Rand Paul officially endorsed Mitt Romney, leaving me and a lot of others scratching their heads. On the one hand I suppose he’s decided to work from within the GOP. But on the other hand, FUCK THE GOP!
I understand why the junior Senator from Kentucky can’t and won’t endorse the Libertarian Party ticket of Gary Johnson and Jim Gray. Yet, I feel that with one simple action, both Rand and his father Ron can inflict irreparable damage on the political duopoly. So why don’t they do it? I’m afraid I don’t have the answers.
When words just aren’t enough, there’s always Weezer:
Image via Google Images
The good doctor is on a roll:
Gary Johnson Sends a Strongly Worded Letter to Republican National Committee Chairman, Reince Priebus
Via Johnson’s campaign website:
It is the simple reality that our country is headed in a disastrous financial direction that prompted me to seek the Republican nomination for president. As a Republican who was elected – and reelected – governor of New Mexico, an overwhelmingly Democrat state, I recognized that the right kind of leadership is essential if we are to regain the White House in 2012.
Having compiled a record as governor that, by any measure, demonstrates the ability to curb spending, cut taxes and create an economic and regulatory environment that will bring about real job creation, I entered the race for president with the belief that I bring to the table not only the credentials, but ideas that Republicans would like to see and hear. Never did it occur to me that I would be excluded from the conversation; however, that is precisely what is happening – and I believe the Republican National Committee bears some responsibility for what is going on.
Debates, such as the one this week in Las Vegas, are supposed to be opportunities for voters to see the candidates, hear their views, and judge their qualifications without the distortions of money, recognition and favoritism. However, when organizing those debates is left to the national news media, the result has been an absurd Catch-22. Invitations to participate in the debates are based upon arbitrary polling criteria decided in the conference rooms of media organizations such as CNN or NBC or the Washington Post.
Of course poll performance in the early stages of a campaign is almost entirely a function of money and name recognition – those same distortions debates are intended to eliminate. Even worse, the same organizations who organize the debates are the ones who conduct the polls upon which their invitations are based. In my case, most of those organizations do not include me in their polling. The net result is that a handful of media executives have largely denied Republicans the opportunity to hear from a former governor whose record clearly merits their consideration.
I recognize that the RNC is not in the business of helping one candidate for the nomination or another. However, I would suggest that it is the business of the RNC to insure that the Republican nominating process is not ceded to the likes of CNN and the Washington Post. Commentators across the board have pointed to the fundamental unfairness of my exclusion from the process. Even other candidates have done the same. But nowhere have we heard the voice of the Republican National Committee. As a lifelong Republican and a former Republican governor, I would suggest that allowing the national news media – who do not have the best interests of the Republican Party in mind – to pre-select the presidential field is nothing less than irresponsible.
It is no secret that not all of my views, particularly on some so-called ‘social issues’ are shared by certain elements of the Republican Party – elements who frankly exert inordinate influence within the Party. Many of my supporters who are Independents – and even Democrats – are quick to suggest that the Republican “establishment” doesn’t want my voice heard. I hope that is not the case. To the contrary, as I travel the country, I find a great number of Republicans who not only share my views, but who feel disenfranchised by a vocal minority that has become the face of the Party.
My electoral success in a heavily Democrat state should serve as proof that my candidacy presents an opportunity to demonstrate that the Republican Party is big enough to allow a slightly different voice to be heard. That will be important next year when it comes time to turn our attention to the ultimate goal: Convincing a majority of Americans that they want a Republican in the White House.
With the early Republican primaries and caucuses fast approaching, I urge you to exert some leadership and reclaim the nominating process from the national news media who are today pre-ordaining the viability and success of candidates. It is Republican voters who ultimately lose when the process is skewed, and serving the interests of those voters is, in fact, your responsibility, as is the integrity of the nominating process.
Image via Google Images
Check out Gov. Johnson’s YouTube Channel here.
There’s good news for the liberty movement: Gary Johnson will participate in the Fox News-Google GOP debate tonight in Orlando, FL. This is the first debate for the former two-term Governor of New Mexico since the very first debate in South Carolina way back in May. The indispensible Dave Weigel had a brief Q&A with Johnson earlier today:
Slate: There was some confusion earlier over whether you had made it into the debate or not. What happened?
Johnson: There was a CNN poll three weeks ago that had me at 2 percent. A week ago, CNN put out a new national poll — and my name wasn’t included! So the Republican Party of Florida said I should not be in the debate; the criteria they came in with was that I had to be at 1 percent in five of the polls. Well, I’m wasn’t in 2 of the last national polls. Fox chose to interpret the rules differently, counting the five polls I was in, which I think was fair!
Slate: You’ve missed two months of debates. You’ve missed some practice. What are you doing to prep?
Johnson: Going back to when I was governor of New Mexico, I debated my opponent 28 times. I’d like to think I’m in eight kinds of debates every single day with every person I talk to. On that stage, I’ll be as nervous as a human being can be, and if I wasn’t, i wouldn’t be a human being.
Slate: Often in these debates, the more libertarian-minded candidates get hypotheticals to draw out their philosophy. Last time, we saw Ron Paul get drawn in on a question about whether, with government totally out of the picture on health care, he’d let a man in a coma die. How would you have answered the question?
Johnson: I would have answered that there are people in need, and I’m of the belief that government is the only entity able to provide in some cases. I think we can cut what we’re spending in Medicare and Medicaid 33%. There are tough cases like this, and they should be dealt with by the states. But as the governor of a state, no, I don’t want to see this guy die!
Slate: Sort of unrelated: The House just voted down a version of FEMA funding, because Republicans wanted to attach spending cuts to the bill, and they couldn’t get Democratic votes. Do you want Republicans to stick to their guns and demand the cuts?
Johnson: I’m not hung up on that. One of the things government should be around for is to deal with catastrophes. It should do that well. To me, that’s a government function, and we shouldn’t be playing political games with it.
Slate: Have you brainstormed any questions for your fellow candidates?
Johnson: I would ask Mitt Romney: “What is your position on anything?”
Good news brought to you by The Daily Beast:
Gary Johnson, the Republican presidential candidate who has labored in obscurity, is about to get his moment in the spotlight—for one night, at least.
Johnson will be included in Thursday’s Fox News debate in Orlando, the first time he will share a stage with his eight rivals.
The former New Mexico governor won the right to participate, according to Fox sources, by cracking 1 percent in the latest five national polls in which he was included—Fox News, CNN, McClatchy-Marist, ABC, and Quinnipiac—which was the criterion the network had set for inclusion.
It’s about time! This is the first debate Gary Johnson will participate in since the very first GOP debate in South Carolina.
(Hat tip: Radley Balko)
Here is a letter to the Sun-Sentinel:
Noelle Nikpour is absolutely right to point out to European nations and American liberals that big government is the root cause of crises brought on by unsustainable levels of debt. However, to maintain that conservatives are steadfast, stalwart enemies of big government and that Republicans adopt the policy prescriptions of cutting spending and privatization is pure partisan propaganda (Debt crisis: Big government remains big problem, July 24).
Was Ms. Nikpour paying attention to American politics during the eight years George W. Bush spent in the White House? During Bush’s presidency, when Republicans controlled both houses of Congress for the majority of the time, the size and scope of government grew to unprecedented levels. Under Republican controlled Washington we saw federal spending on education soar to its highest levels ever, a new prescription drug benefit program, stimulus packages, federal bailouts of private businesses, two wars, and the massive expansion of the national security state. Government spending and accumulation of debt was the modus operandi, and you call that limited government?
Big government policies as a bipartisan affair led to the debt problems we now face. Both parties are equally guilty and complicit, and to suggest otherwise is disingenuous.
Brad R. Schlesinger