Archive for the ‘Johnson-Weld’ Category

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I second that emotion

January 6, 2017

Nick Gillespie writes a retrospective of last year’s Libertarian presidential campaign.

It reflects my views pretty well, including the part about Bill Weld. But RTWT.

Thank You, Gary Johnson, for Being the Best Thing in 2016!

Before we completely flush 2016 down the memory hole, let us pause to remember Gary Johnson, the former two-term governor of New Mexico who generated a record number of votes as the Libertarian Party’s candidate for president. If there was anything good that happened in 2016 — a year filled so much awfulness that even the Chicago Cubs could win the World Series after a thousand-year drought — it was @govgaryjohnson‘s ramshackle campaign to bring a very different way of thinking and talking about national politics to America.

In the end, of course, there was a lot of disappointment. He didn’t crack 15 percent in polls to route around the bullshit criteria created by the two major parties to keep people like him off the stage; he supported the inalienable rights of gay Nazis to force homophobic Jewish bakers to make German chocolate cakes in the shapes of swastikas; he spaced out while talking to recidivist plagiarist Mike Barnicle on Morning Joe and asked, What is Aleppo?; and so much more. Yeah, yeah, I get it. […]

To all of it, I say, politely: Go screw yourselves, all of you.

Gary wasn’t perfect and I still don’t really comprehend anything about that tongue-thing while talking to NBC reporter Kasie Hunt, who was understandably all like, Get me the hell out of here. But in the end, Johnson pulled almost 4.5 million votes (3.3 percent of the total), compared to 1.3 million votes (1 percent) four years ago. Of course, all of us who voted for Gary Johnson wanted him to do better still, but the world exists to disappoint us believers in small government. […]

During the race I noticed that people had begun to figure out there was such a word as ‘libertarian’ in the language. (I wonder how many points that would get you in Scrabble.)

When I slapped a Johnson-Weld sticker on my ride and got a couple of high signs and honks from passing vehicles, I figured the word was trickling out. One couple saw the sticker in a parking lot and came over to talk about the Governor. In short, the sticker worked better than my Bernie is My Comrade shirt, which only seemed to confuse most people.

But turning the political outlook is hard work and slow as well. Think about the last time a new major political party emerged quickly in the U.S. It was when the Republican party was organized at the start of the Civil War.

Nobody’s written "The Battle Hymn of Free Trade" – or seems likely to. So the LP‘s got a long row to hoe.

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The entertainment’s almost over

November 4, 2016

I’ll be voting for Johnson/Weld to help the Libertarians hit the 5% goal because what the U.S. needs is an alternative to Democrats and Republicans. So I urge people to vote for the least of the evils.

But I live in a pretty Red state: ElectionBettingOdds has Missouri at 90% Trump/10% Clinton today, numbers that haven’t changed much over time. So my vote will make little difference no matter who I favor. The only thing I can affect is the percentage of popular vote.


Like many others, I’ve been fascinated with the contortions the Republican party’s been going through over the Trump candidacy this year. There have been quite a few interesting arguments pro and con since the convention last summer.

Here are a couple of recent ones. First, Ross Douthat in Wednesday’s New York Times arguing against Trump:

An Election Is Not a Suicide Mission

[…] I agree with them that grave evils will follow from electing Hillary Clinton. But the Trump alternative is like a feckless war of choice in the service of some just-seeming end, with a commanding general who likes war crimes. It’s a ticket on a widening gyre, promising political catastrophe and moral corruption both, no matter what ideals seem to justify it.

It is a hard thing to accept that some elections should be lost, especially in a country as divided over basic moral premises as our own. But just as the pro-life movement ultimately won real gains — in lives saved, laws altered, abortion rates reduced — by accepting the legitimacy of the republic even as it deplored the killing of the unborn, so today’s conservatism has far more to gain from the defeat of Donald Trump, and the chance to oppose Clintonian progressivism unencumbered by his authoritarianism, bigotry, misogyny and incompetence, than it does from answering the progressive drift toward Caesarism with a populist Elagabalus.

Not because it is guaranteed long-term victory in that scenario or any other. But because the deepest conservative insight is that justice depends on order as much as order depends on justice. So when Loki or the Joker or some still-darker Person promises the righting of some grave wrong, the defeat of your hated enemies, if you will only take a chance on chaos and misrule, the wise and courageous response is to tell them to go to hell.


Second, here’s Jim Geraghty at National Review advancing Hugh Hewitt’s left-handed argument in favor of Trump. I actually found this one sort of appealing and agree with Hewitt’s tactic.

ADDENDA: As mentioned on this morning’s Hugh Hewitt show, I voted absentee this year, and voted for Evan McMullin. Needless to say, I instantly got the typically calm and easygoing response from Trump fans you would expect. Hugh made the argument that because Clinton’s actions with her private server are now so clearly harmful to national security that even a Never Trumper like me has to be rooting for his victory. (It’s easier to root for her defeat than his victory.)

Hugh convincingly argued that there will be more opposition to Trump’s unconstitutional instincts than to Hillary’s. If both are likely to face criminal charges and an impeachment attempt against their abuses of power, Trump will face opposition that Hillary will not. In short, “You have to vote for the lesser Constitutional crisis.”

The perfect slogan!

lesser-constitutional-crisis


The Democrats have an easier time of it (ignoring the diehard Sanders supporters). They’ll vote for Secretary Clinton either not believing there’s any substance to the alleged scandals or not caring whether there is. And to be scrupulous, they’ve got a point: there haven’t been any indictments, much less any convictions, so far.

What there has been is a lot of the Appearance of Impropriety, though. I thought Ed Morrissey at Hot Air asked a good question: How did Hillary get so rich? Money quote:

Don’t forget that the Clintons had been in federal office continuously from January 1992 to February 2013, a period of twenty-one years, while they amassed a nine-figure net worth. Only a small portion of that came from book advances, while their speeches and especially Bill’s consultancy income derived almost entirely from Hillary’s status as a Senator and later as Secretary of State.

In the same appearance-of-impropriety vein, here’s news from Reuters just this evening about a gift to the Clinton Foundation.

Clinton’s charity confirms Qatar’s $1 million gift while she was at State Dept

The Clinton Foundation has confirmed it accepted a $1 million gift from Qatar while Hillary Clinton was U.S. secretary of state without informing the State Department, even though she had promised to let the agency review new or significantly increased support from foreign governments.

Qatari officials pledged the money in 2011 to mark the 65th birthday of Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton’s husband, and sought to meet the former U.S. president in person the following year to present him the check, according to an email from a foundation official to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign chairman, John Podesta. The email, among thousands hacked from Podesta’s account, was published last month by WikiLeaks.

Clinton signed an ethics agreement governing her family’s globe-straddling foundation in order to become secretary of state in 2009. The agreement was designed to increase transparency to avoid appearances that U.S. foreign policy could be swayed by wealthy donors.

Maybe there was a perfectly good reason for the Qatari donation. And maybe there was also some perfectly innocuous reason why Secretary Clinton didn’t disclose it as she’d agreed to do. And perhaps there’s some perfectly reasonable explanation for why we’re learning about this now — via WikiLeaks — instead of earlier from Secretary Clinton herself.

But what are the odds that all those things are true?

As one of my correspondents said, "If it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck…"

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Can this election get any weirder?

November 2, 2016

The Washington Post reports on Rachel Maddow’s interview with Libertarian VP candidate Bill Weld yesterday. (I think the headline a little over-the-top but there’s no denying that Gov. Weld’s interview was unusual.)

Libertarian Party VP nominee Bill Weld basically just endorsed Hillary Clinton

He didn’t say it directly, but the Libertarian Party’s vice presidential nominee, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, for all intents and purposes endorsed Hillary Clinton on Tuesday night.

In an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Weld, a former Republican, said he was “vouching” for Clinton and praised her effusively while arguing that the choice between the two major candidates is clear — all while not really vouching for the top of his own ticket, former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson.

Weld has been hinting in this direction for weeks, saying nice things about Clinton, warning about Trump and suggesting people choosing between the two should pick Clinton. But at this juncture in the race, the Libertarian Party is struggling to get the 5 percent of the vote that would qualify it for federal matching funds and easier ballot access.

At Reason, Matt Welch reports on the reaction among Libertarians.

Libertarians Denounce Bill Weld

[…] Libertarians of both the capital-L and small-l variety have treated Weld with suspicion ever since (and in fact a decade before) he converted to the party’s cause two weeks before this May’s nominating convention, at which the former Massachusetts squeaked by in a second ballot by the narrowest of margins on the bitterly divided convention floor. Five months of is he/is he not supporting Hillary Clinton later, many of those ideologically disposed to root for the Libertarian ticket have clearly had enough. Though it’s obviously anecdotal, I have never seen libertarian Twitter so nearly unanimous on a close-to-home political issue. […]

I said “nearly unanimous” above; there are some libertarians out there defending Weld today, including Josh Guckert at The Libertarian Republic and a handful of people on Twitter. And I would certainly add to the conversation the suggestion that a Weldless L.P. ticket may never have gotten anywhere near the amount of media interest and poll support without such an Acela corridor-approved wingman.

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You don’t say

October 23, 2016

system-is-rigged

And in this vein…

Via A Liberatarian Future

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You can’t blame the wreck on the train (2)

October 7, 2016

Who didn’t see this one coming? The WSJ reports on the hot political news of the day.

Donald Trump’s Lewd Comments About Women Spark Uproar
Republican candidate apologizes for 2005 recording, but party leaders and evangelicals are severely critical

Donald Trump’s Republican presidential campaign was in damage control late Friday after a decade-old recording emerged in which he speaks in crude sexual terms about women.

Mr. Trump quickly apologized for the comments, which included talk about grabbing and kissing women, saying they were “locker-room banter.” But the recording drew blunt rebukes from both the Republican Party’s top elected official and the head of the GOP, and didn’t sit well with some of Mr. Trump’s evangelical supporters.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) said he was “sickened” by the recording and uninvited Mr. Trump to a campaign event in his state scheduled for Saturday. Mr. Trump said in a statement that he would send his running mate, Mike Pence, in his place, and instead spend the day in debate preparations. […]

Anyone else remember Earl Butz? Now imagine if Nixon had said what Butz said.

Erick Erickson, for one, saw it coming last February. And he didn’t even mention Mr. Trump’s sexual midadventures. (My emphasis below.)

He [Trump] will not win in November. He will not win because he turns off a large number of Republicans; he turns off women; he turns off hispanic voters; he turns off black voters; and the blue collar voters who support him are not a sufficient base of support to carry him over the finish line. […]

Trump is also a con-artist and the media, which has built his campaign is going to destroy his campaign. After he secures the Republican nomination, the media will trot out every victim and perceived victim of Trump’s actions. All the people hurt by repeated strategic bankruptcies, all the people swindled by Trump University, and anyone who got food poisoning from Trump steaks will be in a 24/7 cavalcade on national television.

It’s a pity. There are some good Republicans in the Congress. I have a lot of respect for Paul Ryan, for example. People like Ryan deserved a lot better candidate for their party than Donald Trump.

Vote for the least of the evils.


Update 10/8/16: Scott Adams responds to a challenge from Erick Erickson. It’s worth your time to read.

Why Does This Happen on My Vacation? (The Trump Tapes)

By now you know about the Access Hollywood recording in which Donald Trump said bad things eleven years ago. Many of my readers asked me to weigh in. One of the requests came from anti-Trump GOP elite person Erick Erickson. (Middle name Erick, I assume.) This was his polite request and my response. Read it from bottom to top.

adams-erickson-tweet
Challenge accepted!

I’ll give you my thoughts, in no particular order. […]

Mr. Adams stands by his claim that Trump has a “98% chance of winning.” Maybe he knows something RCP and ElectionBettingOdds don’t know.

And maybe I should ask if he’s interested in a little action on the side.


Update 10/9/16: I made a trip to visit my parents today and spotted a couple of interesting reactions on the election. The first was a gasoline station with “Alfred E. Neuman for President” on its animated sign. (Who’s Alfred E. Neuman?)

I came across the second in the letters-to-the-editor section of the Peoria Journal-Star. Someone wrote a short letter about Trump and the gist of it (I’m paraphrasing) is that the Republicans should have heeded the advice of Abe Lincoln (the first Republican President). Lincoln said, "What kills a skunk is the publicity it gives itself."

I was very amused by that letter. Well played, Mr./Ms. Letter Writer.


Update 10/11/16: I’ve been wondering when someone would make this comparison.

Glenn Beck: Trump is the GOP’s Anthony Weiner

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"We are afraid of Trump, too"

October 5, 2016

Here’s news from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about Washington University, where preparations are under way for Sunday’s debate.

Frankly, I was a little surprised by the College Republicans. Not that they fear Trump – but that they’d display a sign saying so on the day of the debate. If they were as pusillanimous as many people have been this year, they’d keep the sign out of sight.

At Wash U ahead of debate, College Republicans display a sign: ‘We are afraid of Trump, too’

ST. LOUIS • When Republican Donald Trump arrives at Washington University Sunday to debate Democrat Hillary Clinton, he won’t have the formal backing of the campus’s largest Republican student group.

“We are afraid of Trump, too,” reads a sign that College Republicans have displayed on campus and will put up again at an event before the debate Sunday.

And yet, the unorthodox candidate has still lit a fire under some conservatives on campus.

One student who co-founded the Missouri Youth for Trump group is hosting a “Meet the Deplorables” rally Sunday, referring to the derogatory name Clinton called half of Trump’s supporters.

Such is the atypical political scene on campus during an atypical presidential matchup. […]

And in the Boston Globe, Jeff Jacoby gives a fairly left-handed endorsement of Gary Johnson. My emphasis below.

If character matters, electing either Clinton or Trump would be a moral disaster

WOULD YOU HIRE a babysitter who lied with impunity? Would you choose a therapist who was a compulsive braggart? Would you want as your accountant or financial adviser someone who trailed the reek of corruption and bottomless avarice? Would you list your home with a real estate agent who routinely played fast and loose with rules that others must abide by? Would you attend the church of a pastor who spewed insults and threats and trafficked in delusional conspiracy theories?

If so, you’ll have no trouble supporting Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton for president.

But if you wouldn’t entrust your personal affairs to someone manifestly devoid of ethics and good character, how can you think of entrusting the nation’s highest office to either of the major-party candidates?

Over and over this year, Trump and Clinton have been described as the two worst presidential nominees in living memory — perhaps the worst matchup in US history. Both candidates espouse bad ideas and destructive policies, but that isn’t why they are so widely regarded as appalling choices for the White House. It is the candidates’ lack of integrity that makes so many Americans despair when they think of the upcoming election. […]

I plan to cast a ballot for the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson. I don’t agree with every position Johnson endorses (though I certainly share the libertarian tropism for smaller government, lower taxes, free trade, robust immigration, and individual autonomy). Nor, to be fair, do I disagree with every proposal and priority of the Trump and Clinton campaigns.

But I’m not voting for president this year on the basis of traditional issues. I’m basing my vote on character. Johnson’s is acceptable — he appears to be honest, friendly, capable of self-criticism, and not egomaniacal. That puts him miles ahead of Trump and Clinton, incorrigibly mendacious self-aggrandizers for whom personal ambition always supersedes ethical standards or the national interest. […]

Jacoby’s piece reminds me of a recent e-mail exchange I had with one of my regular correspondents. I asked him, "Which egotistical, power-hungry, millionaire New Yorker do you want to be president?"

"Which tastes worse," he replied, "a sh*t sandwich or a big glass of puke?"


Update: See also this interview of Jonah Goldberg in Slate. Money quote: “When given a choice between two crap sandwiches on different kinds of bread, my response is ‘I’ll skip lunch.’”

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Nailed it in one, Trib

October 1, 2016

At Reason’s Hit & Run, Matt Welch writes about another endorsement of Gary Johnson. (My emphasis below.)

Chicago Tribune Becomes 6th and Largest Newspaper to Endorse Gary Johnson (UPDATED)
“Every American who casts a vote for him is standing for principles,” declares World’s Greatest Newspaper […]

The Chicago Tribune, which for more than a century was one of the Republican Party’s great kingmakers, has for the first time in its storied history endorsed a Libertarian for president, Gary Johnson.

In a 1,680-word editorial, the self-styled “World’s Greatest Newspaper,” whose only prior Democratic endorsements had been for Chicagoan Barack Obama, had harsh words for America’s two largest political tribes:

How could the Democratic and Republican parties stagger so far from this nation’s political mainstream? […]

This is the moment to look at the candidates on this year’s ballot. This is the moment to see this election as not so much about them as about the American people and where their country is heading. And this is the moment to rebuke the Republican and Democratic parties.

Though the paper clearly preferences Hillary Clinton in a two-candidate matchup (“Any American who lists their respective shortcomings should be more apoplectic about the litany under his name than the one under hers”), it nonetheless makes a compelling case against the Illinois native for her “up-to-the-present history of egregiously erasing the truth,” her corner-cutting ambition, and her policies. Excerpt: […]

I don’t generally put much stock in newspaper endorsements but, that said, when I see Republican stalwarts like the Tribune, and The Arizona Republic, and the New Hampshire Union Leader ignore the Republican candidate in favor of endorsing the Libertarian or the Democrat candidate, I have to wonder whether Mr. Trump’s supporters are getting the drift.

Yes, Trump’s not Clinton. But that’s only one of the many things he’s not.

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