Okay, so he didn’t use those exact words, but his recent comments fit that particular pair of shoes with little room to spare and, in the process, further split the seams of the threadbare Reagan suit he has worn since the gubernatorial election of 2010, revealing more of the RINO that is Chris Christie. What makes this particularly frightening is the fact that Der Blimpmeister – in an interview with Sean Hannity on the latter’s radio show Monday – left the hangar door open to the possibility of future flight as a Veep candidate. More on that later.
At a town hall this past Monday, Der Blimpmeister offered up his take on the OWS freak show :
“I think if you look at the Occupy Wall Street folks, and the tea-party folks, that they come from the same perspective, they just have different solutions,” he says. “What they’re saying is the government’s not working for me anymore. The government is not being fair, the government is not helping me in the way that it should. And the tea-party folks have one set of solutions to that problem. And the Occupy Wall Street guys have a totally different set, probably 180 degrees different.”
He added, “I don’t happen to agree with a lot of the solutions the Occupy Wall Street guys have. But what I will tell you is, I understand why they’re angry. ‘Cause you look what’s happening in Washington D.C. and it should disgust all of us.”
But the equivocation doesn’t end there. In a breath taking effort to seize the rhetorical middle and position himself as the voice of reason, Christie criticizes President Obama for not “banging heads” to force a solution and then laments the lack of civility and bipartisan cooperation in Congress – as if a beer summit would somehow bridge the ever-widening chasm that divides the parties and this nation.
Conor Friedersdorf – The Atlantic’s answer to David Brooks – wrote the piece and approves of Christie’s mealy-mouthed, conciliatory approach:
That’s smart politicking, because from a politician’s perspective, there are two imperatives: Be as popular as possible, and push policy in whatever direction that you want it to go. Being dismissive of earnest civic concerns gets you nowhere. Why not focus disagreement on what matters?
The problem with Gov. Christie’s comments and Friedersdorf’s analysis is that both are predicated on an erroneous equivocation of the OWS with the Tea Party movement. The former isn’t so much upset with government as it is with the private sector and it looks to big government to solve the problem of income disparity through the redistribution of wealth; the latter was sparked by opposition to metastatic government growth and spending. The last thing ANY Tea Party patriot would say is “the government’s not working for me anymore. The government is not being fair, the government is not helping me in the way that it should,” making this statement from Christie absolutely idiotic.
Friedersdorf goes on to criticize Herman Cain as
…a good example of a Republican who took the opposite approach. “I don’t have facts to back this up, but I happen to believe that these demonstrations are planned and orchestrated to distract from the failed policies of the Obama administration,” he said to an interviewer. “Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks, if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself! … It is not a person’s fault if they succeeded, it is a person’s fault if they failed.” That’s dumb politicking. It needlessly insults political opponents and their allies, signals that you don’t understand their actual concerns, focuses on a straw man, and doesn’t address what ultimately matters, from a politician’s perspective: the appropriate policy solutions.
As it turns out, Cain’s hunch was verified by Democrat pollster Doug Schoen who, in a recent op-ed column in the Wall Street Journal, warned president Obama and the Democrat establishment that their embrace of the OWS movement will turn out to be a huge mistake:
the Occupy Wall Street movement reflects values that are dangerously out of touch with the broad mass of the American people—and particularly with swing voters who are largely independent and have been trending away from the president since the debate over health-care reform.
The protesters have a distinct ideology and are bound by a deep commitment to radical left-wing policies…Our research shows clearly that the movement doesn’t represent unemployed America and is not ideologically diverse. Rather, it comprises an unrepresentative segment of the electorate that believes in radical redistribution of wealth, civil disobedience and, in some instances, violence. Half (52%) have participated in a political movement before, virtually all (98%) say they would support civil disobedience to achieve their goals, and nearly one-third (31%) would support violence to advance their agenda.
While the comparison of this unhinged mob with the Tea Party movement in an way, shape or form is stupid times ten, it is the best approach for a consensus political hack like Christie who, it seems, still has at least one covetous eye on Washington, DC:
The governor — who rejected a run for the 2012 Republican nomination because he felt bound to serve out his first term as Garden State chief executive — told Sean Hannity on his radio show Monday afternoon that he doesn’t expect to be asked, but is open to the idea of taking the vice-presidential slot.
“I think it will depend on, you know, on who that person is and what they say to me at the time about the need for me, and what I can offer them as a running mate,” Christie said. “Then, I think, you would owe it to folks to at least listen to somebody who is going to be the nominee of your party.”
He quickly added, however: “But, bottom line, I don’t expect that’s going to happen. I don’t think anybody wants my type of personality as a number two. I don’t think I comfortably fit in that role, so I think they’ll probably go in a different direction.”
I wouldn’t be surprised if Christie is dropping a hint to Mitt Romney. If nominated, would Der Mittmeister call on Blimpus Maximus to be his Veep? Good question. There is still a widespread perception that Christie is a conservative Republican (heck, even HE claims to be a conservative), fueled largely by the very Establishment that currently supports Romney. Given the persistent delusion that this election can be won only if the GOP tacks toward the center while appealing to the so-called independents and moderates, it would make sense to tap the conservative governor of a dark blue state to maintain the illusion for the conservative base that at least half the ticket represents them when, in fact, they would be shut out entirely.
On the other hand, it would make more sense for Romney to tap a running mate from the solidly conservative Southern states. Perry is a non-starter and Rubio is adamant about remaining in the Senate. It’s entirely possible that he would turn to Herman Cain, repeating the strategy employed by John McCain in 2008: choose a solidly conservative running mate to ensure that the base comes out to vote on election day. In McCain’s case, the sop for the masses was then-governor of Alaska Sarah Palin; in Romney’s case, it would be Herman Cain – whose presence on the ticket would also serve deflect any deployment of the race card by Obama and the Democrats.
A cynical move, to be sure, but one I would expect from a GOP establishment that is determined to crush the Reagan rebellion for good.