Innocence by Association?

I suppose that’s what you’d call the mirror opposite of ‘guilt by association,’ especially if you’re a politician desperate to shed the bumpy gray hide of the Northeast RINO and slip into a nice, comfortable Reagan suit. What better way to accomplish this than ignore all the votes you cast with the Democrats and concentrate only on those you cast when an overwhelming majority of the Republican caucus cast the same vote – while proudly calling attention to the pantheon of conservative heavyweights who have endorsed you?

But then, for moderate, pro-choice, Republican incumbent Leonard Lance, it’s the only workable strategy in a newly configured district in which 70% of the population considers itself conservative. I guess he figures if he keeps repeating over and over that he’s a “principled and consistent” conservative, the voters will ignore his abysmal voting record and reward him with a third term.

Lance apparently believes that endorsements from ostensibly conservative politicians will somehow compensate for the fact that no conservative political organization or PAC has stepped up to the plate and given him their seal of approval – as many of them have done with Lance’s opponent, Movement Conservative David Larsen. Unfortunately, the “pantheon” is more like the front porch of the RNC – along with the back porch of the State House in Trenton:

As the narrator begins his spiel, a gallery of politicos rolls by in the background. These are, in order: Gov. Chris Christie, Rep. Paul Ryan, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, former Rep. Mike Ferguson, State Sen. Mike Doherty and State Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll.

What do all these fellows have in common? The first four are Establishment Republican politicians. The next two are erstwhile conservatives who, for reasons known only to themselves and God, figured that by hitching their stars to a RINO wagon in the most conservative district in New Jersey they would enhance their future political prospects.

Here is the transcript of the ad:

Conservative leaders are endorsing Republican Leonard Lance because Lance is the conservative we can count on to stand up to Barack Obama. Lance voted 32 times against Obamacare. Against the failed Stimulus. And voted for a Balanced Budget Amendment. That’s why Governor Chris Christie says Leonard Lance is just the kind of person we need in Congress. On June 5 vote Leonard Lance for Congress.

Uh huh. Let’s see if I understand this clearly:

Conservative leaders are endorsing Republican Leonard Lance…

“Conservative” leaders? Seriously? Chris Christie talks the conservative talk when the cameras are rolling, but after the videos are uploaded on Youtube, he remains the same Establishment hack who defeated a legitimately conservative opponent in the 2009 primary

Rodney Frelinghuysen and Mike Ferguson are right-of-center Republicans who can hardly be called conservative if the standard for that designation is Rep. Scott Garrett – a truly principled and consistent Movement Conservative whose name is conspicuously absent from Lance’s endorsement roster. Gee…why do you suppose that is?

As for Paul Ryan’s endorsement: he’s a Representative from Wisconsin, for Heaven’s sake. Do you seriously believe for a second he has a clue what’s going on in this race? What he did for Lance is what’s known on Capitol Hill and elsewhere as “professional courtesy,” much like what Michele Bachmann did during the 2010 GOP primary when she recorded a robo-call for Rep. Chris Smith, who is strong on the pro-life issue but a complete RINO squish on everything else.

…because Lance is the conservative we can count on to stand up to Barack Obama.

You mean like the way he stood up to Obama’s offshore drilling moratorium – by voting in keep it in place?

Lance voted 32 times against Obamacare.

Uh huh. And when Lance had a chance to strike a blow against Obamacare, he voted for a continuing resolution that funded it to the tune of $105 billion and even voted to expand the scope of Obamacare by including – get this – veterinary services.

Against the failed Stimulus.

Then he turned around and became one of only 18 House Republicans who voted in favor of HR 384 – the TARP II Stimulus -  where we saw the Obama administration literally take over General Motors.

And voted for a Balanced Budget Amendment.

Riiiiight. The Club for Growth called him out as “a hypocrite” when he complained about the excessive debt burden after voting to give Obama an additional $2.1 trillion to spend on his leftist agenda.

That’s why Governor Chris Christie says Leonard Lance is just the kind of person we need in Congress. On June 5 vote Leonard Lance for Congress.

Note Der Blimpmeister didn’t say “the kind of conservative we need” or even “the kind of Republican we need.” What he means is: “Lance is just the sort of tool we need if we are to continue going along to get along.”

The last thing Chris Christie wants to see is the election of a Reagan Conservative to the New Jersey Congressional delegation, especially because it would jump-start the now moribund Conservative Movement, triggering a sea-change in the way conservative politics are conducted in this state.

And while Leonard Lance is many things – a Reagan Conservative isn’t one of them.

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