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Boring election season looking for some spice. Maybe we can help.

Matt Taibbi has a great piece about the lack of drama in the Obama-Romney race for the Presidency.

But this campaign, relatively speaking, will not be fierce or hotly contested. Instead it’ll be disappointing, embarrassing, and over very quickly, like a hand job in a Bangkok bathhouse. And everybody knows it. It’s just impossible to take Mitt Romney seriously as a presidential candidate. Even the news reporters who are paid to drum up dramatic undertones are having a hard time selling Romney as half of a titanic title bout. […]

In other words, Obama versus McCain actually felt like a clash of ideological opposites. But Obama and Romney feels like a contest between two calculating centrists, fighting for the right to serve as figurehead atop a bloated state apparatus that will operate according to the same demented imperial logic irrespective of who wins the White House. […]

Then there’s one more thing – Obama versus Romney is the worst reality show on TV since the Tila Tequila days. The characters are terrible, there’s no suspense, and the biggest thing is, it lacks both spontaneity and a gross-out factor. […]

When the presidential race is a bad show, people might not have any choice but to pay attention to those other things. And this year’s version is the worst show in memory. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.

Sounds right to me, and it’s an opportunity for us. The lack of excitement in the big show means that anything that Ron Paul is able to do in the Republican Convention is huge news, helping to point out a very real contrast between him and Obama/Romney in areas like drug policy.

It also opens up the possibility of greater visibility for the Johnson-Gray ticket as the media looks for something to talk about.

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15 comments to Boring election season looking for some spice. Maybe we can help.

  • claygooding

    Yes on the Johnson/Gray ticket,,how can they avoid talking about medical marijuana and legalization when their running it as their platform.

    • Duncan20903

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      .

      The who and who ticket? What are you blathering about? We’ve got much more pressing issues than freedom or responsible government. Aren’t you aware that the entire gov’t structure is getting ready to implode because of the gravitational eddies caused by its massive size? The ochlocracy must be preserved no matter how much it costs our great-great-greate-great-great grandchildren!

  • Francis

    I know it’s a longshot, but I’m still holding out hope that Ron Paul’s, shall we say, “extremely enthusiastic” supporters will show up en masse at the convention and find a way to pull off a “Loophole Abuse” / “Rules Lawyer”-style miracle. If that’s not possible, I hope he makes a strong endorsement of the Johnson-Gray ticket and campaigns on his behalf. I just learned today that Ron Paul didn’t endorse McCain in 2008 after he won the nomination. Apparently he endorsed Chuck Baldwin. That endorsement got essentially no coverage (it was actually difficult to even find) and it pretty clearly didn’t move the needle. But it seems to me that a Ron Paul endorsement of Gary Johnson (particularly if Paul continues to campaign) could be a game-changer this time around. Ron Paul’s movement is much bigger now than it was in 2008. And a huge chunk of the electorate is pretty disgusted with the Obamney. (In 2008, people were still swooning over Obama’s “hope” and “change” pablum.) And Johnson as a former two-term Republican governor is the highest-profile and “most credible” candidate the Libertarian party has ever had.

    • Duncan20903

      Mr. Paul’s 2008 support barely registered. Things are much different in 2012.

      You made a typo, fixed it for you: “Johnson as a former two-term Republican governor is the highest-profile, ‘most credible’ and the least Libertarian the party has ever had.”

      Splendor in the dark, lightning on the draw
      We’ll go right through the book and break each and every law.
      I got a feeling and it wont go away, oh no
      Just one thing then Ill be ok
      I need a miracle every day.

      • Duncan, I think Bob Barr was much less of a libertarian than Gary Johnson. I didn’t and couldn’t vote for Bob Barr, and I used to work for the Libertarian Party. In my opinion, Barr was a disgrace, while Johnson is someone I can get behind and probably vote for. In fact, I like Johnson better than Ron Paul because Johnson doesn’t have the racist newsletter baggage. Is Johnson a perfect and/or pure libertarian? No. Neither am I. I am not an anarchist and support compromises that take small steps in the libertarian direction.

        • damaged justice

          Regarding that “racist newsletter baggage”, I still think that any attempt by Obama to use that particular weapon against Paul will end up backfiring on him quite severely. Of course it won’t ever get that far because Paul will never win the nomination, we all “know” that, right? But you might want to keep a close eye on the delegates (see reports out of Maine, Nevada, Louisiana, Oklahoma and more). I can honestly say this is the most fun I’ve ever had observing politics, and the Republican national convention in Tampa is going to be the spectacle of a lifetime. Would HST have ever believed it would be the establishment that would be full of fear and loathing? And their fear grows by the day. Hey, tyrants…YOUR TEARS ARE SO YUMMY AND SWEET!

  • Francis, I agree. Governor Gary Johnson and Judge Jim Gray will need Ron Paul and his supporters to help them break into the mainstream Presidential race. The sooner the better too. The GOP convention is August 27-30, and I’m afraid that will be too late to transfer Paul’s revolution to Gary Johnson in time to get him into debates.

    The nearest example we have of a third candidate breaking into the mainstream presidential campaign is Ross Perot and his 19% in 1992 (8+% in 1996). For what it is worth, Perot did have a short-term impact on US policy with the issues he was highlighting. There is reason to believe that Johnson/Gray could also have s hort-term impact on US policy with the issues they highlight. Cannabis legalization and drug reform policy will most likely be one of their highlights.

    I’d love to see Gary Johnson in a debate with the establishment drug warriors. If in the debates, the realistic chance of winning is dramatically increased along with the potential impact even in loss. I’d ask everyone out there to start bitching about debate inclusion every chance you can. And if you are financially equipped, send their campaign some money with a note what you want them to use it to promote their positions on drug reform.

    Even if you think you have to vote for the lesser of two evils, in many states Johnson getting 20% still wouldn’t have any impact. It wouldn’t in Illinois or California, I guarantee that. I’ve lived there. Johnson would likely attract typical R and D voters somewhat equally. 48-32-20 instead of 58-42 in Illinois for example.

    But Johnson needs to break into the mainstream and get into the debates for that to happen. And if he does break in, he can win.

    I have no idea what kind of impact Ron Paul can have on the GOP convention or if he could come out with the nomination. If he should get it, that is a whole different ball game. I’d love to see Paul versus Obama. We win no matter what in that scenario.

    (Disclosure: 7 years ago I was the Executive Director of the Libertarian Party of Illinois. I ran the 25,000 signature petition drive to put Jerry Kohn on the ballot for US Senate versus Barack Obama, and was Kohn’s campaign manager for that election against Obama. That also put Michael Badnarik on the ballot for President versus Bush/Kerry. I have not been associated with the Libertarian Party for 6 years and am now a political independent. Political parties tend to corrupt and absolutely powerful political parties corrupt absolutely, in a nod to Acton. I am not at all connected with the LP or the Johnson campaign at all at this point. Who knows, that could change if enough money is thrown toward me. I’m a free agent.)

    • Windy

      What you guys, and so many others (especially the GOP hierarchy), are failing to understand about Ron Paul supporters is once one understands Ron Paul and his positions one never goes back, everyone who has come to support Ron Paul’s candidacy will never ever consider voting for ANYONE else, no other candidate comes close to offering the kind of change Ron Paul offers, no other candidate will absolutely honor the oath of office and obey the Constitution in every action he takes as president.

      Ron Paul supporters will support no candidate but Ron Paul, period. If he doesn’t get the nomination, his supporters will either write him in or abstain from voting in the presidential race. It is true that without the Ron Paul supporters Romney will not win. Obama will win by default.

      • Windy, I have seen what you describe among Ron Paul supporters. I don’t know how widespread that sentiment is among his supporters as I’m not close enough to them to experience. I don’t doubt you that significant numbers are involved. My point was Johnson needs enough Ron Paul suporters to get him into the mainstream, not that it would happen.

        Personally, I don’t see a significant difference between the policies of Paul and Johnson. Not to say the differences they do have would not be significant for others, such s the Fair Tax. Paul highlights different issues than Johnson does, which also might be significant enough for others. My wish is enough Ron Paul supporters would find enough in common with Johnson to give him their support this election so he can make into the mainstream partially on Paul’s coattails. Assuming Paul doesn’t get the nomination, and I don’t know enough about that to speculate. I wish him well and would vastly enjoy him getting it instead of Romney.

        Ron Paul will not be a perfect adherent to the Constitution and neither would Johnson, but thats another debate. The only perfect candidate is me, as the saying goes.

        As for the strategy you think most Paul supporters will use if he doesn’t get the GOP nom, that is a perfectly fine use of the power of your vote. I abstained from voting the last presidential election. As for write-ins it depends on the state as to whether or not those are seen. Even if they aren’t seen, that, in effect, is the same as abstaining, so still a valid option.

        I’d like to challenge those Paul suporters to at least consider voting for Johnson if Paul isn’t on the ballot. Its an individual decision, but if enough individuals use that strategy, I believe the impact would be greater than leaving it blank or doing a write-in vote where it will not be seen.

        RIght now, I’m not seeing Paul supporters jump to Johnson. Will it change after August, I don’t know, I suspect you may be right. I just wish it would happen, the sooner the better, so Johnson can get in the debate and put forth many issues I agree with him about, mostly drug reform policy. Not that it will happen, few things I wish for do 😉

        And that is a huge compliment to Ron Paul and all of his supporters for their incredible efforts and the impact they’ve had. I’m amazed at that. They’ve got a chance of taking majority control of the GOP I believe. At least in some states and areas. Thats awesome long-term for this movement.

        • Windy

          The major difference between Paul and Johnson re: drug war reform is Paul would end the entire federal war on drugs, and Johnson only wants to get cannabis legal and doesn’t address the rest of the drug war. The other major issues on which the two disagree (taxes and intervention in the affairs of foreign nations) I come down on Paul’s side of the issues, so Johnson is not the choice for me even if he IS running under the LP’s banner. I’ve always considered myself libertarian and until last election, I only ever voted libertarian (Bob Barr was such a horrid choice I could have never have brought myself to vote for him; and there was Ron Paul, Constitutionalist, someone I COULD support, someone I could vote for, so I worked within my county’s process and the local GOP to help him get the nomination but we were thwarted by the entrenched GOP who do NOT want a return to Constitutional governance (yes even at the county level). Paul’s supporters have grown, exponentially, since then, and this time we have a better chance of getting him the nomination, tho the entrenched, hidebound GOP power elite still oppose us and Paul, we are winning delegates, enough to make the party leaders try to use tricks, lies, intimidation and even break their own party’s convention rules in an effort to stop us. But we won the majority of delegates in 11 States, so far, guaranteeing Paul a place on the docket at the Tampa convention, possibly with an equal number of delegates as Romney. A brokered convention works to our favor, if Paul doesn’t win the nomination outright with the 1149 delegates required to take it without delegate voting. So do not count Paul out of the picture, just yet, it ain’t over until Tampa, and may not be over then either.

  • Ed Dunkle

    I feel like Obama just shot his political wad by endorsing gay marriage. Now his instincts will be to run furiously back to the political middle and he’ll do that in part by continuing to support prohibition. As far as I know, none of the swing states – Ohio, Florida, etc – permit medical marijuana.

  • Duncan20903

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    Now I get why that girl in Bangkok was so mad at me. I suppose she thought that 45 minutes was an inordinate amount of time. But gee whiz, I did give her a tip of almost a dollar. Women.

  • paul

    That article really hit the nail on the head. Two calculating centrists cynically vying for the job of figurehead of a vast imperial bureaucracy that will continue doing the same things it has always done regardless of who’s at the top.