The Right Coast

Editor: Thomas A. Smith
University of San Diego
School of Law

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Gary Johnson
Mike Rappaport

Gary Johnson was the Governor of New Mexico from 1995 until 2003, and he describes himself as a libertarian leaning Republican.  He sounds like he is running for President in 2012.  I had never really focused on the guy before, but just heard a radio interview of him.  He is really libertarian.  He talks about cutting entitlements straight out, saying Social Security and Medicare were mistakes.  He say he believes in a strong defense, but wants to bring the troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq.  And he favors gay marriage, ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and decriminalization of drug use.

I agree with some of these positions, while I have some disagreements with others.  I don't believe he has much chance of winning the Republican nomination, not to mention the Presidency with views like these.  He sounds like another Ron Paul, who he supported, but one who was not merely a Congressman, but a Governor. 

Its good that someone, besides Ron Paul, is taking these positions.  The public needs to hear the reasons why Social Security and medicare were bad ideas the day they were passed. I particularly like his focus on the fact that the government is now spending 43 cents on the dollar with borrowed money. But I doubt he is the person to beat Barack Obama in 2012.

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Mike Rappaport


I wouldn't mind if he became the Governor of my state again.

Side note on Gary Johnson. There was a major display (it may still be there) at the State Supreme Court library, that brags about how the justices stuck it to Johnson in a case. The liberals hate him here, which is the main reason I love the guy.

Posted by: Brian G. | Apr 1, 2010 1:20:30 PM

He has gained most of his notoriety advocating drug lagalization. He's not going anywhere on a national level with that as his principle identifying issue. He's an interesting guy, but anyone who knows anything about New Mexico politics knows the iconoclast/eccentric/kook factor is fairly high with Johnson.

Posted by: Victor Erimita | Apr 1, 2010 1:28:52 PM


As to Iraq/Afghanistan - Resident obama called for retreat there as well. The logic of events has changed his dynamic. Or maybe the Saudis and Euros whispered in his ear.

I imagine if Johnson wins - the dynamic will change him too.

And drug legalization - the WSJ has come out in favor of it (in a number of recent columns and videos). Is the WSJ uniformly pro legalization? No. But the Mexican situation is changing the dynamic. In two more years the situation may be totally different.

The question is - are there enough libertarian Republicans/cross over Democrats so that Johnson can win the primary battle.

Posted by: M. Simon | Apr 1, 2010 2:53:16 PM

All New Mexico governors are either crazy to begin with (Toney Anaya and Bill Richardson come to mind) or become that way (Gary Johnson). Johnson was a good governor while he was in office, then went way off the rails as soon as his terms ended. Divorced his wife, climbed Mt. Everest, began to push to legalize drugs. Something in the water in Santa Fe, I guess.

Posted by: Amy from NM | Apr 1, 2010 3:12:07 PM