Johnson campaign faltering; GOP deserves censure.

Media bias and bastardry and Republican cowardice deny the US a great candidate.

Any avid reader of the Ruidoso News is by now aware that the former two term New Mexico Governor, Gary Johnson is standing for the Republican Presidential nomination. Unfortunately, apart from a couple of passing references in the Adderville Examiner and a fairly positive Op-Ed in the Galts Gulch Gazette there has been little media coverage of his candidacy. The media has in the main staged a lockout.

While it is unreasonable to expect candidacy to automatically entitle anyone to inclusion in media coverage and a place in the debates, a candidate who meets the requirements should not be excluded. This is what has been done to Johnson. In May CNN blocked him from a debate in New Hampshire, although he qualified as an announced candidate with 2 percent support in three national polls during the month.

Despite being even in polls with Herman Cain and ahead of Jon Huntsman and Rick Santorum he was excluded from other debates, which included them. Since then it has been standard practice to omit him from the polls that decide places in the debates. With his campaign now faltering, it seems that media bias and bastardry has denied America a candidate who has the track record and principles to revitalize the nation. 

The most disturbing aspect to this whole affair has been the silence of the Republican Party in the face of it. By remaining mute in the face of this outrage, the establishment wing of the party has essentially abrogated its responsibility to ensure that the party’s credible candidates get a fair go. Worse still, they are allowing the mainstream media to select their nominee by default.

This of course suits the business as usual crowd of Washington Establishment Republicans who have no interest in seeing any change to the status quo in case they become victims of it. There are numerous reports of efforts by the party machine to ensure that only the ‘right people’ get up. Recently this came from Bawb, a Montana mountain man:

The Montana GOP has figured out a way to take the rank and file voters out of the loop in our state’s primary election. In February, they have a “special” primary, in which only 1,100 specially selected party faithful statewide are allowed to vote. Then, in June, us peasants may vote, after the party candidate has already long since been selected.

They do have “public meetings” before the Feb. vote. We went to ours in ’08. Three or four people spoke up for Ron Paul, one for Romney, and one Romney person who endorsed no one but gave a well-thought-out and impassioned speech against McCain.

Then the small unit of establishment-picked party faithful went behind the curtain to vote and lo and behold John McCain swept our county with more votes than all the other candidates combined. Go figure.

The GOP caught a lot of flak over that, especially in the newspaper editorials (my letter to state GOP headquarters went unanswered), but the furor eventually died down and the Party Machine kept the whole crooked mess in place. Mission accomplished. The people’s input negated.

By allowing this sort of action to go unchallenged, the Republicans are shooting themselves in the foot in much the same way as the Liberal Party are doing here. Allowing the establishment to simply remain doing the same old thing as has been done before is a guarantee of inertia and eventual collapse. In the US the Republicans are acting as Democrat Lite, in much the same way as the Liberals here are trying to be Labor Lite.

If these parties remain terrified of new blood and new ideas to challenge that which has gone before, they are going to have to rely on winning through their opponents screwing up, which is likely but not guaranteed. What is not guaranteed is that the GOP or the Liberal Party would make much of a difference if elected.

Both opposition parties, here and in the US should be embracing their time in the back paddock accompanied by the unpopularity of both governments, as a chance to renew, revitalize, and come up with an exciting new vision that will catch the imagination of the electorate.

12 thoughts on “Johnson campaign faltering; GOP deserves censure.

  1. I think the people in both major parties in Australia and the U.S. know they gain more from retaining the status quo and losing than from challenging the status quo and winning.

    Both major parties know they both get a turn once every 6-9 years. It’s better for them to lose an election now if it means that government is even bigger when they gain power.

    To quote Joe Hockey in a 2009 national press club address:

    “95% of expenditure in each budget is politically non-discretionary for the government. Funding for pensions, unemployment benefits, defence, Medicare, schools and so on, is effectively locked in unless – and this is very important – the government is prepared to accept the risk of substantial electoral pain. Governments would deliver radical change if they were to tinker with 95% of the Budget.”

    The major parties, by their own admission, are only fighting over 5%. This is the number which is just high enough to make people incorrectly think they have a real choice, discouraging the rise of a third party, but low enough so that along with broken promises, means real change never happens.

  2. Maybe the result in Britain scared them off. They allowed a third party into the debate, and it became powerful enough to decide the Government! I am sure Cameron would rather rule in his own right.

  3. In the polling against Obama, Ron Paul regularly does the second best (behind Romney). That is not surprising, because he has a lot of support from anti-war independents.

    I think Gary Johnson would have even more cross-party appeal, given his pro-choice position on abortion and his greater emphasis on the drug war, as well as the fact that he twice won the governorship in New Mexico, despite a Democrat majority.

  4. I think expecting more than a development of name recognition was ambitious for Johnson this time around. The shadow of Ron Paul was simply too large. That said, this is Ron’s last run and there is a real opportunity for someone to pick up that mantle in four years time.

    But yes, Rand Paul will be the issue in 2016. Still, if Johnson plays his cards right he could emerge as a significant contributor next time around.

  5. Rand Paul has enormous backing. He will inherit Ron Paul supporters. He will win libertarian support. He has tea party support. And he has the support of conservative insiders. Currently he is something of a golden child. He could still fluff it but if he runs for president and his stars hold I reckon he could be the one that breaks though the business as usual barrier. If the GOP candidate this time isn’t Ron Paul or Gary Johnson I’d almost prefer that they lose this one to Obama.

  6. He has stated that this is his last pitch at it, but there are reports that he has been talking to some of the LP heavyweights, including Wayne Root. It this stage though I would be reluctant to read too much into it.

  7. There was a push for a while to get him to stand this time but my feeling was that it was too early. I believe it is best that he do at least a full term in the Senate, and 2020 would be just about right for him.

  8. True, too early – and as he commented, one Paul in the race is enough. I think Ron will continue to lay the educational basis that allows Rand to run as the pragmatist next time around.

    And Terje, there isn’t much to worry about – if Ron Paul doesn’t get nominated, Obama will win. If Ron gets nominated, then it becomes.. interesting.

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