What About Gary?

Every week when I go to the Public Market in urban Rochester, I pass by a Jill Stein sign, and I’m reminded by dedicated activists that Gary Johnson is running for President, and that there’s still a Socialist Party in America. Setting aside Stein, who has no supporters eager enough to hold up a sign in person, and the real Socialists, who are more newspaper peddlers than activists, it’s odd how Libertarians have been consigned to the third-party ghetto after all the attention Ron Paul got in the primaries. Paul still won’t endorse Romney, and Johnson is on the ballot in 47 states, including almost all the swing states. Yet the only poll I could find that includes Johnson was a Reason-sponsored poll that shows him at 6% nationwide.

There are a lot of very tight swing states, and if that poll is only half right, Johnson could deny Romney the Presidency, if the true Libertarians vote their principles. But, in addition to the mainstream media and polling blackout, Reason seems to be actively trying to suppress enthusiasm for him:

If you were a third party trying to get attention, wouldn’t you be pushing hard for voters in a couple of key swing states to pull for Johnson? What better way to show Republicans that they ignore Libertarians at their peril, and to grab some real power in the Republican Party? Instead, the Johnson campaign has all the visibility of the Greens and the Socialists, and even the house organ isn’t pulling for him very hard.

Libertarians write Balloon Juice off because we’re so quick to call them “Glibertarians”, but if you can’t support your party’s candidate for President one of the few times it might actually matter, then you deserve to be called out for having a party affiliation that you trot out at a cocktail party rather than in a voting booth.

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79 replies
  1. 1

    Oh, I do love you, Mistermix.

  2. 2
    Lee says:

    Excellent catch on the Reason articles.

  3. 3
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Libertarians write Balloon Juice off because we’re so quick to call them “Glibertarians”

    Who cares if they write us off? Their entire political philosophy is cretinously stupid.

    Fuck them. They are twits, idiots, selfish dipshits who have no fucking idea how the world actually works.

  4. 4
    Citizen Alan says:

    I imagine it’s because the ghost of Ralph Nader has provided them a cautionary tale. The Greens in 2000 actively worked to deny the presidency to the party closest to them ideologically pretty much for the tactical reasons you suggest. Curiously, this did NOT result in showing Democrats “that they ignore [Greens] at their peril” or grabbing “some real power in the [Democratic]Party.” Rather, it resulted in a visceral hatred on the part of most Democrats for the Green Party movement that lasts to this very day, as well as a public rejection so intense that three election cycles later the Greens are reduced to running a former sit-com star who hasn’t been culturally relevant in over twenty years. I loathe libertarians, but I don’t begrudge them for declining to play your desired role of “Nader 2012” spoilers.

  5. 5
    Ash Can says:

    a party affiliation that you trot out at a cocktail party rather than in a voting booth.

    They trot their party affiliation out in the voting booth all the time.

    They have a fake affiliation that they think makes them look intelligent and sophisticated, and that’s the one that comes out at the cocktail parties. Then, when it’s just them and the ballot alone in the booth, the real affiliation comes out. The exception to this, of course, is Reason Magazine, which has ditched the fake affiliation altogether, and is just out-and-proud all GOP, all the time.

  6. 6
    Scott S. says:

    Well, Libertarian = Republican.

    Five’ll getcha ten that almost everyone working for Reason will be pulling the lever for Romney.

  7. 7
    Hunter Gathers says:

    Like I give a flying fuck about a bunch of permanent adolescent white males who couldn’t get laid in Vegas with a stack of hundreds think about anything. I don’t have the luxury of living in La-La Libertarian Land. I have bills to pay and mouths to feed.

    I can’t wait for these fuckers to start telling us about the virtues of the Rand Paul 2016 POTUS camapign in four years. They’ll go from being merely doucheneozzles to full-on douchebags.

  8. 8
    Wag says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Ooooh! I don’t like your tone!. You’re so mean, I think I go to the Daily Beast for my McMegan fix. That’ll make it all better ’cause she’s the hotest thing since Dagny Taggert.

    Glibertarians are so sad.

  9. 9
    jibeaux says:

    I love it when liberals make romantic overtures to rats, I do.

    It seemed to me, though, that the Gary Johnson thing, albeit with less carpet-bombing enthusiasm and no blimp, sort of replaced Ron Paul. Where I used to see Paul signs, I see Johnson ones now, where there used to be “Ron Paul 2012” please in all sorts of off-topic internet commentary, I now see Gary’s name, although at 1/10 the ratio, sure.

  10. 10
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    I have a couple of facebook friends who remain so because they don’t publish much glibertarian claptrap. But all 5 of em claim they’ll vote for Johnson.

    I’ll admit, these guys have a world view that’s limited but my experience is that all of em are what I call Embarrassed Republicans. To them, it all boils down to not wanting to pay taxes. There’s a bigoted element there with a couple of them but I know it isn’t with a couple of others. Since the GOP is run by teh crazies now, and these friends are all pro-choice, pro-science and none are terribly fond of organized American Taliban religions, they can’t bring themselves to vote that way anymore.

    So the Libertarians are their only outlet. Of course whenever pressed about who they vote for on the state and local level, they dissemble with the best of em which tells me they’re still voting for the local batshit crazy Repups who will become tomorrow’s Batshit Crazy Repup Congresspeople and Senators…the same types my Embarrassed Republican friends rail against today.

    More power to em at least on the federal level if it means one less vote for a Repup.

  11. 11
    Tom65 says:

    Libertarians write Balloon Juice off because we’re so quick to call them “Glibertarians”

    No, I write Libertarians off because they’re emotionally stunted.

  12. 12
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    The graph you posted up here a few weeks ago – the one that showed that libertarians basically vote all Republican all the time – really put a face on their voting habits that mere words cannot.

    The takeaway is this: if some calls themselves a “liberatarian”, they are a Republican. Period.

  13. 13
    Punchy says:

    I’m reminded by dedicated activists that Gary Johnson is running for President

    Dedicated or stoned? Liberts are the laziest, intellectually devoid shucksters in all of politics. Their candy is some 70+ year old screwball who couldn’t win a single state that matters, and they’re delusional enough to pretend like he might be popular. Redunkulous.

    BTW, Obama now only minus 185 to win election. Was minus 250 last week and near minus 400 pre-debate. Not a good trendline.

  14. 14
    RSA says:

    I think this, from one of the articles, is suggestive:

    Johnson is also seeking a legal remedy to get more of that via the presidential debates: the desperate and un-libertarian expedient of an antitrust suit against the debate’s sponsors…

    Basically you have people who say, “The world would be a better place if X,” but it’s against their principles to do very much to make X happen. Even voting is anathema for some minarchist libertarians.

  15. 15
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    What always gets me about third parties is that they seem to aim for the executive while ignoring the legislative branch. Even if through some miracle Johnson actually got elected President, he has to deal with a Congress made up of mostly non-Libertarians who won’t necessarily be willing to work with him.

    ISTM they should focus on packing the legislative bodies first, then worry about the executive when they have a working majority. But Congressmen and state legislators have to actually, you know, do shit for their constituencies, which from what I can tell is anathema for most true Libertarians (gummint is evil, remember?).

  16. 16
    Barry says:

    “Five’ll getcha ten that almost everyone working for Reason will be pulling the lever for Romney.”

    No, because most of them live in Blue States, and will happily vote libertarian for president, knowing simultaneously that it makes no difference/they are brave Galtians.

  17. 17
    JenJen says:

    Completely, outrageously anecdotal, but I’ve been telling everyone who will listen for weeks now that in my working-class Cincinnati neighborhood, Gary Johnson signs outpace Mitt Romney signs by 3:1.

    I think there really is something, even if just an outside possibility, to a Nader Effect from Johnson in this election, especially in a close battleground state (and I still don’t think Ohio is a toss-up battleground state; I think we’re Lean Obama).

  18. 18
    mistermix says:

    @Citizen Alan: You’re right about the Greens. I don’t know enough about Republican Party dynamics to understand how they would treat the Libertarians if they showed themselves as (potential at least) spoilers. One thing I will say about Libertarians, they do get on the ballot in more places than Greens.

  19. 19
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    Yet the only poll I could find that includes Johnson was a Reason-sponsored poll that shows him at 6% nationwide.

    6% nationwide?

    Well shite… w/ a little luck Johnson might just turn out to be the Republican version of Ralph Nader for 2012…

  20. 20
    victory says:

    Am I the only one who has a hard time calling Gary Johnson a “third party candidate”? I mean, the ONLY reason he took the Libertarian mantle is because is LOST the Republican Primary.

    Gary Johnson is NOT a Libertarian. He is a REPUBLICAN with some Libertarian political beliefs. People who think they are voting for a “Third Party” in voting for Johnson are only fooling themselves.

  21. 21
    Violet says:

    I saw a Gary Johnson ad on TV relatively recently–in the last couple of weeks. Not sure where I saw it. Maybe on one of the cable “news” channels, like MSNBC or CNN when I was at the gym. Has anyone else seen one?

  22. 22
    The Red Pen says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey:

    What always gets me about third parties is that they seem to aim for the executive while ignoring the legislative branch.

    What they ignore is local politics. Run for town council or state senate, morons! If people really like you and your ideas, you might win.

  23. 23
    Kane says:

    Show me a libertarian or a tea partier, and nine times out of ten I’ll show you a republican who doesn’t want to take responsibility for supporting Bush/Cheney policies.

  24. 24
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    @Barry:

    No, because most of them live in Blue States, and will happily vote libertarian for president, knowing simultaneously that it makes no difference/they are brave Galtians.

    In the case of my glibertarian acquaintances, they live in extreeeeemely red states so the effect is the same from the other end of the spectrum.

    @Kane:

    As I say above, Embarrassed Republicans = Libertarians

  25. 25
    Kirk Spencer says:

    My guess is similar to Kane’s (@23).

    They’d really rather have Johnson, but know their vote isn’t going to win. Instead it’s just going to spoil Romney’s results. If he were certain to win – leading by ten or so in the polls – you might well see a major push. But the risk of the worst case (Obama) happening pushes them into muting their activism.

  26. 26
    Ash Can says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey: My guess is that they figure they need to drum up enough interest in the Libertarian Party to attract candidates to run in the more local elections, and that high-profile attention-getting stunts such as shooting for the presidency serves this purpose.

    Or maybe they’re just idiots.

  27. 27
    Joeshabadoo says:

    Libertarian is just an excuse for most to vote for the GOP because being a republican is repellant.

    I think the number of real libertarians is incredibly small, smaller than the greens. They just get attention because the phrasing is useful for the GOP to copt with no consequences.

  28. 28
    david mizner says:

    So libertarians are supposed to vote libertarian and lefties who agree with Jill Stein on most issues are supposed to vote Democrat?

  29. 29
    jibeaux says:

    There is a guy who runs as the Libertarian candidate for NC governor every time for at least the past few elections, he is a poli sci professor at Duke named Michael Munger. To his credit, which is not to say to libertarians’ credit in general, he does not seem to be an embarrassed Republican, he is officially unaffiliated since Libertarian isn’t a recognized choice here, and has been for many years, and doesn’t run in Republican primaries, etc.

    Naturally, no one outside of probably his immediate family votes for the man.

    And also too, the Libertarians often have a booth at the state fair, but if you ask them they’ll admit that they don’t agree with the state fair (uses tax dollars, don’t you know.) It is quite the joyless philosophy, devoid of parks, libraries, greenways, and fairs, but I guess if there’s no roads anyway you just stay home and Netflix Atlas Shrugged.

  30. 30
    Quarks says:

    @Citizen Alan: The former sit-com star, assuming you are referring to Roseanne Barr, is running on the Peace and Freedom Party ticket, not the Green Party. Barr did run for the Green party nomination but lost to Jill Stein, a doctor. Both are listed on the Florida ballot, and I suspect that Barr will pick up a couple votes just from the pure name recognition factor.

    Meanwhile, I’m having the opposite experience from Mistermix — I haven’t seen a single sign for the Green Party or Jill Stein anywhere, but I have seen the occasional Gary Johnson/Libertarian sign. Then again I’m in a pretty conservative town, so I doubt this is typical of most areas.

    I know that on the local level in Florida, both the Greens and the Libertarians have tried to run or at least endorse certain candidates at the county level. But, and this is a big but, the Greens are only doing this in a few counties, and the Libertarians are only doing this in a few counties. It doesn’t appear to be a statewide effort.

  31. 31
    Splitting Image says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    I imagine it’s because the ghost of Ralph Nader has provided them a cautionary tale. The Greens in 2000 actively worked to deny the presidency to the party closest to them ideologically pretty much for the tactical reasons you suggest.

    Here’s the thing though. The Republicans aren’t closest to them ideologically, at least according to what they say is their ideology. If you’re seriously concerned with civil liberties, it’s difficult to argue that the G.O.P. is a better fit ideologically than the Democrats are, even if you have legitimate issues with Obama or the congressional Democrats.

    Daniel Larison is a good example of this. He’s a fairly consistent critic of Obama on many issues, but is equally consistent in pointing out that the Republicans are not a potential alternative, because their own policies are worse.

    The main problem with libertarians for me is that if you are seriously interested in civil liberties, you can’t afford to demonize one of the country’s two biggest parties the way so many “libertarians” demonize the Democrats. Tribal support of a single party is a threat to civil liberties no matter what the party stands for, since it generally leads to long hegemonies of one-party rule. You can’t vote straight ticket for one party when it is marginally better than the other and then refuse to vote for the other on the grounds that “the lesser of two evils isn’t good enough” when the positions are reversed.

    If you can’t vote for the Democratic party when there is a stark choice between them and the Republicans in a matter of civil liberties, you can’t honestly call yourself a libertarian.

  32. 32
    Joeshabadoo says:

    @david mizner: read splitting image @Splitting Image:
    The only real similarity between them is the desire to cut taxes. Any libertarian worth his salt should realize that does not make them idealogical allies. Since libertarian is just a cover for repellant GOP policies they make tax cutting out to be the most important part.

  33. 33
    amk says:

    @Punchy: What are you talking about ?

    Obama now only minus 185 to win election. Was minus 250 last week and near minus 400 pre-debate. Not a good trendline.

  34. 34
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @The Red Pen: There, I think you run into the problem that a truly libertarian-run city would devolve to anarchy, looting, and riots about halfway through the new libertarian mayor’s inauguration speech.

  35. 35
    General Stuck says:

    @mistermix:

    I don’t know enough about Republican Party dynamics to understand how they would treat the Libertarians if they showed themselves as (potential at least) spoilers.

    The dynamics are mysterious on some levels. On other levels, my take is something like this.

  36. 36
    redshirt says:

    Libertarian = Republican Hipster.

  37. 37
    McJulie says:

    @Barry: So true. Actually, I think that’s where libertarians come from: they are conservatives from blue state areas who have picked up on their local culture, while remaining fundamentally conservative.

  38. 38
    Roger Moore says:

    @Quarks:

    I know that on the local level in Florida, both the Greens and the Libertarians have tried to run or at least endorse certain candidates at the county level.

    This reminds me of an interesting thing I noticed when browsing my sample ballot. California just switched to a jungle primary, so there are only two candidates running for each office in the general election, but every party is allowed to give official endorsements. The Green, Libertarian, and Peace and Freedom parties refused to give any, presumably because their candidates didn’t actually make it through the primary, but the American Independent Party did. Amazingly enough, in every single election for which both the Republican and American Independent parties gave an endorsement, they endorsed the same candidate. Independent my ass!

  39. 39
    Gus diZerega says:

    The behavior of the Kochs, who supported libertarians for years, but when it really matters support authoritarian theocrats who enable them to make more money, demonstrates the utter moral bankruptcy of libertarian ideology in almost every case.

    Exceptions exist of libertarians who actually believe in liberty – but not many.

  40. 40
    Lurking Canadian says:

    I made the mistake of clicking through, because I wanted to read the Mangu-Ward article (she’s the new Megan at the Atlantic, isn’t she?) I was curious.

    Anyway, in clicking I made it only as far as the main Reason page, where I found the delightful title, “In defense of blackface”, which had some kind of subtitle about apologizing for minstrel shows.

    That’s the last time I’ll be clicking on a Reason link.

  41. 41
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @david mizner: Nice “belligerent so”!

  42. 42
    Mike the dealer says:

    @amk:

    He is saying Obama is now to a slightly less than 2-1 favorite for re-election. He had been had 2.5-1 before, so money is coming in on Romney and that is changing the odds. Of course he is still nearly a 2-1 favorite.

  43. 43
    ThresherK says:

    @Kane: You mean, when Shrub became the least popular president in a century, were the first to tear down the Tiger Beat-style Bush/Cheney/Rumstud posters off the wall over their bed?

    Hint: If you look closely, you can still see the tape marks on the wall.

  44. 44
    Brachiator says:

    I’m reminded by dedicated activists that Gary Johnson is running for President

    Go Libertarians. Vote. Vote. Vote Your Principles.

    @Splitting Image:

    If you can’t vote for the Democratic party when there is a stark choice between them and the Republicans in a matter of civil liberties, you can’t honestly call yourself a libertarian.

    I’ve never found that honesty has much to do with libertarianism.

    BTW, Atlas Shrugged, Part Deux made a massive $1.7 million in about 1,000 theaters over the weekend. Absolutely underwhelming. Is there a Part 3, or is that it? I’m still waiting for the Mistermix DougJ date night review.

  45. 45
    LAC says:

    @Hunter Gathers: And just when you think that love at first post cannot happen. You had me at “full on douchebags”

    Bravo!

  46. 46
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @jibeaux:

    It is quite the joyless philosophy, devoid of parks, libraries, greenways, and fairs, but I guess if there’s no roads anyway you just stay home and Netflix Atlas Shrugged.

    Unless your internet service provider institutes bandwidth caps or network throttling for everything other than their preferred streaming service. For a while at least, Netflix video quality was intentionally downgraded for Comcast customers because of bandwidth caps and throttling.

    http://www.theverge.com/2012/5.....tflix-xbox

    http://www.bgr.com/2012/09/18/.....cap-tests/

  47. 47
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @Gus diZerega:

    Exceptions exist of libertarians who actually believe in liberty – but not many.

    And they probably don’t make enough money for the glibs to be interested in them.

  48. 48
    Schlemizel says:

    All third party efforts I can think of are cults of personality. “We love Ron” or “We love Ross” or “We love Jesse the Boobie”

    People project their own beliefs on these alluring individuals and that makes them all things to all supporters. When one has the chance to rule (as we saw here in MN) they have no idea, not a hint of a clue, and they can’t deliver what their supporters want because their supporters wanted everything. More stuff, lower taxes, more freedom, more controls.

    Governing is hard work and most of these prima donnas are unwilling to do that. Actually getting elected is even harder because you have to take actual positions and that means you will offend some percentage of the voting public.

    If they really wanted to change government they would try to take 30-40 Congressional seats and use that power as a club to beat the two parties into positions they want. But that would require maybe 100 candidates and taking actual consistent positions on issues that impact actual voters. Then they would have to run actual campaigns that cost actual money knowing that more than half will be losing efforts for the good of the party.

    Thats too hard, they will just sit around whining about how nobody listens to their ‘truths’ and waiting for the next savior to come & lead them to victory. 6-10% is where they will always remain

  49. 49
    Roger Moore says:

    @Gus diZerega:
    Of course Libertarianism is morally bankrupt. Any philosophy whose basic point is “I should be able to do WTFIW and everyone else can go DIAF” is morally bankrupt. More importantly, that philosophy is inherently divisive, so you shouldn’t expect people who hold it to work together as well as those who believe in philosophies that emphasize some kind of shared common good. Libertarianism is begging its adherents to sell each other out the moment it’s in their self interest to do so. There can be no honor among people who believe that selfishness is the highest good.

  50. 50
    Michael says:

    @Mike the dealer: That’s if you buy that t he betting markets are a good measure of his actual chances. That’s a big assumption. I take Sam Wang & Nate Silver over those markets. Nate has it at 2-1, Wang at 5-1

  51. 51
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Splitting Image:

    The concerns of American “libertarians” are mainly economic in nature, they are far more concerned about taxes than they are about civil liberties…especially for those they wish to enserf. They want to freeload on the rest of us, get the benefits of an organized society without paying a penny for those benefits. When a Galtian twit whines about “moochers”, it’s pure projection.

    They’re actually neo-feudalists, and imagine that they’ll be the new feudal lords. Wipe them out. All of them.

  52. 52
  53. 53
    Howard Beale IV says:

    The fact that a Socialist got elected before a real Libertarian did speaks volumes.

  54. 54
    hildebrand says:

    Two true libertarians I know will not be voting at all – because they both believe that voting itself is a form of government control. I do a little happy dance whenever I think about this – because these are the last two people I want voting, for anything.

    Some other libertarians I know, mostly college students, will be voting for Mr. Johnson because he favors legalizing dope. They simply wouldn’t vote otherwise, because ‘both parties are corrupt, man’

    Lastly, my brother-in-law, self-professed libertarian, is all in on Romney. My wife asked him how he could accept the right-wing social agenda if he was such a good libertarian. Took a few weeks before he would speak to her again.

  55. 55
    andy says:

    Ah, I see your problem:

    “if the true Libertarians vote their principles”

    Funny thing is, in the voting booth it’ll be, “Romney give me bak al my munnies, kick the darkies inna face”.

    Same as all the other Republicans. Libertarians are Republicans that style themselves sophisticated because they read Ayn Rands big book with lotsa werds init.

  56. 56
    Chris says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The concerns of American “libertarians” are mainly economic in nature, they are far more concerned about taxes than they are about civil liberties…especially for those they wish to enserf. They want to freeload on the rest of us, get the benefits of an organized society without paying a penny for those benefits. When a Galtian twit whines about “moochers”, it’s pure projection.

    Which makes them conservatives by another name, which is another reason they don’t rally to Gary Johnson, Ron Paul or what-have-you. There’s already a party that addresses the only kind of “government overreach” they care about, it’s called the Republican Party.

  57. 57
    Jay in Oregon says:

    Two true libertarians I know will not be voting at all – because they both believe that voting itself is a form of government control.

    Hooray for self-disenfranchisement! Is there any way we can get the rest of those idiots to sign on to their plan?

  58. 58
    Splitting Image says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The concerns of American “libertarians” are mainly economic in nature, they are far more concerned about taxes than they are about civil liberties…especially for those they wish to enserf. They want to freeload on the rest of us, get the benefits of an organized society without paying a penny for those benefits. When a Galtian twit whines about “moochers”, it’s pure projection.

    That’s pretty much an accurate picture of David Koch, but you also have the Conor Friedersdorf types who mouth the appropriate banalities about civil liberties when necessary. If taxes are truly all they care about, then fine, let them run to David and Charles for some sweet corporate cash, but if they are going to concern troll on actual civil liberties issues they need to put up or shut up when the chips are down. Supporting pot legalization may be a good idea, but that isn’t going to cut it when the Republicans are seriously arguing that every woman of a fertile age should have her medical care subject to government intervention.

  59. 59
    Chris says:

    @andy:

    Libertarians are Republicans that style themselves sophisticated because they read Ayn Rands big book with lotsa werds init.

    Or because they’re trying to get laid, once they figure out that “let’s get married so I can have sex with you without making Jeebus angry and also so that you’ll have to do everything I say because that’s how marriage is supposed to work” isn’t quite the pickup line they thought it would be.

    @Roger Moore:

    Libertarianism is begging its adherents to sell each other out the moment it’s in their self interest to do so. There can be no honor among people who believe that selfishness is the highest good.

    Ah yes, the reason the Sith wiped each other out and needed to institute a rule of “only two, a master and an apprentice,” because any more than that would mean a fratricidal war.

    A libertarian or objectivist society is a contradiction in terms.

  60. 60
    Marc says:

    @Citizen Alan: This.

    If the libertarians have learned a lesson from Ralph Nader and the Greens, well, that’s one more than Ralph Nader and the Greens have learned.

  61. 61
    Splitting Image says:

    @Brachiator:

    BTW, Atlas Shrugged, Part Deux made a massive $1.7 million in about 1,000 theaters over the weekend. Absolutely underwhelming. Is there a Part 3, or is that it? I’m still waiting for the Mistermix DougJ date night review.

    I saw that. I look down on God’s work and am pleased.

    Notwithstanding the total lack of demand for it outside of the koolaid drinkers, I’m positive there will be a part 3. Peter Jackson has proven that all great works of literature deserve movie trilogies. As one of the two novels that can change a bookish 14 year old’s life, Atlas Shrugged surely deserves the same treatment as the Lord of the Rings.

  62. 62
    Roger Moore says:

    @Splitting Image:

    Atlas Shrugged surely deserves the same treatment as the Lord of the Rings.

    Something tells me the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences won’t see things that way.

  63. 63
    Lurking Canadian says:

    BTW, Atlas Shrugged, Part Deux made a massive $1.7 million in about 1,000 theaters over the weekend.

    This is kind of zen. Can the Free Market fail Itself? It’s a bit like God making a rock so heavy even He can’t lift it.

  64. 64
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Brachiator:
    I understand that Ayn Rand divided her novel into three sections, and the filmmakers are doing a trilogy so as to stick to that structure. Part I was dire (I’ll never forget Roger Ebert’s astonishment when he saw the deserts of “Wisconsin”) and hella unprofitable, yet someone still bankrolled part II. So I suppose Part III will be upon us no matter what.

  65. 65
    Brachiator says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I understand that Ayn Rand divided her novel into three sections, and the filmmakers are doing a trilogy so as to stick to that structure. Part I was dire (I’ll never forget Roger Ebert’s astonishment when he saw the deserts of “Wisconsin”) and hella unprofitable, yet someone still bankrolled part II. So I suppose Part III will be upon us no matter what.

    I see what you mean. From the Wiki

    The novel is divided into three parts consisting of ten chapters each. Robert James Bidinotto noted “the titles of the parts and chapters suggest multiple layers of meaning. The three parts, for example, are named in honor of Aristotle’s laws of logic … Part One is titled ‘Non-Contradiction’ … Part Two, titled ‘Either-Or’ … [and] Part Three is titled ‘A Is A,’ a reference to ‘the Law of Identity’.”

    I read The Fountainhead, and was mildly amused by parts of it as a college student and young adult. Couldn’t read more than a few pages of a borrowed copy of Atlas Shrugged.

    I was listening to a film podcast which noted, in mock seriousness, that the last film in any trilogy generally sucks. Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back, excellent. Return of the Jedi, sucks.

    The first two Godfather movies. Great. Godfather, Part 3. Oh, no.

    It even works for some works of literature. Dante’s Inferno, fantastic. Purgatorio, OK. Paradiso, weakest of the bunch.

    They should have followed Homer’s example. Iliad and Odyssey, both masterpieces. Then he dropped the mic and said, “That’s all you need.” Walked away.

  66. 66
    Lumpy says:

    I had Geraldo Rivera’s radio show on last week (I know…why???). Geraldo said that Gary Johnson was recently scheduled for an on-air interview, and Johnson blew it off, and there was never any explanation or follow-up from his campaign.

    So I don’t know how seriously Gary Johnson is taking his own campaign. Because I would think that mushy-brained Geraldo fans would be ripe targets for the Johnson campaign to acquire.

  67. 67
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @Lumpy:
    I remember reading an article about then-Libertarian Presidential candidate Harry Browne after the 2000 election that basically said that Browne saw how Nader was able to make a comfortable living as the nominal head of a small third party, and decided that he wanted a piece of the action for himself as the head of the Libertarian party.

    That strategy seems to have borne out in the GOP primary freakshow, where it seemed that half of them (Gingrich, Cain, etc.) were looking more to boost book sales and speaking fees than actually being leader of the free world. (Not that they wouldn’t take the job if offered, mind you…)

  68. 68
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @jibeaux: It is quite the joyless philosophy, devoid of parks, libraries, greenways, and fairs, but I guess if there’s no roads anyway you just stay home and Netflix Atlas Shrugged.

    Good luck with that. Without government internet access will be, shall we say, unevenly distributed.

    A shocking # of libertarians have jobs that depend on government. Maybe it’s defensiveness.

  69. 69
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Brachiator:

    They should have followed Homer’s example. Iliad and Odyssey, both masterpieces. Then he dropped the mic and said, “That’s all you need.” Walked away.

    But Elektra (Orestes?) is a spin-off from Odyssey, and it’s pretty awesome, so there’s that.

    I always thought Homer had a lot of balls to blame the whole downfall of a family on the lack of a bard, basically stuck a 20 minute sales pitch in the middle of Teh Greek Bible II: The Plot Thickens.

  70. 70
    Chris says:

    @Brachiator:

    Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back, excellent. Return of the Jedi, sucks.

    I will fucking destroy you.

  71. 71
    Chris says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    A shocking # of libertarians have jobs that depend on government.

    Ain’t that the truth!

    It’s like religious people who commit sexual sins; it used to be ironic, once upon a time, but it’s happened so often that now it’s just a worn-out cliche.

  72. 72
    Roger Moore says:

    @Brachiator:

    I was listening to a film podcast which noted, in mock seriousness, that the last film in any trilogy generally sucks.

    Generally, but not always. The Return of the King breaks the rule, and I thought The Last Crusade was a definite step up from Temple of Doom, though not perhaps as good as Raiders. And Chris Nolan seems to have done a good job of maintaining quality in his Batman trilogy.

    Of course there’s some false sorting going on, too. If the first movie in a planned or potential trilogy is great, it’s easy to get approval for the sequels, even if the scripts aren’t as good as the original. Hell, if a movie with no planned sequel is good enough, they’ll start figuring out how to turn it into a series. But if the first movie isn’t successful they aren’t going to make the sequels no matter how much better than the original they might be. So there can be a lot of trilogies that go from good to bad, but very few that go from bad to good. The only way you can get a trilogy where the final movie is the best is if they go from good to great, which is obviously really hard. I suggest calling this phenomenon The Golden Compass effect.

  73. 73
    Brachiator says:

    @Chris:

    Return of the Jedi does not totally suck. It is actually pretty great. Obvious exception here. The ewoks suck.

    @Another Halocene Human:

    But Elektra (Orestes?) is a spin-off from Odyssey, and it’s pretty awesome, so there’s that.

    Is Elektra Homer? Also, too, I avoided anything about Greek play cycles.

    @Roger Moore:

    Of course there’s some false sorting going on, too

    Yeah, that’s why I noted that the original comments which spurred this were mock serious. I don’t think there was a particular reason for there to be a Godfather 3, except money, and you could not say that it was part of any planned sequel. The same can be said for many other films.

    I don’t think that the Dark Knight films were ever originally conceived to be a trilogy, but Nolan saw a place to continue and to conclude his take on the character. I have a lot of reservations with the Dark Knight Rises, but admire his ambition here.

    Despite the general impression that Taken 2 was done because the accountants could see a way to make a profit, the movie’s success pretty much guarantees a Taken 3.

    The funniest thing I’ve seen is the toy company behind the Transformers film wanting to see a new film with new characters because the old films did not push enough toy sales.

    Talk about the marketing tail wagging the dog.

    BTW, and totally spoiler free, the UK reviews for the new James Bond film Skyfall have been very, very positive (franchise, so falls out of the trilogy consideration).

    And again, my guess for the unexpected winter hit is Rise of the Guardians, which looks like The Avengers with children’s mythic characters (Santa, Easter Bunny, etc).

  74. 74
    Brachiator says:

    @Chris:

    Return of the Jedi does not totally suck. It is actually pretty great. Obvious exception here. The ewoks suck.

    @Another Halocene Human:

    But Elektra (Orestes?) is a spin-off from Odyssey, and it’s pretty awesome, so there’s that.

    Is Elektra Homer? Also, too, I avoided anything about Greek play cycles.

    @Roger Moore:

    Of course there’s some false sorting going on, too

    Yeah, that’s why I noted that the original comments which spurred this were mock serious. I don’t think there was a particular reason for there to be a Godfather 3, except money, and you could not say that it was part of any planned sequel. The same can be said for many other films.

    I don’t think that the Dark Knight films were ever originally conceived to be a trilogy, but Nolan saw a place to continue and to conclude his take on the character. I have a lot of reservations with the Dark Knight Rises, but admire his ambition here.

    Despite the general impression that Taken 2 was done because the accountants could see a way to make a profit, the movie’s success pretty much guarantees a Taken 3.

    The funniest thing I’ve seen is the toy company behind the Transformers film wanting to see a new film with new characters because the old films did not push enough toy sales.

    Talk about the marketing tail wagging the dog.

    BTW, and totally spoiler free, the UK reviews for the new James Bond film Skyfall have been very, very positive (franchise, so falls out of the trilogy consideration).

    And again, my guess for the unexpected winter hit is Rise of the Guardians, which looks like The Avengers with children’s mythic characters (Santa, Easter Bunny, etc).

  75. 75
    LD50 says:

    @Brachiator: Did someone somewhere think that releasing the Atlas Shrugged movie in October 2012 would somehow “help Romney”?

  76. 76
    Kerry Reid says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey:

    Well, but… bully pulpit!

  77. 77
    Brachiator says:

    @LD50:

    Did someone somewhere think that releasing the Atlas Shrugged movie in October 2012 would somehow “help Romney”?

    Probably. But the biggie is “2016: Obama’s America.” From a recent LA Times story:

    ‘2016: Obama’s America’ coming to DVD, group screenings this week
    __
    With a tightly contested presidential election less than a month away, the successful right-wing documentary “2016: Obama’s America” will begin playing outside of theaters at the earliest possible moment.
    __
    The producers of the movie, which grossed a surprisingly strong $33.3 million at the box office this summer (the fourth-highest amount ever for a documentary), announced the film will be offered on DVD on Tuesday. It became available for purchase and rent online in the past few days.
    __
    In addition, the filmmakers are making a special license available for groups, including churches, to screen the picture — a clear effort to provide entertainment for conservative organizations looking to rally ahead of the election.

    Desperate measures

  78. 78
    easybake democracy says:

    No, people write you off because you’re pathetic party dupes of a succession of corporate puppets who give you your opinion in enemas of partisan hatred. They write you off because no matter how hard Dems fuck you, you come back for more – perhaps because you can’t imagine formulating an opinion for yourself without party approval.

  79. 79
    Marc says:

    The Jill Stein presidency is going to be so hard on you.

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