This is what the Republicans call a “Moderate?”

I’m not sure if you are aware, but the Republican National Committee is actually voluntarily meeting in Boston this week.  I’m a little surprised that they are here, I’m sure that they’re worried that just being in the Bay State might lead them to accidentally enter into a gay marriage.  But here they are, and it’s led to some amusing news coverage of the “struggle” within the Grand Old Party.

It seems that ever since last November, the GOP has been soul searching about how the heck it can ever hope to win a national election.  Notwithstanding the fact that the GOP kicked the snot out of the Democrats in 2010 and look to have a lock on the House and a decent shot of regaining the Senate in 2014, no one can figure out how a candidate can win both the Republican nomination and then go on to win a national election.  Remember when all of the candidates for the Republican nomination said that they firmly reject evolution?  That plays great in the primaries, not so great in the regular election.

So, the big question that the media is asking the Republicans in Boston is, “can a “moderate” candidate win the GOP election?”  And the “moderate” they keep mentioning is Chris Christie, the corpulent New Jersey Governor.  Christie made a visit up to Boston to speak to the assembled CEO’s, right-wing Christian fundamentalists, and Ron and Rand Paul libertarians.  Christie told the GOP faithful that the party doesn’t need to “sacrifice the base” to win.  In other words, the GOP doesn’t need to budge on civil rights, women’s rights, workers’ rights, immigration, or any of the other areas where the positions they hold are in the minority.  So, how can the GOP win if it isn’t going to actually support positions in line with the majority of Americans?  According to Christie its simple – JUST SCAPEGOAT PUBLIC EMPLOYEES!

An article in today’s Wall Street Journal describes Christie’s plan of divide and conquer. (“Christie Lays Out His Plan for GOP Revival,” 8/16/2013, p. A5).  The Article states:

“You don’t have to sacrifice your base voters to win Latino votes,” [Christie] said, according to a recording of the closed-door speech reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.  “You don’t have to sacrifice your base voters to win a share of the African-American vote.”

He contrasted his long-running feuds with the state’s public-sector unions with his friendliness toward the private-sector unions, noting that he had won the endorsement of 24 building-trade unions.

“We have an opportunity as a party to drive a wedge in the union movement,” he said.  “And the laboratory where that is happening right now is in my state.”

Now I’m not sure I really understand how systematically working to destroy public sector workers is going to make Latinos and African-Americans more likely to vote for a Republican.  But put that aside for a minute to ponder that Chris Christie is what passes for “moderate” these days.  Yikes.

3 thoughts on “This is what the Republicans call a “Moderate?””

  1. And Democrats are any better. You need to look no farther than their poster child, our Governor who help a cop killer avoid accountability, supported a serial rapist while in office, released a person serving three life sentences who then murdered a police officer. This is not to mention this attacks on the Quinn Bill and the fact most police departments are working at 25% less staff than when he took office.

  2. Dave:

    Your pont is well taken. In many situations, the Democrats are no better. But, for those like us, who work for and support public sector unions, the Republicans have consistently been hostile. That was the point of the Wall Street Journal quotation about Gov. Christie. In Wisconsin, Ohio, and Michigan, the Republicans spearheaded efforts to gut public sector unions, which were opposed by Democrats and defeated only in Ohio, by a referendum. Cynically, one can certainly comment that the Democrats support unions because the unions give them tremendous political support, both financially, and, even more importantly, with manpower to hold signs, canvass, and go door to door in elections.

    Bottom line: If you belong to a public sector union – police, teacher, fire fighter, municipal employee – and you value your pension and your rights to collective bargaining, the Democrats are not perfect but the the Republicans are a disaster.

    Alan Shapiro

  3. We had an issue with our comment system last week where we got inundated with SPAM comments. In an effort to delete them, one actual comment on this story was accidentally deleted. It’s from a police officer, and here it is (I can’t re-create it to post it under his/her name, but did find the text):

    “Alan- as a 31 year veteran police officer and union member, I never lost a dime under Republicans such as Bill Weld, Paul Cellucci, Jane Swift or Mitt Romney. But under the regimes of Deval Patrick , Barrack Obama, and Mumbles the Idiot Mayor, I’ve lost half of my Quinn bill pay and my health insurance costs and taxes have skyrocketed. Take your Democratic “friends of labor” and shove them where the sun don’t shine. I’d rather have a Republican who tells me to my face that he doesn’t like me than a phony Democrat who kisses me on the cheek and then stabs me in the back. Democrats USED to be the party of the working man. Now, they represent the non-working man. They exist to take from those of us who work and give our pay to the bums who WON’T work. Decker’s article shows gross bias against conservatives and uses hateful terms such as “corpulent” and “right wing Christians”. This, from those who claim they are “tolerant” and “diverse”? Such utter hypocrisy. Physician, heal thyself….”

    As my original post did not attempt to paint the Democrats as any better than Republicans, I’m not going to get into that debate. Suffice it to say that I remain disgusted by Beacon Hill’s cowardly abandonment of the Quinn Bill and their health care law that curtailed collective bargaining rights. But my post was about how Chris Christie thinks he can win not by conforming his policies to majority views, but rather by scapegoating public sector workers (including police officers) and engaging in classic “divide and conquer” tactics. All while being hailed as a “moderate.” A guy who is promoting anti-union policies that would make Nixon blush is a moderate today.

    As to whether my bias (in favor of public sector unionism) is “gross,” I don’t know. I don’t recognize the term “right wing Christians” as hateful, I’ll think about that one and apologize if it came off as such. I don’t recall ever labeling myself as “tolerant,” ask around the office, I can’t stomach most. You got me on “corpulent,” it was a low blow. In fact, I think that Christie’s public acknowledgement of his own weight-related health issues, to the extent that it advances knowledge and understanding of a public health crisis, is one of the few good things he’s done as a national figure. Finally, I went to law school because all the med school classes seemed like way too much work, so I don’t understand the physician reference.

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