Doesn't the Mere Fact That Perry Johnson is Running for President Mean That He's Unacceptably Delusional?

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Well, maybe. But, as Thomas Sowell said: it's always useful to ask "Compared to what?" Is Johnson delusional compared to Joe Biden? Donald Trump? Hm.

But I mention him because he sent me an actual book. Two hundred twenty pages, hardcover, and available at Amazon via the link over there to your right.

I'm nothing special, so I assume he sent a copy to every New Hampshire registered Republican.

If you are not a New Hampshire registered Republican, it will set you back $19.95. (Or, truth in advertising, a mere $1 at his website.) I can't tell you if that's worth it or not, because I've only glanced at some pages. It has cartoons.

Let's see if Perry's making a showing with the oddsmakers… um, no:

Candidate EBO Win
Joe Biden 36.6% +0.6%
Donald Trump 26.1% -1.6%
Vivek Ramaswamy 7.8% +0.7%
Gavin Newsom 5.4% +0.8%
Ron DeSantis 4.3% -0.8%
Robert Kennedy Jr 4.3% -0.9%
Michelle Obama 3.8% +0.7%
Kamala Harris 2.0% unch
Other 9.7% +0.5%

The (slightly) notable thing here is Newsom's leapfrog over DeSantis and RFKJr. What's up with that? One scenario I've seen mentioned:

  1. Dianne Feinstein resigns her Senate seat.
  2. Newsom appoints Kamala Harris as her replacement!
  3. Kamala needs to resign as Veep, though, so…
  4. The 25th Amandment is invoked! Biden nominates Newsom to fill out Kamala's term!
  5. Which somehow gets okayed by Congress.
  6. And then Biden dies. Or resigns. Or declines to run.
  7. Whatever way, Newsom waltzes into the White House at some point before, but also on, January 20, 2025.

But let's get back to Perry. At NH Journal Michael Graham (generously) grants him "longshot" status: Perry Johnson's Longshot Bid Makes GOP Pres. Debate Stage

Michigan businessman Perry Johnson says he has met the qualifications to appear on the GOP presidential debate stage in Milwaukee Wednesday night and is encouraging front-runner former President Donald Trump to join him.

“There has been a flood of polling in the last 72 hours that meet the RNC’s requirements and qualify me for the debate stage,” Johnson said in a press release Friday. “Therefore, I will be at the debate in Milwaukee and look forward to sharing my Two Cents Plan to Save America, which will balance the budget and secure the border.”

“I am encouraging President Trump to attend the debate so the American people can measure the plans and the records of all major candidates on stage.”

Johnson, a Michigan businessman with almost 30 years of experience in the quality standards field and a degree in mathematics, has been pushing what he calls his “Two Cents to Save America” plan in ads targeting New Hampshire. His proposal would “cut two cents off of every dollar in federal discretionary spending to end inflation and solve the debt crisis,” Johnson says.

I am extremely dubious that a 2% reduction in discretionary spending could get even close to balancing the Federal budget. (Details? See: calculations and projections from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.)

But Perry is the math major, so maybe he's got some sort of calculation, perhaps involving proof of the Riemann Conjecture, that makes everthing work. I will keep you posted if I get up enough interest to investigate further. But I'm still leaning toward "delusional".

Also of note:

  • Just when I was feeling optimistic… Chris Stirewalt comes along and harshes my mellow with a timeless observation: The Law Is No Substitute for Public Virtue. And how that applies (does it ever!) to our current mood.

    There are many reasons why politicians wouldn’t engage in corruption and unsavory practices. One is certainly the law, and the threat of imprisonment. But much of what is wrong is not illegal. Lying to a federal agent is a crime, but lying to voters is so normal now that it scarcely gains our notice. And that’s because the previously presumed penalty for public dishonesty was political. Fear of voters has done far more to limit corruption than fear of a jail cell.

    But what if voters don’t care? What if a felony conviction would not be enough to persuade a majority of the members of a major party to abandon its presidential frontrunner? What if the leaders of the other party were confident that voters would not care about the obvious corruption of the sitting president’s son?

    In a nation that is both evenly divided and blind drunk on partisanship, the electorate has become an unreliable custodian of public virtue. Thus excused from pragmatic decency, it falls to the individual character of our leaders and the norms and traditions of the institutions in which they serve. We all know how that’s going.

    Donald Trump has most spectacularly exploited this acceptance and even celebration of corruption, but we have to bear in mind that we did not arrive here by accident or all at once. We have been slowly sinking into the mire for decades.

    I don't see one of those little padlocks on Stirewalt's article, which may mean you can read it unimpeded, and you should.

  • Worse, it didn't work. Eric Boehm noticed something on a CNBC interview: Ron DeSantis Admits His Fight With Disney Was a Political Stunt All Along

    The fact that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is now trying to back away from his fight with the Walt Disney Company should confirm at least one thing about the whole ugly mess.

    It was never a principled fight against special privileges granted to a private company. It was a political stunt meant to raise DeSantis' profile on the national stage.

    That mission having been accomplished—and with the prospects of a legal battle against Disney looming—DeSantis told CNBC on Monday that he has "moved on" from the issue. He also encouraged Disney to "drop the lawsuit" that it filed in April against his administration.

    Disney is doing a pretty good job of self-destruction without Ron's help:

    And it seems increasingly unlikely that America is gonna be saved by Ron DeSantis.

  • Vivek should have been a math major, like Perry. Because he would have taken at least one course in logic, and would have avoided this observation from Noah Rothman: Vivek Ramaswamy Takes Nationalist Logic to Its Obvious, Horrifying Conclusion

    Nationalist Republicans who oppose the continued provision of aid and lethal arms to Ukraine sometimes argue that the West’s commitment to degrading Russia’s capacity to project power abroad comes at a steep cost. America is a strained, reeling great power, they argue, and every dollar devoted to European security is one that is not spent on the more acute threat to U.S. dominance posed by China. Millennial GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy has made many of these now rote arguments, but he has done the public a service by taking the nationalist line to its logical conclusion.

    “Xi Jinping should not mess with Taiwan,” Ramaswamy told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Monday. That is, “until we have achieved semiconductor independence,” the candidate continued, “until the end of my first term when I will lead us there.”

    “After that,” Ramaswamy inadvisably added, “our commitments to Taiwan — our commitments to be willing to go to military conflict — will change after that, because that’s rationally in our self-interest. That is honest. That is true, and that is credible.”

    He’s right about that. When an American president vacillates on his willingness to preserve the deterrent dynamics that make hostile foreign powers think twice about invading their neighbors, the world’s land-hungry despots stand up and take notice. Just ask Joe “minor incursion” Biden.

    Foreign policy is (arguably) one area that's under Presidential control.

    Implementing whatever command-and-control central planning necessary to achive "semiconductor independece" is not. (Or at least shouldn't be.)

    Deal-breaker, Vivek. Sorry.

  • Specifically: it was malarkey. Hey kids! Remeber Pierre Delecto? John Barron? Whatever this was? Well, that trick eventually gets discovered. Glenn Reynolds looks at the latest: Joe Biden's email aliases reveal truth behind aw-shucks facade

    In an old “Saturday Night Live” sketch, Ronald Reagan (brilliantly played by Phil Hartman) pretends to be a doddering, out-of-touch dotard until the press leaves the room, and then suddenly transforms into an evil genius.

    Is this what’s going on with Joe Biden?

    In public he appears increasingly out of it.

    He speaks nonsense, he shows flashes of inappropriate anger, he walks off stage in the middle of events, and he has trouble with stairs.

    Even Democrats are beginning to admit to serious doubts about his ability to function as president.

    But what if it’s all an act?

    I ask that because the latest word is that, according to James Comer, President Biden had at least one pseudonymous email account that he used so he could secretly collude with his son (and alleged bagman) Hunter.

    Dementia Joe could be putting us on? Say it ain't so, Joe! Or say it is so. I'm not sure which would be worse.

Last Modified 2024-01-11 2:59 PM EDT