It might be if you are an Establishment RINO running for re-election to Congress in a district with an electorate that is largely moderate in its political complexion. But if you are an Establishment RINO in New Jersey’s most conservative congressional district, all bets are off the table – depending largely on how savvy the District 7 electorate is when it comes to seeing through the posturing and bombastic performances.
Insofar as most folks in this district aren’t policy wonks or political junkies, it’s a sure bet that many continue to labor under the misperception that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is a conservative…that he is”one of us.” He isn’t – and that much was apparent long before he raised his right hand to take the oath of gubernatorial office.
I am therefore gratified with Andrew McCarthy’s in-depth piece in the National Review On-Line in which he outlines with specificity and detail the case against trying to squeeze Der Blimpmeister into a conservative pigeonhole.
McCarthy’s expose opens up with a shotgun blast that pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the article:
Chris Christie is so not one of us that articles like “Christie Is One of Us” — a new contribution to the genre, from National Review’s Noah Glyn — are churned out regularly as the governor’s smitten admirers, from Ann Coulter to NR staffers, labor to convince us of what they’ve convinced themselves of: that an ostensibly gruff, internally milquetoast, progressive-lite, pro-Islamist Republican must be the second coming of Ronald Reagan because he has managed to make a basket-case blue state marginally less of a basket case. And “marginally” is the operative word. Glyn’s valentine to Christie is unfortunately timed. It was published just as Moody’s declared that Christie’s claim to have put New Jersey’s fiscal house in order is grossly overstated.
He then goes on to describe the warning signs that appeared as early as the GOP primary in 2009:
When Christie sought the GOP gubernatorial nomination in 2009, I preferred Steve Lonegan, who actually is a consistent conservative. I was deeply disappointed when Christie made like a Democrat and attacked Lonegan’s conservative proposals: a flat tax, a $5 billion spending cut, and the shuttering of government agencies. It was what you’d expect from a cardboard cut-out northeastern GOP moderate proponent of progressive taxation and the welfare state — which is exactly what Christie has proven to be.
At the time I supported Lonegan and blogged extensively on his behalf against Christie’s dirty tactics. Like McCarthy, I was appalled that Christie would level what was essentially a liberal attack against Lonegan’s flat tax proposaa – a plan that, had it been implemented, would have been rocket fuel for the Garden State economy, which today is still largely hobbled by high taxes and over-regulation:
Christie also claims to have “balanced” the budget without raising taxes. That is true only insofar as income taxes are concerned. But the real problem in Jersey is property taxes. They are among the highest in the country and have risen sharply on Christie’s watch.
In particular, McCarthy does an excellent job of skewering Christie on the issue of Obamacare:
Truly laughable is Glyn’s claim that Christie’s response to Obamacare shows he is a “consistent conservative.” Unlike Republican governors across the country, Christie declined to sign New Jersey onto the multi-state lawsuit against the “Affordable Care Act” (now being weighed by the Supreme Court). His handwringing about needing more time to study the 2,000-page statute and being reluctant to expend state funds on the suit was insincere: Christie is an accomplished lawyer, the issues are well known, and the filing fee would have set the state back by only $1,000.
The dirty little secret is that Christie is an Obamacare enthusiast — which is no doubt why he so staunchly defends Romneycare.
And so on and so forth to an extent that nicely complements the expose I wrote about Gov. Christie in 2010 at Conservative New Jersey (when CNJ was a credible political website and not the Establishment GOP Potemkin village-cum-three ring Eichmann circus it it today).
Thing is, incumbent 7th District Congressman Leonard Lance believes that the endorsement of Governor Christie is actually a good thing – one that will impel voters to brave a hailstorm to return him to Washington.
I’m not so sure. Christie’s “bully boy” routine – while red meat for residents in other states who know Der Blimpmeister courtesy of Drive-By soundbites and Youtube videos - is getting pretty stale for those of us in the Garden State who grudgingly pulled the lever for him in 2009 in the belief that maybe things might change for the better even if Christie is a RINO.
Well, I’m here to tell you that three years later New Jersey is only marginally better off than it was when Jon Corzine infested Trenton and that the man who has succeeded only slightly modyifying the status quo in New Jersey does no great favor when he endorses a man who would would likely maintain the status quo in Washington, DC.