Nomination Fight for the Libertarians?
Via WaPo: Libertarian Party faces a nomination fight in a #NeverTrump world
Gary Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico and 2012 Libertarian Party nominee for president, may have found his moment. The Democratic and Republican parties are set to nominate deeply unpopular candidates. His Libertarian Party has seen enrollment surge all year, with more than one Republican pundit bolting the GOP to protest Donald Trump.
One small problem: Johnson is not the Libertarian Party’s nominee for 2016. Not yet. When the party meets at the end of the month, in Orlando,its hundreds of delegates will not be bound to any candidate. And Johnson has been under assault, for months, by two rivals who say he would blow the election.
As the Libertarian Party faces perhaps the biggest opening of its 40-year history, it’s hosting a contest between the amiable left-libertarian Johnson, the youthful party activist Austin Petersen, and the larger-than-life anti-virus pioneer John McAfee. Johnson’s 2012 performance — a record 1.3 million votes for the party — has been dismissed by challengers who think he’s too compromised or easygoing to seize the moment.
This is interesting for a variety of reasons (and I would encourage the reading of the whole piece).
First, this will be different that the major party nomination processes, as the nomination is the domain of the Libertarian;s convention alone. This is nothing new, of course, but it will get more attention than usual.
Second, while I doubt that LP can break into double-digits (even if current polling shows them at 11%), this is the year where they will have their best chance perhaps ever to be part of the discussion.
Third, but if they nominate McAfee, given his background, then the party will confirm that it is nothing but a group of dorm room utopians.
Dorm room utopians would be quite a step up. Years of entreaties like this one have long since convinced me that Libertarians have the same problem with race that the Tea Party does.
Realistically, does McAfee have any shot at the nomination, assuming they’re remotely serious?
Sorry, but what the hell is this?
Johnson, AIFAIK, is an open Ayn Rand acolyte and was a solidly conservative governor. To call him a left-libertarian means basically, that a left-libertarian is any libertarian that actively opposed selling poor people for parts..
After nominating Wayne Root and Bob Barr, the
skytoilet is the limit for the Libertarian Party.
I’m sure Johnson and his two rivals will have a clear shot at the Electoral College votes needed to put a Libertarian in the White House in 2016 if they could only get along.
(Pass me the pipe will ya.)
From what I know from friends in the LP, Johnson is the favorite to win the nomination. In the states where the state LP has held a convention he’s won easily, which means he should have a solid slate of delegates headed into the convention. Also, the fact that he’s held previous elected office, and already run once, means he has the access to media that the other candidates don’t (I’ve already seen him on CNN and MSNBC and he hasn’t won the nomination yet), which would be helpful in gaining the attention of disaffected Republicans.
Also, to the extent Johnson has competition for the nomination it’s from Austin Peterson, not McAfee.
Silly Steven, don’t you know that only votes for a Democrat can ever be legitimate? I mean I don’t know why we even bother having elections at all when we could just give it to the Democratic nominee, since we all know that’s the only candidate it’s ever okay to vote for.
I thought McAfee was still a fugitive from Belize?
On the other hand, I for one am perfectly content for the Libertarian Party to have their best showing ever in the national Presidential election. I know those votes were never going to go to Hillary, and addition by subtraction is close enough. Gary Johnson is welcome to be the Nader of the Right to offset Trump being the nadir of the Right.
The rise of Trump’s and Sanders’ populism, which presented libertarians with their best shot in years to be taken at all seriously, should have been a two fold wake up call to libertarians. First, they should have realized that they need to purge the white supremacist wing from the party. Second, they should have realized that dogmatic adherence to free market capitalism was politically untenable.
Libertarians didn’t act on either of these for the same reason that members of the Tea Party didn’t. That is, white supremacists support them on free market dogmatism. That white supremacists support them because they see it as a way to bring Jim Crow back, at least economically, is damning.
McAfee is still a fugitive. That’s one of the bizarre things about his putative candidacy.
But then, in this election cycle, what’s normal?
The Tea Party failed to take advantage of Trump’s populism? He’s their candidate; his nomination is pretty much the Tea Party taking over the entire GOP.
Also how is the Libertarian Party supposed to take advantage populism when its something they’re explicitly opposed to? I suppose if you have absolutely no political principles beyond winning by any means necessary that makes sense.
And of course the libertarian lost their shot to “be taken seriously at all”. Nothing short of reregistering as Democrats would cause them to be taken seriously.
Oh, please let McAfee somehow win this and end up on the ballot. He makes Trump seem reasonable.
The police in Belize supposedly want to question him as a person of interest, but they’re never actually issued an arrest warrant, so he’s not a fugitive. Guatemala actually detained him in 2012 and then released him after Belize specifically declined to extradite him.
Admittedly, the whole thing is fishy enough that it should bar him from consideration as President, but Belize’s behavior has been equally fishy.
That’s quite amusing considering that so many Republicans and conservatives have acted as if the last two Democratic presidents were illegitimate…
Well, considering the miniscule portion of votes they get in presidential elections, how exactly are they supposed to be taken seriously…
@Stormy Dragon: I don´t like many Democratic Politicians(I don´t know if I would vote for Hillary if I voted in the United States, and I´m used to choosing the less bad among Brazilian politicians), but Root and Bob Barr were an extremely low bar for the LP.
The LP is better than that. It´s also better than Austin Peterson and John McAfee.
Back in August I called the nomination for Trump. You disagreed. We parried.
We are way past early March and Trump is not just the front runner, but the all-but nominee.
I was correct. In fact I was 100% correct. Trump will be the R nominee. And you were 100% incorrect.
And at that time you responded to me as if I had no idea how delegates were allocated and how nominees were selected. You were dismissive and a passive / aggressive a-hole, frankly.
I am not a political science professor and and, yet, I , the unwashed layman, understood the R base much better than you did. I knew that the R base was going to nominate someone stupidly for a stupid reason with no chance of winning just because it feels good to be stupid because it is stupidly righteous. It’s not hard; they’re really just that easy to understand psychologically. It’s just Cleek’s Law. Reactionaries are pretty easy to peg.
Not only was I right, I was right for the right reason – R voters are animated by animus, not reason. For my rightness, you engaged with me as if I were clueless, uneducated, and naive.
I was right and you were wrong. In fact, you promised me an apology if you were wrong and Trump were to be the nominee. I would very much like to see that apology.
I called it for Trump back in August because I have a better understanding of the Republican voter base than you do, even if you are a political science professor.
BTW, did I mention the fact that I was right and you were wrong? That I was correct and you were not?
I really hope you don’t misuderstand me when I am truly stating your position vs. mine when it turns out that I my discernment of how and why Republicans vote is absolutely in line with reality and that your understanding of that scenario was incorrect.
I would hate to be unclear on this point. Please provide constructive feedback if my prediction that Trump would win the nomination and that you decidedly pooh-poohed me on that notion is not clearly understood.
You engaged with me as if I possessed an inferior mind and that I was naive and ignorant in how delegates were allocated and yet, you – the political scientist – were totally incorrect in both your assumptions of how R primary / caucus voters would cast and why they would do so. Whereas I was correct.
Also, I would note that passive / aggressive engagement is not the same thing as the Socratic Method. The Socratic Method doesn’t mean you get to be a dick without compunction.
BTW, did I mention that I was right and you were wrong? In the one hundred percent sense? I would like to be crystal clear on this point.
Always a great way to start a conversation…
Yes, I was wrong and you were right. I have been planning on writing something (multiple somethings) about Trump including a post in which I specifically noted that I was wrong about him being the nominee.
You may have noticed that I have not written much at all of late, and even less in terms of lengthy pieces. I simply have not had the time. I have not been avoiding this topic.
I was utterly wrong about Trump. I thought that more candidates would drop out earlier in the process and that a candidate would become the focal point of the non-Trump support that clearly exists in the party. This plainly did not happen. I was wrong. As I said at time, I would admit being wrong were I to be wrong.
You were right, I was wrong. And yes, you are 100% clear on that.
I certainly never said that. I am not sure of your point.
@Steven L. Taylor:
I was sarcastically summarizing the commenters, not you.
@Stormy Dragon: Gotcha.
I hope Dr. Taylor will forgive my tears of laughter as I read your thrashing of him rearding his past remarks.
My tears will be joyless if this attempt to predict the future backfires.
You misunderstand. I’d agree that the Tea Party drove much of Trump’s populism but at the same time they dropped their dog whistle and now the Tea Party is synonymous with white nationalism. Just like the Minutemen before them, they’re doomed to slide into irrelevance. Libertarians already have a white nationalist problem and as the Tea Party disintegrates it’s due to get worse. This is their chance to either fix the problem or embrace it.
@Steven L. Taylor:
Back at ya.
Hey, back in that exchange, you poked me; I did not poke you.
You posted, I made an argument that Trump would be the nominee.
Face it, you disliked my conclusion that Trump would be the nominee and therefore you wanted to discredit me and undercut me. You basically wanted me to provide you a doctoral thesis level argument why Trump and who and what is “The Establishment” and what is “Conventional Wisdom” etc in a blog combox… Seriously?
I tried to de-escalate three times and you just kept poking.
You kept poking on another thread which was definitely an escalation.
I stand by that statement.
You’re normally a straight shooter. Fair-minded and circumspect. If you were in my close circle you would be the guy who would the best man our the will executor or the godfather. The squared away one you can trust to do the right and prudent hing.
However, in that instance, and in that exchange, in a way you probably didn’t truly understand you were not a straight shooter and you were dismissive.
@de stijl: Has anyone ever mentioned to you that you are not the most gracious winner possible? It would have been nice to see you take the high road, but instead, you went full Jenos. That’s very sad.
I don’t remember the actual threads, but I do remember thinking that Dr. Taylor was a little short with you even though I have, personally, thought of you as being a little on the obnoxious side. I’m happy for your presumed self-vindication and sad that you are not a bigger person.
Did I mention that I think you are petty?
@Stormy Dragon: For the record, my comment was not about Johnson, but about the WP reporter who called him a left-libertarian. I am sure that Johnson would be the first to agree there is nothing left-wing about his libertarianism.
That’s oversimplifying things by quite a bit. Tea party activists went with Cruz, and some of them, like Erick Erickson, are firmly in the #nevertrump camp. It’s also noteworthy that exit polls show that “Very conservative” were a weak spot for Trump – a lot of his supporters described themselves as moderates.
CNN polling shows that self-identified Tea Party supporters favored Trump over Cruz by 56 percent to 16 percent. Cruz’s support was more the evangelical voter than the Tea Party voter. And some Tea Party activists may have gone for Cruz, but just as many (e.g. Breitbart and Palin) went for Trump.
You know what? It is entirely possible I was dismissive, which is not an intellectually useful thing to do if one wants to convince. I remember the interchange, but only in broad brushstrokes (I do remember the promise to admit I was wrong, although I did not remember to whom I made it and I have been meaning to get to that post–whether you believe I am dodging or not, I have honestly been very, very busy of late). I clearly thought I was right, but I wasn’t. It happens. Can I get testy at times? Of this I have no doubt.
So, my apologies for being dismissive. I should have done a better job of addressing your position.
Again: you were right. I was wrong. It happens. I honestly thought that Trump would be unable to make it. I thought enough candidates would drop out far earlier than they did.
I was especially wrong abut evangelical voters. Very, very wrong.
Well, certainly evangelical voters would be expected to vote for someone who shares their values…instead they voted for the sleaze from New York…that says a lot about them…
I have theory that a substantial subset and perhaps an outright majority of Republicans do not, in their heart of hearts, actually want to have outright power. This would never be spoken out loud, nor even privately acknowledged. Having all three branches of government firmly in Republican hands could and would prove troublesome to current thought leaders in the grift / Movement.
Having power means that you are responsible for the outcomes of decisions. You are accountable.
1. Ronald Reagan, may his name be praised, told us that government is the problem and not the solution. That that was an artifact of one of his speechwriters is immaterial. As Ronald speaks, so shall it be. Those words came out of his holy mouth.
2. The Gingrich Years. Such a sweet promise yielded such a paltry result. The Contract With America contracted. Clinton survived and the Ds gained seats not in spite of of impeachment proceedings, but because of it. Backfire, self-inflicted. Unlike Vincent Foster who was obviously murdered by Chelsea because He Knew Too Much.
3. Dubya (and all that implies). My dog. What a disaster that was. Even my die-hard tribal R mother knows that that Those Years are something which we can never, ever mention and must never think of because cognitive dissonance sucks to bear. It never happened except for the parts we get to blame Obama for not following up on and of course the Obama recession of ’07.
Wielding actual governance at the national level is beyond the ken of most Republicans. Seeing America as a whole nation made up of all of its constituent / disparate / messy bits and working to make it function better is incomprehensible to your average R House Representative. It would be like asking an ant to contemplate on the Adamant Buddha and discern what is meant by that “Stop” gesture. Speaker Ryan is going to learn this lesson shortly.
Chucking grenades into the mix is totes fun, however. Gingrich became pinched and callow after becoming Speaker. Everyone now remembers him as the toddler in the editorial cartoon throwing a tantrum because he couldn’t use the cool kids exit on Airforce One. But back in the day G-Man was THE consummate grenade chucker. He made his bones chuckin’
4. Dolla, dolla bills, y’all. It’s way easier to grift when you’re on the outs.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention they’re really bad at it – see Boehner.
But chucking grenades from the sidelines is fun. Throwing sand in the gears is way more fun than funding a study on how to design and manufacture more efficient gears here at home in America. Gingrich came to know that eventually mos def.
The only way they keep the Senate if they run the board.
Rs don’t really want power. Their media and their culture have trained them to be the opposition party chuckin’ grenades from the sidelines 4 tha lulz like 4chan. I think they like having one rein of government. The House is their natural milieu. Two reins would be awesome slash problematic and all three would be … let’s just not go there. Here be dragons.
They have almost no chance anyway just based on the electoral map – the only way they get to 272+ is to keep all of their safe states and to sweep all of the swing states. I’m talking Florida and then Ohio and then Pennsylvania and then Michigan and then Virginia and then Iowa and then Nevada. The likelihood is infinitesimal even with a nominee who hasn’t utterly alienated women, Muslims, blacks, and Hispanics.
With the perfect candidate it wouldn’t happen let alone with Trump who is obviously the schmuck they’re going to nominate and then disavow as a RINO come the second week in November.
@An Interested Party:
I think the big data point here is that “evangelicals” who reported attending church weekly or nearly weekly voted almost entirely for Cruz. Ones who reported attending church only a few times a year or never voted mostly for Trump.
So I think that, going forward, a political distinction needs to be made between Christians who actually believe in the supernatural aspects of the religion and those for whom it is purely a cultural identity.
@Steven L. Taylor:
Thank you for your gracious response.
I humbly offer a bit of advice. When someone with whom you are having an increasingly fruitless interaction makes a point of calmly and unprovocatively restating your argument back to you in neutral language, they are very likely trying to de-escalate an uncomfortable situation. Heck. You know this – you’re a teacher and you’re probably way better at it than I am. You obviously know this -sorry if that sounded patronizing.
One thing that you may not know, however, is that failing to note this and to acknowledge the de-escalation may result in being ambushed months later with a super obnoxious over-the-top Nyah-Nyah blog comment. (Thank God my prediction was right or else I couldn’t nyah-nyah you.)
It was weird – my biggest internet beef was with a guy who almost invariably argues in good faith.
Again, thank you for your gracious response. It is appreciated.
@Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:
They would be correct in this instance. I will definitely cop to that, but in this case only. In this particular case I was not gracious and my comment was purposeful. To mirror my language from my initial comment to Dr. Taylor I thought I was pretty clear on that point. My tone and words were chosen carefully and purposefully.
I made a prediction and Dr. Taylor did not agree. No biggie – this is comment friendly site. I’m okay with an honest disagreement – especially about speculation about something as weird and variable and crazy as a presidential race (plus it’s the Republican side so x10).
(By the way I was very wrong about Sanders. I thought and predicted that he would be out the day after the first Super Tuesday. Wow, was I wrong on that.)
I was making a psychological argument and Taylor wanted historical precedent. We were operating under different premises.
I’m going to bold here and put an argument in his mouth and say that Dr. Taylor was basically offering a The Party Decides argument and that the Establishment candidate would win the nomination because that is what recent history shows us will happen. I hope I am accurately capturing what he was saying. (Dr. Taylor, feel free to correct me if I’m misstating what you were arguing.) I believe he did not even predict Bush (or Rubio), but he definitively said it would not, and could not, be Trump.
In this case you are either entirely correct or close enough for government work. This is the pettiest I’ve been probably since I was a teenager which was a long damn time ago. Btw, thumbs up for echoing my style back at me to make a pertinent point. Doing that makes it stick more.
You make a prediction that to you is an obvious truth and then be labelled a fool and naif. Your prediction comes to pass. What do you do?
You make a prediction that to you is an obvious truth and then be labelled a fool and naif. Your prediction comes to pass. What do you do?
I suggest you act with style and grace. I suggest: “I made a prediction about Trump winning the nomination based on the status of the Republican party and its voters. I was correct and you were not. I felt you were dismissive at the time.”
I don’t post much. I find many responses to be negative and quick hits that call some other person who the poster disagrees with to be an idiot or something worse. People pick at minor errors or throw out names. Might I suggest that people think a little and take a few minutes before posting or impulsively saying the same thing over and over again in multiple posts or conversations. “The other party is always wrong and is evil scum” gets old and boring. It does not shed light on interesting issues. Pausing might result in fewer but more thoughtful posts (to dream the impossible dream…). I am saying this here because it struck as an opportunity to express my opinion, not because you are an egregious poster. Many of those people would not listen.
By the way, you were right. Privately, I thought, like many others, Trump would not last. Oh, did I say you were right.
…almost !?! no chance…
R U posting from the Waffle House?
@Mister Bluster: Come now. Not even the redoubtable Nate Silver gives Trump a 0%, and with good reason.
The economy could tank, and millions more could be unemployed. Trump would easily be elected in that case.
A big terrorist attack on the scale of 9/11 could happen, and Hillary’s “Love and Kindness” slogan would suddenly be an albatross. Trump would win.
I don’t think it’s likely either of those things would happen, mind, but to say that it’s a zero percent chance is really presumptuous.
I did not give Trump the Chump a “zero percent chance”.
de stijl stated in a post in this thread (Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 17:47) “I knew that the R base was going to nominate someone stupidly for a stupid reason with no chance of winning just because it feels good to be stupid because it is stupidly righteous.”
In a later post (Sunday, May 15, 2016 at 00:27) d s states “They have almost no chance anyway just based on the electoral map…”
Just wondering why d s is backpedaling.
For the record I do not claim the ability to predict the future.
I do not know who will be inaugurated President USA in January 2017.
You are correct. I stated the same conclusion two times in different comments and I was not absolutely consistent in my stated certainty. You are 100% right.
Your ellipsis is carrying a pretty heavy burden here – it did not not include this bit:
I also used the word “utterly.” Some women, some Muslims, some blacks and some Hispanics will assuredly vote for Trump. I also used the word “infinitesimal” which means that there is a greater than 0% chance. I will grant you those two as well. There are not logically consistent with my initial statement.
I was also factually wrong on 272 electoral votes – it’s 270 needed to win, not 272.
You are correct: “No chance of winning” is not the same as “almost no chance” and it is much easier to make that point if you choose to elide the gist of the argument. So if you want to call that a backpedal, go for it.
You clearly state that you don’t muck about in predictions so asking you what is the likelihood, and by what means, does Trump – with his personal baggage and his unprecedentedly underwater favorables and a massive electoral map disadvantage – get 65 more EVs than Romney is moot.
@de stijl: I don’t know if it was on the very same thread that you are referring to here but I also was pretty sure that Mr Trump would sweep the R field and offered to wager Prof Stevens a bottle of Blanton’s bourbon (a bet he refused).
Does that make me as smart as you?
I need to know because I badly want to annoy someone and show a lack of character, just like you!
And it looks like that was the wise move 😉