GOP 2012 candidate: I've smoked weed, I'm pro-choice, I support gay unions, and I want to cut defense spending drastically

Dude, I think this might be the guy.

After pointing out that the United States accounts for half of worldwide spending on defense, Johnson suggests the defense budget might need to be slashed by as much as 44 to 90 percent from current levels. “If you just based it on population alone, we should be spending 5 [percent],” he says. “If you looked at a 23 percent reduction in government spending, which would just balance revenues with expenditures, if you look at what defense would then have to go to, 50 cents of worldwide spending would go to—I’m doing the math here in my head—what? 28 cents?”

Is Johnson saying that the United States defense budget should be cut in half?

“I don’t want to make that kind of statement because I somehow think it would make me appear irresponsible,” Johnson says. “And I don’t want to be irresponsible regarding this. I just have this sense that we’re just spending way too much.”…

On the other hand, Johnson is open, in principle, to waging humanitarian wars. “If there’s a clear genocide somewhere, don’t we really want to positively impact that kind of a situation?” he says. “Isn’t that what we’re all about? Isn’t that what we’ve always been about? But just this notion of nation building—I think the current policy is making us more enemies than more friends.”

It’ll be fun at the debate hearing a candidate say he’s not sure how much we’re spending on defense and how much of it is wasteful, but that he has a “sense” that it’s way too much. Follow the link up top for more in an entertaining interview with the Standard’s John McCormack; the only subject not touched upon that I’d like to hear Johnson discuss is Wikileaks, just as a sort of litmus test for how he feels about American power. Don’t assume that he supports Assange, though, just because he wants to cut way back on defense. He also told McCormack that we have a “vested interest in Israel and that we shouldn’t walk away from that interest,” which (a) might make him the first prominent pro-Israel libertarian in modern American history and (b) pretty much guarantees angry defections among his Paulnut base. Then again, Johnson isn’t a Truther either, so those defections were all but guaranteed. Question: Once the Ron Paul fans walk away, who’s left to support this guy?

Actually, the way Johnson’s going to get traction — at least as a media curiosity — is by attacking Palin at the debates. He’s already proved his willingness to mock her in interviews, in fact. No other Republican candidate will dare lay a glove on her, but since he isn’t getting nominated anyway, he’s free to endear himself to the press by calling her out. It’s a smart way to boost one’s name recognition but, much as Paul was in 2008, he’ll quickly end up being the candidate most reviled by grassroots conservatives. Aside from Huckabee and Romney, I mean.