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.