Previewing the 2012 election, part 1
I’ve never voted for a Republican for president, and this cycle’s crop of nutbags seem crazier than a rat in a tin shithouse. But I’d give serious consideration to setting precedent if the GOP put forth John Huntsman or Gary Johnson as their nominee (though I fully expect conservative ideological zeal to reign supreme in next year’s primaries). An intro on Johnson:
The iconoclastic Johnson remains a kind of outcast in the Republican Party, refusing to pander to the evangelicals and the Tea Party, who increasingly control the primaries. As the other candidates tailor their positions and policies to the party’s extremists, Johnson continues to go his own way, a strategy that requires the courage of his convictions. A fiscal conservative, who led his state through many tax cuts and budget surpluses, he is also a social libertarian with an ardent commitment to civil liberties, including a woman’s right to choose abortion and equal rights for gay people—despite the fact that anti-abortion and anti-gay causes are the bedrock of the right wing culture wars. But what most distinguishes Johnson as a true reformer is his sweeping rejection of the war on drugs, which he has famously dubbed “an expensive bust.” He also supports the decriminalization of marijuana, the promotion of harm reduction to control other drugs, and the diversion of funds from law enforcement activity against drugs to a public health approach to addiction.
He also supports tightening the leash on the Federal Reserve, ending the boondoggles in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, and he’s not hellbent on eliminating Social Security. I can’t say I agree with all of his positions, but I also can’t say I’ve agreed with every decision Obama has made since he was inaugurated.
Still, I think the election is Obama’s to lose. If he can avoid a second recession, if the unemployment rate make some improvement, and barring a large-scale terrorist/military attack, I think he’ll be re-elected.