Friday, June 10, 2011

Gary Johnson

Before I was afflicted with some medical issues, I was posting about the Republican presidential field. I felt that I had given Gary Johnson short shrift, just like the rest of the media. In the comments of my last post, Sarah Bond pointed to Johnson's shortcomings of persona that cause her to question his viability as a candidate. Just as Ron Paul comes off as a crank, even when he is factually correct, Gary Johnson seems a bit the oddball. However, his exclusion from CNN's New Hampshire debate seems shameful. He is a successful former two term Republican governor of a state that often votes Democrat. New Mexico has more people than Alaska; can you imagine the uproar if Sarah Palin were excluded should she announce her candidacy.

Just like Ron Paul, Gary Johnson's ideas need to be included in the Republican debate. He has far less to apologize for than the reputed front runner, Mitt Romney, whose recent endorsement of ethanol subsidies only confirmed his unfitness for high office. (By the way, almost every dis-qualifier that I have tagged to potential Republican nominees almost always applies double to Barack Obama, whose fitness for office remains in doubt.)

Some more on Johnson's policies statements that I found interesting.

Foreign policy:
  • Maintaining a strong national defense is the most basic of the federal government’s responsibilities. However, building schools, roads, and hospitals in other countries are not among those basic obligations. Yet that is exactly what we have been doing for much of the past 10 years.
Civil Liberties:
  • The PATRIOT Act should be allowed to expire, which would restore proper judicial oversight to federal investigations and again require federal investigators to prove probable cause prior to executing a search.
  • Habeus corpus should be respected entirely, requiring the government to either charge incarcerated individuals with a crime or be released.
  • The TSA should take a risk-based approach to airport security. Only high-risk individuals should be subjected to invasive pat-downs and full-body scans.
  • The TSA should not have a monopoly on airport security. Airports and airlines should be encouraged to seek the most effective methods for screening travelers, including private sector screeners. Screeners outside of government can be held fully accountable for their successes and failures.
These are great points. I don't know why the Republicans presidential candidates aren't pillorying the Obama approach to airport security.

On spending and taxes:
  • Revise the terms of entitlement programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, which threaten to bankrupt the nation's future.
  • Eliminate the costly and ineffective military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan; limit defense spending to actions that truly protect the United States.
  • Stop spending on the fiscal stimulus, transportation, energy, housing, and all other special interests. The U.S. must restrain spending across the board.
  • Eliminate punitive taxation of savings and investment.
  • Simplify the tax code; stop using it to reward special interests and control behavior.
  • Eliminate the corporate income tax so that America will once again be a great place to start a business.
More great stuff. Of course, eliminating corporate income taxes will be billed as Republicans are the party of millionaires.

Here's the part that I agree with, but many of my Tea Party friends do not, Drug Policy:

Despite our best efforts at enforcement, education and interdiction, people continue to use and abuse illegal drugs.

The parallels between drug policy today and Prohibition in the 1920’s are obvious, as are the lessons our nation learned. Prohibition was repealed because it made matters worse. Today, no one is trying to sell our kids bathtub gin in the schoolyard and micro-breweries aren’t protecting their turf with machine guns. It’s time to apply that thinking to marijuana.
Is that too much of a stumbling block to get the nomination? I should hope not. First, he's right on the issue. The rise of the big government police state has been aided by the war on drugs. If we truly believe in limited government, then we should fear the power of the police state. (Sarah, this is not an indictment of the police per se, just the fact that too many agencies have the power to break down your door for too many vague crimes.)

Gary Johnson is a very appealing candidate, in my opinion, even if he might not be the best candidate to beat Barack Obama. Please support his efforts to get into the New Hampshire debate next Tuesday.


  1. Robert Reich, Bill Clinton's labor secretary, of all people argued that they should abolish the corporate income tax. There are lots of fairly good progressive and conservative reasons to do it.

    As for Airport security, I guess the reason it doesn't get much attention from the republican establishment is because its how they (and their associate neoconservatives) would handle airport security as well. Its like the drone strikes- an establishment versus non establishment issue rather than Republicans versus Democrats

  2. I agree that Johnson should be allowed to be in the debate. He is a qualified and serious candidate. I find him far more appealing than Ron Paul. The citizens should get a chance to hear all the contenders, including Johnson.

    The elites should not be allowed to direct the selection process.

  3. PS. I will try and link to this great piece next week -- I really should try and write about more people than Palin. :)