Gary Johnson Enters Senate Race In New Mexico

Gary Johnson was a successful two-term Governor in New Mexico. Now he's making a bid to represent the Land of Enchantment in the U.S. Senate.

Former Libertarian Party Presidential nominee Gary Johnson, who led his party’s Presidential ticket in both 2012 and 2016 after having run unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for President in 2012, has entered the race for Senate in his home state of New Mexico:

Former Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson began his campaign Tuesday to unseat New Mexico’s junior Democratic senator, seeking political opportunity in the space between Democrats and voters loyal to President Donald Trump.

Johnson, a former two-term governor of New Mexico, was added to the state’s list of Senate candidates as final paperwork was being filed with election officials.

His campaign manager said a formal announcement would come soon.

Johnson remains popular in New Mexico and his entry into the U.S. Senate race that Democrats have been favored to win could complicate the party’s national effort to hold seats or make gains in the chamber.

Johnson’s 2016 presidential bid as a Libertarian sputtered after a live-television gaff on foreign policy. Democrats saw the presidential run, with currents of social liberalism, as a bane to their party, even as Johnson criticized Trump for his treatment of women and border-wall proposal.

Elected and re-elected governor of New Mexico as a Republican, Johnson stayed true to a small-government philosophy while vetoing more than 700 bills. His open advocacy for legalized marijuana broke mainstream 1990s political taboos and made him a national curiosity.

Incumbent Martin Heinrich won the Senate seat in 2012, succeeding five-term Democratic Sen. Jeff Bingaman by beating out GOP Congresswoman Heather Wilson. This year’s Republican Senate candidate is Mick Rich, an Albuquerque-based construction contractor and newcomer to politics. An internal poll released last week by Heinrich’s campaign showed him easily winning a three-way race with 47 percent to 29 percent for Rich and 22 percent for Johnson.

Rod Adair, a Republican political strategist and former state senator, said Johnson’s reputation for disciplined, business-savvy governance and as an independent thinker could lure conservative, Hispanic Democrats as well as Republicans.

“Here’s a guy who vetoed close to 900 bills and simply would not accept any increase in the size and scope of government,” Adair said. “That seems to be right in the wheelhouse of measurable disgust with both the left and the right. He may be the perfect third-party option right now.”

Johnson, a 65-year-old fitness enthusiast who has summited Mount Everest and this summer completed a grueling 2,700 mile (4,350 kilometer) bicycle race along the Continental Divide, says Democrats and Republicans alike are guilty of deficit spending and military overreach that he says limits economic freedom.

A campaign ad rolled out Monday by the Elect Liberty PAC touts Johnson’s image as a self-made businessman who is disciplined and competitive.

Democratic Party Chairwoman Marg Elliston cautioned that Johnson’s zeal for balanced budgets could translate into cuts to federal entitlement programs as pressure mounts to offset tax cuts signed by Trump last year.

“Over 1 million New Mexicans are on various forms of health care help from the federal government,” she said. “We need to take care of those people.”

In New Mexico, Johnson has been known for direct positions on policy and occasionally goofy behavior, once twirling a toy pig above his head at a news conference as he refused to sign a state budget proposal — unless pigs were to fly.

In a Senate closely divided between Republicans and Democrats, Johnson’s possible swing vote could hold outsized influence over national policy, said attorney A. Blair Dunn — a Johnson ally and the Libertarian candidate for attorney general.

“Gary basically becomes a power fulcrum, especially if he gets together with people like Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Cory Booker,” Dunn said.

The Washington Post notes that Johnson’s presence in the race could complicate things for both parties in a state that has seen both Republicans and Democrats win at the statewide level in the past:

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Former Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson said in seeking to make history and capture a U.S. Senate seat in New Mexico he’ll have to give up a few of his favorite activities: marathon biking rides, hanging out in his northern New Mexico “dream” home and tuning out news about President Donald Trump.

But he can’t promise he won’t smoke an occasional joint.

Johnson, who served two terms as New Mexico governor in the 1990s and gained national attention as one of the first mainstream politicians to call for the legalization of marijuana, announced Thursday that he’s seeking to unseat Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich after the previous Libertarian nominee dropped out the race.

Johnson told reporters at his newly minted and empty Albuquerque headquarters that his candidacy was a longshot, but he felt he had no choice given Trump’s unacceptable actions on immigration and free trade.

“What’s at stake here is arguably one of the most powerful seats in the U.S. Senate,” said Johnson, who a month ago was telling supporters he’d never run for office again. “If I were elected to U.S. Senate, I’d be the swing vote. That is a gigantic position that excites me to no end.”

Johnson’s entrance into a race that Democrats had previously seen as a safe seat has generated excitement in a state that leans Democratic but has elected moderate Republicans to statewide office in recent years. But to win, Johnson would have to convince some supporters of Republican challenger Mick Rich and Heinrich that he’d be a better senator for a state that relies on federal government spending for Medicare, three military bases and two national labs.

In his passionate announcement, Johnson criticized both main political parties. Johnson said he was “angry” at the two-party system that continuously avoids tackling wasteful spending and coming up with solutions on immigration.

Johnson said some Republican voters consider Mexican immigrants the “scourge of the earth and GOP politicians rarely challenge those racist notions. Meanwhile, Democrats regular support programs that balloon the federal deficit, he said.

Still, Johnson said if he were in the U.S. Senate now he’d probably vote to confirm President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. However, Johnson said he didn’t like Trump as president and as a person and called his actions on race relations — around immigration and Trump’s tepid reaction to white nationalist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year — “unacceptable.”

“I am fiscally conservative and socially…I-don’t-care-what-you-do-as-long-as-it-doesn’t-hurt-anybody,” Johnson said.

As the Libertarian Party nominee in 2012, Johnson garnered just under 1% of the vote, pulling in more than 1,000,000 votes, which at the time was a record for the party at the Presidential level. Four years later, after having polled at levels that nearly allowed him to qualify for the Presidential debates, Johnson and his running mate former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld received more than 4,000,000 votes nationwide. In his home state, Johnson managed to get 3.55% of the vote in 2012 and 9.34% of the vote in 2016. That he did better in his home state than he had nationwide is due in no small part to the fact that he remains relatively popular there after two successful terms as Governor. having been elected to the job as a Republican in 1994 and re-elected by a healthy margin in 1998. During those eight years, Johnson worked as Republican with a state legislature dominated by Democrats to keep the state budget under control and generally successfully guide the state through eight strong years. As a result, there have always been those back in New Mexico who believed he had potential as a statewide candidate should he choose to run again. While the previous efforts to get him to agree to such a run in the past were largely unsuccessful, this time it apparently worked and Johnson accepted the nomination of the state’s Libertarian Party despite not having actively campaigned for it.

In any case, as Johnson readily admits in the article quoted above, his candidacy remains something of a long shot and it seems more likely at the moment that he could end up handing the race to either incumbent Martin Heinrich or Republican nominee Mick Rich, a businessman making what appears to be his first run for elective office. There’s only been limited polling in the race, all of which precedes Johnson’s entry into the race, and it shows Heinrich leading both Rich and Johnson, but also shows Johnson garnering support in the mid-to-low 20% range, putting him only a few points behind Rich. Potentially, then, this could end up being a true three-way race and there would at least be the possibility that Johnson could come away with a plurality of the vote that would be enough of a margin to win the seat. Presently, all of the major rating agencies have the race rated as Safe or Likely Democratic, though, and that is unlikely to change unless Johnson manages to have an impact on the race going forward. Because of that, this race could end up being a surprise when November rolls around.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2018, Congress, US Politics, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Michael Reynolds says:

    Rand Paul has clearly demonstrated the futility of electing libertarians. He’s abandoned any pretense of independence and is now 100% a Trumpie tool, even to the extent of toadying Trump’s boss, Mr. Putin.

    I doubt very much that Gary Johnson’s desperate grab at relevance will cost the Dems any votes. He’s a narcissistic nut off on an ego trip, and Democrats are feeling very serious and very determined.

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  2. Mister Bluster says:

    What is Azippo?

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  3. wr says:

    One question for Johnson: Will you caucus with Republicans or Democrats? Of course he’ll try not to answer, because being a libertarian he is pure and above party… which everyone will understand means he’ll be a Republican in the Senate and he won’t take more than a handful of votes from Heinrich.

    I do love the idea that he could get together with Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Cory Booker. Since Lee is a hardcore righwing nutjob and Paul has decided his entire job consists of fellating both Trump and Putin, what exactly will Booker be joining them on?

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  4. @wr:

    It’s a legitimate question, but it’s worth noting that it is one that other independent candidates for Senate have largely tried to avoid in the past. The most notable recent example of this, of course, was Angus King from Maine who declined to say what party he would caucus with should he win election and did not announce anything in that regard until after he had won the election.

    I’m not sure whether there’s a good answer to this question or not because it really depends on the voters you’re trying to attract. Johnson, obviously, is seeking to attract voters who might otherwise be inclined to vote for either Heinrich or his Republican opponent. If he actually won, though, he’d obviously have to make a choice.

    As for what kind of issues Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Cory Booker and, hypothetically, Gary Johnson might have in common, I’d point you to criminal justice reform. Paul, Lee, and Booker have all been involved in trying to get things like sentencing reform to the Senate floor but they’re being blocked by Republicans like Tom Cotton from Arkansas as well as by the fact that Mitch McConnell doesn’t seem to be too enthusiastic about that issue.

  5. Tyrell says:

    Johnson represents the common sense, working people in his views and opinions. And the media ignores him.

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  6. Mu says:

    Unfortunately the media didn’t ignore him during the last election, and he looked, lets be nice here, uninformed.

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  7. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Tyrell:
    No, you ninny, he does not represent the people, he represents the rich. He is hostile to all transfer programs – Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid – and desperately wants to cut the taxes of the wealthy.

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  8. Mister Bluster says:

    @Tyrell:..the media ignores him.
    Here is a very short list of recent MEDIA coverage of Citizen Johnson.

    Fox News
    Albuquerque Journal
    RealClearPolitics
    ABC News
    Conservative Review
    Santa Fe New Mexican
    NYMag
    CBS News
    The Hill
    Washington Post
    Reason
    esquire
    apnews

    Go back to sleep Tyrell.

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  9. Mister Bluster says:

    Scroll down to the bottom of the cover page to find: Confirmation Hearing For Brett Kavanaugh To Begin September 4th dated Aug. 11, 2018.

    Click on: Read All Posts >>

    Next Post is dated Thurs. Jun. 7, 2018

    Where are missing posts?

  10. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @wr: Well, that was my question when I saw the Lee/Paul/Booker comment.

    Gary Johnson is just another boomer (one year younger than me) who will not step out of the limelight as long as there is a chance to have even a walk-on role. In the spirit of Paris Hilton, he’s the type who will appear at “the opening of an envelope.” He’ll keep running for office until he’s in a coffin.

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  11. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Doug Mataconis: And, of course, adding a fourth to the only three Senators who give a rat’s ass about CJ reform will make all the difference–especially if that Senator is from New Mexico, the new “power fulcrum” of the Senate.

  12. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    He’s a narcissistic nut off on an ego trip, and Democrats are feeling very serious and very determined.

    What criteria determines which candidates are allowed to run for office and which are narcissistic nuts off on ego trips? I mean other than the “MR’s political views are the only legitimate political views” criterion?

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  13. wr says:

    @Doug Mataconis: ” If he actually won, though, he’d obviously have to make a choice.”

    But do you really think that any voter in this hyper-partisan time is going to let him get away with doing what King did? The Democrats will run ads saying he’ll be the 51st vote to put Jared Kushner on the Supreme Court; the Republicans will run ads saying he’ll be the 51st vote to remove Trump from office. Do you really think anyone on either side will let him say “Oh, no, I have to study all the issues and see which way I feel then”?

    This is a moment in history where everyone has to choose a side — for Trump or against. Who on either side will vote for someone not knowing which he’s chosen? And if he really can’t tell the difference, then he’s simply beneath consideration by anyone.

  14. James Pearce says:

    Former Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson began his campaign Tuesday

    This Tuesday? Weird….

    I’ve been planning my November vacation for longer than that.

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  15. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    I’m pretty sure I didn’t say he should not be ‘allowed’ to run. A narcissistic nut: a narcissist because he is concerned only with his own self-aggrandizement, he has zero chance of winning, and ‘nut’ because it’s 2018 and he’s still in the LP.

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  16. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    So yeah, in MR’s world anyone who runs or votes for a third party must necessarily be suffering from a mental disorder. And of course, anyone who runs or votes for a Republican is also suffering from a mental disorder. Because he has the monopoly on legitimate political views and anyone who disagrees with him must be insane.

    But THEY’RE the narcissists.

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  17. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    The problem of Gary Johnson is that he is… boring. Unless you are a mainstream candidate like Bernie Sanders or Angus King a third party candidate should at least be interesting to serve as a cacareco, or a protest vote.

    “Mr. Does not Know Aleppo” does not even manage do to do that.

  18. Mister Bluster says:

    @Stormy Dragon:..anyone who disagrees with him must be insane.

    You might want to produce a post where Mr. Reynolds actually said that.

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  19. Starchild says:

    @Michael Reynolds: @Andre Kenji de Sousa: Government transfer programs are benefiting the rich – the rich in government who are paid big salaries to run these programs.

  20. Starchild says:

    @Andre Kenji de Sousa: Bureaucracy is boring. The establishment candidates of the Demopublican cartel are boring. Gary Johnson, by contrast, is a pretty interesting guy – a quirky, cannabis using endurance athlete and successful businessman who took the risk of going with an alternative party instead of playing it safe with the GOP status quo.

    And while he may not have the command of detail that some politicians do, he’s been unfairly pilloried over his “Aleppo” response. That question came out of the blue in an interview where the war in Syria had not been a topic, and the question sounded like, “What do you think about a lepo? To fault him for not being fast enough on his feet to immediately guess what the reporter querying him was bringing up out of the blue seems pretty nit-picky.

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  21. Starchild says:

    @wr: Somebody has to choose a sane third way and not just plunge into the “we’re right about everything and you’re wrong about everything” blood feud of the pro-Trump and anti-Trump partisans.

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  22. wr says:

    @Starchild: He’s either going to vote for Trump’s nominees or he’s not. He’s either going to support the investigation into Trump’s criminal activities or he’s not. He’s either going to support policies that continue the acceleration of transfer of the nation’s wealth to the super-rich or he’s not.

    There is no “third way” at this moment.

  23. MarkedMan says:

    @Starchild:

    That question came out of the blue in an interview where the war in Syria had not been a topic, and the question sounded like, “What do you think about a lepo? To fault him for not being fast enough on his feet to immediately guess what the reporter querying him was bringing up out of the blue seems pretty nit-picky.

    Unfortunately, the reality if Main Stream Media coverage is that, good or bad, they love nothing better than to latch onto something that reinforces a stereotype. The stereotype of Johnson was that he was an unserious eccentric who was just running to garner attention. And the stereotype of libertarians is that they are loud mouthed know it alls who actually know nothing, whose entire theory of governance comes from beer fueled college bull sessions and who think that if they can just impose their “system” everything will solve itself, so they don’t actually have to understand anything at a deep level. The Johnson interview reinforced all those stereotypes in a big way, so it became his
    ‘defining moment”.

    BTW, I think that stereotypes are sometimes well deserved. IMNSHO, these specific stereotypes hold a lot of truth for both Johnson and Libertarianism in general.

  24. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Starchild:
    Are you some new maroon, or are you one of our banned trolls coming back? I mean, dumb either way, but new dumb or recycled dumb?

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  25. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    @Starchild:

    The establishment candidates of the Demopublican cartel are boring

    But Johnson was not a establishment candidate. He was supposed to offer something that a major party candidate could not offer.

    That question came out of the blue in an interview where the war in Syria had not been a topic, and the question sounded like, “What do you think about a lepo? To fault him for not being fast enough on his feet to immediately guess what the reporter querying him was bringing up out of the blue seems pretty nit-picky.

    Dude, that’s the biggest example of “When you are explaining you are losing” possible.

  26. TBH the only interesting questions about his entrance into the race are: what percentage of the vote will he get (can his celebrity in the state garner him double-digits?) and will hie draw be based on his past in the state or will it give anti-Trump Republicans a safe place to cast their ballot?

    This is just a fancy vanity candidacy.

    The reality remains: if a Libertarian wants a real shot at office in our system, they need to run-in, and win, the GOP primary. Johnson himself is an illustration of this, as are the Pauls.

    The third party route only works in very specific circumstances (to include one of the major parties being locally anemic, probably).

  27. Modulo Myself says:

    Libertarians are merely Republicans who have enormous self-esteem issues and need to pretend they aren’t 100% Republican. History is going to be fascinated with how idiotic lock-step conformity has been portrayed as interesting and somehow exciting on the right. What’s interesting is that Democrats party have become an actual party with genuine ideological diversity, if only because they’ve had to take a diverse range of intelligent and thoughtful people in the wake of the GOP.

  28. June says:

    @wr: Don’t you think its a bit absurd to HAVE to caucus with either the Ds or Rs? I’m sure what Johnson would prefer is to work with individuals on both sides of the aisle on an issue by issue basis. Caucuses, should they exist a all, should be based on values NOT party affiliation.

  29. @June: It is true, he would not be required to caucus with either party. But, as a practical matter, trying to be truly independent would mean total isolation politically. That would not be especially useful to the people of NM. Committee assignments, for example, are predicated on caucuses.

  30. June says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “Transfer program” is just another name for using government force to steal from some people and give it to others. Just because someone is rich doesn’t mean you have any more right to steal from them than you do from someone who is poor. If someone sticks a gun in your face and demands your wallet does it make it any more legitimate an action if you happen to be rich? Would it be more legitimate if s/he told you that they were going to give your money to some poor person?

    Robinhood “stole from the rich and gave to the poor” but the implication was always that the rich, actually the government in the name of the king, had acquired wealth by stealing from the poor. Today the government steals from anyone they can and gives it to people they think will vote for them as a result.

  31. Michael Reynolds says:

    @June:

    a) I am in the 1%. I’m not ‘taking’ I’m ‘paying.’
    b) If you want to believe that I should do nothing to help the sick, the aged, the weak, the vulnerable, you are entitled to that belief. But it is morally repugnant.

  32. June says:

    @James Pearce: He was asked to run when Aubrey Dunn, the previous candidate selected by the LP dropped out. He thought a lot about it before he accepted.

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  33. June says:

    @Michael Reynolds: You totally misunderstand me. I fully support helping anyone who needs help but it is something that should be done by private individuals, independently or in groups, not by government which will put you in jail if you refuse to “contribute”. Private charities have to convince you both that the cause they support is worth supporting and that they will use your money efficiently. Government programs are not subject to these market forces. So if you are indeed a 1%er and can easily afford to do so, I urge you to give often and generously to those organizations you believe are truly helping people and stop urging the government to steal from all of us who aren’t in the same boat.

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  34. An Interested Party says:

    I fully support helping anyone who needs help but it is something that should be done by private individuals, independently or in groups, not by government which will put you in jail if you refuse to “contribute”.

    Is this horseshit what is considered Libertarian thought these days? I wonder, do you feel the same way about having to “contribute” to military matters that you don’t agree with? It’s no mystery that Libertarianism has such a bad reputation in so many quarters, what with these selfish, unrealistic ideas that so many of its adherents favor…

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  35. June says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Well on that basis it would seem that the most practical thing for him to do would be to caucus with whichever party controls the Senate as they will have control over the best committee assignments. But he is not going to always vote with the party he caucuses with as they will learn very quickly.

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  36. June says:

    @An Interested Party: Yes I feel the same way about how the government is misspending the money it takes from me for military adventurism rather than true defense. I am just sick thinking about the children dying in Yemen right now at the hands of the Saudis, our “friends”, with our full cooperation and support.

    However I do acknowledge that the Constitution does authorize the government to provide for the common defense. I do not believe it authorizes Congress to hand out money for anything they happen to think is “good” cause. Most especially it should not be picking winners and losers in the business world by handing out money to any company they like. Most of them ultimately fail anyway because if they truly were producing a useful product they would have plenty of eager private investors and wouldn’t need a government handout to survive.

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  37. June says:

    @An Interested Party: So you think it is “horseshit” to believe that it is wrong to make others contribute to things rather than to contribute voluntarily? It is NOT selfish to believe that helping others should not be done by force. I think it IS selfish to think that someone else should do the contributing rather than yourself. The fact that libertarians do not believe in forcing people to help others does not mean they don’t believe in helping others. There is absolutely no justification for thinking so.

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  38. gVOR08 says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Is this horseshit what is considered Libertarian thought these days?

    Apparently it is. And we’ve all heard the same thing from a dozen straight up Republicans who’ve barely heard of Libertarianism. Showing once again that Libertarians are Republicans whose friends think it’s uncool to be a Republican.

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  39. gVOR08 says:

    @June: Every conservative or libertarian I ever met regarded him/herself as a hard headed realist. And yet every one of them believed complete nonsense. Conservatism is largely a game of make believe. Tax cuts pay for themselves, W. Bush was somehow presidential, Trump isn’t exactly what he appears to be. And in your case, helping people in a manner guaranteed to be wholly inadequate, inefficient, and ineffective is somehow still “helping” people.

    George Lakoff says conservatives view the world through a framing of simple morality. Thank you for the example. Hot flash, this isn’t about your personal morality. Actually, nothing is about your personal morality.

    I’d love to see someone here do a reasoned exposition and defense of Libertarianism. You’re obviously not up for the task, June.

  40. wr says:

    @June: “Don’t you think its a bit absurd to HAVE to caucus with either the Ds or Rs?”

    Um, no, because this is how business is done in the Senate. The majority party gets a certain number of seats on every committee; the minority party gets a slightly smaller number of seats. Caucuses work together to formulate and implement policy and strategy.

    The world you describe might be nice, but as with just about every other piece of libertarian philosophy it only works if you’ve never met another human being. Sure, it would be delightful if we didn’t have party politics, and every member of the Senate came together on an issue by issue basis — but that is not how the Senate works. and a man who does not caucus with either party willingly abdicates any influence he might have.

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  41. An Interested Party says:

    @June: You really need to grow up…living in the real, modern world means that you are part of society and one of your obligations is to pay taxes to help support that society and so you can be supported when you need it…you and your fellow travelers should move to some place that has no taxes or any other obligations…I suspect you will realize very quickly how silly and childish your ideas are…

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  42. June says:

    @gVOR08: Libertarians are NOT conservatives. The fact that you can equate the two show that you do not understand libertarianism. Well actually libertarians can be either conservative or liberal at a personal level – or just about any other label you can come up with. Both conservatives and liberals, or Rs and Ds if you want to align things that way, want to use the coercive power of government to compel everyone to abide by their personal values. Libertarians believe that no one should be compelled to do anything either by another individual or the government. Efficiency has nothing to do with it. The Third Reich was very efficient at implementing its agenda.

    Government should not be about building the biggest gang so you can be on the getting rather than the giving side. It should be about protecting the right of all people to personally live by their own values, be they liberal or conservative, so long as they respect the right of everyone else to do the same. The problem is power and its abuse. Many of the things that liberals are now condemning Trump for were made possible by the expansion of Presidential authority under Obama.

    Perhaps I am not the best person to explain it to an audience that clearly has a built in bias to begin with but there are plenty of books and other resources that can enlighten the truly interested.

  43. grumpy realist says:

    @June: We tried that back before we had such programs as Social Security and Medicaid.

    Go look up the poverty levels of old people back then. It wasn’t pretty.

    Basically, we tried your way, and it didn’t work.

  44. wr says:

    @June: Yes, we all recognize the deep intellectual roots of your philosophy — it’s basically a four year old screaming “You’re not the boss of me!!!!”

    We all start out like this. Many of us grow into adulthood. Others become “libertarians.”

    In the words of the poet Bono: “When I was three I thought the world revolved around me/I was wrong.”

  45. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Starchild: True enough. Yet by the same token, union officials make far more than union members make. While I agree that it probably shouldn’t be the case, they also get much more for me and my fellow members in aggregate than they get for themselves (or at least did while I was a union member). Government bureaucrats running the safety net also do far more good for those they assist in aggregate than they get doing so.

    And I suspect that it’s the results–other people’s lives improving–that bothers you the most about both unions and federal bureaucracy.

  46. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    “I’m sure what Johnson would prefer is to work with individuals on both sides of the aisle on an issue by issue basis.”

    For some reason, this statement seems naive to me. I wish the politics of the United States were not as binary as they appear to be at the moment, but they are, so what you are describing here is not possible. Lone wolves tend to go hungry.

  47. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @June:

    But he is not going to always vote with the party he caucuses with as they will learn very quickly.

    Which, unfortunately, brings us back to the whole frozen out of committee assignments and so on situation. As I noted, it seems naive.

  48. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @June:

    The fact that libertarians do not believe in forcing people to help others does not mean they don’t believe in helping others.

    Which is why so many noteworthy and well funded charities have been created and funded by libertarians, I guess.

  49. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @gVOR08:

    I’d love to see someone here do a reasoned exposition and defense of Libertarianism.

    I’ve always assumed that I’ve never seen one because one doesn’t exist, but I’m just an ign’int cracker, so I may not know.

  50. Michael Reynolds says:

    @June:
    Jesus, this is the same crap I was spouting at age 19. I hope you’re just a kid, because if you still buy this horseshit as an adult you may have problems.

    The goal: keep old ladies from starving on the street.

    Your ‘solution’ does not accomplish that goal. Therefore you offer no solution, which means you’re just fine with citizens starving or dying in ditches for lack of medical care.

    Volunteerism has never worked at solving large problems. Ever. So, what libertarians really believe is that it’s OK if citizens die in ditches, their survival should be left to the whims of random individuals. I understand the adolescent desire not to be tied down by the commitments of previous generations, but too bad kid, it’ll be your turn soon to pass your problems off to your kids.

    In the meantime, stay anonymous. Everything you wrote will be terribly embarrassing when you mature. If it’s not embarrassing by age, oh, let’s say 25, you’re not a ‘libertarian’ you’re just a dick.