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That picture is a perfect example of the benefits of having both in the race. It takes double the effort for the MSM to marginalize 2 candidates (40% of those on stage) than what it would take to simply shove the "crazy" Ron Paul aside in support of everyone else who is drunk on Kool-Aid. :) Paul is all about getting out a message and I'm delighted to have another voice of reason out there.

If they're going to put Johnson and Paul on the ends, the two of them need to figure out how to put the squeeze on the rest of the crowd! But certainly having two of them on stage DOES make it tougher to marginalize them (although some will still try, I'm sure).

We could call it the "PJ Squeeze Play", and the two of them could be very assertive about getting the message out (Ron Paul's greatest moment in 2007-08 was when he assertively took on Rudy Giuliani). Two of them could really show the depth of the differences between "libertarian Republicans" and "conservative Republicans".

I wrote this a ways back in the comments:

"A messy process, to be sure, but I'm confident that Johnson and Paul will be courteous to each other on the debate stage and find much with which to agree. In fact, I see each coming to the support of the other when the neocons launch their salvos and I also see both men clarifying neocon statements when the latter group attempts to don their cutesy small-government facades that they always wear during election cycles."

Just thought I'd toot my own horn a little. :)

[Writ from the warm beach atmosphere in Fort Myers, FL.]

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Brilliant that you are, Eric, I think the biggest problem is going to be the supporters.  *Some* Paul supporters seem to think that the “liberty spot” belongs to him; *some* Johnson supporters think it’s someone else’s turn; *some* of us think both, and are cheering them both on (while being torn, as well).

Good observation, Laura.

Reason has a great take on this "controversy". It is far too early in the process to decide one or the other and as the debate showed their answers complemented each other.

Here was my pre-debate take on thelibertarianpatriot.com

"Both side claim that the movement is not big enough to support two candidates with the same libertarian message and all that will be accomplished is that they siphon votes from each other. [In actuality if this is true, we have no chance of winning anyway so wouldn't two voices for liberty on the stump be better than one?] To this end, some supporters of both men even go as far to say that the other should step down and throw his weight behind the other. [And these people call themselves pro-liberty?]

There is room in this race for both men. I'm not saying that we can't have our favorite, I happen to think Gary Johnson is the better choice but Ron Paul is deserving as well, but we cannot tear down the other in the process. It's us (libertarians) against them (the establishment) and we can't forget that for a minute. We should promote the virtues of both candidates and rally their collective message of pro-liberty, anti-state against the forces that are in opposition to it. Only then will we win."

What does non-support for enhanced interrogation have to do with libertarianism?

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I would say that enhanced interrogation (arguably torture), is a civil liberties question, which would have a lot to do with libertarianism.

Endangering the civil liberties and safety of innocent civilians, and risking lives of US soldiers, citizens, and allies by protecting and offering comfort to enemies engaged in warfare combat against our nation is antithetical to libertarianism.

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You can certainly interpret it that way.  I’m not sure that refusing to torture those who are being detained is the same as offering comfort to enemies engaged in warfare combat.  There is a significant dispute over the value of torture from a strategic viewpoint, and a lot of questions with respect to what it says about those who engage in it.  The question, I suppose, is whether torture does more good (by gaining information?) to protect the civil liberties and safety of citizens and allies, or whether it does more harm (by providing a propaganda target) and endangers us even further.  I don’t believe there is a definitive answer to that, and that individual answers are probably based on individual perspectives.

So not torturing someone is protecting and offering comfort? That has got to be one of the most fantastic (and silly) straw man arguments I have ever read.

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