Tancredo Open to 2012 Run as an Independent

Over at Think Progress, Matt Yglesias points to this article on the website World Net Daily, home to the über-insane, hyper-paranoid, unabashedly vitriolic, openly hateful right-wing fringe, in which former the anti-immigrant Colorado Congressman Tommy Tancredo notes that he is open to mounting an independent run for the White House in 2012.

Former Colorado congressman and Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo told WND today that if no one to his liking emerges in the 2012 run for the White House, he will consider another bid for the GOP nomination and would not rule out becoming a third-party candidate, as a "last option."

Tancredo, known for his strong stance against illegal immigration, spoke to WND after a Dutch newspaper published an interview article in which he said he didn't view the GOP's 2008 vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, as "presidential."

Tancredo told WND that if Republicans "end up repeating the mistakes of the past" he would run again.

"I am convinced that we've got one more shot at this before the Republican Party comes apart at the seams, if they really don't get it right," he said.

'I'm willing to be sort of a team player, although I certainly have no strong philosophical commitment to the Republican Party," he added. "It's just a mechanism … not a thing with which you can have some great affinity."

"Last Option" sounds about right. I'm guessing that is Tancredo's goal is to revive the Know-Nothing party of the 1850s. Matt Yglesias finds the possibility of a Tancredo run on a third party ticket plausible and while I don't disagree that such lunacy is indeed plausible, a Tancredo run isn't likely to win 2 percent of the vote nationally. Nativist movements in the United States are nothing new but when they have arisen in the 1850s, 1880s and 1920s, they have always met with electoral failure.

Such a run is even more quixotic than any of Ralph Nader's runs and while I never discount the insanity of Tommy Tancredo it is also fair to point out that he is an offensive joke of a man. Ultimately Tancredo is a single-issue candidate on an issue that is frankly a third tier issue at the moment.

Whatever the faults of the United States and the American people, I've lived in this country long enough to realize that the overwhelmingly number of Americans are not a hateful people by nature and while Tancredo is consumed by irrational fears and hatred, his fellow citizens are not. Tancredo is doomed to failure of unprecedented proportions because we are better country than he thinks we are.

 

Run, Gary, Run

It may seem peculiar for a left-wing progressive blogger such as myself to advocate for a Republican but I urge Gary Johnson, the former two-time governor of New Mexico, to run for the nomination of his party in 2012. I am not a believer in libertarian-style limited government but I do believe Gary Johnson presents a vision that is worth debating and has ideas that are worth listening to. In 2012, only the Republican party will have a spirited intra-party debate and I think it important, not just for the GOP but for the country, to have a wider spectrum of conservatism exposed. If the GOP is determined to double down on Palinite insanity, then it is lost but voices such Gary Johnson's represent a deep current of American political thought. Gary Johnson's views deserve to be aired and debated. Nor do I believe that the Democratic party has a monopoly on good ideas nor that everything that emanates from across the aisle is necessarily bunk.

Last week, he launched the Our America Initiative that seeks to increase the amount of discussion and public involvement on issues such as the economy and job creation, fiscal discipline, civil liberties, the war on drugs, immigration and taxes. Johnson will serve as the spokesman for the committee and participate in discussions and issue-oriented events across the country. “Current concerns with the economy, deficit spending and the loss of jobs and homes across the country are important issues that need to be addressed,” Johnson stated. “I believe the nation is looking for a rational voice to lead this discussion. Through the launch of OUR America, we intend to bring this voice to the people. It is our objective to capitalize on the undercurrent of support across the nation for these issues, and to engage the public in meaningful, open, and productive dialogue.”

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