Of course, I know Ron Paul (´s credentials and philosophy) a lot better than Gary Johnson ('s). If I faced an either-or-decision, I would support Ron Paul over anyone else - but this does not mean that I am adverse to Johnson.
In fact, there is much to be said for Johnson, not least that he attracts support from people (a) I admire and (b) personally like - (a) and (b) holding true with respect to Laura, (a) applying to the Coyote, who has this to say in his blog, today:
I decided today to volunteer for Gary Johnson’s independent libertarian run for President. I have always been a Johnson supporter, and was disappointed that he did not get more attention in the debates and nomination process.
Yes, I know folks will be saying that if Gary Johnson does well, it will just be guaranteeing an Obama victory. You know what? Given the choices, I don’t care. My other choices seem to be the guy who pilot-tested Obamacare and Rick Santorum, perhaps the only person the Republicans could have found with a deeper authoritarian streak than Obama. You know those 2×2 matrices where one leg is “government intervention in social issues” and the other is “government intervention in economic issues?” Where libertarians are low-low and Republicans and Democrats are each in one of the low-high boxes? Did you ever wonder who was in the high-high box? Well, Obama has moved pretty strongly into that space. But Santorum staked it out years ago. He is right out of the John McCain, I-am-nominally-for-small-governemnt-but-support-authoritarian-solutions-for-a-range-of-random-issues school.
In fact, I might argue that freedom and small government would be better served by an Obama second term that the yahoos likely to gain the Republic nomination. First, there is nothing worse than having statism and crony capitalism sold by someone who is nominally pro-market (see either of the Bushes as an example). Second, Republicans are much feistier about limiting spending and regulation in Congress when in opposition. They tend to roll over for expansions of state power when they have a fellow Republican in the White House — just compare spending of the Republican Congress under Clinton vs. Bush. Medicare Part D, anyone?
While the cold is giving way to thaw here, people in Amsterdam are skating the frozen canals - enjoy, and nite, nite: