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Sunday, May 06, 2012

Libertarians Are Naive

A couple of libertarianish guys I read with some regularity were really pulling for Gary Johnson in the GOP primary.  You know, the former Republican governor from New Mexico who didn't even get invited to the debates and never got above 5% support in the polls.

So Johnson quit the Republican party and got the Libertarian Party nomination.  Cue the jizzing in the pants.

First, Doug Mataconis:

... [I]t’s encouraging to see the Libertarians actually nominating candidates with a real political resume, and the possibility of reaching out to groups dissatisfied with both candidates on issues like the drug war and same-sex marriage (Johnson supports same-sex marriage, Obama and Romney do not). Getting real attention for a campaign of ideas? Yea I’d be happy with that.
This may be too generous. Johnson has nothing on gay marriage on his website, so I'm guessing it's an issue he doesn't really care about too much, and while I applaud Johnson's stance on marijuana legalization, it's not like the Libertarians are alone on this issue anymore.

Look at all the states that have legalized or decriminalized medical marijuana. It's almost always through popular vote and well, Libertarians just aren't that popular. I have a feeling that the only "real attention" Johnson is going to get is from right-leaning Libertarians who don't want to vote for Romney.

And then here's Conor Friedersdorf:
It's an opportune moment for a libertarian ticket to offer a serious, forceful critique of drug policy, for beyond fortuitous changes in public opinion, there's an incumbent with broken promises and a lackluster record on the issue; and a Republican challenger who is even more of a drug warrior in his avowed positions and such a teetotaller personally that he eschews even caffeine. Are Johnson and Gray the right team to make this critique?
Short answer? No.

Slightly longer answer: You really expected the first black president, whose opponents refused for years to acknowledge he's even American, is really going to legalize marijuana? He's going to drop everything --two wars, the Middle East going nuts, the economy in shambles, healthcare reform-- and legalize dope? He of the terrorist fist-bump, he who palled around with terrorists?

 If Obama wanted to put the legalization movement back 10 years, all he needs to do is announce his support. Joe Arpaio would demand he take a drug test to prove he's not smoking dope. Heard about all the scary things the Black Panthers have been doing at poll places? Wait till you hear they're all high on legal Obama-weed.

 But by all means...vote for Gary Johnson. Someone besides his wife has to.

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