In light of Der Blimpmeister’s recent – and not entirely unexpected – endorsement of Mitt Romney for president, it comes as no surprise that the GOP political establishment will likely follow suit. For Star Wars geeks, think of it as Imperial storm troopers falling into obedient ranks behind a super-plus-size Darth Vader. I guess that makes the Tea Party movement in New Jersey the Garden State equivalent of the Rebel Alliance and Mike Doherty the GOP’s answer to Jar-Jar Binks.
PolitickerNJ news hound Max Pizarro has the details:
In the aftermath of Gov. Chris Christie’s endorsement of Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, PolitickerNJ.com tried to determine whether or not any county organizations might be predisposed to buck Romney even though New Jersey’s GOP boss endorsed him.
“I… uh… will have to… call you back sometime on that one,” a party chairman said.
“What time?” responded PolitickerNJ.com.
Silence – and then, “I’d prefer that we don’t talk about that at this time,” came the discomfited voice on the other end.
Another GOP source explained.
“The strong organizations – Ocean, Bergen, Monmouth, Burlington, etc, will fall in line because they’re connected to the power structure with Christie at the top,” said the source. “Keep an eye on some of the more classically disorganized organizations in counties controlled by Democrats – a Hudson or Middlesex. But even then, I wouldn’t expect significant dissent, given the field.”
Ah, but there IS dissent from the hinterlands of legislative district 23:
State Sen. Mike Doherty (R-23) last month endorsed U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) for President at an event in front of the Statehouse Annex.
“Ron Paul’s stances in defense of the U.S. Constitution and against the Federal Reserve are crucial for me,” Doherty told PolitickerNJ.com in the days after Christie’s announced support of Romney.
“Ron Paul is a veteran; he served, and that distinguishes him from other candidates running,” the senator added. “It’s easy to send other kids off to war. Ron Paul is willing to take a stand on the principle of national defense not national offense. He understands that generals don’t give the orders to the civilians. It’s generals follow orders and say, ‘yes, sir.’ We need statesmen who give orders. What we have now by and large are not leaders, who are bankrupting our country and our military. We need a president sensitive to that.”
Doherty is widely viewed as a potential 2012 U.S. Senate candidate.
That Ron Paul (or Mike Doherty, for that matter) is a veteran of the armed forces is of limited and highly nuanced value when it comes to being a candidate for president of the U.S. After all, Benedict Arnold was the hero of Saratoga and Wesley Clark the incompetent general who almost got us into a shooting war in Bosnia. Military service in and of itself only counts for so much – especially if the candidate embraces foreign policy positions that are just plain nuts: Dr. Paul has no problem with a nuclear-armed Iran; his Middle East foreign policy would effectively throw Israel under the bus and he believes that U.S. foreign policy is the catalyst for Islamic jihadism and ultimately the reason behind their attacks on us.
So what, then, is Doherty’s REAL reason for endorsing Ron Paul? I suspect that, in the mistaken belief that Ron Paul is a favorite son of the Tea Party movement in New Jersey, Doherty is attempting to mitigate the damage he caused by refusing to repudiate the vicious campaign of libel and defamation waged against several Tea Party groups by Bill Winkler, Rob Eichmann and the blog Conservative New Jersey for the better part of this year.
Unfortunately for Mr. Doherty, the Paulnuts, Paulbots and Paulistinians form a tiny (if obnoxiously fanatical) minority of the Tea Party movement in the Garden State. The overwhelming majority may be accurately described as Reaganite in their conservative proclivities – and Ron Paul is no Ronald Reagan.
That he cast his lot with a fringe, quasi-libertarian kook while ignoring several other good conservative candidates this early in the race leaves me (and a number of Tea Party groups) wondering if Mr. Doherty is as confused about the meaning of conservatism as he obviously is about the meaning of integrity.