Did ANYBODY in the Libertarian Party graduate from high school?

The GOP and the Dems don’t have the market on staggering stupidity cornered. Check out the Libertarians.

Jesus Pole-dancing Christ. How are you not prepared for a question you know is coming?

aleppoYou might remember earlier this week when Libertarian candidate for Leader of the Free World® Gary Johnson didn’t know what “Aleppo” was.

“What is Aleppo?” Mr. Johnson said when asked on MSNBC how, as president, he would address the refugee crisis in the war-torn Syrian city.

When pressed as to whether he was serious, Mr. Johnson indicated that he really was not aware of the city, which has been widely covered during the years that Syria has been engulfed in civil war. After Mike Barnicle, an MSNBC commentator who is often part of the “Morning Joe” program panel, explained that Aleppo was the center of Syria’s refugee crisis, Mr. Johnson struggled to recover.

“O.K., got it,” he said…

Breathtaking, huh? It gets better.I mean, we know that the Libs’ foreign policy is basically no foreign policy at all, but still, the guy’s running for president. You’d think he’d have heard of the Middle East’s current most significant smoldering dumpster fire, right?

So you had to figure that Lily Tang Williams, the party’s candidate for Senate in Colorado, would be loaded for bear in anticipation of the inevitable Aleppo question later that day in her interview with Colorado Public Radio. As in, you know, she’s read the Wikipedia entry and anything else she could get her hands on.

You’d be wrong.

[Ryan] Warner: I’d like to ask you about a bit of news that’s come out this morning. The Libertarian presidential candidate was asked about Aleppo and did not know what Aleppo was. Are you aware of what happened?

Tang Williams: Actually I just found out this morning, like you can educate me. I don’t know either. What is it?

Warner: What Aleppo is?

Tang Williams: Yes.

Warner: In Syria. Do you know that’s sort of the epicenter of the conflict?

Tang Williams: Yeah, right, that’s Middle East conflict. But how do you explain this word?

Warner: Well it’s the name of a place.

Tang Williams: Ok, just name of place? I’m still learning a lot about foreign policies.

Hold on. It gets even betterer.

Warner: Do you believe that climate change is occurring in part because of human factors?

Tang Williams: You know what I keep telling people, I’m not best educated on this subject. I’m not convinced either way. But my principles is that it doesn’t matter if it’s global warming or global cooling. If we become more rich and prosperous, we could have the technology know how, skills and wealth to deal with it. For example, if it’s global warming, everybody has air conditioning. If it’s global cooling, everybody has heating. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? Because I lived in China we’re so poor, we didn’t have any of those. We even did not have electricity in the countryside when I was growing up.

Warner: So what you’re saying is that the answer to climate change is air conditioning?


In other words, after you watch the daily shitshow at the big corporate political theaters (you know, The Republican Landmark and The Democrat Pavilions), pop around the corner, because there’s a great little indie comedy showing at The Lib.

Jesus is coming, children, and he’s absolutely fucking speechless.


  • ““What is Aleppo?” Mr. Johnson said when asked on MSNBC how, as president, he would address the refugee crisis in the war-torn Syrian city.”

    What a lie! The MSNBC interviewer did not ask how he’d address the “refugee crisis”, or refer to Aleppo as a “Syrian city”, or even say it was a city. He simply threw out the question (without any context), “What would you do about Aleppo” – presumably in the hope that Johnson would not get the word he was saying.

    I realize this is the NY Times lying about it, not you; but you could at least fact-check what you print.

    • Yes, it was a trick question. No candidate could possibly be expected to know the name of a Middle East hotspot where so much of our foreign policy attention is focused. Gotcha journalism at its most heinous. Christ, next they’ll be trying to trip him up with vague references to “Canada.”

      • Do you think Clinton or Trump would have been asked this question in the same way? No, it as clearly intended as a trap. For them it would have at least been prefaced with some thing like “With regard to Syria,,,. This question came out of no where. Syria had not been discussed and Johnson had no context in which to interpret it. Is it all that strange that rather than the name of a city that he does not want to invade he took it to be some new acronym perhaps for a new terrorist organization? “Aleppo” sounds just like “a LEPPO” after all.

      • You folks down at Johnson HQ are embarrassing yourselves. You think former Sec of State Clinton, who played a big role in creating the nightmare in Syria, would be thrown by that question, no matter HOW you pronounced the name of the city?

        How about you people do what I do – hold your candidates to a standard befitting that of the damned office. If my candidate fucks up this badly, I’ll be on him/her before you have a chance to blink.

        Silliness like your comment is WHY we have such pathetic “choices” in our elections.

      • 1) I have absolutely no connection to Johnson HQ
        2) You call not instantly recognizing the name of a city in a country he has no intention of invading a screw up. I call it being human.
        3) I call a former Secretary of State not knowing what that “C” meant a real screw-up.
        4) Johnson instantly apologized for his gaff. Hilary has yet to apologize for not recognizing that “C”.
        5) Conclusion: Johnson is honest and owns up to his mistakes. Hilary is a liar who won’t admit anything until backed into a corner. Which type of person would you really want as a President?

      • 1: You’re new around here. Know how I can tell? You seem to think I’m a big Hillary fan.

        2: I don’t want ANY of them as president. But Johnson, like just about all US Libs, is a raw ideologue who doesn’t have enough contact with reality to govern.

        Short version: pointing out that Johnson and Williams are clowns doesn’t = an endorsement of Clinton or anybody else.

      • What was it that the “C” meant, again?

      • The (c) in front of a paragraph means that the paragraph is classified as confidential. Everyone I know that has gotten a clearance has gotten a briefing on that & what (s), (ts), (u), (fouo), etc means before they are allowed anywhere near classified documents. She claimed to be “well versed” in how to handle classified documents. Both can’t be true. Considering that she has been handling classified documents for over 8 years as a senator & Secretary of State, she is either lying or too stupid to handle classified documents.

      • Excellent, at least you’re not one of the folks who has claimed “C” meant “classified.” It’s pretty clear to me that she wasn’t well versed in understanding what the various markings meant. But from what I’ve been told by coworkers (I work in aerospace), people who don’t live and breath security markings are often confused about how classified information is marked, when it needs to be marked, what level to mark things at, when to mark documents vs. paragraphs, and so on. And Clinton doesn’t have to be lying or stupid to get it wrong. Frankly, I’m amazed there were so few items that were classified, given the volume of emails going through her server.

        And let’s be clear here, confidential information is only classified because it can be combined with other information to expose capabilities and operational details (this former intelligence officer wrote a great primer). According to the WaPo, what was found on Clinton’s email was “foreign government information,” which was “confidential” because it wasn’t the US government’s information to reveal, and given Clinton was Secretary of State at the time, I’m even more amazed that her email wasn’t packed to the gills with this stuff. That it wasn’t means that she actually WAS being very careful with classified information.

        And to put this into perspective a bit more, the US Archives says its legal to mail “confidential” information back to the US Government via certified mail. And unlike other people who have egregiously mishandled classified information in the past (like David Petraus), we now know from the FBI documents that it wasn’t even a close call regarding prosecuting Clinton.

        Finally, as Secretary of State, Clinton had original classification authority. As such, not only could she classify information, she could declassify it too.

        I used to be one of the people who thought Clinton’s private email server should be a disqualifying event. As I’ve learned more about what she did and what the FBI found, I’ve slowly come around to the point that, while it was an error in judgement on her part, it’s not the scandal the media and her opponents (and yes, even enemies) are making it out to be. Move on already.

  • Let’s put this in context. When explaining the gaffe, a former obama ambassador to Iraq said it was the capitol of ISIS, which it is not. The NYT originally referred to it as the capitol of Syria, which it is not. According to your logic, neither the ambassador nor the editors of the NYT went to high school either.

    • And are either the former ambassador or the NYTimes editors running for President of the United States, a position that has commands more power than any nation has ever had in the history of humanity? I’d like to think that we set reasonably high standards of knowledge and intelligence for the people who hold that office.

      I personally don’t care too much about a President’s honesty, however. I’d like my president to have a strong moral compass, as well as the wisdom to know when to ignore that compass and the fortitude to do follow through. I think Johnson, like a disturbing number of American-style libertarians, has a strong moral compass – that points in the wrong direction on most issues. And I’m not at all convinced he has the wisdom to know when to ignore his own moral compass for the good of the country, as much because I don’t think most libertarians have the capacity to ignore their own sense of morality, however misguided I think it is.

  • You are moving the goal posts. The hyperbolic article, especially the title, imply that Johnson is too stupid to have graduated from high school because he didn’t instantly recognize “Aleppo” off the top of his head when it was mentioned with no context. But, a former ambassador from the country next door to Syria & the NYT with its ton of fact checkers and time to research it also got it wrong.

    It was a blunder, error, whatever you want to call it. He did answer the question after Barnacle explained what Aleppo was. Unlike you or the mainstream press, I do not think that disqualifies him as a candidate for president. Every candidate misspeaks or draws a blank. They are on the road, shuttling between rallies and interviews. Obama said that he had “visitied fifty seven states”. I don’t recall the media getting that upset that he didn’t know that the US only has fifty states.

    BTW, It can’t be a very “strong moral compass” if you are going to ignore it whenever it becomes inconvenient. And, how does being dishonest go with having a “strong moral compass”.

    • The goalposts are right where they have always been. If you don’t know what Aleppo is, considering that it’s THE hotspot of our current Mideast issues, you are not qualified for any office where you might have to deal with foreign policy. PERIOD. I’m nowhere near being qualified for the office of the presidency and I know what it is.

      To minimize this debacle is to a) embarrass yourself personally, and b) to demonstrate why the rest of us regard American Libs as total clowns. This is not about Clinton. It is not about Trump. It is not about Stein, or any other name on the ballot. It’s about your support for a guy who isn’t fit for the office.

      Now would be a good time to stop calling attention to his ineptitude and your lack of judgment.

      • The goal posts did move! They went from too stupid to graduate from high school to not being qualified to be president. That is quite a distance.

        Using your logic, Obama was not qualified to be president because anyone who does not know that the US has 50, not 57, states is not be qualified for any office where you have to deal with domestic policy.

        I have to disagree with you. I will take a person who fails a spot geography test to the others who do not realize that our meddling in the Middle East has made it worse instead of better: Lybia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria. How has regime change been working out for us the last 15 years?

      • I’m sorry you have such a difficult time with figurative language. Next time we’ll try to be as literal as possible so as not to confuse you.

        Also, for the final time, re your third paragraph – pretty much NOBODY on this staff is a Clinton fan and we are, to a person, outraged at the conduct of US foreign policy over the past several decades. So you aren’t disagreeing with anybody other than whatever straw man you have constructed.

        You have strong opinions. If only they were better informed. Maybe read more, rant less….

    • Garnet, sometimes what’s necessary for the good of the country is not moral, ethical, honest, etc. Sometimes a President will need to do things that are horrible because failing to do them would be worse. Someone with a strong moral compass will know what’s moral and ethical, but not be afraid to let his or her morality prevent him/her from doing what’s right.

  • Bill Weld the Vice Presidential graduated from Oxford and Harvard Law School.
    2013 Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis graduated from Harvard in top 10% and also got an advanced mathematics degree from Cambridge.
    According to Pew Libertarians have both highest educational attainment and income of any political party.
    But of course this is just a character assassination piece. No need for truth after all.

    • You people are remarkable in your inability to grasp figurative speech. Clearly, the headline meant that NO SINGLE LIBERTARIAN IN HISTORY graduated from high school.

      To your intended point, though, we here at S&R believe in education. Several of us – myself included – have doctorates, so we hold in great esteem those who have subjected themselves to the rigors of that level of study.

      That said, we also understand that “I have a PhD” is not a response to factual inaccuracy and manifest lack of knowledge.

      Also, as best I can tell, Bill Weld isn’t Gary Johnson and Robert Sarvis isn’t Lily Tang Williams, so I’m a little unclear on what, exactly, your comment has to do with anything.

      I also remain in awe of the fact that when your candidates commit major gaffes, it’s somehow somebody else’s fault. You may hate the big parties, but you’d be great Republicans and Democrats the way you blame the media and your opponents and everyone else who suggests that a candidate for federal office ought to be acquainted with the basics of our most pressing policy issues.

      Your credibility fades with each new comment. You’re entertaining, though.

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