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The libertarian/marijuana conspiracy to swing the election
Salon ^ | October 17, 2012 | David Sirota

Posted on 10/18/2012 3:10:59 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife

Robocalls urge pro-drug legalization voters to support libertarian Gary Johnson, and could push the state to Romney

The term “perfect storm” is so overused as to be a pathetic cliche — but alas, in politics, it is about the best phrase to describe Colorado in the upcoming election. The state could decide the outcome. And if it comes down to that, it will likely be messy, for we are watching an epic convergence of factors that seem poised to make the square state 2012′s version of Florida in 2000.

Here in the center of the Intermountain West, we have polls showing a nail-bitingly close race between the Democratic and Republican nominees for president. We have a chief election official, Secretary of State Scott Gessler, who has tried both to engage in mass voter purges and to block the mailing of ballots to eligible voters, all while openly saying a “good election” is one in which “Republicans win.” On the ballot, we also have a headline-grabbing ballot initiative about marijuana legalization and a popular former two-term governor of a neighboring state, Gary Johnson, running a Libertarian Party presidential candidacy.

The armchair pundits in Washington and New York typically write off these latter two factors as forces destined to aid the president’s reelection campaign. The conventional wisdom is rooted in oversimplified cartoons and caricatures of voter preferences. Essentially, the idea is that the marijuana measure will bring out liberal, Obama-loving hippies, yuppies and crunchies from Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins, while the libertarian candidate’s campaign will siphon conservative votes that would otherwise go to Mitt Romney, thus making Johnson the Republican “version of Ralph Nader,” as the New York Times predictably projects. But that kind of hackneyed red-versus-blue story line — so prevalent in the national media echo chamber — ignores how these forces are playing out on the ground.

The marijuana ballot measure, for instance, is defying conventional Democrat/Republican and liberal/conservative narratives, effectively scrambling the political establishments of both parties. In the last month, Colorado’s Democratic Party elite, led by Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock (D), have repositioned themselves as committed drug warriors proudly leading the charge against the ballot measure to end the costly war on weed (this is particularly stunning for Hickenlooper, considering his famous career as a drug pusher). Meanwhile, former Colorado Republican congressman Tom Tancredo and a group of fellow GOPers made headlines recently when they wholeheartedly endorsed the measure. Put this together with the libertarian streak in Colorado’s Republican politics, and it becomes clear that the pot initiative could boost voting in ways that don’t correspond to traditional red-versus-blue turnout models and stereotypes.

This is particularly true considering the intersection of the pot initiative and the Johnson campaign. Despite the punditocracy’s narratives to the contrary, the former New Mexico governor has already been taking as much — or more – support away from Obama in Colorado as he has been from Romney, according to polls. And Johnson’s anti-Obama effect could be come much more pronounced in the next few weeks, thanks to how his supporters are deftly leveraging all hoopla around the marijuana initiative to sharpen their candidate’s appeal and message to disaffected Democrats.

This message is not just word-of-mouth anymore; it has been elevated to the big leagues by a new voter outreach campaign. Indeed, a new automated telephone call focused on the pot measure and playing to liberal disappointment is right now hitting Democratic households in Colorado. Here’s what the message says (you can listen to the full audio below):

Hello fellow Democrat. Like you I was thrilled to vote for Barack Obama in 2008. In 2008, candidate Obama promised not to use the Justice Department to prosecute medical marijuana in states where it was legal. But the real Obama did just that, more than doubling prosecutions, putting people in prisons and shutting down medical marijuana facilities in Colorado. That’s not the change you wanted on health freedom. But you can still be a force for hope and change by voting for Gary Johnson..........................


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: cannabis; drugs; drugwar; garyjohnson; libertarian; marijuana; potsmokers; warondrugs; wod; wodlist; wosd; youthvote
More with LINK to call
1 posted on 10/18/2012 3:11:07 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Johnson is running an interesting campaign, but I think he is more likely to draw Obama voters than Romney voters. While Johnson originally targeted conservative leaning media in his campaign, and still occasionally appears on Cavuto and Stossell on Fox Business, several months ago he shifted his media appearances to traditional liberal outlets. He also has really promoted his personal and the Libertarian Party's drug legalization message, and limited his aggressive spending cuts message.

In a way, Johnson is a fool to think the pro drug legalization crowd is libertarian--they are not. They are mostly libertine socialists, and some, such as the Occupy crowd, and actually fascists. But they are bigger fools than Johnson, and if this Pied Piper (or should that be Pied Bonger) lead the Obamatards away from the One in November, more power to him.

2 posted on 10/18/2012 3:27:10 AM PDT by magellan
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Loser, in 6 5 4 3...


3 posted on 10/18/2012 3:43:41 AM PDT by Berlin_Freeper (Winning is Everything.)
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To: sickoflibs
how about this for 'outside the box' thinking ???

Johnson does seem to be pretty good on the pure Constitutional stuff...be interesting to see if the drug war will hurt bambam and the progs...

4 posted on 10/18/2012 5:50:33 AM PDT by Gilbo_3 (Gov is not reason; not eloquent; its force.Like fire,a dangerous servant & master. George Washington)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

I would love for the two big parties to be the Republican Party and the Libertarian Party.

I’d actually get to vote for the candidate, not the party.


5 posted on 10/18/2012 8:36:46 AM PDT by TheThirdRuffian (I will never vote for Romney. Ever.)
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Meanwhile, former Colorado Republican congressman Tom Tancredo and a group of fellow GOPers made headlines recently when they wholeheartedly endorsed the measure.

So, FR pot-war supporters, does this mean that Tom Tancredo is not a "real" conservative?

6 posted on 10/18/2012 9:09:09 AM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies (A free society's default policy: it's none of government's business.)
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To: magellan
In a way, Johnson is a fool to think the pro drug legalization crowd is libertarian--they are not. They are mostly libertine socialists, and some, such as the Occupy crowd, and actually fascists.

Actually, two thirds of my pot-smoking neighbors vote Republican...and half are retired veterans. I'm sure they'd be enchanted to hear your description of them.

7 posted on 10/18/2012 9:22:49 AM PDT by Tuanedge (The buffalo hates the tiger, but the tiger loves the buffalo.)
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To: Tuanedge
"Actually, two thirds of my pot-smoking neighbors vote Republican...and half are retired veterans. I'm sure they'd be enchanted to hear your description of them."

I doubt your sample is typical of the majority of marijuana users. And the last time I checked, Johnson was not campaigning in VFW halls. He has campaigned at Occupy gatherings, left-wing radio, and Huffington Post. He is now campaigning exclusively on college campuses. He is going after the Bill Maher audience demographic.

17 posted on 10/18/2012 11:53:55 AM PDT by magellan
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To: magellan; Tuanedge
Actually, two thirds of my pot-smoking neighbors vote Republican...and half are retired veterans. I'm sure they'd be enchanted to hear your description of them.

I doubt your sample is typical of the majority of marijuana users.

I doubt you have any more hard data than Tuanedge - in fact, I'm betting less.

18 posted on 10/18/2012 12:17:43 PM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies (A free society's default policy: it's none of government's business.)
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To: magellan

You would be right; I live in a waterfront community, all shrimpers, sailors and liveaboards. A lot of veterans living aboard boats that may not get along with people on land quite as well, for one reason or another.

But it also shows that taking a prejudicial view of any group of people is an error from the beginning. I doubt the man with fingers missing from an enemy mortar shell in Nam likes being painted as a fat homosexual fascist because he chooses to smoke herb in his final decades. We have an ex-submariner here, we have a SEAL here, we have several Marines and Navy here, and most of them are combat veterans. Not all of them partake, most of them do, at one time or another. They don’t deserve the kind of labelling that the mods deleted, and I won’t repeat.

To say in a kneejerk fashion that anyone who’s ever smoked the herb is a leftist, might have been more true forty years ago, but it slaps quite a few people with conservative politics now. Most people in my community want the socialists out, and really don’t care about the legalization question, in comparison. Drug enforcement really doesn’t hinder the flow of their favorite sundowner.


19 posted on 10/18/2012 12:34:23 PM PDT by Tuanedge (The buffalo hates the tiger, but the tiger loves the buffalo.)
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