I've mentioned several times on this blog that I think Ron Paul is the new face of the Republican party, and I've also said that I favor a libertarian-minded opposition. I think that an emphasis on checking power and maintaining civil liberties is vital in this nation; it's why I prefer libertarian opposition to, say, religious right opposition. That doesn't mean I actually want libertarian rule; it is my intended least-bad alternative.
I think the libertarians will be competitive in the Mountain West. Former New Mexico Gary Johnson has considered a 2012 presidential run, as a "antiwar, anti-Fed, pro-personal liberties, slash-government-spending candidate"; this is a far cry from the big-government, freedom-restrictionist era of Bush, and it will still satisfy fiscal conservatives the nation over. The challenge for candidates like this nationally is incorporating the religious right/social conservatives, and the general category of security conservatives. Nationally, it may not work in 2012.
The Mountain West plays differently, and New Mexico piles on peculiarities. With it's large catholic and Hispanic voting blocks, NM democrats skew statist center-left. Progressive economically much more so than socially. And the right in New Mexico, while having the standard components of the religious right, economic conservatives, and the very security-minded, has a very, very, very strong libertarian component. (Or at least it can - Jim Scarantino played the paranoid libertarian to Bush, but now plays the generic Rightist to Obama).
It is this climate that produced Gary Johnson. And it is this climate that may allow a bit of national spotlight for Adam Kokesh. Running in NM's 1st congressional (bluest of the blue) districts, Kokesh is anti-statist in the most profound way. He cites the founders, the Bill of Rights, and moral obligations in his call against the current "march towards fascism". His goal is an end to both American imperialism and the police state; 12 months ago, on this alone, he'd be casually grouped with the Democratic left. But now, parties in power have changed, and his tune is consistent.
Much will be made of him in the local media soon. My collegue FBIHOP is already casually dismissing him. I'm hesitant to be so straightforward with that dimissal - support from Ron Paul and viable anti-war cred makes him, this far from the actual campaign, seem competitive. He could well be the local face of the new Libertarian right that I'm anticipating. That's less important than the lesson his very existence has for the Democratic Party:
If the Democrats become the police state party, we have lost the coalition that swept Obama into power. And we've probably lost the Mountain West