The Street Sweeper, over on the Leavenworth Street blog, used to periodically feature a funsy which he/she called “SAB” – an acronym denoting “Separated At Birth” – in which two wildly disparate people who happened to look alike (sometimes more, sometimes less) would be displayed side by side. Twas a game many of us enjoyed, and often entered into by submitting our own ideas. Well … I have a new one; dunno if Sweeper still does that (I have sorta been out of the whole digital-bloggy-internet thingy for the big end of a year or so), but all that aside – here goes.
I was watching the Nebraska-Michigan game yesterday and suddenly found myself wondering what the hell Chris Christie was doing patrolling the Michigan sideline – and then it hit me. Michigan head coach Brady Hoke is a dead ringer for the New Jersey Fat Cat. Oh, I’ll grant you that Chris prolly packs a bit more avoirdupois than Brady – but then he outweighs most people (shoot, as a kid I raised 4-H steers that weighed less than the Guv) – but the resemblance is still spooky. Main difference, at this point at least is … Chris wins, and Brady … well … doesn’t.
I suppose I was already in this comparative frame of mind since I had been idly mulling the similarities between His Corpulence and former POTUS “Dubya” Bush ever since Christie’s impressive stomping of his Democrat opponent in last Tuesday’s New Jersey governor’s race. He is a formidable potential (wink, wink – nudge, nudge) presidential candidate; this is testified to by the immediate and irrational gibbering from a number of Prog-Blogs after his NJ win. The ink on Christie’s election certification papers was hardly dry before such heavy breathers as HuffPo and The Daily Beast were hyperventilating about what a loooozer he is, was and will ever be. This is a sure sign that they are frightened out of their wits by the possibility of a Christie run. I don’t know what Daily Kos said since I avoid going there – for roughly the same reason I don’t use the bathroom at a convenience store in a bad part of town in the middle of the night that is run by a guy in a dirty tee shirt with a bad complexion whose Christian name is “Chopper” (think Ralph Henshaw from In The Heat Of The Night – the movie, not that dreadful TV series).
Anyway, said all that to say this – it seems clear that Christie is indeed (at this admittedly very early stage) a front-runner for the Pubbie nomination in ’16 – and that is nothing for those of us who value small government and expanded individual liberty to be happy about.
I recall being gratified (excited is too strong a word) when both Papa Bush and his fractious offspring were elected, but soon came to realize in both cases that we had once again been taken in by the gleam and shimmer of electability; we bought style instead of substance – and we lived to rue those choices; remember “Read my lips – no new taxes!” and the infamous TARP and its associated calumnies?
Of course we were assisted immeasurably in our foolishness by the democrats fielding quite possibly the most inept candidates since Andrew Johnson. I mean Dukakis, Gore and Kerry? Really? I think it was during the Gore campaign that the term “loyal opposition” morphed from a perfectly legitimate descriptor into a punch-line. The upshot of all this being that my … um … gratification soon turned into something other … something very, very “other.”
So, to buttress my assertion that Dubya and Porky are two cuts off the same rump roast, let’s, as they say, go to the board:
Popular governors, check. Likeability high, check. Unremarkable previous political records, check. Reputation for direct, even blunt, speaking, check. Good relations with Hispanic community, check. Significant fiscal successes at the state level, check. And on and on – all strongly suggestive of these cats’ soaring electability. But is it enough to look good? Most worrying to me is the set of core principles that each possesses. It is well-known (now) that Dubya’s was notoriously flaccid, especially with regard to matters fiscal (I reference again the execrable “bail outs” that he not only didn’t oppose but actively abetted). Regarding so-called social issues, he did stand somewhat strong against the pro-choicers, but in reality, the whole abortion kerfuffle never assumed anything approaching heroic proportions during his tenure, so it could hardly be viewed as a litmus test of his conservative bona fides.
And while Christie works hard at projecting an image of the plain-spoken and unyielding Everyman, I keep remembering his playing patty-cake with Obama in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, not to mention his murky association(s) with the apparently politically-motivated “investigations” of some of his early detractors. Further, El Tubbo professes a pro-life stance, but one really has to grunt and strain to find any sort of substantive evidence of his pro-lifeness; he affirms it, but it very rarely surfaces in his otherwise fairly garrulous demeanor.
Those who embrace liberty as a non-negotiable cause celebre have taken a lot of undeserved abuse over the past few years. We are accused of allowing the perfect to become the enemy of the good (no – the imperfect is the true enemy of the good and boy, have we seen a lot of imperfect in the last 20-odd years), and of not knowing our place (we know the place our opponents want us be – we just don’t like or accept it). We are called Tea Partiers (most are not), radical and uncompromising (well … yeah … in a Sam Adams kind of way), and that we should learn that half a loaf (or three eighths, or five thirty-seconds) is better than none (it’s not – a fraction of not much is still not much, and is almost always of inferior quality).
So while the politics-as-usual crowd are all a-giggle over an overweight darling du jour, I think I’ll keep my powder dry for just a bit. When we get down to the short rows next November, if I must, I will vote for Christie – but only if he is running against, say, Ralph Henshaw.