So you’re a liberal and you think you like Chris Christie? Not so fast…
January 9, 2013 by Beatweek
By throwing his arm around President Obama during Hurricane Sandy late last year, and verbally throwing the entire republican congress under a bus today, New Jersey governor Chris Christie has suddenly become the favorite republican of the moment among some liberals. He’s smart and competent and sane and sometimes he even does the right thing, which sets him apart from most of his circa-2012 republican party brethren on all three counts. But if you’re a liberal or even a moderate and you’re starting to think that he might not be such a terrible presidential option in 2016, be careful what you wish for. The traits which set him apart from his crazy conservative cousins might make him the most dangerous republican of all..
The thing about Christie is that he appears to be a throwback to another era of conservative, the type who has no good ideas of his own but merely seeks to keep liberals from moving forward with their ideas too quickly. Contrast that with the typical republican politician of the twenty-first century, who is a puppet of the super wealthy and religious extremists, and only pretends to care about things like civil rights or the middle class. Wouldn’t it be nice, it’s tempting to think, if the republican party would go back to being more like Christie and less like the wealthy cheaters such as Mitt Romney, less like the crazy ideologues such as Paul Ryan or John Boehner. But it must be kept in mind that there’s a reason Christie is a republican to begin with.
And that’s because if he were a democrat, he’d be expected to have ideas of his own, instead of merely sometimes ceding to those who do have good ideas. He’d be expected to always try to do the right thing, instead of being applauded for occasionally doing the right thing. As recently as three months ago, Christie was running around telling awful lies about President Obama in an attempt to help Romney. It was only when the winds shifted, literally after Sandy, and Christie saw that he could gain more points in the polls by throwing his arm around Obama that he did exactly that, on national television, in a move which helped both men and sunk Romney’s hopes. Not only did the move make Christie more popular, it also cleared the way for him to run for president in 2016. If Romney had won, then Romney would have been the republican nominee again in 2016 and Christie would have had to wait until 2020 before he got his chance. And by now we know that Christie is too smart not to be aware of such things…
So for all of his bluster of late, for all the harsh words he’s dropping on the leaders of his own party, for all the sense he’s making, you won’t see Chris Christie leaving the republican party. You won’t see him becoming an independent, like New York mayor Michael Bloomberg did a few years ago, because no one gets elected president without being a member of one party or the other. You won’t see Christie continue to align himself with Obama for much longer, either, as no one gets the republican presidential nomination while his arm is still around a sitting democratic president. So expect Christie to go back to telling lies about Obama just about as soon as it’s strategically convenient. And don’t even hold your breath about Christie switching to the democratic party, because then he’d be held to such a higher standard that he’d suddenly no longer look impressive just for not being nuts.
Chris Christie might be the smartest, sanest, most competent, and the most ambitiously immoral member of his own fraudulent party – and that makes him capable of doing the most damage. Liberals and moderates should simply ask themselves this: would you rather the next president be Chris Christie or Hillary Clinton? The odds are decent that the 2016 race will be between the two of them. If your answer is still Hillary, or you think that just about any democratic candidate would likely be better than Christie, then he’s not someone to root for in the mean time. Unless of course you’re rooting for him to single handedly destroy the republican party from within, something he just might do in the name of securing his party’s next presidential nomination.