarian Party would be a real loss. Since it’s becoming fairly clear that the Republican establishment can’t seem to play well with the Tea Party, it seems that is where the work needs to be done. Imagine the political landscape in 2016 if the Libertarians and Tea Party join forces. Now, that is how you build a relevant third party in this country!

Why The GOP Shouldn’t Ignore Libertarians

“If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism” – Ronald Reagan to Reason Magazine, July 1975

Both Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham made salient points this week by telling Republicans they needed to “shut down” if President Barack Obama is re-elected. The comments show a problem Republicans have had in convincing the Tea Party to support Mitt Romney.

It also shows the Republican Party has failed to listen to what has long been considered their conscience: libertarians.

What people have forgotten is the rise of the Tea Party wasn’t just a rebellion against the increased spending in late 2008, early 2009. The origins of the Tea Party can be traced all the way back to several of President George W. Bush’s decisions, including the Patriot Act, the Department of Homeland Security and the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina.

This series of responses started shaking people, waking them up from their long slumber. They realized the U.S. was running into major problems, the government was expanding too quickly and things needed to be cut. The Tea Party rallies, and the candidates which followed, were proof people were starting to pay attention and getting active. Libertarians were starting to be heard.

But what’s happened since then?

Certainly, the libertarian caucus in US Senate has grown from South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint. It now includes Rand Paul, Pat Toomey, Mike Lee and Ron Johnson. Hopefully, reinforcements are coming with the possible election of Ted Cruz, Connie Mack IV, Richard Mourdock and Jeff Flake. But that’s only nine out of 100 senators.

The House looks no better, with Michigan Congressman Justin Amash replacing Ron Paul as probably the most libertarian member. South Carolina Republican Trey Gowdy should also get praise for fighting for reigned in spending and cutting the government. Arizona Congressman Trent Franks has been considered libertarian at times, but that’s only three out of 435. Plenty of Republicans pay lip service to libertarian ideals (see: House Speaker John Boehner and, to a lesser extent, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan) but don’t follow through.

The fact is Republicans need to listen to libertarians, especially in terms of government growth and the budget. The party which claims to be for “limited government,” allowed massive expanses during the Bush Administration. The original stimulus package may have been avoided if Congress had waited.

To be fair, libertarians have to take blame as well. The rise of social conservatism may have been held back a bit if libertarians did a better job at pointing out why some social policies are best left to states. There’s a reason why the Libertarian Party is known more for wanting to end the War on Drugs, instead of reduced spending, smaller government and more freedom. Organization and activism have also been major problems the Libertarian Party has failed to solve. This could be the reason why there are libertarians considering a vote for Mitt Romney, instead of Gary Johnson.

Ultimately, it may not be in the best interests of libertarians to leave the GOP. It’s possible libertarians will have to suck it up and keep trying to convince party leaders, elected officials and local activists why they’re right. Certainly the Koch brothers believe this and Rand Paul as well. For this to work, conservatives will have to be willing to listen and both sides will have to reach a consensus. It does nothing for Republicans to simply brush off libertarian concerns as a fringe element, or “hobbits,” but to ultimately sit down, look at what’s being said and move forward. There really are libertarians out there who want Republicans to succeed.

The solutions may be slightly different, but it should be a lot easier for conservatives and libertarians to come to an agreement. Certainly a lot easier than conservatives and liberals.

But if Republicans lose in November, what then? Will the party start listening to libertarians or blame them for their own failure? If it’s the former, things may turn out okay. If it’s the latter…the Republican Party may be doomed.

 

Is Gary Johnson the New Ross Perot?

The Former Governor of New Mexico and current Libertarian Party candidate for president Gary Johnson isn’t likely going to become the next president, but that doesn’t mean he won’t have an effect on the outcome of the election come November.

Johnson briefly participated in the Republican primaries and debates before switching over to the Libertarian ticket, and per Fox News, Johnson is polling about 5% nationwide, which isn’t particularly bad for a third party candidate. Despite his low numbers, Johnson isbeginning to show a little pull in a few battleground states out west which includes New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and Colorado.

Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson

According to the same poll, he is polling at about 9% in Arizona and 13% in New Mexico – it’s not enough to win, but it could certainly be enough to hand out a disadvantage to the major party candidate that he is taking votes away from.

Earlier in the week, the Libertarian Party had this to say about Gary Johnson, “Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gov. Gary Johnson Could Deprive Mitt Romney of 5 battleground states, 74 Electoral Votes, 27% of the Electoral Votes needed to win in 2012.”

No one can be certain on what kind of effect Gary Johnson will have on the outcome in November, if any, but he wouldn’t be the first ‘monkey to throw a wrench in the machine’.

Twenty years ago in the 1992 presidential election, third party candidate Ross Perot collected an astounding 19% of the popular vote. Some have come to think that Perot’s influence aided Bill Clinton into the White House with just 43% of the popular vote, and disadvantaged incumbent George H. W. Bush.

However, Ross Perot had a large amount national support, something of which Johnson is currently lacking. But with the race between former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and President Obama being so tight and within the margin of error, Johnson’s influence could likely turn a state red or blue.

To add, some think that Johnson might not just hurt one side of the aisle, but both. While most think that Johnson will pull votes away from Romney, the Liberal PPP (Public Polling Policy) believes that Johnson could hurt Obama in Colorado.

“He’s going to be a problem for somebody, somewhere,” writes political strategist and Fox News contributor Joe Trippi. “We don’t yet know which candidate he might harm the most … both campaigns should be looking over their shoulders at that guy almost nobody is talking about.”

All of the numbers and opinions aside, Gary Johnson is a legitimate candidate for presidency, and shouldn’t just be thought of as a ‘vote stealer’. Johnson is the third party alternate in an election where the two major candidates are thought to have a lot of similarities. Johnson stands for a lot of what the other two candidates won’t stand for, simply because of political ramifications.

 

Follow Me on Twitter: @chrisenloe

In Deep with Michelle Ray

When: Friday, August 10th, 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific

Where: In Deep with Michelle Ray on Blog Talk Radio

What: Join Social Media Director of ConservativeDailyNews.com, Michelle Ray (@GaltsGirl) as she discusses the issues that impact America.

Tonight:Tonight: A Republic, if you can keep it and a quick visit from Brandon Combs on the California SB249 issue he is fighting.

Listen to internet radio with CDNews Radio on Blog Talk Radio

In Deep with Michelle Ray – 7/26

When: Thursday, July 26th, 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific

Where: In Deep with Michelle Ray on Blog Talk Radio

What: Join Social Media Director of ConservativeDailyNews.com, Michelle Ray (@GaltsGirl) as she discusses the issues that impact America.

Tonight:Former Congressional candidate for VA05, and BTR host of The Sons Of Liberty show, Bradley Rees (@BradleySRees) joins me to talk TEA and libertarian / Rand misconceptions

In Deep with Michelle Ray – ObamaCare, Contempt and Stolen Valor

When: Thursday, June 28th, 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific

Where: In Deep with Michelle Ray on Blog Talk Radio

What: Join Social Media Director of ConservativeDailyNews.com, Michelle Ray (@GaltsGirl) as she discusses the issues that impact America.

Tonight: Grass roots activist Andrew Xifos (@FigDrewton), United Liberty contributor Jason Pye (@jaseliberty) and Conseravative Daily News contributor Tj Thompson (@_TjThompson) join the discussion.

A Libertarian’s Battle Cry on Super Tuesday

If you are a Libertarian, a Constitutional Republican, or a freedom-lover of any sort, your battle cry on Super Tuesday should be “Anyone but Santo.” The Santo Surge is a threat to personal liberty and to those who believe fervently in the separation of church and state. Not only has Rick Santorum (a notorious earmarker) defended his big government spending habits, these days, he can frequently be found preaching his generations-old positions on gender and sexuality. Such positions should offend any modern-day advocate of less government intrusion in our personal lives.

True, morality is important, and many of us like the idea of our nation’s leader being a religious or spiritual person. But we who prefer self-reliance don’t want government making personal decisions for us. We believe politicians have no place in our bedrooms, in our children’s lunchboxes, or in our doctors’ offices. So long as our decisions aren’t jeopardizing another person’s life, liberty or personal property, the decisions should be left to us, the individuals, and the consequences of those decisions between us and our God.

Santorum has, in recent weeks, proven that his presidency would be his platform. Instead of being called to lead us, he seems to think he’s been called to “save” us – and I don’t mean “save” in the sense of rescuing our economy from the Socialist clutches of Obama. I mean that he seems to want to ensure that we all make “right” decisions in our personal lives so that we can all go to heaven. On paper, this is not so different from Obama, who also wants us to make the “right” decisions, and when we don’t make the decisions he agrees with, he wants to make them for us.

Santorum’s sanctimonious speeches are divisive, when what conservatives need most is to be united. He seems to be on a personal mission to reverse the decades of progress that women and homosexuals have enjoyed, to return women to the kitchens and gays to the closets. How can this sort of leadership possibly be good for our country? How does it even remotely address the real issues we are facing: outrageous jobless numbers, high gas prices, illegal immigration, a crippling deficit, and the possibility of a nuclear Iran?

The Santorum message is a distraction to the mission, which is to get Obama out of the Oval Office as swiftly and decisively as possible. Americans must see a clear rejection of Socialist and Marxist principles. Because of his presence in the race, we are talking about contraception (good grief, wasn’t this decided in the 1950s?) instead of energy independence and meaningful tax reform.

On Super Tuesday, even if one candidate enjoys a massive lead in your state, vote for anyone but Santorum. Make him fight for delegates, and don’t buy the “social conservative” message he’s selling. Voters won’t be mobilized by a discussion on birth control, so don’t fall into the trap the MSM is trying to set. They want Santo to surge, for him to be the focus, because the Democrats know he is NO REAL THREAT to President Obama in a general election.

So stand up against Santorum’s theocratic ideology, because trading one extreme for the other is never a good thing for freedom.

New Episode of Married To The Game: Be Nice To Each Other, And Make Mitt Romney Work For The Conservative Vote

Tonight, on Married to the Game, we’ll be talking about, you guessed it…. The 2012 Republican Primary.  More importantly, we’ll also be discussing how we, as voters, have been treating each other.  Spoiler alert:  These politicians WORK FOR US.  We are friends and family, and they are our employees.  There is no reason we should tear each other down to build one of these politicians up.

Show starts at 10pm East / 7pm West.  CLICK HERE TO LISTEN
Show recording:

Listen to internet radio with CDNews Radio on Blog Talk Radio

Mitchell & Ray – January 12th

When: Thursday, January12th, 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific

Where:Streaming Internet Radio

What: Join independent political commentators Michelle Ray and Rich Mitchell as they discuss the issues impacting Americans.

 

Tonight: Stupid News, Iowa, New Hampshire, Libertarian ideology & Ron Paul

Show Recording: 

[mp3player width=300 height=75 config=fmp_jw_widget_config.xml file=http://media2.conservativedailynews.com/shows/mitchell-and-ray/show_1-12-12.mp3]

and .. the non-flash, iGadget-friendly version:

Stupid News, Iowa, New Hampshire, Libertarian ideology & Ron Paul

Rick Santorum, the Romney alternative to Romney

Rick Santorum, after a 2nd place showing in Iowa, has been recently hailed as the “conservative alternative to Mitt Romney”. Conservative in what sense though? Conservative because he’s religious and seems to live the model good Christian life? Conservative because he’s a super military hawk? Conservative because he’s socially conservative? The one area he’s not conservative is in the domestic size of government sense. Conservative seems to mean many different things now a days, not all of which limit federal powers, leave people alone, oppose collectivism and spend less money.

While claiming to be a firm supporter of the 10th Amendment, the amendment which Thomas Jefferson said kept the federal government small, Santorum stated, “the idea that the only things that the states are prevented from doing are only things specifically established in the Constitution is wrong.” Perhaps he supports a different 10th Amendment than the one most actual conservatives hail. In 2005 Santorum wrote a “conservative answer” to Hillary Clinton’s It Takes a Village, which advocated for more government involvement in people’s lives. It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good plays to most conservatives’ desire and love of family values, but its assertion to take action for the “common good” should give lovers of liberty some pause. The General Welfare Clause of the Constitution is often hailed by liberals as justification for their big government programs. And just like liberals, Santorum advocates for government based solutions in his book including, but not limited to: national service (forced conscription), publicly financed trust funds for children, incentives for community investments, and economic literacy programs for every school in the country. Santorum’s support for federal education isn’t particularly shocking given his vote for President Bush’s “No Child Left Behind Act”.

In 2006, Rick Santorum showed his true colors while promoting his book on NPR. Santorum told the host, “One of the criticisms I make is to what I refer to as more of a libertarianish right. You know, the left has gone so far left and the right in some respects has gone so far right that they touch each other. They come around in the circle. This whole idea of personal autonomy, well I don’t think most conservatives hold that point of view. Some do. They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do, government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues. You know, people should do whatever they want. Well, that is not how traditional conservatives view the world and I think most conservatives understand that individuals can’t go it alone.” Its safe to say that Rick Santorum probably doesn’t think too much of Ayn Rand or her masterpieces: The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged.

Now, I’m not one who cares about the earmark issue too much as it is constitutionally permissible and because its the Congress’ duty to allocate funds, but I do admit that it can and often does “corrupt the process”. For those who do care, Santorum was a huge ear-marker in his days in the House and Senate, and not just for his own district. Santorum voted to fund the notorious “Bridge to Nowhere”. Since being out of office, Red State points out that Santorum now opposes earmarks. But as the conservative economic organization The Club for Growth, points out: Santorum is someone who does try to have it both ways, “He voted NO on raising the minimum wage in 1995 and 2005. But on the same day he voted NO in 2005, he sponsored an amendment that would increase the minimum wage, which he later boasted about to skeptical voters in a 2006 campaign brochure he released called ’50 Things You Didn’t Know About Rick Santorum.’” I’ll add one thing you should know about Santorum is his support for Bush’s agenda domestic and abroad, including the dreaded and expensive, Medicare Part D.

Perhaps most unpopular here in South Carolina is Rick Santorum’s support of labor unions. Now, one may dismiss it as electoral pragmatism based on his former home state, just like earmarks could be, but given our battle with the NLRB; perhaps we are rightfully now less forgiving. Santorum opposed the National Right to Work Act, voted against NAFTA and some other free trade proposals, and has supported tariffs, such as on steel, to help unions avoid competition. Also in the interest of helping unions avoid competition, Santorum repeatedly voted to protect unions with his continuous support of the Davis-Bacon Act. Speaking of protectionism, Santorum has also supported farm subsidies in the past. Now to give Santorum credit, he doesn’t use the tired expression “level the playing field” which is a noble goal, but also an overused cliché. The reason he clamor for the “leveling of the playing field” economically is because his jobs plan openly favors manufacturing by giving them all sorts of special breaks. I don’t want to come off as unsympathetic to the manufacturing industries’s plight, I am, and do want it to come back, but I don’t want other industries to have to pay the manufacturing’s industries’ “fair share” for them. On a similar, un-capitalistic note, Santorum also voted for the Sarbanes-Oxley financial regulation bill, which kills start ups and harms existing businesses.

If this is conservative, than I sure as hell am not a conservative. Barry Goldwater’s nickname was “Mr. Conservative”. Oh, how the definition has been forgotten over the years. Santorum’s record is abysmal. Liberals would call me a right wing extremist based on my view of government, they would hear the legislation I want and immediately break down and cry. Upon meeting and conversing with a Michele Bachmann campaign staffer, I made him argue for bigger government. Not that I like either of them, for what should be obvious reasons, but there’s no way Romney could’ve been much worse than Santorum. In fact, Santorum even supported an individual mandate. Proof of this may be found in a local Pennsylvania Newspaper which described Santorum and a rival Republican’s healthcare proposal with, “Santorum and Watkins would require individuals to buy health insurance rather than forcing employers to pay for employee benefits.” Because both are big government Republicans, I won’t be voting for them… but if I had to pick between them, I’d chose Romney, hands down. Romney, while not a small government candidate, would do less harm to conservatism because no one views Romney as a conservative. Everyone calls him a moderate, and rightfully so. If Romney further grows government, the conservative brand isn’t on the hook. What I cannot sit by and watch is a big government Republican in Santorum, be called a conservative and grow government just like his fellow “compassionate conservative”, President Bush did. As you can see the term conservative is on the ropes; from Robert Taft and Barry Goldwater’s constitutionally limited government views to Rick Santorum’s family values based big government nanny state. This is a term we really cannot afford to lose. Please don’t help kill the brand and the label.

Gary Johnson's independent move: smart, irrelevant or Perot redux?

Gary Johnson has ended his bid to become the Republican nominee for President of the United States and switch to a run as an independent Libertarian candidate.

In an email this morning, Johson said that “a credible Libertarian candidate for president is the real path to liberty, opportunity, and a government that is put into its proper and limited role.”

Gary Johnson had been badly trailing the other GOP candidates for months and had no chance at finishing the GOP race near the top, but he states a different reason for jumping ship at such a late date:

In a recent national poll 63% of Americans said they wished there was a third choice for 2012. There is, and I intend to educate the voters about what we offer America.

If Ron Paul is the consummate Libertarian, then Johnson is perhaps a more moderate version. Where this might play in the general election is difficult to predict, but could give anti-establishment voters somewhere to go  if Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich win the nomination.

An independent outlet seemed to question Johnson’s libertarian credentials by noting that “Johnson joined the Libertarian Party in 1993-4, but did not renew his LP dues after the first year because he felt that at the time the Libertarians were too extreme.”

Johnson would likely take more votes from the right than the left which stokes fears of another Ross Perot-style dismantling of the Presidential election resulting in another four years of President Obama.

Johnson is the former governor of New Mexico – a swing state in the 2012 elections. And according to a PPP poll, his independent run would likely split the vote in that state resulting in the electoral college votes from New Mexico going to President Obama. It would not take too many other states following suit to allow the Obama’s to keep the White House as their home address.

Johnson had little impact in the nomination race in which he attracted less than 1% of registered voters in most polls and many are discounting his independent run as sound and fury, signifying nothing. Patrick Griffin, a senior fellow at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College says that people like Johnson are “malcontents, and frankly, they should go on book tour.”

Ron Paul’s polling in Iowa and nationwide also give him a strong chance to be the nominee. If that becomes the case, Johnson’s message will likely fall on deaf ears.

Whether Johnson’s run has any impact at all in the 2012 election remains to be seen. It could mean nothing or it could mean another term for the current administration.

His announcement video can be seen on his campaign website here.

Gary Johnsons Email Announcing Change in Presidential Run [Full Text]

On Wednesday, Gary Johnson sent out the following email to announce that he would no longer be seeking the GOP nomination for President.

Dear Friends,

By now, you have probably heard the news.

This morning, I stepped before the microphones at a news conference in the New Mexico capitol and announced that I am seeking the Libertarian nomination for President of the United States. The Libertarian Party nominee will be on the ballot in all 50 states – as was the case in 2008.

It was both a difficult decision – and an easy one. It was difficult because I have a lot of Republican history, and a lot of Republican supporters. But in the final analysis, as many, many commentators have said since watching how I governed in New Mexico, I am a Libertarian – that is, someone who is fiscally very conservative but holds freedom-based positions on many social issues.

Frankly, I have been deeply disappointed by the treatment I received in the Republican nomination process. Other candidates with no national name identification like Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman were allowed to participate in the debates.

Incredibly candidates with no executive experience like Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum were allowed to participate while I, a successful two-term governor with a solid record of job creation, was arbitrarily excluded by elitist media organizations in New York. My appeals to the Republican National Chairman for basic fairness were ignored.

I had hoped to lay out a full libertarian message on all the issues in the Republican contest. I think this election needs a libertarian voice. While Ron Paul is a good man and a libertarian who I proudly endorsed for president in 2008, there is no guarantee he will be the Republican nominee.

When I announced that I was running for president, I promised you I would be a voice for bold ideas to bring government and its spending under control. I promised I would put my record as the ‘most fiscally conservative’ governor in the nation in front of the voters. And I said that, unlike too many Republican politicians, I think Americans’ government should be smaller and less intrusive and let people make decisions for themselves.

My Agenda for America is clear:

– I want to end deficit spending and cut federal spending by 43%.

– I want to enact the Fair Tax to stimulate real economic growth and jobs.

– I want to end the manipulation of our money by the Federal Reserve.

– I support the Second Amendment and oppose gun control.

– I oppose expensive foreign wars in places like Libya and Afghanistan.

– I support a woman’s right to choose.

– I support marriage equality for gay Americans as required by the Constitution.

– I support legalization of marijuana, which will save us billions and do no harm.

– I support returning strict adherence to Constitutional principles to our government.

It is clear that the elite national media and the political “ruling class” don’t want this message heard. It frightens them. It frightens them because they know our message is one that actually reflects the true beliefs of millions of Americans – and they don’t want those millions of people to know there really is a candidate for president who represents them, whether they are Republicans, Democrats, Independents or Libertarians.

Sadly neither the Republicans nor Democrats will offer this agenda to the American people.

They can’t handle the notion of a successful two-term governor, elected and reelected as a Republican in a Democrat state, who could veto 750 spending bills to shrink government — while refusing to play the special interest game or impose a social agenda on people who prefer to make their own judgments about “values”.

In other words, there is no room in the national two-party club for a candidate who actually proved that governing as a libertarian works – and whose platform on every issue is clearly supported by a majority of the American people.

Sometimes the best answer is the simplest. I’m a Libertarian in belief. I successfully governed as a Libertarian in everything but the name, and I am running for president as a Libertarian.

Even before I announced my decision, polls are showing that I would today gain more votes than any Libertarian presidential candidate in history – and have a very real impact on the election nationwide. And that is before our campaign even begins.

If I earn the Libertarian nomination, I will be on the ballot in all 50 states. I will not be held hostage to a system rigged for the wealthiest and best-known candidates in a handful of states who happen to have early primaries. And most important, we will offer a political “home” for millions of Americans who are not finding one in the current political establishment or its candidates.

I am excited. I am liberated. And I am committed to shaking the system as it has never been shaken before. Just the speculation that I might run as a Libertarian has garnered more national media attention than I ever received as a Republican candidate whose voice they didn’t’ want to hear.

Depending on which poll you read, at least 40% of Republicans are not satisfied with the “field” of candidates the media has produced for them. At least 1 in 4 Democrats is having real second thoughts about Barack Obama. Do the math, and it confirms what I have seen for months on the campaign trail: The only political majority in America today is the one made up of voters who are looking for leadership they haven’t found yet. America is ready for a President who will restore common sense to our fiscal and foreign policies and get government out of the boardroom and the bedroom.

A credible Libertarian candidate for president is the real path to liberty, opportunity, and a government that is put into its proper and limited role.

In a recent national poll 63% of Americans said they wished there was a third choice for 2012. There is, and I intend to educate the voters about what we offer America.

Together, you and I are going to offer that majority a choice. They will see that Your support in the past few months has created this amazing opportunity. I may be the messenger, but this isn’t about me. It is about seizing a moment in history and bringing America back from the brink.

I want you to be with me as we launch this great endeavor. I ask for your continued support. I ask for your advice. And I am asking for your contribution today to provide the spark for the movement we are igniting.

You are one of my most generous supporters, and I must depend on you to be as generous as you can once again. Please send your contribution of $2,000, $1,000, $500, or $250. It will be used wisely to take our message to every corner of this great country, and to provide a voice that will otherwise never be heard in 2012. Go to: Gary Johnson 2012.com.

As a candidate for the Libertarian Party nomination my campaign will be eligible for Federal Matching funds — which means whatever you send will ultimately be matched. A $100 contribution is worth $200. A $250 contribution is worth $500. Please send your maximum contribution today.

Thank you for your support and your friendship. It means more to me than you will ever know.

Sincerely,

Gary

P.S. For those who say my decision to run as the Libertarian Party candidate will only draw votes from the Republicans and re-elect President Obama let me predict that, as my full platform based on freedom becomes known, my candidacy will draw votes from both the Republicans and Democrats and many, many independents.

The TSA is Ten Today

Ten years ago today, President George W. Bush signed the Aviation and Transportation Security Act into law. It the ten intervening years, the TSA has managed an impressive list of accomplishments.

Thanks to the TSA, the last ten years have brought travelers long security lines, sexual harassment, public embarrassment, invasion of privacy, increased security fees, and a (published) price tag approaching $100 billion.

A recent article posted by @laborunionrpt points to the machine feeding the machine, as TSA unionization becomes a very real possibility and a boon for labor unions and their progressive voting initiatives.

Thanks, TSA, for the ten years of wonderful memories, and for managing to capture exactly ZERO terrorists! This is one party that needs to end. We are sick up picking up the tab.

« Older Entries Recent Entries »