Thursday, April 12, 2012

Chris Christie Scores A Goal

There are many of us conservatives who have problems with Chris Christie’s politics. Anthropogenic climate change and the appointment of a sharia-compliant judge, for starters. But even his critics have to admit that when Christie gets it right, he’s a hoot. George Bush got plenty of press when he announced that “I wish they weren’t called ‘the Bush tax cuts.”

Christie’s remarks got far less press. Bush introduced Chris Christie at the Bush Institute Conference on Taxes and Economic Growth, in New York City. He prefaced Christie’s remarks with a humorous jab: “I compliment the governor’s enormous personality.” But he also took a more serious tack by complimenting Christie on his belief in the individual.

After Bush’s sunny speech and pleasant introduction, Christie took the microphone and announced “I haven’t seen a less optimistic period in the country in my lifetime.” He did clarify that there were plenty of enthusiastic conservatives who were optimistic about a Republican victory in November, but that fact doesn’t change the basic downer that the Obama administration has been.

Indicating his belief that a continuation of Obamacrat leftist class warfare would be disastrous for America, Christie said: “Government’s telling people to stop dreaming, stop striving, we’ll take care of you. We’re turning into a paternalistic entitlement society. That will not just bankrupt us financially, it will bankrupt us morally.”

Then came the money quote that won’t make headlines in the mainstream: “We’ll have a bunch of people sitting on a couch waiting for their next government check.” After that, he provided examples of the alternative which the Republican Party is likely to embrace after the nomination is settled once and for all. He used his own state and his own programs as an example. He vetoed the legislature’s “millionaire’s tax” (a carbon copy of the Buffett Rule that Obama is promoting twenty times each day). He also cited his own plan for instituting an income tax reduction of 10% across the boards, as well as his pro-growth policies without big government handouts.

Christie also talked about a concept that doesn’t please true believers on the right (or the left)—compromise. Compromise, standing by itself, is neither good nor bad. It’s what is done with the compromise that makes the difference. Though some of us may think Christie has compromised too much on certain specific issues (see first paragraph, above), his discussion of true believers is right on the money. We’ve discussed that issue multiple times on this site.

Said Christie of his own relations with the opponents in the legislature: “We developed relationships with the other side of the aisle that allowed them to trust us. And that doesn’t happen overnight. Day after day after day you have to sit with our colleagues and convince them of the goodness of your spirit and of the understanding that compromise is not a dirty word.” While Democrats in the national legislature (Congress) blame budget paralysis on the Republicans, the truth is that the Democrats have been utterly intransigent, refusing to listen to even the most lukewarm of Republican proposals. As long as they have their socialist President, they feel they have cover for their failure to accomplish much of anything except the doomed Obamacare.

Regardless of what we may think was a “good” compromise or a “bad” compromise, his words were right on the money. “The subject of compromise has itself become a controversial concept. As ideological purity has come to be valued above all, we’ve forgotten that we’re not just responsible for our moral claims, but also for the consequences of our actions and inaction. He then went on to personalize the issue by quoting Michael Novak: “I learned that I must never again seek moral purity at the expense of responsibility for the results.”

That would be consistent with Ronald Reagan’s acceptance of 80% conservative Republicans. But even more aptly, it fits into the ancient adage that “the perfect is the enemy of the good.” Meanwhile, we can hope that the couch potatoes waiting for their government checks will be too lazy to get off the couch to go to the polls. Otherwise, conservatives have already lost the 49% of Americans who pay no income taxes while complaining that their government checks are too puny.

30 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

Bravo Governor, Bravo!

Joel Farnham said...

I just wish Christie wasn't so much of a RINO. I love his rhetoric. I love that he challenges the Teacher's Union. I love that he is not photogenically skinny. I just have a hard time getting past his appointments and some of his decisions.

Having said that, LawHawk, Yes, when Christie is right, he is sooooo right. Thanks.

T-Rav said...

Christie may not be great on conservative principles, but when he's on fire, he's on fire. Well said, sir.

StanH said...

In rhetoric Christie leads the way, in action he leaves a bit to be desired. He has it exactly right on how to address a liberal, he attacks emotional hyperbole with directness and logic, without exception they melt away.

It reminds me of the point counterpoint on Saturday Night Live with Dan Ackroyd and Jane Curtain, when Dan would lead off his counterpoint with, “Jane you ignorant slut!”

tryanmax said...

I still have a feeling that Christie's opponents will attack him over the couch potato line, after giving it a good hard twist, of course.

Christie's brand of conservatism wouldn't fly far in my neck of the woods, but for an East Coast Republican, I am highly impressed. However, I have given some more thought to possible VP noms and I think Christie would be the poorest choice among the names that are being bandied about.

I think too much of the base regards him as a RINO (debatable, IMO) and putting him on the ticket would only confirm the same fears about Romney as far as those folks are concerned.

AndrewPrice said...

I agree with the others. I love his rhetoric, I just wish his politics matched his rhetoric. Before I could ever support him, he would need to show me a lot more conservatism than he's shown and he would need to keep that up for a sustained period.

rlaWTX said...

He's kinda like the "little girl with a curl in the middle of her forehead".

But, one of the main reasons conservatives see "compromise" as such a bad word is that we generally get burned in them... Cuz the other side tends to be lying, "ends justify the means" snakes in the grass.

rlaWTX said...

And the clip about Ann Romney never "working - that just might help out with the Evangelical Santorum-supporters. Coming down on stay-at-home moms isn't the best plan if you're trying to foster the supposed "split" in the GOP.
(This conclusion is based on my friend's facebook reaction to the clip - ..."She raised FIVE BOYS! The laundry alone... ")

Patriot said...

What works for Christie in NJ will not work across the land. His "in your face" style will alienate many a Republican who think a politician should act like McCain....."My good friends across the aisle..."

I don't believe he's a true "conservative" (Oh how I am coming to hate that term) as his social leanings are more East Coast big city, than heartland traditionalism. While I agree we need politicians like him who can think on their feet and explain conservative approaches to problems to dogmatic liberals, I don't believe he relates well to the vast majority of Americans.

Believe it or not, I have long felt that Romney embodies some of the best of what this country (and humankind)has to offer. Hard working, successful, handsome (telegenic in today's media driven world), family oriented, clean past and mature outlook on today's problems. Why can't we have a leader that embodies these traits, instead of settling on someone who speaks glibly and is able to appeal to our baser instincts ("go get 'em Chris!)?

Again, I personally like Christie and think he's a needed breath of fresh air on our side who can take it to the emotional libs one on one. But I don't think it plays well in Peoria.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: He does have a way with words.

K said...

How will we know when Conservatives have won?

When Christie becomes President - as the Democratic candidate.

LawHawkRFD said...

Joel: I agree. And at least on economic issues and public employees, his stand tends to be conservative.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: Even if I disagree with him, I have to admire his inability to suffer fools and insults gladly.

LawHawkRFD said...

Stan: LOL I had almost forgotten that SNL routine, and it does fit nicely.

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: If they decide to give it any notice at all, the liberals will drag out one of their poster boys or girls with some dread disease or learning disability and play violins and harps while bemoaning what tax cuts would do to such a helpless person. Of course that has nothing to do with what Christie was talking about, but that won't stop them.

I really wonder if people are as "sensitive" as they claim to be. Plain talk appears to offend too many of them, but I often think that after they've cluck-clucked about Christie's direct language, they go home and have a good laugh and think "I wish I had the nerve to talk like that." It isn't good politics, but it is good theater.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: I don't know if he could do well in any state but New Jersey. He had to be a bit left just to get elected, and his manner of speaking is a matter of pride in his home state. But as I said, when he's on, he's on.

LawHawkRFD said...

rlaWTX: Yep, when he's bad, he's horrid.

I think too many people have come to think that compromise is the same as caving in or getting bought off. Maybe it's time to find a word that means the same as compromise, but doesn't have the negative implications. Any suggestions?

BevfromNYC said...

Well and the proof is in the pudding with Christie - it was reported yesterday that he has an overall 68% approval rating amongst all in NJ, both Dems and Repubs and Independants. The citizenry of NJ are seeing and feeling real changes for the better.

LawHawkRFD said...

rlaWTX: The Obamacrats are already trying to explain away and back-pedal on that remark. Democrat liberals have always had that nasty attitude toward stay-at-home moms, as if it were some kind of betrayal of women's lib. Most of those critics couldn't handle the tough job of stay-at-home mom, so it's easier to leave the child-rearing to nannies and other strangers, producing a lot of troubled and alienated youth (I wonder what percentage of "occupiers" had moms who stayed at home to bring them up).

LawHawkRFD said...

Patriot: I probably spent too much time in hands-on politics, so I love his attitude and demeanor, even when I totally disagree with many of his political positions. He can serve as a useful attack dog during the campaign, but the handlers will have to make sure he's addressing the right audiences and the right issues.

I agree on Romney. He has recently been described by his enemies as Ward Cleaver. So, what's wrong with that? Too civilized? But Christie would at least help the Romney campaign in refraining from being unable to distinguish between civilized and obsequious (the latter describing McCain's treatment of Obama).

LawHawkRFD said...

K: Interesting thought. Wouldn't it be nice if instead of the long history we've had of a choice of liberal Democrats or liberal-moderate Republicans to have it be a choice between conservative Republicans or conservative-moderate Democrats?

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: Whatever I may think about his global warming position and the appointment of the sharia-compliant judge, the real issue in New Jersey (as well as nationwide) is the miserable state of the economy. It seems that Christie is doing wonders in that area, and New Jerseyites are happy with his performance overall. I have to be careful myself not to fall into the purity trap. Christie seems to be the right man for the right New Jersey job at this point.

tryanmax said...

LawHawk,

I don't think it's the word "compromise" that's the problem. Many on the right just don't like the concept of coming to terms the percieved enemy. They don't want to fix politics so much as they want tit-for-tat.

Rush put the stay-at-home mom subject in stark perspective: "If raising a child is so easy, why all the abortions?"

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: And that's a real problem. When political opponents see each other as enemies, the dialogue stops. That is not to say that there are no politicians who should be opposed as enemies. Some are simply dangerous and can't be dealt with (I'm thinking currently of the lynch mob among the Congressional Black Caucus). You can't compromise with evil, but you can compromise with those who simply have a different point of view.

Rush's point is well-taken, and I'd like to hear some on the left attempt to answer the question (without hysterics).

T-Rav said...

I like Christie where he is, and I think it's in everyone's interest that he stays there. He can probably do more good in Trenton than he could in Washington.

AndrewPrice said...

I agree with T-Rav. We are better off with him rebuilding the Republican brand in the northeast to cut down the Democrats' chances of building majorities in the House and Senate, than we would be with him on any sort of national ticket.

T-Rav said...

Slightly OT, but I'm just loving the Dems' desperate attempts to dig themselves out of this "Ann Romney never worked a day in her life" hole. The spin is even greater for being so uncoordinated.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: Christie should know his place, huh? LOL I agree, he is probably as conservative as could ever be expected to govern New Jersey. As Goldilocks said, "not too hard, not too soft, but just right (for New Jersey)." I have to go along with those who said he just wouldn't play well in many other states. In California, he would be blamed for an epidemic of heart attacks. The only question would be whether it was his words or his diet that caused it. Maybe both.

Joel Farnham said...

LawHawk,

Don't despair about Christie. He might even grow while in office. He might become more conservative. ;-)

LawHawkRFD said...

Joel: Thanks for the double entendre. Very funny. Ya know, he is a true politician. He could probably bend with the political winds. I don't like his stand on global warming, but I don't get the impression he's an eco-zealot either. He stuck by his position with the sharia-compliant judge, but I don't think he's that Islamist-friendly. For one thing, he hasn't made another appointment like it, so it may be more ego than principle that kept him defending that mistake. Still, I'm not ready for him to go national unless and until we get a clearer picture.

Post a Comment