Image: 'Speechless' courtesy, Citizens for Gary Johnson.
The blatant exclusion of Governor Gary Johnson from the GOP debates has been a continuing topic here and elsewhere. For some time Johnson seems to have been willing to keep tilting at the media windmills in the hope that someone would relent and allow him into the debates, but a couple of weeks ago a note of disillusionment seemed to be creeping in. There is just a chance that he may be included in a Fox debate that is to come.
Recently he filed complaints with the FCC, and FEC over his exclusion, which have been ignored. The last straw however seems to have been the rejection of an appeal to the RNC asking them to campaign for fairness. More here.
Recently he has been reported as being in talks with a number of Libertarian Party heavyweights including Wayne Allyn Root, and it is looking very much like he is seriously considering a third party bid. Root was himself a Goldwater Republican for most of his life until, realizing that the party no longer represented his views, left and sought the LP nomination in 2008.
Below is a video of his latest interview with Capitol Report New Mexico:
When, not if, Johnson stops flogging a dead horse and bites the bullet with an LP bid, just watch the Republicans squeal like stuck pigs about ‘disloyalty’ and treachery. There will be no excuse for this as they have sat on the sidelines and watched mutely as the mainstream media, most of which is hostile towards them have deliberately excluded a two term governor from the debates. Only Newt Gingrich has supported his inclusion.
Johnson stated recently that were he to seek the LP nomination he would not be taking it for granted that he would get it and accepted he would have to work hard to get it. The LP would be a better fit for him than the GOP, which has all but abandoned fiscal responsibility, and has no concept of social tolerance. Even Ron Paul tends to be a social conservative.
The LP would reap many benefits from having him as a nominee. It would be the first time they have had someone who has the credibility of a successful two term state Governor, is an accepted libertarian, and has an incredible record for vetoing nanny state bills. Add to this the fact that when he won in New Mexico as a Republican, the state was majority Democrat by 2 to 1, which means he has cross party appeal.
The GOP may have significantly damaged their chances for next year, something that would never have happened were they to have given him a fair go:
Political strategist Roger Stone told the Daily Caller that a third-party run such as Johnson’s could be disastrous for Republicans in 2012, especially if they nominate a candidate unappealing to the party’s conservative base. “The Libertarian Party, for example, is on the ballot in all 50 states, and should the Republicans nominate, say, Romney, then a candidate running on a tea party fiscal platform would…pose a great danger,” Stone said.
But, could anybody blame Johnson? All he wanted was a fair chance to earn the support of Republican voters, and the Republican Establishment stood in his way at every turn. Should he seek other alternatives to get his message out, the consequences would be squarely on the shoulders of those that pushed him in that direction.
Johnson's conservative economic views, and liberal views on social issues, give him mass appeal, even across party lines. This could be particularly devastating against a milquetoast Republican in the general. Johnson may not pick up the support of values voters, but his track record on spending, and limited government take on the role of government, could attract many grassroots activists and Tea Partiers disgusted with the GOP’s continuous failure to get serious about eliminating debt.
Maybe Johnson is the wake-up call the Republican Establishment needs to shake things up. While Barry Goldwater failed to win the general election in 1964, his candidacy gave birth to today’s conservative movement. Johnson may be in the same position to force the hand of the Republican Establishment, which has largely been given a free pass to run roughshod over the limited government principles that once defined the party.