Gary Johnson publicly declines debate with Jill Stein, discusses his running mate

Forwarded to ATPR by Jeff 4 Justice (No More 2 Party System channel), July 24th, 2016:

“Gary Johnson Declines To Debate Jill Stein As Offered By The Young Turks”

No More 2 Party System, July 27th, 2016:

“Gary Johnson On His Contradicting, Clinton Cheering VP Choice”

(Via American Third Party Report)

271 thoughts on “Gary Johnson publicly declines debate with Jill Stein, discusses his running mate

  1. Andy

    So Gary Johnson is declining to debate Green Party candidate for President Jill Stein? This is not cool.

  2. Darcy G Richardson

    That’s particularly troubling since the latest CNN/ORC poll released on Monday shows Stein, who is likely to be on the ballot in at least 45 states in November, polling at 5 percent nationally.

    Gary Johnson, a guy who increasingly comes across as someone too big for his britches — as though the American people would ever seriously consider him for the presidency — will have no room to complain when he’s excluded from the nationally-televised debates this autumn.

    By the way, this is a great post by Krzysztof.

  3. T Rex

    Debating Jill Stein would be a piece of cake for most Libertarians. Her commie platform is Bernie Sanders’ on steroids…utterly impractical and ridiculous.

    Alas, Johnson is an awful debater, even against an easy opponent. He has nothing to gain from the event so he’s sitting it out.

  4. steve m

    Seems to really gall you all that Johnson not only got more then 50% of the Libertarian Delegates at the convention but is also getting significantly more media attention which is turning into significantly high poll results then any previous Libertarian Presidential candidate.

  5. Thomas Knapp

    So Gary Johnson thinks that anyone who is on enough ballots to mathematically have a chance at winning the presidency (which, even by his unduly strict standards, Jill Stein is or will be) should be invited to debate.

    Just not with him.

    Can’t say as I blame him. If I was Gary Johnson, I’d be afraid of Jill Stein too.

  6. robert capozzi

    tk, unfair, at least based on these vids. GJ said he doesn’t have the time to debate JS, and that’s all I heard. Did you hear something else?

    His focus now is getting in the adult-table debates. At the moment, that’s where he needs to be in the next 2 weeks or so.

    And JS isn’t yet the nominee, anyway.

  7. Thomas Knapp

    RC,

    Yep, ol’ Gary Johnson doesn’t have TIME to debate, that’s it.

    Does he have time to debate Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton?

    Time is fungible. A second spent debating Stein is no different than a second debating Trump or Clinton. He has exactly as much time to debate her as he has to debate them. The only difference is she has invited him to debate and they haven’t.

  8. robert capozzi

    tk, yes, he surely has time to debate DJT and HRC. Those are THE debates. That’s his focus now, and that makes abundant sense to me. Could be that THE debates should include JS as well.

    Fungibility involves the ability to mutually substitute one thing for another. Whether he should cancel tonight’s CNN town hall to instead debate JS tells me time is NOT fungible. Time is precious.

    There is much preparation that goes into debating. He could prep to debate a non-nominee who is an even longer shot than he is, or he can spend this time amping up efforts to get to the adult table debates.

    Should he NOT get to debate DJT and HRC, there will be time to debate JS. And perhaps Vermin Supreme as well!

    It feels like you are going out of your way to critique GJ, unfairly so. I note that you may have a conflict of interest, as you are still a member of the LP and yet (last I checked) you are also a prospective candidate for VP for the Reform Party.

  9. robert capozzi

    more…

    How we sequence our use of time is a personal decision, based on what we view as more important.

  10. Thomas Knapp

    “It feels like you are going out of your way to critique GJ, unfairly so.”

    On the contrary, I have defended Johnson numerous times both before and since he got the nomination, on everything from keeping his commitments instead of dropping everything and racing off just because Austin Petersen said the word “Stossel” to the subject of whether or not broadcast television ads are the best investment of his cash on hand. About half the time when Gary says or does something stupid in public, I keep my fucking mouth shut, if for no other reason than that there are plenty of other people to notice and talk about it without me needing to weigh in.

    I’m not sure you have a very firm grasp of the meaning of “conflict of interest.” I have no fiduciary responsibility to the Libertarian Party whatsoever. I am neither a Libertarian candidate for public office nor a local, state or national party officer or employee.

  11. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Debating Jill Stein might help Johnson prepare for the “adult table” debates. But that would imply that Johnson considers Stein his equal, whereas he prefers to be seen as equal to Clinton and Trump.

    You don’t have to be a mind reader to see that the MSM is pumping up Johnson not because of his own merits, but to provide an alternative for Republican/conservative Never-Trumpers. And the media is burying Jill Stein to protect Clinton from competition on the left.

    Yes, it galls me that LP delegates nominated Johnson. But at least I won’t be voting for him.

  12. Anthony Dlugos

    Knapp,

    I don’t understand why you think there is a contradiction in Johnson’s position.

    Johnson is obviously arguing that anyone with a theoretical chance to win the presidency should be INVITED into the CPD debates. He surely is not arguing they should’ve FORCED to. They can decline if they want.

    He doesn’t want to debate Stein. There could be any number of reasons why. (I wouldn’t waste my time with it either.) But it doesn’t demonstrate hypocrisy for him to continue arguing those with a theoretical chance should be invited to the CPD debates.

  13. Thomas Knapp

    “Debating Jill Stein might help Johnson prepare for the ‘adult table’ debates. But that would imply that Johnson considers Stein his equal, whereas he prefers to be seen as equal to Clinton and Trump.”

    I personally don’t think that’s it. Whatever Johnson’s failings, he doesn’t strike me as like Bob Barr in that respect. As you may remember, Barr refused to appear on stage with Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, Ralph Nader or Cynthia McKinney because doing so would “dilute his message,” i.e. bring him down to their level (Barr’s spokesperson singled out the only non-white, non-male person from among those four as the one Barr objected to, presumably as a dog whistle to the Dixiecrat remnant he was pursuing the votes of).

    Johnson has, for quite some time, positioned himself as favoring the inclusion of all candidates with a “mathematical” chance of theoretically winning the presidency (his math is bad — he means on enough ballots to win 270 electoral votes, when the real number is on the ballot in, or registered as a write-in candidate, in one state) in debates. That’s part of the premise of his lawsuit versus the Commission on Presidential Debates, in which, if I am not mistaken, the Green Party has participated.

    That positioning seems sincere. In principle, he’s for inclusive debates.

    In practice, however, he seems to be scared shitless of Jill Stein.

    And as I said, I don’t blame him. Stein is already that presence right next to the “Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear” sticker he sees when he looks out the campaign car window.

    She’s raised about half as much money as he has and is polling right up his tailpipe on a tiny fraction of his media coverage.

    And while a good portion of his appeal is to disappointed Republicans (who always end up either supporting the GOP candidate or staying home), her appeal is almost entirely to disappointed Democrats (who have historically proven a little more inclined to revolt, and who just found out that their party’s national committee has actually been part of one primary candidate’s campaign apparatus for the last two years).

    He can’t afford to call any attention to her, and he knows it. That would be true even if she wouldn’t completely crush him in a debate. As she probably would. Her agenda is silly and it’s ignorant, but she doesn’t completely fall to pieces when asked a question she’s not ready for.

  14. Thomas Knapp

    Dlugos,

    “I don’t understand why you think there is a contradiction in Johnson’s position.”

    And I don’t understand why you think I think something I didn’t say.

  15. Anthony Dlugos

    Knapp,

    What’s the point of this? Seems like your implying he is being a hypocrite? Please clarify.

    “So Gary Johnson thinks that anyone who is on enough ballots to mathematically have a chance at winning the presidency (which, even by his unduly strict standards, Jill Stein is or will be) should be invited to debate.

    Just not with him.”

  16. Thomas Knapp

    I don’t see what there is to clarify.

    Johnson is for inclusive group debates for a broad class of candidates.

    But he’s afraid, for good reason, to debate Jill Stein one on one.

    I don’t see anything hypocritical in that. His fear is quite reasonable. This is the first time I’ve even used the h-word word in reference to it, and then only to respond to your two-time use of it.

  17. Anthony Dlugos

    A) You have no evidence to indicate he’s afraid to debate Stein. He just may not want to, or may seen no point. The Cruiserweight champion of the world declined my offer to box. I can assure you it’s not because he’s scared.

    B) Your use of the word “but” implies a connection (between Johnson’s position on the CPD debates and his decision not to debate Stein), where there is none.

  18. Thomas Knapp

    Anthony,

    Wait, don’t we know each other from Facebook?

    If so, then I think perhaps you are on to me and realize that I am playing the same card that I’ve successfully foiled when used by supporters of Augustus Invictus’s demand that Paul Stanton debate. I wanted to see if it worked any better over here from me than it did over there against me.

    It didn’t.

    That said, if Johnson doesn’t see the idea of debating Stein as prospectively very bad for him, he’s not thinking clearly. He’s getting enough earned/free media that “Stein whips Johnson’s ass in public” would be a headline that attracted some notice.

  19. Be Rational

    As far as political strategy goes, neither Stein nor Johnson should agree to a children’s table debate at this point in time. Both the Greens and the LP are polling better than in 2012, and they should both insist on being included in THE presidential debates.

    It is a sound position to demand inclusion for any candidate on enough ballots to win 270 Electoral Votes, and they should stick with that position while the lawsuit against the debate commission is ongoing.

    Additionally, Johnson still has a real chance to make 15% in the debate polling, and there’s even a remote chance that Clinton and Trump meltdowns and negatives could propel Stein to 15%. They should both wait until the real presidential debate lineup is set and neither should agree to debate the non-270 parties at any kiddy-table debate no matter who is invited to appear with Trump and Clinton.

  20. Robert Capozzi

    TK, sorry you thought I meant conflict of interest in the legal sense. I didn’t. You now overtly oppose J/W.

  21. George Dance

    Tom Knapp: “As you may remember, Barr refused to appear on stage with Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, Ralph Nader or Cynthia McKinney because doing so would “dilute his message,” i.e. bring him down to their level (Barr’s spokesperson singled out the only non-white, non-male person from among those four as the one Barr objected to, presumably as a dog whistle to the Dixiecrat remnant he was pursuing the votes of).”

    I’ll get into Johnson, soon enough; but let’s clear this one up, first.

    What Barr refused to appear at wasn’t a debate: it was a ‘joint rally’, cooked up by Ron Paul, with the theme: “Vote Third Party – Libertarian, Green, Constitution, or whatever; it doesn’t matter which one you vote for, because they’re all equally ‘anti-establishment'”. Not a debate, but a mutual endorsement.

    Of course that ‘diluted’ the Libertarian message – it diluted all the candidates’ messages. I didn’t think it was a good idea, for the Libertarians or the Greens, to endorse each other at the time; and (at the risk of singling out the “only Jewish non-male person” among the candidates), I’d say it’s not a good idea for the Libertarians and Greens to endorse each other today.

    That said, I’ll point out that Barr did debate Nader and Castle: not Paul, because he wasn’t running, and not McKinney, because she declined to be there (saying she had a scheduling conflict).

  22. George Dance

    Be Rational: “As far as political strategy goes, neither Stein nor Johnson should agree to a children’s table debate at this point in time. Both the Greens and the LP are polling better than in 2012, and they should both insist on being included in THE presidential debates.”

    I didn’t see the video, but I hope Johnson pointed out that he and Stein are working together to sue the Committee on Presidential Debates, to get into the debate. (The judge is sitting on the case, presumably so she can dismiss the case later due to lack of time to grant injunctive relief).

    Johnson and Stein debated twice in 2012 – once with the Constitution and Justice candidates, and once with just the two of them – for all the good it did. This time around, Johnson campaigned for the nomination on the explicit promise that he was not going to repeat what didn’t work last time; I have no doubt that includes debating Stein in an undercard that no one besides their partisans will bother watching.

  23. George Phillies

    Readers curious about the actual four way polling may note the excellent aggregated poll at

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/general_election_trump_vs_clinton_vs_johnson_vs_stein-5952.html#polls

    Johnson is at about 7-8%, and there has been no change in the last six or so weeks. It is of course possible that there will be a change, but there is absolutely no sign of it. Until then there is no sign that he will get into the Trump-Clinton debates, assuming that Trump, Clinton, and the debate commission can actually agree on terms.

    Readers hearing “13%” should realize that quote is a dishonest cherry pick. It is the highest he has ever polled, and the same pollster has done two more polls since. They show 9%.

    Readers may also go to HuffingtonPost/pollster, the second graph, and play with the smoothing control, hiding under the do-it-yourself feature.

  24. George Phillies

    “won’t do what didn’t work” His largest “do” was paying his campaign consultants most of his money, which did not work, and he is recycling that decision.

  25. Thomas Knapp

    “TK, sorry you thought I meant conflict of interest in the legal sense. I didn’t. You now overtly oppose J/W.”

    I overtly opposed Johnson and Weld for the Libertarian Party’s presidential and vice-presidential nominations, and I think the decision to nominate them was bad for the LP and bad for the libertarian movement.

    However, I have not asked so much as a single person to not vote for Johnson/Weld, or to refrain from supporting Johnson/Weld, etc., and I don’t plan to. If I end up as a candidate in this November’s election, I’ll be running against Trump/Pence and Clinton/Kaine, not against Johnson/Weld.

    The last thing I wrote about Johnson for public consumption (as opposed to debate among friends as here at IPR, libertarian groups on Facebook, etc.), was …

    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump says Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson is a “fringe candidate.” I’m not sure what definition of “fringe” Trump is using. Johnson is a former governor, elected twice as a Republican in a Democrat-leaning state. Trump’s main presidential qualification seems to be his legendary skill at trolling his opponents on Twitter.

    … as published in, so far, the St. George, Utah Spectrum, the Ventura County, California Citizens Journal, OpEdNews, CounterPunch, the Pahrump Valley, Nevada Times, the Newberry, South Carolina Observer, the Dover, New Hampshire Foster’s Daily Democrat, the Fayette, West Virginia Tribune and the Orangeburg, South Carolina Times and Democrat.

  26. Tony From Long Island

    While I think that Gary Johnson WILL ultimately debate Jill Stein, I think he doesn’t want to be seen as a minor league player until he is officially a minor league player. His goal right now is to get on the main debate stage. If that doesn’t happen, ,he will likely debate Stein and maybe Castle.

  27. robert capozzi

    tk: I’ll be running against Trump/Pence and Clinton/Kaine, not against Johnson/Weld.

    me: Hmm. Contrasting Richardson/Knapp vs those 2 tickets may well be the focus of your campaign, but if you are in the race, you ARE running AGAINST J/W…by definition.

    I have no problem with your doing so. I simply note that you are now a would-be rival, and that colors my perception of your pronouncements re J/W, as I suspect most would, given the nature of the rivalry.

  28. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC,

    Most people perceive this presidential race as Clinton running against Trump and Trump running against Clinton, not as either of them running against Johnson.

    Most people who notice Johnson perceive him as running against Clinton and Trump, not against Castle or Stein, just as they perceive Castle and Stein as running against Clinton and Trump, not against Johnson.

    To the extent that I am noticed as a candidate (should I be nominated), I will be nearly universally perceived as running against Clinton and Trump, not against Johnson, unless I focus my campaign rhetoric on Johnson and manage to make people notice that. That’s not going to happen because I’ll decline to so focus my campaign rhetoric.

    The only way I get votes that are available to Johnson is if Johnson himself blows his chances with those voters and they go looking elsewhere and happen to find me.

  29. Thomas L. Knapp

    Caveat,

    I suppose that it’s POSSIBLE, should I be the Reform Party’s vice-presidential nominee, that I might be invited to a debate including Bill Weld. If so, yes, I would have to be an opponent to Weld. Otherwise, my disposition vis a vis Weld, as a candidate, will be to ignore him. To the extent that my focus is on other candidates at all, those candidates will be Trump and Clinton.

  30. Andy

    Steve, I would not go around bragging about Johnson and Weld getting another Town Hall on CIA, er, um, CNN, this time hosted by CIA intern Anderson Cooper.

    The mainstream media is in bed with big government. It should not be a surprise that they want to give more publicity to the counterfeit Libertarian ticket, so they can misrepresent libertarianism on national television again.

    I am astounded at the number of Libertarians who trust the mainstream media. The mainstream media will never give real libertarians a fair shake. This is why we need to build our own media, and focus on other ways of reaching people.

  31. George Dance

    Darcy Richardson: “Gary Johnson, a guy who increasingly comes across as someone too big for his britches — as though the American people would ever seriously consider him for the presidency — will have no room to complain when he’s excluded from the nationally-televised debates this autumn.”

    Darcy Richardson increasingly comes across as someone whose only reason for running for President is to have a platform from which to take potshots at Gary Johnson.

    “By the way, this is a great post by Krzysztof.”

    Krzysztof did a nice job of embedding the two videos, though I’d hardly call it “great”.

  32. Thomas L. Knapp

    “In my imagination, Darcy Richardson increasingly comes across as someone whose only reason for running for President is to have a platform from which to take potshots at Gary Johnson.”

    Fixed, no charge.

  33. George Dance

    Tom Knapp: “To the extent that I am noticed as a candidate (should I be nominated), I will be nearly universally perceived as running against Clinton and Trump, not against Johnson, unless I focus my campaign rhetoric on Johnson and manage to make people notice that. That’s not going to happen because I’ll decline to so focus my campaign rhetoric.”

    Sorry, Tom, but that’s not how it works. You (and Darcy Richardson) became candidates when you declared for your party’s nomination – no more nor less than Clinton or Trump were candidates before they won their parties’ nominations – and your every public statement since an example of ‘campaign rhetoric’.

    I think the readers of IPR can see for themselves which candidate your public statements in this venue have been focussing on.

  34. steve m

    George,

    “In 2012, the polls relied upon were: ABC News/The Washington Post, NBC News/The Wall Street Journal, CBS News/The New York Times, Fox News and Gallup.”

    ABC 8%
    NBC 10%
    CBS 10%
    Fox 10%

    Gallup hasn’t published any surveys. Using the 4 above gives Johnson at 9.5%

    In 2012 the decision was made on Sept 21st. 12 days before the first debate of Oct 3rd.

    This year the first debate is scheduled of Sept 26th so if the decision is made 2 weeks before that the date would be Sept 12th.

  35. steve m

    http://www.cnbc.com/2016/08/02/trumps-debate-bashing-helped-us-organizers.html

    “While the commission vehemently denies it, Fahrenkopf acknowledged the prevailing sensitivity about political elites obstructing outsiders. He even suggested it might consider giving an inch to a third-party candidate who is close enough to the cutoff point. Former Bill Clinton press secretary Mike McCurry, the CPD’s other co-chair, said his group will consult Frank Newport, editor in chief of Gallup, in the event that a third-party candidate polls within the “gray zone.”
    “If someone came in and let’s say he was [polling] at 14.5 percent and the margin of error in five polls was 3 points, we are going to have to sit down and look at it,” Fahrenkopf said. “But right now that person would not be included.”

  36. steve m

    It is really annoying not being allowed to put post comments as long as others are at this site

  37. Thomas L. Knapp

    George,

    Nice try, no cigar.

    At present, I am a candidate for the Reform Party’s vice-presidential nomination. My opponents are formally the other candidates for the Reform Party’s vice-presidential nomination, and functionally the candidates for its presidential nomination. So unless Gary Johnson and William Weld are seeking one of those nominations, no, I am not a candidate running against them.

  38. Thomas L. Knapp

    Nice. Probably not an election-winning fundraising pace, but pretty damn good for a third party candidate.

    If the article is right, Weld is still making excuses for why he hasn’t landed the whales, instead of landing the whales. He seems to essentially be campaign dead weight.

  39. Andy

    Steve, that is nice, but it is still a far cry from the amount of money that Johnson/Weld supporters claimed they would raise if nominated.

    Also, what kind of message is this money being uses to promote, and is the money being spent efficiently?

  40. Thomas L. Knapp

    Andy,

    The number I recall being thrown around is $20 million. It’s still early days and that could happen.

    On the other hand, first it was “if you give me Bill Weld, he’ll raise the money, he’s raised a quarter billion.”

    Then it was Weld, “oh, the big guys are waiting for the big party nominations.”

    Now it’s Weld, “oh, the big guys are waiting to see us at 15%.”

    I’m starting to suspect that next week it will be Weld, “oh, the big guys want to wait until they’re sure Martians aren’t going to land on the White House lawn and ask to be taken to Tom Hoefling.”

    I was never big on the argument that a libertarian was needed as VP to “unite the party” or “balance the ticket.” The party is small beans compared to the electorate, hardly of any of whom likely give a shit whether the veep is a libertarian or not. I would have liked to see a libertarian as VP because, well, it’s supposed to be the Libertarian Party.

    But at the very least, if we were going to nominate this guy because he could raise the big money, he should stop making excuses and get it done.

  41. Andy

    I talked to a bunch of Johnson and Weld delegates at the convention, and a lot of them did in fact make the $200-$250 million claim.

    Some of them also claimed that Johnson/Weld would have a realistic chance of winning.

  42. Thomas L. Knapp

    Andy,

    Well, the Libertarian Party’s slate has the best chance of winning this year that it’s ever had, but that chance is pretty damn slim. And, frankly, slimmer than the Green Party’s.

    No third party candidate is going to rack up 270 electoral votes in November. The ONLY way a third party candidate gets elected president is to:

    1) Get one or more electoral votes; and
    2) Get more electoral votes than all but two of the candidates; and
    3) Have neither of the major party candidates get more than 269 electoral votes.

    In which case the election goes to the US House of Representatives, which may choose from any of the three candidates with the most electoral votes.

    There are two ways to get one or more electoral votes.

    One is to carry either a state, or a congressional district in Maine or Nebraska (which apportion their electoral votes instead of going “winner take all”).

    The other is for a “faithless elector” to vote for you instead of for the candidate he or she is pledged to (that’s how the LP got its one and only electoral vote, in 1972).

    Jill Stein is more likely to carry a state than Gary Johnson. That state is Vermont.

    And if it comes down to “faithless electors,” I’d say her chances of getting support from at least one Bernie Bro are better than Johnson’s chances of getting support from at least one Cruznik.

  43. George Phillies

    Tom, you inadvertently dropped point 4.

    Persuade a majority of the State Delegations in the House to vote for you.

    Real Clear Politics has the polling aggregation
    NBC — 9%
    ABC — 8%
    CBS that I can find has only done a three way poll
    Gallup is not polling for President this year.

    Unless there is some reason to suppose that the network polls skew high, rather than their numbers being fluctuations around the mean. smoothing over all polls has a higher predictive value than the current value of several of a few of them. For example, if you look at the last four NBC news polls, you find that Johnson is falling…this is a statistical fluctuation.

  44. Anthony Dlugos

    Knapp,

    Care to make a wager on Johnson vs anti-vaxx Stein on who does better in their best state?

    I’ll take that bet all day long.

  45. Anthony Dlugos

    Leave aside whether or not J-W has a realistic shot at winning or not. Leave aside whether or not they promised to raise $250 million.

    The reality is no other potential ticket in Orlando would have better maximized vote totals or donations.

    If those are the standards you’re gonna use, the only viable ticket was J-W.

  46. Anthony Dlugos

    I’m a small stakes wagerer too. This is a friendly wager, perhaps to be paid off at the next convention. I would suggest a refreshment drink of some sort, alcoholic or not.

  47. Thomas L. Knapp

    Anthony,

    OK, I’m down for betting a drink, but we need to be specific (“does better” could be interpreted in various ways). My proposed bet:

    If Jill Stein gets a higher percentage of the popular vote in her best state (as measured by percentage of the popular vote) than Gary Johnson gets in his, then we’ll get together some time and I’ll have a drink on you.

    If Gary Johnson gets a higher percentage of the popular vote in his best state (as measured by percentage of the popular vote) than Stein gets in hers, then we’ll get together some time and you’ll have a drink on me.

    Sound good?

  48. George Phillies

    “…better maximized … donations….”

    Even if you are not picky about how the money is spent, the claim is a bit dubious.

  49. Andy

    Anthony, if the Libertarian message gets watered down to the point where it goes off in a bunch of non-libertarian directions, as Johnson/Weld have already done, what is the point of all of this? Vote totals and money raised and spent is meaningless if it is being used to promote a message that is not really very libertarian.

    Somebody suggested in an IPR comment that if the Libertarian Party was just interested in getting votes and raising money, regardless of message, that we would be doing even better now if say Bernie Sanders or Ted Cruz were our candidate for President, but this does not mean that we should nominate either of them.

  50. Thomas L. Knapp

    George,

    I don’t think the donations claim is dubious. Of the candidates who actively and even a little successfully sought the LP’s 2016 nomination, Johnson/Weld is probably the combination that will raise more money than any other combination would have, both for their campaign and, at least in the short term for the LNC.

    Running a couple of major party politicians on a minor party’s ticket tends to have that effect.

    But it’s likely to have other effects, too.

  51. Andy

    Virgil Goode did not raise much money when he was the Constitution Party’s candidate for President. Neither did Cynthia McKinney when she was the Green Party’s candidate for President.

    Heck, even Ron Paul did not raise big money when he was the Libertarian Party’s candidate for President in 1988.

    A minor party nominating a former major party office holder is not a magic bullet for a minor party to become very successful.

    The most successful minor party/independent candidates for President in recent history were Ross Perot in 1992 and 1996, and Ralph Nader in 2000, and neither Perot or Nader had ever been elected to a public office.

  52. Anthony Dlugos

    Knapp,

    You’re on!

    I’d also agree with you 100% on the donations/effects post.

  53. robert capozzi

    aj: what is the point of all of this?

    me: The point is that — broadly speaking — J/W articulate a lessarchist message on economics, foreign policy, and civil liberties.

    Are there plumbline deviations? Certainly. Are there some specific issues where they point in the more-archist direction a bit? Yes. Are they converting many to deontological NAPsterism? No. Is that a worthwhile goal? IMO, no.

  54. steve m

    CBS News Aug 1st 2016 Johnson at 10%
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/campaign-2016-did-hillary-clinton-get-a-post-convention-bump/

    NBC could have been falling with the Democratic and Republican Convention bumps. That is why I am waiting for their next set of data.

    On the other hand the Economist has had Johnson consistently at 5% week after week and this week jumped him to 8%.

    Tonight is CNN’s townhall for an hour of prime time. Lets revisit this come Tuesday of next week.

    Cash wise they are claiming 20,000 people donated over 1 million or about 50 bucks each. Seems reasonable given the polling at say 8% and the strong dislike for Clinton and Trump.

  55. steve m

    NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll Embargoed for release Tuesday, August 2, 2016 at 6:00AM

    The NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll tracks voter preferences and attitudes on a weekly basis throughout the 2016 election cycle. Results are released every Tuesday at 6:00AM and are among registered voters.

    Results for the week of July 25, 2016 through July 31, 2016 are among a national sample of 12,742 registered voters (+/- 1.2%), 5,358 registered Republican voters (+/-1.8%) and 5,809 registered Democratic voters (+/-1.7%). Complete error estimates can be found in the methodology section below.

  56. Andy

    I find it to be very sad that all of this is being wasted on a ticket that is not very libertarian, if really libertarian at all.

    Another wasted opportunity from the Libertarian Party.

  57. Thomas L. Knapp

    One of our problems is that we don’t have a lot of real polling data from the past. Was there much polling of Barr 2008 or Johnson 2012 at this stage of the game?

    In 2004, we commissioned Rasmussen to do several polls for Badnarik, and around this time had him at 5% — but I don’t remember whether that was nationwide or just in New Mexico. In any case, by election day, he polled 1/3 of 1% nationwide.

    My theory is that Johnson will HOLD ON to more of his numbers than past campaigns because he’s getting bigger and more respectful media and so forth (and especially if he spends money on effective advertising and such), but that mid-August will probably give us SOME clue as to the final result.

    Badnarik ended up with 1/15th of his August polling numbers. I will be surprised if Johnson ends up with less than 1/10th of his mid-August numbers (after any major party convention bounce has had time to wash out), or if he ends up with more than 1/4th. The two party Armageddon most-important-election-ever-don’t-waste-your-vote machine is going to be in even higher gear than usual starting around mid-October.

  58. George Phillies

    However, Tom, a good fraction of Clinton supporters think Trump is insane. In real polling data from PPP, 74% of Trump supporters think Clinton should be in prison. 36% of them think Clinton consorts with Lucifer (it is impossible to make that one up) and another third are not sure.

    Third party candidates, simply by being there, are likely to do better than average.

  59. Thomas L. Knapp

    “a good fraction of Clinton supporters think Trump is insane. In real polling data from PPP, 74% of Trump supporters think Clinton should be in prison. ”

    And they’re both right!

  60. dL

    if you are going to engage in the political process, then you should engage in the political process. The LP like the GP ostensibly offers a competing platform to the current party duopoly. It would be in the interest to the LP to debate a honest opponent like the GP. The GP is not a mom and pop basement operation.

    Of course, it is not in the interest of teamGov, a republican-lite reseller of the LP brand. TeamGov is not interested in engaging in the political process. TeamGov simply wants to run a media campaign among the gatekeepers. All the public choice of problems of political parties is showing up here. Even at a measly 7%. Why? Because of that 15% being dangled. LOL. Imagine what would be like if the LP actually had a chance of wining. As it stands Gary Johnson is a public choice parasitic cancer on the LP.

    Btw, purity, purity, purity!!!! Yeah, I prefer my coffee not to be laced with strychnine…sorry.

  61. robert capozzi

    tk, you seem to imply GJ gets 1-2%, yes? You compare this year to 04, when MB’s results returned to their historical band.

    Possibly.

    However, you don’t seem to want to acknowledge that so many prominent Rs are endorsing either HRC or GJ. When has this ever happened to this extent? (Yes, there was somewhat of this happening in 08 with Rs for Obama, probably because it’s known in political circles the JMc is imbalanced and probably severely medicated.)

    Yes, it’s more likely that GJ many only gets say 2%. But, the choice this time is not between 2 plausible prez’s. It’s between 2 overt lunatics. I’m just not sure the old rules apply so much this cycle.

  62. robert capozzi

    dL: Yeah, I prefer my coffee not to be laced with strychnine…sorry.

    me: Regardless of your preferences, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, the reality is that “impure” politicians keep getting elected. “Pure” ones don’t.

    You may have voted for yourself through the years, but I wonder how that’s been working for you? Are you freer than you were 20 years ago?

  63. Thomas Knapp

    “However, you don’t seem to want to acknowledge that so many prominent Rs are endorsing either HRC or GJ”

    It’s not that I “don’t want to acknowledge” it. It’s that nobody’s brought it up to me until now.

    I expect Johnson’s best state to be Utah, where he has the endorsement of key Republicans and seems to be running the strongest campaign. I wouldn’t be surprised if he hit 5-6% there.

    I haven’t heard that any sitting US Representatives or US Senators are endorsing Johnson/Weld, but if that is the case I would find it interesting. I’d expect it to exert more of a downward effect on their own November prospects than upward effect on Johnson’s, but it would certainly help him.

    I keep hearing that Romney and/or some of the GOP also-rans from this year are “thinking about” endorsing Johnson. What I haven’t seen them doing is actually endorsing Johnson. I expect that most, probably all of them, will eventually choose to “reluctantly back my party’s nominee” or just clam up.

    Maybe a bunch of real Republican heavy-hitters — congresscritters, governors, past presidents and presidential nominees, people named “Bush” — will suddenly up and endorse Johnson, and if so that will likely effect things. But all I’ve seen concerning the possibility of that happening is speculation and wishful thinking.

    Look, it’s just a horserace prediction. It could be wrong, but there’s no ideological significance to it, nor any particular wish one way or the other (except that I hope he doesn’t break 5% nationally — something I don’t think I need to worry about). If Johnson was more ideologically like me, I would expect him to receive fewer votes. And I don’t really give a shit whether Trump or Clinton wins, or how Johnson affects the outcome, with respect to caring about the outcome itself (I WILL find those things interesting to study and draw lessons from, however it comes out).

  64. steve m

    [I keep hearing that Romney and/or some of the GOP also-rans from this year are “thinking about” endorsing Johnson. What I haven’t seen them doing is actually endorsing Johnson. I expect that most, probably all of them, will eventually choose to “reluctantly back my party’s nominee” or just clam up.]

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/28/politics/gary-johnson-libertarians-mitt-romney/#

    >I keep hearing that Romney and/or some of the GOP also-rans from this year are “thinking about” >endorsing Johnson. What I haven’t seen them doing is actually endorsing Johnson. I expect that most, >probably all of them, will eventually choose to “reluctantly back my party’s nominee” or just clam up.

    I have been expecting Mitt Romney to deny it. That he hasn’t done so is interesting.

  65. steve m

    here is the cnn quote

    Washington (CNN)Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson told CNN Thursday that Mitt Romney was considering endorsing him for president this fall.

    Johnson, a former governor of New Mexico, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he and Romney had spoken in recent weeks.
    “I think he’s considering the possibility of doing this,” Johnson said, “of actually endorsing the two of us.”
    Romney has previously said that he would look at the ticket but has not publicly committed to supporting them.
    CNN has reached out to Romney for comment.

  66. Thomas Knapp

    steve m,

    Right.

    Like I said, I keep hearing things like “Romney is thinking about endorsing the Libertarian ticket” (in some cases, as you point out, we are hearing that FROM the Libertarian ticket).

    What I have yet to hear is anything like “Romney endorsed the Libertarian ticket today …”

    Maybe he really is thinking about it. Or maybe he’s just been polite to them and they’re either misreading him or trying to use the public claim to push him toward it.

    Chicken-counting is best conducted after the hatch.

  67. steve m

    in contrast Jeb Bush specifically denied he was going to endorse Johnson and then a few days latter the younger Bush brother pops up and does endorse Johnson

  68. steve m

    maybe Mitt told Johnson to go ahead and say it like ” i am thinking”…. as a trial balloon.

  69. George Phillies

    Tom, you skipped the consorting with Lucifer part.

    “some of the GOP also-rans from this year are “thinking about” endorsing Johnson” Well, it’s a new biological activity for some of them, so give it some time.

  70. Jim

    Thomas L. Knapp “One of our problems is that we don’t have a lot of real polling data from the past. Was there much polling of Barr 2008 or Johnson 2012 at this stage of the game?”

    For Johnson in 2012:

    3 candidate polls (always Romney/Obama):

    7% Jan. 16 (PPP)
    7% Feb 12 (PPP)
    7% Mar 17 (PPP)
    6% Apr 15 (PPP)
    2% May 12 (Zogby/JZ Analytics)
    3% June 10 (Gallup)
    5% July 13 (Zogby/JZ Analytics)
    6% Sept 17 (Reason-Rupe)

    4 candidate polls (includes Stein):

    4% Sept 9 (CNN/ORC)
    4% Sept 30 (CNN/ORC)

    5 candidate polls (Includes Virgil Goode):

    1% Sept. 12 (Gallup)
    2% Sept 12 (Zogby/JZ Analytics)
    2% Sept 22 (Zogby/JZ Analytics)
    2% Oct 7 (Zogby/JZ Analytics)
    3% Oct 20 (Zogby/JZ Analytics)

  71. Jim

    For Barr in 2008:

    4 candidate polls (McCain, Obama, Nader):

    6% May 18 (Rasmussen)
    4% June 23 (Bloomberg/LA Times)
    4% Aug 24 (Zogby)
    1% Sept 15 (Ipsos/McClatchy)

    5 candidate polls (includes Cynthia McKinney)

    1% Sept 21 (CNN/ORC)
    4% Sept. 27 (Zogby)
    1% Oct 5 (Gallup)

  72. steve m

    Here is the Reuters/IPSOS July 29th Poll which demonstrates yet another problem with Real Clear Politics Poll of Polls

    Reuters/IPSOS
    Johnson 5.7%
    Stein 1.7%

    Real Clear Politics takes this data and they Truncate it instead of rounding it so it gets reported as

    RCP Data from Reuters/IPSOS
    Johnson 5%
    Stein 1%

  73. Thomas Knapp

    Thanks for those numbers, Jim and steve.

    I seem to recall that the major party conventions tend to bounce around and I think they may have come early this year. I wonder how that affects things? As counter-intuitive as it still seems, my impression was that McCain choosing Palin as his running mate might have hurt Barr’s numbers. My recollection is that the GOP got a big bounce out of that for several days until everyone figured out she’s a fucking idiot.

  74. steve m

    here is some wild speculation.

    The CNN Town Hall tonight wasn’t announced until 9 AM Aug 1st 2016. two days notice.

    http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/2016/08/01/cnn-to-host-second-libertarian-presidential-town-hall-on-aug-3/

    The previous CNN Townhall had a 7 day notice.

    There is speculation going on that The RNC is seriously angry with Trump for the fight with the Khan family and Trumps unwillingness to endorse Paul Ryan in his primary battle.

    One former Republican Consultant has speculated that if the RNC can get Trump to drop out that the RNC might endorse Johnson.

    Wild Speculation: Johnson has been in talks with Romney on how to push Trump out and that the CNN townhall is the opening gunfire in doing so.

  75. steve m

    it would require CNN going holy explitive… we got to help get that guy out of the running…

  76. steve m

    Indications are that Johnson and Weld are going to be gunning for Trump tonight. They won’t touch Clinton.

  77. Jim

    I don’t see Trump dropping out, but if he did, my guess is that they’d put Pence at the top of the ticket. They would hope that Trump supporters would see that as trying to keep as much of the ticket in place as they could while also being agreeable to the never-Trumpers. If they don’t keep Pence, a lot of the ultra low info Trump supporters could vote for Johnson in protest. They won’t put Johnson on the Republican ticket. They’d try to unify the party and Johnson does nothing for the social conservatives.

  78. steve m

    They haven’t even started the townhall and cnn is interviewing Johnson and Weld and they are eviscerating Trump on cnn facebook live

  79. Andy

    The fact that they are focusing so much on attacking Trump, while at the same time taking a “kid gloves” approach with Hillary Clinton, illustrates how big of a scam this whole thing is.

  80. dL

    “me: Regardless of your preferences, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, the reality is that “impure” politicians keep getting elected. “Pure” ones don’t.

    You may have voted for yourself through the years, but I wonder how that’s been working for you? Are you freer than you were 20 years ago?”

    I would like thank for your years of voting public service for diluted strychnine Truly has made a difference in my life. LOL

  81. dL

    “here is some wild speculation.”

    More like the barking of a deluded conspiracy theorist. Lay off the strychnine, brah…

  82. George Phillies

    Fox…three-way poll. Yaaaaawwwwwwwwwnnnnnn

    Most reports do some sort of shrinkage to present an integer number of percentage points, Truncation and rounding are both valid, though it is convenient to know which is being used. The typical difference between them is one-half of a percentage point.. For a 1000-person poll, if someone is reported at 10%, the counting error is one percentage point all by itself.

  83. steve m

    dl,

    “I would like thank for your years of voting public service for diluted strychnine Truly has made a difference in my life.”

    Whatever you are consuming seems to be having an effect.

  84. steve m

    Fox was one of the five polling organizations used in 2012 so boring or not… it should be watched.

  85. Bondurant

    I can see both sides of the argument. Some may think Johnson comes off as a hypocrite but, on the other hand, it’s a Young Turks debate. Not only would it be overtly biased against him but it wouldn’t hold any influence.

  86. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Anthony Dlugos: You have no evidence to indicate [Johnson]’s afraid to debate Stein. He just may not want to, or may seen no point.

    No point? How about the additional media coverage?

    A Johnson/Stein debate can only bring them both more exposure, which might in turn increase their polling, and thus increase their chances of being included in the adult’s debate in October.

    However, I’m guessing Johnson fears that he’d be hurt by such joint, LP/GP, media exposure. That it would benefit Stein more than him, and some voters who would have gone to him will instead go to Stein.

  87. robert capozzi

    rtaa, so, by your logic, if Vermin Supreme challenges GJ to a debate, would you say he should take that one as well? It would generate “media exposure,” yes?

  88. Thomas Knapp

    “it’s a Young Turks debate. Not only would it be overtly biased against him but it wouldn’t hold any influence.”

    Young Turks is about as popular and influential as it’s possible for an online show to get, and it will be running a 12-show weekly series on television (Fusion Channel — household penetration tens of millions) starting in September, focusing on the election. Even if the debate was held before that show starts, presumably footage from it would be used to the extent that Johnson remained a factor and topic of discussion.

    As far as bias against a candidate is concerned, if the candidate knows how to handle it it can be a feature, not a bug. Ask Donald Trump. He almost certainly would not be the GOP nominee today absent his “look at how mean old powerful Megyn Kelly and her coven of establishment media types victimize poor little old me” schtick.

  89. Steven Wilson

    Johnson debating Stein is another opportunity to illustrate his platform and solutions versus another set of platform and solutions. Even if the environment of the debate is “hostile” toward a candidate; that should be construed as yet another opportunity to illustrate his/her Presidential prowess.

    Politics in America is cruel and nasty. The journey tests everything within you. International politics are pomp, circumstance, and diplomacy. Each candidate, if given the opportunity, should look forward to such debates as to prove to the each viewer that they are prepared to be President.

  90. Anthony Dlugos

    I don’t know how to break it to you people, but there is no media exposure to be had by way of a hypothetical Johnson vs. Stein debate.

    I get the idea that it could be a compelling
    matchup of philosophies, but NO ONE other than diehard supporters of each candidate and/or philosophies would watch. No one. Vis a vi the average voter, a Stein v. Johnson debate would be ALL downside by implicitly demoting Johnson to a debate with a patently unqualified anti-vaxxer with no experience in public office. All downside.

  91. Thomas Knapp

    “NO ONE other than diehard supporters of each candidate and/or philosophies would watch. No one.”

    Depends on the venue and how it was promoted.

    Stein’s getting her own CNN down hall here in a couple of weeks. That’s likely to gain her 2-3 points in the polls, with the bulk of it coming out of Clinton’s hide but some of it from Johnson’s.

    When he’s polling evenly with her despite having twice the money and having received many times as much free media, will he be interested in debating her?

    I doubt it, because the most likely reason he doesn’t want to debate her is that he knows she’d whip his ass in public. Including, if the matter is brought up, on the issue of appealing to pro-mandatory-vaccination cultists.

  92. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    robert capozzi: so, by your logic, if Vermin Supreme challenges GJ to a debate, would you say he should take that one as well? It would generate “media exposure,” yes?

    I don’t know, would it generate media exposure? If so, then yes, I suppose Johnson should debate … whoever. The opponent doesn’t matter. It’s which outlets, if any, would carry the debate.

    I’m pretty sure a Johnson/Stein debate might be carried on CNN or MSNBC, or at the the very least, C-SPAN. If any of them do carry it, then yes, someone will watch — mostly likely hardcore political junkies (i.e., those most likely to vote in November).

  93. Thomas Knapp

    “I’m pretty sure a Johnson/Stein debate might be carried on CNN or MSNBC, or at the the very least, C-SPAN.”

    CNN had had two Johnson town halls and has announced a Stein town hall.

    Tentative prediction: CNN will try to get together a Stein/Johnson debate, especially in neither Johnson nor Stein get in the big debates. And if Johnson gets into the big ones and Stein doesn’t, Stein will get some kind of special commentary invitation from CNN on those debates.

  94. Thomas Knapp

    Darryl,

    It’s been a long time since I watched that RT debate, but my recollection is that Stein came off as more relaxed, more knowledgeable and more polished than Johnson.

    Four years later, Johnson seems a lot less relaxed, knowledgeable and polished than he did four years ago. I sometimes seriously wonder if he has some kind of neurological problem going on. He’s like one giant walking nervous tic. Presumably Stein has moved in the other direction, although I don’t think I’ve watched her on video a single time yet this year.

  95. T Rex

    “Four years later, Johnson seems a lot less relaxed, knowledgeable and polished than he did four years ago. ”

    Couldn’t agree more. I actually remember Johnson doing quite well the debate with Virgil Goode, Jill Stein, and Rocky Anderson four years ago. He was feisty in a good way and stood out. He shouted “legalize drugs now and don’t bomb Iran!” or something similar. This time around it really feels like he isn’t “all there” and his public appearances are all awkward, strange, and flaky.

  96. Andy

    Johnson has likely been told to alter his message by his handlers and CFR Bill Weld. This is probably why he has Bill Weld with him on so many interviews, and why he frequently defers to him. They have to make sure that he does not say anything that is too offensive to the CFR.

  97. Anthony Dlugos

    I tend to doubt CNN/MSNBC would televise a 3rd party debate, although I admit this election cycle makes it a slight possibility. CSPAN surely would.

    In any event, I don’t care what channel it would be on; if I am Johnson, there is no way I am appearing on a debate stage that does not include Clinton and Trump. Zero chance.

    I’d also say that there is no way I’m debating a fringe ticket with no elective office experience and a predilection to conspiracy theories, but I am aware Johnson doesn’t like to go negative.

  98. Tony From Long Island

    Why is there no thread for the Town Hall?

    I was so looking forward to hearing Andy whine about how terrible he was . . .

    In fact . . . he wasn’t. It was a much better performance than the last one. Is he a statesman? Certainly not, but there were no trainwrecks and Gov. Weld picked him up when necessary.

    Mr. Perry’s opinion as to the debate talent of Gov. Johnson is worthless sour grapes. Particularly considering his dismal showing in the nomination voting and the fact that he came across as a creepy weirdo in the debate.

  99. robert capozzi

    TR, did you want last night’s Townhall? A-/A performance, I’d say.

    It’s interesting that you find shouting attractive. Not everyone wants a shouting prez. Generally, that’s considered unpresidential, and to me: childish.

    YMMV.

  100. Thomas Knapp

    “if I am Johnson, there is no way I am appearing on a debate stage that does not include Clinton and Trump. Zero chance.”

    You might be right. Any debate stage he appears on will entail about a 99.9% chance of him being sent crawling off the stage within five minutes with his pants around his ankles and bawling snot bubbles out his nose.

    So it would make sense that he would save that 1 in 1000th chance of actually doing well for a venue where it might make a real difference.

  101. Thomas Knapp

    “the fact that he came across as a creepy weirdo in the debate”

    After the debate in question, I naturally informally inquired as to opinions.

    Some people thought Darryl won the debate handily. Some people thought Petersen knocked it out of the park. A few really liked Feldman’s performance. A handful were impressed with McAfee. The absolute best opinion I heard of Johnson’s performance was from one of his staffers, and as best I remember it it went something like “thank God he didn’t bomb quite as badly as usual tonight.”

  102. Tony From Long Island

    I’ve never EVER heard of any connection between gluten sensitivity and MS – or epilepsy for that matter . . . but it is true that Andy could turn ANYTHING in to a government plot.

  103. Tony From Long Island

    Mr. Knapp: I’m guessing those people who thought Perry won the debate didn’t actually vote for him – since almost no one did (thankfully). If some people thought Trump’s convention speech was doom and gloom, they should listen to give minutes of Perry.

    Again . . . Johnson is not a great debater. I thought his performance at the convention was actually not bad – and I LOVE that he got booed about having the gall to say the government should try to do SOMETHING to ensure that drivers have the most minimal amount of aptitude while utilizing a death machine.

  104. Anthony Dlugos

    Knapp,

    He managed to secure the LP nomination after the Saturday night debate.

    Trump managed to secure the GOP nomination and was a terrible, frequently incoherent debater.

    From a general public perspective, debates are more subjective than you’re suggesting. They aren’t scored like a boxing match.

    In any event, as I noted, the reason J-W would not accept a debate with a couple fringe candidates is that we are talking about a pair of governors vs a couple never-elected “activists.” J-W has no more reason to accept a debate with them than a professional MMA fighter has to listen to the delusional challenge of a dude who likes to get into bar room brawls.

  105. robert capozzi

    T, scroll down to Long Term Health Effects

    https://celiac.org/celiac-disease/what-is-celiac-disease/

    I am surprised that Andy has not been shouting from the rooftops about WW’s membership in Fly Club, not to be confused with Fight Club! 😉 I just discovered it.

    There’s no indication he’s been to the Bohemian Grove or the Bilderberg Society, however. (Although I’m certain he’s been at least through Bohemia, NY!) Perhaps WW’s not been initiated into the inner circle of the Satanic forces secretly pulling the strings. I’ve not seen him use the upside-down triangle hand gesture, either.

  106. Tony From Long Island

    Bohemia, New York . . . . interesting . . . it’s where I’m sitting right now.

  107. Thomas Knapp

    “I’m guessing those people who thought Perry won the debate didn’t actually vote for him”

    Not surprising. In the LP, there’s generally something of a negative correlation between perceived debate performance and actual votes for the nomination. Delegates enjoy hearing libertarianism from their candidates, but apparently think the public won’t.

  108. robert capozzi

    Weld was born in Smithtown and has lived part-time in Bellport, so he has to have at least passed through Bohemia on Sunrise Highway and has probably flown out of Islip more than once.

    I

  109. Tony From Long Island

    The Celiac info was interesting, but I didn’t really see a direct link . . . only ” . . . the greater the chance of developing another autoimmune disorder. . . . ”

    Plus, MS is usually diagnosed before age 45 from what I remember . . .

  110. Chuck Moulton

    Should Johnson debate Stein before the participants of the Trump / Clinton debate are decided? Probably not.

    Should Johnson debate Stein after he doesn’t qualify for the Trump / Clinton debate? Absolutely.

    The whole point of an unwinable campaign is to spread the libertarian message. Any candidate who ducks big media opportunities to do that is not upholding his fiduciary responsibility to spread the message and grow the Party; rather, he is basking in a cult of personality.

    Will Johnson debate Stein? I doubt it. So far he’s been worse than Barr in huge blunders that miss opportunities for the LP.

    Johnson claims he wants to learn from his mistakes circa 2012. Unfortunately, he’s blind to those mistakes, which were throwing money down the drain for bad consultants, running from the Libertarian label, and espousing insane, unlibertarian positions. Instead, he’s doubling down on all those things. (And, Capozzi, there is a big difference between departures from radical, “plumbline” positioning, and advocating for more government “moreicism”; Johnson is often doing thr latter, not the former.)

    It’s gut-wrenching to watch the LP nominee squander all the blood, sweat, tears, and money contributed by LP activists on horrible strategic moves orchestrated by his conservative Republican campaign staffers.

    As always, I hope I’m wrong and I hope Johnson does the right thing in the end (debate Stein and actually prepare for the debate so he doesn’t get clobbered). In any event, I’ll be voting for Johnson in November.

  111. Tony From Long Island

    You sound like a Trump supporter: “He’s terrible and I don’t support what he said. . . but I’m voting for him . . . “

  112. Anthony Dlugos

    If I’m Johnson, I’m not debating the Green Party anywhere, anytime under any circumstances, the sole exception being a debate that includes the Duopoly. This goes for before and after inclusion/exclusion from the CPD debates.

    The message can still be spread without engaging in a debate with the patently unqualified that would do nothing but injure the LP image, implying that we are just another 3rd party. A fiduciary responsibility to the LP involves declining a pissant debate with warmed over socialists.

  113. Tony From Long Island

    Anthony said ” . . . . would do nothing but injure the LP image, implying that we are just another 3rd party. A fiduciary responsibility to the LP involves declining a pissant debate with warmed over socialists.. . . ”

    And the LP is not just another 3rd party?

    The Republicans call everyone who is not a republican a “socialist.” We don’t need to bother with that. I’m sure Dr. Stein is a pleasant person who has a different opinion . .

    But then who am I to talk? I spent today calling Daryl Perry “creepy” and I always rail against the “purists” in the LP — but I do it very pleasantly 🙂

  114. Andy

    Libertarian Party members have argued for years that all candidates who are on the ballot in enough states to have a theoretical chance to win the election ought to be included in the debates. Green Party candidate for President Jill Stein meets that criteria.

    If Gary Johnson refuses to debate Ms. Stein then it makes him look like a hypocrite.

    I think that as a general principle, Libertarian Party candidates ought to be willing to debate anyone. Now I could make an exception for not debating candidates who are not on the ballot in enough states to have a theoretical chance at winning the election, but there is really no excuse for not debating any candidates who meet this criteria.

  115. Chuck Moulton

    Anthony Dlugos wrote:

    The message can still be spread without engaging in a debate with the patently unqualified that would do nothing but injure the LP image, implying that we are just another 3rd Party.

    That’s hogwash. It’s the same primadona attitude Barr had that pissed away a lot of his support.

    Stein is just as qualified as most LP presidential candidates: Badnarik, Browne, Bergland, etc. You don’t have to be a goveror or a congressman to be a decent 3rd party candidate. Likely our candidate in 2020 or 2024 will be someone without much (or any) elected office experience.

    Johnson and Stein have different visions for the country. A debate provides an opportunity to explore and broadcast that vision and its application to a wide away of issues. It is an opportunity to reach many new Americans with the libertarian message.

    The attitude that Johnson is “too good” to debate Stein is exactly the problem. Johnson needs to get off his high horse.

  116. Thomas Knapp

    “candidates who are not on the ballot in enough states to have a theoretical chance at winning the election”

    That number is zero. One has a theoretical chance at winning the election by winning one state (or one of Maine’s or Nebraska’s US House districts) as a write-in candidate then being chosen by a majority of House delegations when neither of the other two candidates get 270 or more electoral votes. And that’s assuming you don’t just get picked by one or more faithless electors without even being a registered write-in anywhere or getting a single popular vote.

    The minimum number of electoral votes required to be elected VICE president, however, is 135, as opposed to 1 for president.

  117. Anthony Dlugos

    I’m at a loss as to how the LP demand for anyone with a theoretical chance to win the presidency to be included in the CPD debates means Johnson is required to debate the catastrophically unqualified Stein in the Losers bracket. There is no connection.

    Come on, man. At least Knapp is being witty with his “Weld as socialist” one-liner.

  118. Chuck Moulton

    Tony From Long Island wrote:

    You sound like a Trump supporter: “He’s terrible and I don’t support what he said. . . but I’m voting for him . . . “

    No, I have plenty of reasons to vote for Johnson, despite all of his fuck ups.

    1. He will be the candidate on the ballot closest to my (libertarian) positions — even though he diverges wildly from libertarian positions on several issues.

    2. He’s basically a good guy and philosophically libertarian — I like him as a person. His off the reservation positions seem to come from the stupid conservative Republican advisors who he enlisted to make all of his campaign decisions.

    3. I want to see the LP get high vote totals because that will help future LP candidates, who I hope will be a lot more libertarian.

    4. I serve in an official capacity for the LP as Chair of the national Judicial Committee, so I feel I have an obligation to support and vote for the LP candidate. That doesn’t mean I will hold back my advice to make him an even better candidate (which I realize will not be heeded because conservative Republican advisors make all of his decisions).

    Each of those reasons individually would be sufficient to vote for Gary Johnson. In aggregate, they make my voting for Johnson a virtual certainty.

  119. Be Rational

    “The minimum number of electoral votes required to be elected VICE president, however, is 135, as opposed to 1 for president.”
    ******

    Actually, if you’re going to cite the “theoretical” possibility, then the minimum number or EC votes required to be elected VP is either 2 or 1.

    The rule is that the Senate will chose from the two highest EC vote recipients for VP.

    If the EC vote is divided up by faithless electors so that the highest VP candidate gets 269 or fewer, and the second highest gets 2 votes followed by 267 individuals receiving 1 EV – your theoretically-possible-no-matter-how-ridiculous possibility – then 2 is the minimum to be the 2nd allowed choice out of two.

    But then, if the highest is 269 or fewer and everyone else gets only 1 EV, then all of those other would be tied for 2nd, so even 1 EV is theoretically enough to be elected VP by the Senate.

  120. George Phillies

    What Mr. Dlugos means about Johnson not debating Stein is that if Johnson did, he would probably get schlonged, especially without Weld there to cover his weak points. Fortunately for the Libertarian party, it is unlikely that Johnson will not flee from the challenge.

  121. Thomas Knapp

    BR,

    Sorry, I was giving the brief version. The conditions of the posited election was that it was one in which three candidates received electoral votes. The minimum number of votes to come in at least 2nd place with no other candidate exceeding 269 in such an election is 135. But your far out example looks correct to me!

  122. Tony From Long island

    I like your explanation Chuck .

    I am likely voting for Johnson, but not for the same reasons as you. I live in New York. I am a registered Democrat who used to be an LP member. I don’t have to worry about my state going to Trump, which would be a “uge” disaster.

    I agree with Johnson on certain issues (immigration, foreign policy) and I have a soft spot in my heart for MODERATE libertarians. In the past I have voted for Andre Morrou, Harry Browne (in 2000), Badnarik and Johnson in 2012.

  123. Be Rational

    There seems to be no thread on the actual Town Hall with Johnson and Weld. You can watch here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NmsA3b3lOU

    As third party candidates seeking to run in the middle, they performed quite well this time. No significant blunders or mistakes: Grade A.

    As Libertarian Party representatives for P and VP, there were a few weak points. I agree with the idea of a moderate message, moving step by step in a Libertarian direction, but some of their message was at best a temporary surrender to the current socialist state: Grade C+ .

  124. Tony From Long island

    ANDY wrote ” . . . Libertarian Party members have argued for years that all candidates who are on the ballot in enough states to have a theoretical chance to win the election ought to be included in the debates. Green Party candidate for President Jill Stein meets that criteria.

    If Gary Johnson refuses to debate Ms. Stein then it makes him look like a hypocrite. . . . ”

    Mark today down. I agree with Andy . . . he’s still a tin foil hat-wearing nut case, but he’s right on this point.

  125. Be Rational

    “I was giving the brief version. The conditions of the posited election was that it was one in which three candidates received electoral votes.” – Thomas Knapp

    *****
    In the case of only three candidates receiving EC votes for VP then your 135 minimum is, of course, 100%correct.

  126. langa

    I want to see the LP get high vote totals because that will help future LP candidates, who I hope will be a lot more libertarian.

    You’re hoping in vain. In the (exceedingly unlikely, IMO) event that Johnson receives a high vote total (say, 5% or more), it will be a cold day in hell until you see the LP run another actual libertarian for President.

    Even if Johnson didn’t want to run again, he would be replaced by a long line of major party opportunists, all looking for the chance to use the LP for a political booty call.

  127. Thomas Knapp

    BR,

    I did a whole series on the math over at my blog, prompted by Gary’s “any candidate on the ballot in enough states to mathematically win …” rhetoric. Of course others, including degreed mathematicians weighed in. George Phillies pointed out the extremely small number of popular votes theoretically required to rack up 135 electoral votes (4 — only one person votes in each of the four biggest states — California, Texas, New York and Florida — and all four vote for you; to get 270 electoral votes under that same condition, the minimum number would be 11).

  128. langa

    The point is that — broadly speaking — J/W articulate a lessarchist message on economics, foreign policy, and civil liberties.

    Even if that were true (a dubious proposition), so what?

    If a hypothetical candidate advocated maintaining the status quo exactly as it is, with the exception of advocating a 0.01% cut to every item in the federal budget, that candidate would technically be a “lessarchist” on every issue, but they would in no way be a libertarian, or be fit to represent the LP.

  129. robert capozzi

    cm: And, Capozzi, there is a big difference between departures from radical, “plumbline” positioning, and advocating for more government “moreicism”; Johnson is often doing thr latter, not the former.)

    me: Yes, I’m aware of that. Personally, I’m OK with expanding some government functions IF the net incidence of coercion declines. I’m for, for ex., a citizen’s dividend, paid for with at least offsetting cuts in unnecessary, bureaucratic programs. I don’t think WW’s FBI task force is a bad idea, again, so long as there are offsets.

    As you may recall, I no longer challenge the cult of the omnipotent state, so it allows me to think outside the deontological NAP box. If I understand NAPsterism, there can be no line items that can grow, and I think that’s a terrible judgment, both in theory and in practice. As a practical matter, politics involves compromise. If the budgets of Education, Commerce, and HUD were to be redirected into every citizen’s pockets, that would be a great blow for liberty, as I see it.

    As I understand it, not so for the NAPster.

  130. Be Rational

    “I did a whole series on the math over at my blog …”
    Thomas Knapp

    ***

    I’ll take a look.

  131. dL

    “As Libertarian Party representatives for P and VP, there were a few weak points. ”

    Like:

    (i) supporting the patriot act
    (ii) supporting the very concept of government watch lists
    (iii) denying rights to people placed on government watch lists
    (iv) equating hand guns to automatic rifles
    (v) trumpeting the precursors to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to take down “organized crime” during the Reagan administration
    (vi) Police protests signify a “National Emergency” for government action on a full employment program.

    That’s from watching about 30 minutes of it. I don’t what constitutes “weak points,” but 1-V are major, disqualifying violations. VI is knee-jerk looney bin progressive clap trap.

  132. Thomas Knapp

    “You’re hoping in vain. In the (exceedingly unlikely, IMO) event that Johnson receives a high vote total (say, 5% or more), it will be a cold day in hell until you see the LP run another actual libertarian for President.”

    5% is the cutoff for public funding for the next LP presidential campaign (to a maximum of $20 million — not sure what portion of that 5% gets you, but in 2000, Pat Buchanan got $12.5 million on the strength of Ross Perot’s 8% in 1996).

    One source says that candidates of “new parties” (parties that haven’t previously made the 5% threshold) can also get that public funding AFTER THE ELECTION if they break 5%. So as the election comes closer, if Johnson/Weld look like they’re going to hit 5%, look for them to rack up campaign debt that makes 2012 look like a candy bar purchase in anticipation of Uncle Sugar paying them back.

    But yeah, 5% or more brings the jackals who will only be here for the money.. That’s when we find out if the delegates are ready to re-grow some backbone after the last three fiascoes, or whether we’re going to go down the same way the Reform Party did.

  133. Thomas Knapp

    “I’m OK with expanding some government functions IF the net incidence of coercion declines”

    And there’s no way of knowing whether or not that happens.

  134. Anthony Dlugos

    5% brings the people with the institutional knowledge of the federal behemoth and thus the ability to reduce its size and influence.

    As surprising and/or distasteful as the Losertarian Caucus might find this, that set of individuals will be substantially, if not nearly exclusively, ex-Duopoly politicians.

    Voters will not trust political neophytes to dismantle Leviathan. Nor should they. They just won’t have the institutional knowledge to get it done.

    Sorry, folks. By and large, the people who built the state as it exists today are gonna be the ones taking credit for taking it apart.

  135. Thomas Knapp

    Anthony,

    In other words, you and your Johnsonist cronies are statist entryists who are here to take over the libertarian party and suck it dry before moving on to your next victims. Thanks, that explains a lot.

  136. George Phillies

    DL There was also “original intent” for the Constitution, you know, the original intent that viewed a state-sponsored Christian Church as acceptable. There was also the idea of referring education to the states, which is an ignorant dodge, in that the Federal government is directly and more-or-less inescapably responsible for at least five types of school system, starting with DC.

    On the other hand, it was a questioner who thought the AK47 is a semiautomatic rifle. Ummh, there is a reason that it is called the Avtomat Kalashnikova, namely the autofire setting. The Governor, however, appeared to repeat his wrong claim that private citizens cannot own automatic weapons.

  137. George Phillies

    Mister Dlugos is a mouthpiece for the folks trying to take over and destroy our party. First they have to survive the next four years of having their behavior analyzed in detail.

    Actually there is an obvious bylaws amendment to stop these characters in their tracks.

  138. Anthony Dlugos

    You guys just mad that you won’t be able to take credit for the R3VOLUTION?

    How did you think this was going to end up? With the American people trusting folks with zero experience in office to manage the largest managed bankruptcy in the history of humanity? You can’t really believe that.

    There is an infrastructure in place in D.C. that will have to be part of the process. This is just reality.

    You people have the wrong enemy. It’s not the politicians. It’s the people around us who wanted Leviathan. The politicians are just good at getting done whatever the people want done. That could be expanding the state or reducing it.

    But I realized some time ago, as demonstrated by the last couple posts, that there are ALSO people in the LP who have no desire to reduce the size and scope of the state. Like the civil rights hucksters, they are more interested in keeping the state the size that it is, and consequently in charge of the rabble that rails against it.

    No offense intended.

  139. langa

    You people have the wrong enemy. It’s not the politicians. It’s the people around us who wanted Leviathan. The politicians are just good at getting done whatever the people want done. That could be expanding the state or reducing it.

    This has to be sarcasm. No one could be so naive.

  140. Anthony Dlugos

    Am I missing something?

    I’ve spent 20 years listening to candidates promising everything, to be paid never, and the American people voting for them.

    Was I the only one who listened to the litany of goodies the Duopoly candidates promised everyone a few weeks back?

    Are you really gonna blame the politicians for giving the voters what they want, or at a minimum acquiesce to?

    What is it Mencken said about democracy?

  141. langa

    I’m no fan of democracy (or any other form of government), but the idea that politicians would willing dismantle the system that they have worked so hard to build, and which benefits them so much, is absurd. What would their motivation for doing so possibly be?

  142. langa

    And as for “blaming the politicians” for merely supplying what’s in demand, there is a demand for contract killings, too. Does that mean that hit men aren’t morally culpable for their actions?

  143. langa

    It seems you are getting your information from a high school civics class. If you want to know how democracy actually works (and what libertarians are actually) up against, here’s a concise summary:

    http://www.caseyresearch.com/articles/weekend-edition-doug-casey-on-the-deep-state

    (By the way, note the last two paragraphs, where the author is careful to make it clear that he is not talking about some “conspiracy” — at least not in the usual sense of the word.)

  144. Anthony Dlugos

    The Deep State is operating in defiance of the expressed objections of the American people to take it apart?

  145. langa

    Did you read the article? Quoting the third paragraph from the bottom:

    The Deep State is destructive, but it’s great for the people in it. And, like any living organism, its prime directive is: Survive! It survives by indoctrinating the fiction that it’s both good and necessary. However, it’s a parasite that promotes the ridiculous notion that everyone can live at the expense of society.

  146. langa

    So, even if these people join the LP, they will continue to preach statism, because doing so is essential to their survival. Look at Johnson and especially Weld, who is the epitome of the “lead dog” mentioned in the article. They promised at the convention that, if nominated, they would campaign on the LP’s platform. But of course, they have not done so, and in fact, they never intended to do so.

  147. langa

    By the way, if IPR continues this crap, I’m going to have to start posting comments one sentence at a time.

  148. steve m

    As langa stated:

    “By the way, if IPR continues this crap, I’m going to have to start posting comments one sentence at a time.”

    This timing out for a 3 paragraph reply which seems to be limited to certain groups of people is Extremely obnoxious.

  149. Andy

    The authoritarian control freaks who run the show will never voluntarily dismantle the state.

  150. Thomas Knapp

    I’ve been wondering for months what Weld’s angle on this whole thing is. Somewhere today I saw speculation that he’s hoping to be part of a Clinton administration. That doesn’t make much sense to me, but neither does any other explanation for why he would wnat to be a VP candidate who is not going to win on the ticket of a party he doesn’t seem to agree with much, if anything, on.

  151. Andy

    Weld’s angle is to prevent a hardcore libertarian message from getting out during a time when a large percentage of the population is actually paying attention to politics, and when many people are looking for alternatives to the D’s and R’s, and it also appears that he is trying to help swing the election to Hillary Clinton.

  152. Thomas Knapp

    “it also appears that he is trying to help swing the election to Hillary Clinton.”

    Well, no — that’s why the “looking for a Clinton appointment” angle doesn’t make much sense. He’s clearly doing his damnedest to make sure that he pulls votes only from Clinton and not from Trump.

    If he wanted to pull votes from Trump, he’d position himself as being enough like Trump to be the “Trump for people who aren’t quite on board with Trump.” Instead, he is positioning himself as being enough like Clinton to be “the Clinton for people who aren’t quite on board with Clinton.

  153. Anthony Dlugos

    Allowing “hardcore libertarians” speak, act and run the LP (see naked guy in Orlando) is the best way to prevent a “hardcore libertarian” message from getting out.

  154. Andy

    Tom, I disagree with your assessment as to who Weld from whom Weld is trying to pull votes. Weld is a former Republican. He is receiving support from establishment Republicans (like Marvin Bush) who do not like Donald Trump. This is a part of the whole “Never Trump” Republican movement.

    Weld talking nice about Hillary Clinton does not siphon votes away from Clinton, it encourages people to vote for Clinton, which is exactly what the establishment Never Trump Republicans (like the Bush family, Mitt Romney, etc…) want.

    Weld still has enough Republican credentials as a former elected Republican Governor, and a long time establishment Republican, to siphon away some Republican votes from Donald Trump, especially when one considers his support for police state policies like the Patriot Act, and his cheerleading for the war in Iraq, in addition to his long time support for the Bush family and Mitt Romney.

  155. Andy

    Anthony, I totally disagree. Ron Paul had a more hardcore libertarian message than either Johnson or Weld, and he amassed a pretty large following.

    James Meeks dancing on stage and showing his butt cheeks has nothing to do with putting out a more solid libertarian message.

    The establishment keeps track of what the level of discontent among the public, and they know that discontent is high, and they know that lots of people are looking at alternatives, and they do not want the general public to be exposed to the hardcore libertarian message. Sure, not everyone is going to accept that message, but if the percent of the population that does accept that message increases even by a few percentage points, it could cause problems for the government, and the ruling establishment does not want that to happen.

    If libertarian ideas were ever to become accepted by a critical mass of the population it would lead to game over for the ruling establishment.

  156. dL

    “Losertarian”

    Losertarian==”One who is willing to sell out for 5% of a popular vote.”

    That is, one who sells out for nothing. And then beats his/her chest about it. Talk about a freakin loser. One wonders what they would sell out for if they could actually win.

  157. dL

    “I’ve spent 20 years listening to candidates promising everything, to be paid never, and the American people voting for them.”

    Actually, if analyze what the candidates ran on vs what they did, you will typically find they betrayed their campaigns. Wilson,FDR originally campaigned as Bourbon Democrats, promising to shrink the size of government. Same w/ Reagan. Same with Bush. Same with Obama. People forget Obama ran “Harry and Louise ads” against Hillary’s plan(which was Obamacare) and then turned around and pushed through what he explicitly campaigned against.

    Now it is true that once a big program is in place it is difficult if not impossible to get rid of. But generally speaking, explicitly running a campaign on promising big new federal programs is a hard sell.

    Now Bernie Sanders is a bit of an anomaly in that regard. But it is explainable from Bastiat’s “The Law”: The poor man’s plunder. Once you have an obviously corrupt political economy, people will say, “The thing is corrupt, they got theirs, we want ours. And what are you going to say to that!” Bastiat’s answer, of course, was: not a damn thing.

  158. dL

    “DL There was also “original intent” for the Constitution, you know, the original intent that viewed a state-sponsored Christian Church as acceptable. There was also the idea of referring education to the states, which is an ignorant dodge, in that the Federal government is directly and more-or-less inescapably responsible for at least five types of school system, starting with DC.”

    George, as mentioned, I only watched a portion of it on the DVR.

    “There was also “original intent” for the Constitution”

    Other than Thomas Paine and perhaps Jefferson in Paris, the “Founding Fathers” have little to do with the libertarian tradition. Indeed, libertarianism proper is a 19th century construct imported from Europe. In the United States it was mixed with a variety of radical social movements at the time in direct opposition to the “original intent of the constitution.” The original intent of the constitution was to give airy pretense to “governments deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed” while in practice denying 90% of the population the ability to express consent or dissent in the manner of their governance.

  159. George Dance

    dL “(i) supporting the patriot act
    (ii) supporting the very concept of government watch lists
    (iii) denying rights to people placed on government watch lists
    (iv) equating hand guns to automatic rifles
    (v) trumpeting the precursors to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to take down “organized crime” during the Reagan administration
    (vi) Police protests signify a “National Emergency” for government action on a full employment program.
    That’s from watching about 30 minutes of it.”

    Once again, the anti-Johnson partisans, and those outside the libertarian bubble, seem to have watched 2 different programs. Here’s a generous chunk from the review I’m blogging today (this time from Red State); and, needless to say, there’s not one point in common between it and the above summary:

    “In terms of Johnson keeping to style of campaigning, he couldn’t have performed better in terms of tackling Clinton. He hit all the points that both the right and left can’t stand about her, while never resorting to attacking Clinton on a personal level…. Weld’s unleashing on Trump, and having a laugh at his expense balanced it out…. Trump’s love of below the belt attacks was answered by Weld in kind, causing a moment when the duo really connected with the audience on a personal level. It showed that Weld is not afraid to sling mud, and is not as nice as Johnson is….

    “For the most part, Johnson hit all the right chords, especially for people on the right like me. He has zero intention of illegalizing semi-automatic rifles. They’re willing to spend money to help combat ISIS at home, but not abroad where we sometimes do more damage than not. He wants to get rid of the Department of Education, and Weld actually has an alternative plan that works. His fiscal conservatism is something that attracts me like a moth to a flame, and both pointing out that they were the most fiscally conservative governors elected, and reelected in blue states is a big draw. And I liked the idea that he acknowledges the issues between police and black communities, pointing toward some attention to criminal justice reform.

    “But it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows…. Johnson’s stance on religious liberty is remarkably un-Libertarian.[….]

    “That glaring disagreement aside, Johnson did well. He oftentimes came off as rambling, like he was trying to get across three different thoughts at once, but when he was on, he was on. I was particularly impressed with his reasoning as to why Bernie voters should now back him. He was succinct, direct, and truthful about his contrasts and similarities.

    “Weld proved to be a more confident speaker. He gave off an air of charm and charisma that his partner lacked from time to time…. Whenever Weld opened his mouth, he sounded like a man who knew what he was doing, even if you disagreed with him.

    “This town hall should do some head turning, especially for independents looking for a home…. Johnson and Weld both have some issues that I certainly would like to do without, but with that said, he’s the best choice I’ve seen.

    “I’ll be casting my vote for him this November.”

  160. Andy

    Chuck Moulton said: “Each of those reasons individually would be sufficient to vote for Gary Johnson. In aggregate, they make my voting for Johnson a virtual certainty.”

    Chuck, if you are not happy with the Johnson/Weld campaign, then I think that the worst thing that you can do is to vote for them.

    Why? Because voting for them sends out the message to Johnson and Weld, and to their ardent supporters, that what they are doing is OK. Voting for them actually encourages more of this behavior in the future. This is like Democrats and Republicans who vote for their party’s candidates no matter what they do.

    I think that Johnson/Weld are taking the Libertarian Party in the wrong direction, and I prefer to punish this behavior rather reward it, so I will not cast a vote for them.

    This will be the third election in a row where I have not voted for the Libertarian Party’s presidential ticket (note that I have voted for Libertarians running for lower level offices in those elections). I cast a write in vote for Ron Paul / Gail Lightfoot for President and VP in the general election in 2008. I wrote in None Of The Above for President in 2012. I will probably write in None Of The Above for President this year as well (whatever I do, I will not be voting for the Johnson/Weld ticket).

    I would love to have a Libertarian Party presidential ticket to vote for in the general election. I would be happy to vote for one when the Libertarian Party starts nominating actual libertarian Libertarians for these offices again.

  161. Andy

    Check out this video for Jason Stapleton’s comments on the 2nd Gary Johnson/Bill Weld CNN Town Hall. Stapleton hits the nail on the head here.

    Jason Stapleton: Everything is Not Fine

  162. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Thomas Knapp: Johnson seems a lot less relaxed, knowledgeable and polished than he did four years ago.

    Four years ago, he was fresh from his GOP campaign for president. He’d debated some of the GOP big boys. He was already warmed up, and ready to run as the LP candidate.

    Now, four years later, Johnson has gotten rusty. He’s been out of practice. So really, he should welcome a chance to debate Stein prior to the big debates with Clinton/Trump. Like a boxer prior to a big event, Johnson could use some practice in the ring.

  163. Andy

    Didn’t Johnson just get a bunch of practice debating during the debates that were held at state LP conventions prior to the national convention, as well as at the two debates that were held at the national convention?

    How much more practice does he need to get his shit together?

  164. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Anthony Dlugos: The message can still be spread without engaging in a debate with the patently unqualified that would do nothing but injure the LP image, implying that we are just another 3rd party.

    The LP is just another 3rd party.

    And Stein is just as qualified as Johnson. The Founding Fathers envisioned a republic run by farmers and tradesmen and shopkeepers, who’d take a few years off from work to govern, before returning to their jobs and businesses. America was never supposed to be run by professional politicians.

    Unfortunately, Barr and Johnson and Weld have inflated some Libertarians’ egos. Just because these men were elected to adult offices — AS REPUBLICANS — and then joined the LP — LONG AFTER RETIRING FROM ADULT POLITICS — some Libertarians imagine that the LP is now an adult political party, the equal of the GOP and Dems.

    Johnson and Weld are GOP rejects. Leftovers. When Hollywood stars get too old, and their TV shows are canceled, they retire to doing infomercials and diet books. Republican politicians retire to the LP. But that doesn’t make the LP a professional political party, any more than Suzanne Summers hawking the latest juicer makes her 3 a.m. infomercial a hit TV show.

  165. robert capozzi

    tk: I’ve been wondering for months what Weld’s angle on this whole thing is.

    me: WW has always been a bit of a maverick. There was the NY guv thing, which the LP approached him, and he liked the idea because the Conservative Party was trying to block him, and I think he hoped to counteract them.

    He endorsed Obama in 08. He later said he regretted it.

    He pissed off Jesse Helms so much that they blocked him being Ambassador to Mexico. He was way ahead of the curve on LGBT issues among the political class.

    So, my guess is when GJ approached him, WW was in a state of revulsion about DJT.

    My other guess is that he’s truly a Hayekian lessarchist. He probably didn’t read Rothbard when studying economics at Oxford, so he might to this day not really get deontological NAPsterism. (GJ probably gets it a bit more, but it is such eccentric worldview and thought system, it’s easy to ignore when running for office.)

  166. Thomas Knapp

    “Tom, I disagree with your assessment as to who Weld from whom Weld is trying to pull votes. Weld is a former Republican. Weld is a former Republican. He is receiving support from establishment Republicans (like Marvin Bush) who do not like Donald Trump. This is a part of the whole ‘Never Trump’ Republican movement.”

    Precisely. In other words, he is receiving support from people who are going to support, and urge the people who listen to them to support:

    1) Clinton; or
    2) Someone else; but
    3) Not Trump.

    How does it help Clinton for Johnson/Weld to go after people who MIGHT have supported her and offer them someone else to support instead?

    How does it hurt Trump for Johnson/Weld to go after people who have already openly declared they will NEVER support him, offering to draw off votes that otherwise might go to the only candidate realistically standing in his way?

  167. Anthony Dlugos

    From the article;

    “When questioned about the CNN Townhall where Johnson and Governor Weld — who seems to have a cordial personal history with Hillary Clinton — refrained from criticizing the Democrat candidate, one of his chief media handlers told me the Johnson campaign wasn’t concerned with turning off libertarian voters: “We already have them. The libertarians who won’t vote for Johnson because of things like the CNN Townhall are the cranks who would find some other reason not to vote for him anyway.”

    http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/08/02/libertarians-may-have-a-chance-to-shine/

  168. Anthony Dlugos

    Also from the article:

    “They don’t view the election primarily as an opportunity to posture, to educate, or to virtue signal. They view it as a way to get either 5 percent of the vote and federal funding in 2020 or better yet 15 percent in the polls and debate inclusion in 2016, as steps to crack the two party system.”

  169. George Dance

    Root’s Teeth are Awesome: “Unfortunately, Barr and Johnson and Weld have inflated some Libertarians’ egos. Just because these men were elected to adult offices — AS REPUBLICANS — and then joined the LP — LONG AFTER RETIRING FROM ADULT POLITICS — some Libertarians imagine that the LP is now an adult political party, the equal of the GOP and Dems.”

    Maybe some do. I think, though, that more of those who voted for McBride, Paul, Barr, Johnson, and Weld thought that running people who’ve held office for President is necessary (though not sufficient) to being seen as a serious contender for the post.

    Of those who didn’t, some may think it’s not necessary at all; still others may think it is, but just dislike ex-Republicans.

  170. dL

    “The libertarians who won’t vote for Johnson because of things like the CNN Townhall are the cranks who would find some other reason not to vote for him anyway.”

    The “serious” media handler will probably be calling one of those cranks to get instructions on how to get wifi working when he is assigned to RemoteCast TeamGov’s participation in the debates from William Weld’s basement. And for gods sakes man, don’t trip over the cord, lest you sabotage the Millennials YouTube debate strategy for victory.

  171. Chuck Moulton

    http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/08/02/libertarians-may-have-a-chance-to-shine/

    one of his chief media handlers told me the Johnson campaign wasn’t concerned with turning off libertarian voters: “We already have them. The libertarians who won’t vote for Johnson because of things like the CNN Townhall are the cranks who would find some other reason not to vote for him anyway.”

    That statement is disgusting. It’s the most outrageous statement I’ve heard from the Johnson campaign so far… bearing in mind that Johnson said at the LP national convention that we hold meetings in treehouses.

    I’ll be contacting my LNC representatives to ask the Johnson campaign about that garbage!

  172. Andy

    Chuck, that is another example of why I said that Libertarians who are unhappy with the Johnson/Weld campaign should not vote for them. They are taking Libertarians for granted and they are just using us. It should be clearly apparent that they do not really care much, if at all, about libertarianism or the Libertarian Party. Why should we reward this behavior by voting for them? Voting for them just sends the message out that we should have more of this behavior in the future.

  173. steve m

    I would label Andy as one of the cranks… but he is one of our cranks. So we should tollerate them for what they have done for the party and will likely do for it again in the future.

  174. Andy

    I have supported Libertarian Party candidates for 20 years. My support is not blind though. If a Libertarian Party candidate goes too far off course on the issuez, and/or displays too much of what I would call bad behavior, they will lose me as a supporter. This has only happened a few times over the last 20 years, and this is one of them. I would not label this as being a crank.

  175. Be Rational

    As for GJ/WW not taking on Hillary, in addition to Weld calling Trump mentally ill by saying he has “a screw loose”, Johnson very calmly accused the Clintons of selling government favors for bribes, “pay to play” by paying outrageous speaking fees for State Department favors.

    Johnson’s comment amounts to calling both Bill and Hillary criminals that belong in jail.

    The tone was just right to reach out to those who would like to vote for a woman, would like to vote for less government coercion of LBGT and minorities, would like to legalize marijuana and would like to vote for Hillary but don’t trust her because of her corruption.

    So, yeah, it’s too bad, but here we are a better choice. Take a look. Consider voting Libertarian.

    This was a much better performance.

  176. Be Rational

    Bribery and corruption has been the Clintons’ method of operation since Hillary took a $100,000 bribe for Governor Bill from a major Arkansas corporation for favors, laundered to look like commodities trades.

    The Wall Steet Journal long ago printed an analysis showing that the reported trades made for Hillary by her broker were impossible based on the actual movement of commodities prices on the days the trades were claimed to have happened. No actual trades were made. It was just money laundering through a broker to disguise the bribe.

    Fantasy trading and fake trades listed on client reports were also used by Bernie Madoff to fool his clients and hide his Ponzi scheme.

  177. Andy

    Johnson also said that Hillary Clinton is a fine public servant. He seems to be talking out of both sides of his mouth.

  178. langa

    …one of his chief media handlers told me the Johnson campaign wasn’t concerned with turning off libertarian voters: “We already have them. The libertarians who won’t vote for Johnson because of things like the CNN Townhall are the cranks who would find some other reason not to vote for him anyway.”

    This is just more evidence of what has been obvious to me from the start — Johnson, Weld and their cronies have nothing but pure contempt for actual libertarians.

  179. langa

    The tone was just right to reach out to those who…would like to vote for less government coercion of LBGT and minorities…

    Don’t forget those who would like to vote for more government coercion of private business owners — that’s another key element of the Johnson/Weld platform.

  180. Be Rational

    Andy
    August 5, 2016 at 15:27
    “Johnson also said that Hillary Clinton is a fine public servant. He seems to be talking out of both sides of his mouth.”

    ****

    You’re one debate behind, Andy.

    Keep up.

    ****

    When you stand in front of a stampede you get run over.

    If you ride up next to the herd you can slowly steer, turn, change directions and eventually stop the stampede.

  181. Anthony Dlugos

    I’m an actual libertarian and I don’t think that shows contempt for me.

  182. Jim

    Assume, for a moment, that there are government agents who have infiltrated an organization that could, someday, potentially become dangerous to government in its current state. Now assume that organization is beginning to gain momentum. What would those agents do to undermine to undermine that momentum? Purity tests. They would declare that they want to succeed, but they don’t want to succeed with THOSE people. They will demand all or nothing. Anything short of achieving all goals at once is selling out.

  183. Andy

    No, the infiltrators would hijack the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination for the last 3 national conventions and run tickets that water down and/or misrepresent the Libertarian message to the public, thus stifling the growth of the party and the movement.

    This should be pretty obvious right now considering that the current LP candidate for Vice President, is a current member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a crony of the Bush family, Mitt Romney, and Hillary Clinton.

  184. Jim

    The implication there is that the Libertarian party was growing prior to the nominations of Barr and Johnson. It wasn’t. There is no purpose to hijacking a movement that was already near death.

  185. Andy

    Also, I have NEVER said that anything other achieving all goals at once is selling out.

  186. Dave

    Judging by the membership numbers, the party seems to be growing just fine now. +5000 members since January if I’m reading the chart right.

    Though one can question how much of that is due to Johnson, considering he ran four years ago and I don’t think the party experienced this sort of growth. It will be curious to see if this is the start of a longterm trend that continues after the election.

  187. Andy

    Actually, the Libertarian Party was growing in the 1990’s and early 2000’s with Harry Browne, but yeah, the party went through some bumps for a few years, part of which was caused by 9/11 and the so called “War on Terror,” with some Libertarians having unfortunately bought into that propaganda. The Libertarian Movement started to expand rapidly thanks to the Ron Paul r3VOLution of 2007-2012. and the Libertarian Party could have put itself in an excellent position to benefit from that a lot more than it has IF the party had not nominated Bob Barr / Wayne Root in 2008, and if the party had not followed this up with Gary Johnon / Jim Gray in 2012, and Gary Johnson / Bill Weld in 2016. Running these softball Republican 2.0 tickets makes it look like the Libertarian Party has sold out its principles, which is has to some extent, and it repels real libertarians from wanting to have anything to do with the party.

  188. Andy

    Yes, the party has grown a little bit lately, but it is still way below where it was 16 years ago, and it is also way below WHERE it could be today if not for multiple screw ups over the last 15 years.

    I have to question how many of these new members are actually libertarian Libertarians, and how many of them are Republican 2.0’s.

  189. langa

    … I have NEVER said that anything other achieving all goals at once is selling out.

    No one here at IPR has said anything like that. However, it’s much easier for Gary’s Groupies to knock down straw men, than to defend their guy’s constant promotion of blatantly non-libertarian policies.

  190. Jim

    Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely want hard core libertarians as part of the party, holding its feet to the fire, and in full control of the platform declaring loudly “THIS IS THE END GOAL.” But I will support any candidate that wants a net reduction in government. How much they want to shrink government is directly proportional to how much support I will give.

    Johnson irritates me his support for the Fair Tax. Weld infuriates me with his support for the Obamacare individual mandate. But they do both want to shrink government overall and getting a high vote total is a visible statement that Hillary and Trump – both of whom want to grow government – are not acceptable. Even if they don’t win, it influences the major parties by encouraging them to put up more libertarian candidates and moving their policies in a more libertarian direction. And some of the people looking into Johnson will become more libertarian. Some of them might even eventually become “libertarian-libertarian.” Telling people not to vote for Johnson because he isn’t pure enough is counterproductive.

    The libertarian party has a reputation for being full of teenage idealists, to put it politely. Johnson is forcing people to reevaluate that meme. He is forcing people to take libertarianism more seriously than they have been. The more he gets out there and gets us exposure, the better it will be for libertarianism in the future. All we have to do is make sure there are always libertarian-libertarians active in the party yelling “THIS IS THE END GOAL.” But the goal doesn’t have to be fulfilled all in 2016.

    Don’t ever work against candidates that want a net reduction in government. You don’t have to support them, but working against them is counterproductive.

  191. Jim

    langa “… I have NEVER said that anything other achieving all goals at once is selling out. No one here at IPR has said anything like that. However, it’s much easier for Gary’s Groupies to knock down straw men, than to defend their guy’s constant promotion of blatantly non-libertarian policies.”

    No, you don’t say it. But that’s what you do. Any deviance, however minor, render’s him unacceptable to you.

    Trump is out there talking about torturing people, Hillary is wrecking havoc across the Middle East, and you two are so worried about baking a fucking cake that you won’t work to stop them. We’ve got bigger problems than baking cakes.

  192. natural born citizen

    The idea that Mary “NAMBLA” Ruwart would have done any better than Congressman Barr is laughable.

  193. Andy

    I have not suggested that anyone vote for Hillary or Trump, and pointing out the faults of Hillary and Trump does not make all of the problems with the Johnson/Weld ticket go away.

    Mary Ruwart may not have been the best candidate, that is open to debate, but at least she was a legitimate libertarian Libertarian, unlike Bob Barr. There were other choices available at that convention who would have been preferable to Barr, like Steve Kubby.

  194. Jim

    I didn’t say you suggested anyone vote for Trump. I can point to the faults of Hillary and Trump to remind you that Johnson’s faults pale in comparison.

    You can choose not to believe Johnson wants to reduce the size of government, but that is what he is campaigning on. Eliminate the Department of Education, HUD, and Commerce, cut the DOD by 20%, etc.

  195. Andy

    Most of us already know that Hillary and Trump suck. This is not relevant to the discussion. The problem is that the a majority of delegates to the Libertarian National Convention chose a ticket that is watering down, and in a lot of cases, misrepresenting, the Libertarian Party and philosophy to the public. Getting votes is meaningless if it is being done in the context of not properly conveying the Libertarian message to the public. This is not about purity or perfection. I don’t think that anyone here is demanding this. Johnson/Weld are off on a whole lot of things. It is not just one issue.

  196. Jim

    Stated preference vs. revealed preference. You SAY you don’t demand perfection, but by relentlessly attacking the candidate for every minor deviation, your preference is revealed.

    And, no getting votes is not meaningless if it is not done in the context of properly conveying the libertarian message. It doesn’t matter if they vote for Johnson because they like what he says, like what the LP stands for, or if they’re voting for him as a protest of Hillary and Trump. The point is still registered that they are willing to vote for someone other than the R’s and D’s and that will influence the behavior of the other parties. Votes are the ultimate currency in politics.

  197. langa

    No, you don’t say it. But that’s what you do. Any deviance, however minor, render’s him unacceptable to you.

    Absolutely false. There were areas where I vehemently disagreed with Ron Paul, yet I still enthusiastically supported him in ’08 and ’12. In fact, in ’12, I even reluctantly supported Johnson. But the Johnson of 2016 is a different case, as illustrated by the long list of his deviations from the platform of the party he’s supposed to represent.

    [Continued below]

  198. langa

    There are three possible explanations:

    1. Johnson actually thinks he is taking the correct libertarian positions. If so, he doesn’t understand our philosophy, and is unfit to present it to the public.

    2. Johnson knows his positions aren’t libertarian, but he doesn’t care. If so, he shouldn’t have asked to represent a party he so strongly disagrees with.

    3. Johnson actually believes in the libertarian positions, but he avoids taking them, in order to trick the public into voting for him. If so, then he’s a liar and a manipulator, and is unfit to represent us.

  199. langa

    We’ve got bigger problems than baking cakes.

    First, that’s far from his only “deviation” from the LP platform (see the Liberty Hangout article linked above for a long, but still incomplete, list of them). Second, the bakery slavery issue is a timely issue that involves bedrock libertarian principles, like private property rights and freedom of association. This is absolutely an issue that the LP presidential candidate needs to get right.

  200. dL

    “The implication there is that the Libertarian party was growing prior to the nominations of Barr and Johnson. It wasn’t. There is no purpose to hijacking a movement that was already near death.”

    Conflating the American Libertarian Party with the (global) libertarian movement. The party at best may be a non-factor, but the movement itself is not that. Easy examples:
    Wikileaks,Bitcoin, the Darknet

    Of course, the above listed examples are along the lines of apolitical cypherpunk and/or cyber-anarchism, but they have done or hold more promise to do more than the LP has done or ever will do. I could give more examples outside the United States in terms of social or political movements, though the examples don’t necessarily conform to the garden-variety notions of american (political) libertarianism.

  201. dL

    “1. Johnson actually thinks he is taking the correct libertarian positions. If so, he doesn’t understand our philosophy, and is unfit to present it to the public.”

    If Johnson were teamed with someone other than William Weld, say a Larry Sharpe, the ticket would fairly tolerable. It is the inclusion of William Weld which makes the ticket intolerable to anyone who actually subscribes to the libertarian political philosophy or methodology. Specifically, it is Weld’s Law and Order republicanism and his cozy relationship with the National Security State establishment which disqualifies the ticket from being any representation of libertarianism(unlike traditional tickets where the VP usually plays a more deferential role to the top of the ticket, it is almost the reverse case in this instance). Although I get accused of being a “purist,” I am actually quite willing to compromise of quite a few things. But not that. That’s core stuff.

    Nonetheless, I can’t say there is nothing positive about TeamGov. They aren’t dixiecrats. I’ll give them that. Unfortunately, given Barr/Root, you can’t make the presumption that the LP won’t stoop to nominating that specie of republican lite. Weld’s critique of Trump’s immigration barking was spot on. No complaints there.

  202. Thomas Knapp

    “Telling people not to vote for Johnson because he isn’t pure enough is counterproductive.”

    The next person I hear tell anyone that will be the first. And the same is probably true of you, although you’ve convinced yourself. In the mind of the Johnson Kool Aid Drinkers, everyone who declines to support Johnson is agitating against Johnson, and they’re all doing so because they’re purists, not because he and his running mate aren’t very good candidates.

  203. robert capozzi

    Langa, there’s a 4th explanation:

    4) Johnson is a lessarchist, which includes NAPsterism in its universe, but which also takes into account the fact that politics is the art of the possible. He also recognizes that some issues cannot be reduced to simplistic syllogisms, and that context matters.

  204. robert capozzi

    tk: he and his running mate aren’t very good candidates.

    me: I believe that you believe this. However, my anecdotal evidence differs. Friends of mine who are not political and not especially L are increasingly taking a look at J/W, and they are liking them.

    One friend who was a Bernie supporter just let me know he’s on the J/W bandwagon, on the strength of CNN 2.0.

    Perhaps you miss just how profound a moment it was when A. Cooper said that he was amazed that GJ said “I may be wrong.” Pols don’t say this. They don’t say “perhaps,” either.

    This humility is a strength, not a flaw. It may not process in the deontological thought system, in which the world boils down to a right/wrong formula.

  205. robert capozzi

    tk: pile of meaningless hash

    me: Sorry you feel that way. It’s clear to me that meaning is entirely subjective. You ARE the Alpha and the Omega! Your truth is your truth, and I respect that.

    It’d be nice if that were to be reciprocated, but it is not necessary for my contentment. 😉

  206. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC,

    I thought the second town hall was far and away better than the first. I missed a few minutes of it and apparently it was the few minutes where he pissed off some libertarians vis a vis sex workers. I’ll have to go back and watch that part.

    What makes a good candidate versus a bad candidate? It’s complicated, and a lot of different people are going to have a lot of different opinions.

    Are the candidates selling what they were sent out to sell?

    Is the pitch they’re using one that helps or harms the brand?

    If their pitch is good, are they doing a good job of getting that pitch in front of as many customers as possible as often as possible?

    What are the electoral criteria of success?

    Let’s take that last one, just because I’m in the mood for it and want to rant in a different direction. It’s a nice segue/digression point.

    If Gary Johnson becomes president of the United States at the end of this campaign, it’s going to be damn difficult to argue that he didn’t go a good job. Especially if he does so by garnering 270 electoral votes, but even if he does so by forcing the election to the House.

    But that’s a very unlikely outcome (I’d say that 1 in 1,000 is an overly optimistic assessment of his chances). And short of actually winning, it seems to me that the criterion is not “how many votes did he get?” but “what position did he leave the party in for 2020, 2024, etc.?” Because even if he runs every four years until he keels over from old age, he WILL eventually keel over from old age and then we’re going to have to figure out how to do as well or better than he did without him to do it.

    And that criterion is itself more complicated than “how many more $25 newsletter subscribers do we have after his run than before it?”

    Failing victory, which is better: 4% nationwide or 6% nationwide? Think carefully about all the consequences of that up-to-$20 million welfare check for the 2020 candidate that comes with 5%. Not just the consequences Darryl Perry mentioned, but others.

    The consequence I think Darryl was alluding to in his concession speech is that when that check is hanging out there, the people who come around seeking the LP’s nomination will be people who want that money to flog their own agendas, not the party’s agenda.

    But there’s AT LEAST one other negative consequence. With that check hanging out there, the candidates it attracts will be candidates who are not interested in winning elections. If you take the check, you subject yourself to spending limits that put victory out of reach. Which is why major party candidates aren’t taking the check themselves any more (the check they would get is larger, but still a fraction of the amount needed to plausibly win a presidential election).

    I’ve always opposed the idea of winning elections as the only mission of the party. But choosing to lock ourselves out of the possibility of winning is even dumber. So I would rather see Johnson get 4% than 6% (I expect him to get less than 2%).

    Here’s another thing to think about vis a vis election results. It’s something I’ve mentioned a number of times over the years:

    —–
    Each affiliate party shall be entitled to send delegates to each Regular Convention on the
    following basis:

    a. One delegate for each 0.14 percent, or fraction thereof, of the total Party sustaining
    membership in that affiliate; provided that at least one such delegate must be a resident
    of that State or District.

    b. One delegate for each 0.35 percent, or fraction thereof, of the votes cast nationwide for
    the Libertarian Party candidate in the most recent presidential election, cast in that
    affiliate’s state.
    —–

    I’ve always opposed this method of delegate allocation because it inherently distorts the inclinations of national conventions toward the idea of doing in the future what has been done in the past. I would prefer a national convention in which delegates are allocated on precisely the same formula as, or some direct multiple of, the formula for allocation of electoral votes. Every state gets two delegates plus one delegate per US House District (for a total maximum of 538 delegates). Or four delegates and two per US House district (for a total maximum of 1,076 delegates).

    Based on current polling numbers as I understand them and on the existing allocation formula, there’s a good chance that the next Libertarian National Convention is going to look a lot more like Utah than like the United States. And while I have nothing against Utah or against Utah’s Libertarians, and in fact think that Gary’s focus on Utah makes a lot of sense, “let’s look more and more like Utah” doesn’t seem like a smart multi-election strategy. We can’t really lay that at Gary’s feet. He didn’t design our fucked up delegate allocation formula. But that still doesn’t mean his strategy’s effects on the party’s future will be a good thing.

  207. robert capozzi

    tk: it seems to me that the criterion is not “how many votes did he get?” but “what position did he leave the party in for 2020, 2024, etc.?”

    me: It’s a reasonable position, yours. But we do have yet another methodology problem. It’s not obvious that the candidate is 100% responsible for the party’s “position.” Some percentage, yes, although I can’t imagine how workable metrics could be designed to measure that.

    My sense — and that’s all it is — is that this campaign has put the L word firmly on the edge of the Public Square. Regular, average folk increasingly know who GJ is, and that there’s. They have a vague sense of what it means to be L. Now, he did recently use the NAP on a TV interview, but it’s certainly the case that he’s definitely not a NAP evangelist.

    In many ways, mission already accomplished.

    However, a strong showing in the debates brings the L word further into the Public Square. A nice showing in November with a high percentage of votes or maybe winning a state or two, more so. Winning, of course, changes everything.

    All of these are tantamount air-support marketing. Closing rates — swelling the party’s ranks — is the party’s job. Getting people to sign on to challenging the cult is a very tough job, as I’ve mentioned previously, since there isn’t one. Building a cadre is not the function of a campaign, as I see it. It does, however, cast the net, and so far J/W are casting the net much, much further than ever before.

    Sarwark and Benedict need to pull the net in, though.

  208. Thomas L. Knapp

    “It’s not obvious that the candidate is 100% responsible for the party’s ‘position.'”

    I’m not sure what that means.

    One reason the party nominates a presidential candidate is to have that go out and sell the party’s platform/program as the way America ought to go.

    If the candidate is out there campaigning against, rather than for, the party’s platform/program on various issues, how does the candidate doing well serve the party’s interests?

  209. robert capozzi

    tk, we have a general/specific problem here. As a general matter, GJ offers a third-way approach to politics, a lessarchist approach. He is not citing the LP platform as his platform, true.

    Those who know how the platform came about would recognize that it’s a poor effort at promoting liberty.

    More liberty is the goal. A party — the LP in this case — should be interested in promoting more liberty vs. taking extremist positions that don’t advance liberty because they are so extreme.

    My guess, though, is that interest and membership in the LP will step up nicely due to this campaign. This will partly due to the fact that J/W offer a reasonable and credible approach to what ails us politically.

  210. Thomas L. Knapp

    “More liberty is the goal. A party — the LP in this case — should be interested in promoting more liberty vs. taking extremist positions that don’t advance liberty because they are so extreme.”

    Well, that might be the case.

    However, if that’s what the party WAS interested in, and if the party’s platform WAS as you described it, the delegates could have simply changed the platform to comport with what they were actually interested in. The fact that they chose not to says what they were interested in.

  211. Andy

    Does anyone besides Gary Johnson consider William Weld to be the original libertarian?

    Gary Johnson calls William Weld the “original libertarian”

  212. Andy

    Gary Johnson and William Weld have both come out in favor for the TPP.

    Here’s why you should not support it.

    What You Need To Know About The TPP

  213. Robert Capozzi

    TK, you are not paying attention if you believe that changing the platform is simple. It’s exceedingly difficult.

    The convention well knew that GJ does not abide by the platform 100%. He didn’t in 12, and his positions coming into 16 were more or less the same as 12…non-plumbliner lessarchism. The 89 20-something founders were unsuccessful in ensuring 100% obedience to NAP-STERISM. Deal.

  214. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC,

    You are confusing terms. Something can be both simple and difficult. The opposite of simple is complex. The opposite of difficult is easy.

    Changing the platform is simple: All that has to happen is for a motion to be made to change it, and for the requisite percentage of delegates to vote for the change.

    Yes, changing the platform is difficult. But that doesn’t change the fact that if the delegates had wanted to do it, they could have done it.

    And in fact, they DID make at least one change to it this year (adding an anti-death-penalty plank — thankfully, after decades, and only weeks before the Democratic Party did so; how embarrassing would it have been for the Democratic Party’s platform to have been more libertarian than the Libertarian Party’s on an issue?).

  215. Thomas L. Knapp

    “The convention well knew that GJ does not abide by the platform 100%.”

    True. But they probably didn’t expect him and his running mate to just go out and run full-tilt against portions of it. Normally what we expect of candidates is that if they disagree with the party’s platform on an issue they either don’t make that issue central to their campaigns, or at LEAST mention, when running against their party on an issue, that they’re running against their party on that issue.

    Weld in particular just seems to spout whatever nonsense pops into his head when he’s asked a question, without regard to whether his response is libertarian or even whether or not it’s factual. For example, there are MILLIONS of gun owners out there who might be approachable to vote Libertarian this year, and Weld is simultaneously telling them two things:

    1) That he doesn’t know a gun from his ass but hey, he’ll just talk about guns anyway; and

    2) That he doesn’t give a damn about their gun rights or their due process rights.

    The first element is just bad campaigning. Making yourself look like an idiot in public is not an ideological issue, but it can certainly antagonize people with an ideological orientation when someone tries to persuade them that he’s right and they’re wrong and it turns out that he has no fucking idea on earth what he’s talking about.

    The second element puts Weld in the position of running 180 degrees against the platform of the party that nominated him — and to the best of my recollection without any disclaimer whatsoever to let people know that his views do NOT represent the party.

    Johnson seems to be getting better on that particular issue (I can hardly complain when he takes basically the same position in a CNN town hall that I took in a column a few months ago — I doubt that he got the position from the column, but if so, hey, glad to help out), and I even recall that he may have, at one point or another, at least said something along the lines of “my fellow Libertarians are a little less inclined toward an open conversation on this than I am.”

  216. Anthony Dlugos

    I was a delegate. While I couldn’t predict every single statement Johnson-Weld would make post-nomination, in a general sense I expected exactly what we got. Notwithstanding Knapp’s hyperbolic use of pinball terminology.

  217. Anthony Dlugos

    I gotta tell you guys, I’m gonna miss Mr. Knapp when some moderate in the Johnson-Weld administration taps me for a position at Cato and I get fully co-opted by the state and spend my nights at the Capital Grille gnawing on T-bone steaks and getting services by the D.C hookers.

  218. Thomas L. Knapp

    “NPR’s Scott Simon asks the Libertarian vice presidential candidate to lay out the positions of his party on a range of domestic and foreign policy issues.”

    Simon: “Let me ask you about some specific points that are in the Libertarian platform. Would you for example get rid of the Affordable Care Act?”

    Weld: “No … [lengthy explanation of how he’d like to improve it].”

    Simon: “There’s a section of the platform called ‘self-ownership’ and I’m going to quote: ‘Individuals own their bodies; individuals have the freedom and responsibility to decide what they knowingly and voluntarily consume or what risks they accept to their own health, finances, safety or life.’ Would that mean decriminalizing heroin?”

    Weld: “Well, I don’t know what it would mean, but it’s not something I’ve ever said or am going to say, and you know I don’t think anybody that runs for office is bound by every word in the platform of their party. Certainly all the times I ran for office as a Republican I disagreed with 50% of the Republican Party platform …”

  219. Thomas L. Knapp

    Anthony,

    You’re probably not going to get a position at Cato if you think it’s part of the executive branch of the federal government. They expect their analysts to be a little more knowledgeable than that. And while Capital Grill lunches are occasionally among the perks, the salary probably isn’t going to go very far in the hooker market unless you consider an 11th and K street walker three times a year to be living high on the sex hog.

  220. George Phillies

    “non-plumbliner lessarchism. The 89 20-something founders were unsuccessful in ensuring 100% obedience to NAP-STERISM. ”

    At least Robert Milnes wrote in English, on the times I recall things from him.

    ” I’m gonna miss Mr. Knapp when some moderate in the Johnson-Weld administration ”

    It seems to me that this campaign has a higher level of hyperoptimism — crueler phrases could be used–than in the past.

  221. Thomas L. Knapp

    George,

    I don’t think that much has changed. In 1996, I was new to the LP and ran into a number of people — who, to their credit were very dedicated activists until their illusions were shattered — who were also new to the LP and who were absolutely certain that Harry Browne would be the next president of the United States. And I remember some of Browne’s rhetoric ran along the lines of “even if we only get 10% of the vote …” He got one half of one percent.

    There were a few people who bought Russ Verney’s gas about raising $40 million and making Bob Barr president, but they seemed to realize pretty quickly that it wasn’t going to happen instead of having their dreams shattered on election day.

    I think I was probably the most optimistic Badnarik campaign worker. I really thought he had a shot at hitting a million votes when I saw him polling at 5% in mid-August and seemingly forcing Bush and Kerry to engage him at least indirectly. Neither major party candidate had plans to campaign in New Mexico until Badnarik announced a week-long swing there right after the 5% poll — then they both announced visits, and during his visit Bush briefly pretended to be Badnarik, announcing his intention to withdraw US forces from South Korea over 10 years. He seems to have forgotten that intention once re-elected. But no million votes. Kind of a buzz-crusher.

    Maybe Johnson/Weld will do well enough this year to not destroy their most dedicated fans’ dreams. I doubt it, but it could happen.

  222. Jim

    langa “…the bakery slavery issue is a timely issue that involves bedrock libertarian principles, like private property rights and freedom of association. This is absolutely an issue that the LP presidential candidate needs to get right.”

    He ought to get it right, but we have bigger issues. Ordering someone to sell a cake is not on the same level as torturing and killing people. If your neighbors house is on fire, sometimes the fire department is going to knock down your fence when putting it out. That’s not ideal, but putting out the fire is more important than broken fences.

  223. Thomas Knapp

    Gary isn’t the first department, and he’s not putting out fires. He’s just talking about stuff in public, for the alleged purpose of promoting the party and what it stands for. So no, there really aren’t “bigger issues” than the fact that he’s doing exactly the opposite in at least some cases.

  224. Jim

    dL “Conflating the American Libertarian Party with the (global) libertarian movement. The party at best may be a non-factor, but the movement itself is not that. Easy examples: Wikileaks,Bitcoin, the Darknet”

    I didn’t conflate anything. We were specifically talking about the Libertarian Party.

    Wikileaks and the darknet are not libertarian. Wikileaks has no respect for property rights and the darknet is apolitical.

  225. Jim

    Thomas Knapp “Gary isn’t the first department, and he’s not putting out fires. He’s just talking about stuff in public, for the alleged purpose of promoting the party and what it stands for. So no, there really aren’t “bigger issues” than the fact that he’s doing exactly the opposite in at least some cases.”

    Do you have selective hearing? Johnson is absolutely providing a libertarian POV on some big issues like immigration, domestic surveillance, ending our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, and cutting the military budget.

  226. langa

    If your neighbors house is on fire, sometimes the fire department is going to knock down your fence when putting it out. That’s not ideal, but putting out the fire is more important than broken fences.

    Why can’t he do both? There’s no law that says that opposing torture and murder means you therefore can’t oppose slavery. He doesn’t have to make the bakery issue the centerpiece of his campaign, but when he’s asked about it, he should give the libertarian answer.

  227. Jim

    Thomas Knapp “’Telling people not to vote for Johnson because he isn’t pure enough is counterproductive.’ The next person I hear tell anyone that will be the first.”

    See Andy’s link. It says not to vote for Johnson because he isn’t libertarian enough.

    Thomas Knapp “In the mind of the Johnson Kool Aid Drinkers, everyone who declines to support Johnson is agitating against Johnson, and they’re all doing so because they’re purists, not because he and his running mate aren’t very good candidates. … short of actually winning, it seems to me that the criterion is not “how many votes did he get?” but “what position did he leave the party in for 2020, 2024, etc.”

    No, the criterion for being a good candidate is influencing policy. That is most easily done by winning, but it can also be done by gathering enough votes to pull the winner in your direction. The candidate can get votes by attracting media appearances and raising money. It’s the party’s job to pick a candidate that aligns with ideologically to their satisfaction. It’s the candidate’s job to influence policy.

    Thomas Knapp “Failing victory, which is better: 4% nationwide or 6% nationwide? Think carefully about all the consequences of that up-to-$20 million welfare check for the 2020 candidate that comes with 5%. … If you take the check, you subject yourself to spending limits that put victory out of reach. Which is why major party candidates aren’t taking the check themselves any more…”

    Unless you believe the LP will be able to raise more money than the check, that analysis is absurd. I don’t believe the LP will be able to raise that much. Attracting people who don’t at all want to shrink the government is a greater concern.

  228. Jim

    langa “Why can’t he do both? There’s no law that says that opposing torture and murder means you therefore can’t oppose slavery. He doesn’t have to make the bakery issue the centerpiece of his campaign, but when he’s asked about it, he should give the libertarian answer.”

    Ideally, that’s true. But he is what we have and he is the one who is most able to address the big issues. Ideologically, I’m more in agreement with Perry. But Perry would not be getting even 1% of the attention Johnson is getting, and that means, regardless of how good Perry’s messaging is, he would have no influence at all on the most pressing issues we are facing.

  229. Thomas Knapp

    “But Perry would not be getting even 1% of the attention Johnson is getting”

    In this particlar election year, we could have nominated a turnip and a stuffed frog and they would have received at least half the attention Johnson/Weld are getting. Whether that attention would translate to vote totals as well is a different question. So is who would have better represented the LP to the public.

  230. Andy

    There is a difference between somebody saying that a candidate is not libertarian enough to where they are not worth voting for, and somebody calling for candidates to be purists or to be perfect, as in these are not necessarily the same thing.

    I do not think that a candidate has to be a purist, or agree with me on every little point on every issue, in order for me to vote for them. There may not even be a candidate who agrees with me on every detail and who would consider to be perfect.

    There is not just one problem with Johnson/Weld, there is a list of problems with them, and when you add all of those problems up it adds up to why some of us are not supporting them.

  231. Andy

    If the Libertarian Party could raise $20 million by actually growing the party by getting more libertarians to join, that would be great.

    Getting handed a $20 million welfare check would not mean that we grew the party, it would just mean that we jumped through the government’s hoops to get that money. It would likely attract more people who just want to fleece the party for money, and who want the party to sign up for more checks from the government.

  232. Starchild

    Sure, Johnson and Weld are far from perfect, not my first choices, etc. But who else is running who is better? I think a good rule of thumb is to personally put at least as much energy into external (to the movement) politics, as into internal movement/party politics. Fight for getting the most radical candidates we can, but then support and vote for the most radical candidates we end up with on our ballots. Push them to be more radical, but support them if they are the best options out there, so long as they are on net, pro-freedom not anti-freedom. To my mind, Johnson and even Weld pass that test. Not with flying colors, but they pass.

  233. Andy

    I would say that going issue for issue, that Constitution Party candidate for President, Darrell Castle, is more libertarian than both Gary Johnson and William Weld, especially if you weight the issues. Sad but true.

    Having said this, who says that you have to support anyone for President? If no candidate in the race is worth voting for than write in None Of The Above for President, or, just leave the presidential part of you ballot blank, or do not vote at all.

  234. langa

    To me, the question is whether a campaign will help move the world closer to the free society that I want to see. In the case of Johnson and Weld, I think the answer to that question is “No” — mainly because I think their mealy-mouthed centrism is likely to confuse and/or repel more potential libertarians than it attracts.

  235. robert capozzi

    Langa, my answer is No as well, but for different reasons. The next prez is almost certainly HRC or DJT, and so the short-term prospects for lessarchy are poor. The consequence of J/W is unknowable, but the ticket certainly is the most effective Noise Machine for the L word and a lessarchist approach to politics.

    As for attracting NAP cadre prospects, even here, angry, deontologically minded may be gathered at a higher rate, due to the J/W campaign. Cadre prospects need to hear the word, and get a taste of L-ism for them to invest the time to sit down and read the FaNL and comb through the Mises web archive. I suspect the cadre got a bump out of the RP1 campaigns of 08 and 12.

    In college, I fit the NAP cadre profile, but had not heard the word L. I happened to see an ad in the NYT for the now-defunct L Review. A year later, I too bought into the idea the fetuses are parasites. In fact, a year and a half later, I was interning at L Review, working for Roy Childs.

    You have to be within earshot of the tree falling in the forest to hear it.

  236. langa

    I suspect the cadre got a bump out of the RP1 campaigns of 08 and 12.

    That’s because Ron Paul was selling something different. On almost every issue, he took a position that was substantially different from anyone else in the race. It’s hard for people who are sick of the status quo to get excited about Johnson and Weld, when half the things they say are just slight variations on the major party talking points.

  237. langa

    If Johnson actually wanted to attract potential libertarians, instead of pandering to conventional wisdom and portraying libertarianism as some hodgepodge, “pragmatic” mixture of the major parties, he would be explaining why neither Clinton nor Trump understand the problems facing us, nor have any idea how to fix them. In short, he would be saying something like this: http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2016/august/01/americans-are-going-to-be-disappointed-in-election-outcome/

  238. Thomas Knapp

    There’s a 30-second Johnson/Weld campaign commercial running on Free Talk Live. Uses of the word “libertarian” in the commercial: Zero.

    I can understand why candidates might decide to make their campaign about themselves rather than about their party. But to the extent that they do so, neither they nor anyone else should pretend that what they’re doing is either selling or building that party.

  239. Andy

    Tom, this is what happens when you have a campaign which is being run by non-libertarian mercenaries who really do not give a rat’s behind about the long term future of the Libertarian Party and movement.

  240. T Rex

    My biggest influence in becoming a Libertarian was Harry Browne. He was my first exposure to the philosophy (at the time I leaned Republican) and quickly won me over—not by being “moderate” or “mainstream,” thank goodness. If Bob Barr et all had been my first exposure I never would have been converted. Browne made it seem ridiculous *not* to be a libertarian.

    “He’s right, when you think about it. Victimless crimes aren’t real crimes.”
    “He’s right. We should just repeal the income tax and replace it with nothing. How will the federal government be funded? Who cares?”

    And so on.

    Johnson-Weld are not going to inspire anyone with their dull, mediocre, moderate campaign.

  241. robert capozzi

    TR: If Bob Barr et all had been my first exposure I never would have been converted. Browne made it seem ridiculous *not* to be a libertarian….Johnson-Weld are not going to inspire anyone with their dull, mediocre, moderate campaign.

    Me: It’s natural for someone to project from his/her personal experience, but — in the cold light of day — can you honestly say that NO ONE would ever “convert” to NAPsterism if one’s first exposure to a L-ism was BB or GJ?

    NO ONE? Really?

    C’mon, let’s get real.

    The NAPsters here in the commentariat all seem to agree that J/W has been far more effective in gaining media impressions this year, yes? It becomes a math problem. For illustration:

    If 1 million hear Browne’s message, perhaps 20K later “convert” to NAPsterism. Perhaps 100K become sympathetic, and the rest don’t largely buy the message.

    If 50 million hear GJ, perhaps 40K later “convert” to NAPsterism, 1MM become lessarchists.

    If it’s something like this, the Browne approach has a higher closing rate of gathering NAPster cadre, but the GJ approach gathers a larger absolute number of cadre.

    It’s the law of big numbers applied to ideology adoption.

  242. natural born citizen

    @Knapp 8-6 12:59

    You’re discounting the Korean “massage parlors” in DC. Good value for the dollar, and a great example of free trade and free immigration.

  243. Thomas Knapp

    nbc,

    You may be right — I haven’t spent a lot of time in DC. Also, I have to go by secondhand accounts since the last time I paid for sex on a cash and carry basis was when I was 19 and on liberty in Tijuana.

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