Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Third-party presidential candidate news

Because no one else will ever blog about it.

Glenn Beck, Joe Scarborough tout Ron Paul as third-party candidate:

Some conservative commentators are laying the groundwork for backing Texas congressman Ron Paul as a third party candidate if the Republicans nominate Newt Gingrich to face Democratic President Barack Obama. Even as many on the right warm to the liberty-loving lawmaker, more of the mainstream media is beginning to consider him a factor in the GOP primary battle already underway.

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman and longtime Gingrich critic, today spoke favorably about a possible Paul general election candidacy as a reaction to “big government” conservative Gingrich. The co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program invoked the words of conservative radio show host Glenn Beck in welcoming a potential Paul insurgency in the 2012 general election.

“Yesterday, Glenn Beck said something that I guarantee you a lot of small-government conservatives, like me, have thought. And that is, if I have to choose between Barack Obama and Newt Gingrich, a guy that George Will said would have been a ‘marvelous Marxist’ and who is the opposite of being a small-government conservative — if Ron Paul’s running as a third-party candidate, I’m going to give him a long look. Because I can’t vote for the two guys who worship at the altar of big government in their own separate ways. And that’s the problem with a Newt Gingrich candidacy. He’s not a small government conservative.”

Really, it makes perfect sense. But Paul still has a shot at scrambling the GOP race if he wins Iowa. He trails Newt in the latest poll there by a single point.

Over the past week, Gingrich's 9-point lead has shrunk to a single point over the folksy Paul, according to Public Policy Poling.

Gingrich is clinging to a narrow 22% to 21% edge over Paul, with Mitt Romney at 16%, Michele Bachmann at 11%, Rick Perry at 9%, Rick Santorum at 8%, Jon Huntsman at 5%, and Gary Johnson at 1%.

Gingrich has dropped 5 points in the last week and he's also seen a significant decline in his favorability numbers.

Republican-leaning independents are going to need some place to go if Gingrich -- or for that matter, Paul -- should manage to capture the GOP nom.

But all that's hardly actual third-party news.

The Green Party's leading candidates for president, Kent Mesplay and Jill Stein, held a debate in California two weeks ago. Stein will appear at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for a public interview with Matt Rothschild of The Progressive this Friday.

Harry Braun, running initially as a Democratic challenger to President Obama and now as an independent, has a campaign focusing on a democracy constitutional amendment that will in turn enable fossil and nuclear fuels to be replaced with wind and solar-based hydrogen systems "on a war-time speed" basis. He has a weekly radio show where he elaborates on these and other of his issues.

My thoughts on the ineptitude of continuing to support all of the candidates of the leftish member of the two-party duopoly were posted here last week. My argument in favor of third parties is: what have you got to lose? If you're a Republican and the party nominates someone you can't support, your vote for a third party candidate, be it Libertarian or Constitution or some other is a message to the GOP to shape up. Likewise -- and particularly since this is Texas, where your presidential vote isn't going to matter anyway -- you can send a message to the Democrats to get their shit together.

Go ahead and vote for the Republicans and/or Democrats (or Libs or Greens) down the ballot that you prefer. But until we get more choices everywhere, nothing meaningful is going to change.

Update: I wrote this post intending to include this news about Rocky Anderson.

A new political party has entered the fray as an alternative to Democrats and Republicans ahead of the 2012 elections. On Monday, former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson announced he will run for president with the newly formed Justice Party. Although hailing from a solidly red state, Anderson has been known as one of the most progressive mayors of any major U.S. city in recent years. During his two mayoral terms from 2000 to 2008, Anderson was an outspoken champion of LGBT rights, environmental sustainability, and the antiwar movement in opposition to the Iraq War. Vowing to fight the influence of money over politics, Anderson kicked off his campaign on Monday with a pledge to limit individual donations to $100 a person. Anderson and the Justice Party say they hope to build a grassroots movement heading into the November 2012 elections. "We launched the Justice Party because the entire system is so corrupt," Anderson says. "It’s so diseased. We know that the public interest is not being served by anyone in the system right now, particularly the two dominant parties who have sustained this corrupt system and who are sustained by it."


Dr. J said...

Because in this lifetime, Third party Candidate=LOSER.

PDiddie said...

Yes. Until one wins. History is quite replete with third-party candidate winners (although is has been a long time).

The two-party duopoly is what is failing us. Or hadn't you noticed?

The definition of insanity and all that.

Anonymous said...

I apologize for sending you this information through a comment, I was unable to find a contact e-mail to message this through.

Texas Freedom Network will be hosting two conjoined events in Houston on January 25th that I felt may be an item of interest for you and your readers. The first event will be a symposium at Rice University on Religion in the 2012 Elections and the second will be a speaking engagement with Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Leonard Pitts. In an election year when so much is at stake, why do our politics remain fixated on the culture wars? Both events will focus on examining the turbulent intersection between politics and religion. Here is the general information for both events:

Religion in the 2012 Elections Symposium:
Location: James A. Baker III Hall, Rice University (6100 Main Street)
Time: 1-4:30 PM
Price: Free

An Evening with Pulitzer-Prize Winning Columnist Leonard Pitts:
Location: Congregation Emanu-El (1500 Sunset Boulevard)
Time: 7:00 PM
Price: $20 (Admission free for students who RSVP by e-mail)

The website for the event and purchasing tickets is at www.tfn.org/symposium. If you would be able to place this information on your website and/or social media currents, we would greatly appreciate it. Please let me know if you would like any further information regarding these two events.

Seetha Kulandaisamy
Outreach Intern
Texas Freedom Network
p: 512-322-0545
f: 512-322-0550