One day after the costliest Presidential election in U.S. history, Americans awoke to the ugly realization that the nation had spent $2.5 billion with absolutely nothing to show for it.
“Four years ago, Barack Obama was elected President of the United States, and that is still the case,” says Professor Davis Logsdon of the University of Minnesota. “The only difference is that we as a nation are out $2.5 billion.”
Is he saying that Ryan is a liar ANd a whimp to boot?
What’s awe-inducing about Palin’s feat is that she accomplished it at 41 after having four children, while Ryan’s mark was set at 20 and Edwards’ best came at 30. There are only about 40 thousand women who were that fast or faster in 2011. (More comparisons: The average marathon time for a woman aged 40-44 in 2011 was 4:47:34. The average for a man aged 20-24 was 4:22:48.)
Judged by the entirety of his career, Ryan is merely a good-looking version of a typical Obama-era Republican. He calls for budgetary discipline while exploding the deficit. He speaks of lowering taxes but merely shifts the burden to the middle class. Back in the Bush administration, he rarely met a boondoggle he didn’t embrace. On social issues, he may as well be Pat Robertson: Ryan co-sponsored a federal “fetal personhood” amendment, voted to defund Planned Parenthood, and offered legislation to prevent Medicaid from funding abortions even in cases of rape or incest.
Empty Town Halls and ‘Easter Bunny Epiphanies’: On the Campaign Trail With Gary Johnson | Swampland | TIME.com1 Aug
Gary is indeed “the pot guy.” He’s a libertarian who wants to legalize drugs, downsize government and balance the budget in one year by slashing spending by 43%. He would toss out the tax code and replace it with a Fair Tax on consumption, and solve America’s illegal-immigration problem by handing out more work visas. Johnson is a pro-choice, pro-civil-union fiscal conservative who doesn’t wear religion on his sleeve—a perfect fit, by his analysis, for New Hampshire. But he’s not a plausible contender in a Republican Party that has already had to adjust its contours to make room for Ron Paul.
Wednesday morning at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein spoke to about a dozen people–and a couple dozen empty chairs. She had gone to the capital, in advance of the Green Party convention in Baltimore, to announce her running mate: Cheri Honkala. So who is Honkala? And for that matter, who is Stein? Here’s the first thing they’ll tell you: They’re candidates not named Barack Obama or Mitt Romney.
Born in the 1980s, the Green Party’s national profile peaked in 2000, when Ralph Nader took 2.7% of the popular vote in the chaotic presidential election that put George W. Bush in office. (One imagines Al Gore still wakes in the night cursing Nader’s name.) Not long after, in 2002, the Green Party recruited a physician and health advocate named Jill Stein to run for governor in Massachusetts. She lost that race and three more in the state over the next decade, while making two successful bids for Lexington Town Meeting representative. Meanwhile, the Green Party candidates in 2004 and 2008 failed to get more than 150,000 votes.
The election fight between Obama and Romney will be close, and a third-party candidate who mounts a significant campaign might be cause for concern as November nears–whether that’s libertarian Gary Johnson or the Green Party’s Stein. For now, Stein says she’s still introducing herself to the American people, trying to generate interest in the party that’s deflated over the past decade.
How to Protest the Major Parties Without Throwing Away Your Vote – Conor Friedersdorf – The Atlantic26 Jul
If you aren’t crazy about the Republican or Democrat, but think of your vote from a utilitarian perspective and are uninterested in purely symbolic gestures, here’s how to impact presidential elections in two easy steps:
1) Postpone your calculated support for someone you don’t like until you’re standing in the election booth. Before then, support the third-party nominee you’d like to see win. If a pollster asks who you support give their name, not the major-party candidate you may wind up voting for in the end. Doing so doesn’t squander your vote on someone who won’t win, but could be the difference between a Libertarian or Green Party candidate being included or excluded from TV debates.
2) Think about whether or not you live in a swing state. If so, maybe it makes more sense to vote Republican or Democrat. But if you live in a state like California, where the Democrat will obviously win, or a state like Utah where the Republican is obviously going to win, your vote is going to have a lot more impact if you’re part of a third-party surge that signals disaffection to others.
What Dr. Stein lacks in name recognition, however, she is trying to make up for these days in high-energy organization and low-cost social media outreach. When she officially accepts the nomination at the Green Party’s convention this weekend in Baltimore, she will be the party’s first candidate to have qualified for federal matching funds — a milestone for this 11-year-old alternative party and potentially a major boost for a campaign that does not accept corporate donations.
The Green Party of the United States expects to be on the ballot in at least 45 states and to spend about $1 million on its campaign. At the moment, it has secured ballot access, an organizational test in itself, in 21 states, including the battlegrounds of Colorado, Florida, Michigan and Ohio, where the major party candidates, President Obama and Mitt Romney, who are raising tens of millions of dollars every month, are locked in a tight race.
While Dr. Stein barely registers a blip in national polling, experts point to Ralph Nader, the Green Party nominee in 2000, who was seen by many Democrats as siphoning just enough votes from Al Gore in one state, Florida, to tip the election toward George W. Bush, a Republican. Nationally, Mr. Nader had captured only 3 percent of the vote.
Could such a scenario unfold again?
Unlike Dr. Stein, Mr. Nader, a lifelong consumer advocate, enjoyed high name recognition. But now, more than a decade later, the Green Party has matured to the point at which Dr. Stein’s lower profile may be balanced by a more savvy political operation.
It’s actually good, from a Republican point of view, that party powers like Rupert Murdoch, his Wall Street Journal and Bill Kristol are piling on Mitt Romney as a lousy candidate now, in July. And not just because it gives Romney a chance to shake up his campaign and satisfy his overlords’ demands over the summer. (He’s already begun.) But by squeezing him through the Adjustment Bureau now, the top GOPers can, by November, sing another tune: Romney is a plausible candidate, he can beat Obama. That way, if he “wins” with the help of massive voter suppression, it won’t seem so much like they’ve stolen the election.
I’m not saying Romney can’t win fair and square; sure, he could, especially if the economy spirals downward. But the Republicans won’t risk giving fair-and-square a chance. This is playing out most nakedly in Pennsylvania, where Obama is up over Romney by a Real Clear Politics average of eight points. No problem, says state House majority leader Mike Turzai. In tallying up the party’s achievements last month, he brayed, “Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”
That’s no idle boast. As the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote yesterday, “More than 758,000 registered voters in Pennsylvania do not have photo identification cards from the state Transportation Department, putting their voting rights at risk in the November election, according to data released Tuesday by state election officials.”