Jonah Goldberg is one of the proverbial smartest guys in the room, and it's rare that I disagree with him.But this is one of those times.
Goldberg weighs in on the decision of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) to not invite Chris Christie as a speaker:
The sociology of CPAC is hard to describe to people outside the conservative movement. In a sense, it’s the Comic-Con of conservatism, overflowing with stalls and barkers like a Middle Eastern bazaar. It also serves as a de facto political convention for the ideological base of the Republican Party.
And that’s why CPAC’s decision to not invite Christie was probably a mistake. I’ve enjoyed my visits to CPAC. (Heck, I was named its conservative journalist of the year in 2011.)
The problem is that CPAC is the first bottleneck in the Republican presidential pipeline, and at precisely the moment the party should be making every effort to be — or at least seem! — as open as possible to differing points of view, it’s chosen to exclude the most popular governor in the country. (He has a 74 percent approval rating in deep-blue New Jersey.) Why? Because, a source familiar with CPAC’s internal deliberations told National Review Online, Christie has a “limited future” in the Republican party because of his position on gun control.
C’mon, really? The man is going to be reelected as a Republican. That’s a little future right there. Also, CPAC is chockablock with speakers who have a limited future — or even a limited past — in the Republican party.
But most important, since when is CPAC an organ of the Republican party? Christie’s future in the GOP is up to Republican voters. I happen to hew closer to CPAC’s apparently official position on gun control than to Christie’s. But I’d love to hear him talk about school reform and his battle with public-sector unions. I’d love to see him debate someone on gun control or on how to cut government spending in a climate where people like Christie are so quick to demagogue crisis-exploiting spending.
Heck, I’d like to hear debates on pretty much any and every issue dividing factions on the right, including gay rights. But CPAC has declared that gay groups can’t even set up a booth this year. It’s one thing to hold firm to your principles on traditional marriage; it’s quite another to say that dissenting gay groups — that is, conservative gay groups — can’t officially hand out fliers on the premises (as they were allowed to in the past).
The conservative gay groups Goldberg is referring to are the Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud.While he's quite correct in criticizing their exclusion, comparing their situation to Chris Christie's as an error is an even bigger error. He'd have been far more accurate comparing Christie's exclusion with the inclusion of Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell..another Republican whom, while not quite as far over the line as Christie has sniffed the wind and decided his personal political future involves becoming Democrat-Lite.
Goldberg assumes, wrongly that because Chris Christie is a popular Republican, and "is going to be reelected as a Republican" he's worth having around. Says who?
I rate the odds of Chris Christie staying in the GOP as less than 50-50. I mean, why would he? He's the governor of a deep blue, heavily Democrat state. He practically endorsed Barack Obama last year and helped cover him from the Benghazi fallout with a meaningless photo op after the hurricane..meaningless because most of the victims still haven't gotten the aid they need, something that would have been screaming headlines if it had happened while George W. Bush or Reagan was president.
He agrees with the Administration on the Second Amendment, on illegal immigration, on abortion on demand, on pretty much everything except the sanctity of the public employee unions. He even agrees with the president on ObamaCare, agreeing to accept Obamacare funding to expand Medicaid and reversing himself after declaring a year ago that it would be fiscally unsound.
Not only that, but if he decides not to run for president in 2016 as a Republican (where his chances might actually be more limited) he could run against Hillary as 'a new kind of fiscally conservative Democrat' with a decent chance of success.
Needless to say, if he does go after and get the GOP nomination,the governor will be surprised at how quickly the press that loves him now will turn on him. And the base will either sit home or put together a successor to the GOP.
After all, if you can;t support the Second Amendment, you really don;t support any of the Bill of Rights, because that's the one that guarantees the others.
Either way, who really needs Chris Christie around anymore? Does it really matter if he does go Democrat? He might as well be one already.
Here's the thing about conservatism. While it's not a lock step,certain principles apply across the board and its impossible to be a Leftist on most social issues and a fiscal conservative, because the two frequently interact.
Let me demonstrate.
The Democrats very much champion every social welfare program you could imagine, like Social Security, ObamaCare, school lunch programs, Head Start, funding Planned Parenthood, you name it. Yet they also stand rock solid for abortion on demand, a stance that guarantees that these programs will go bankrupt because there will be less taxpayers to foot the bill! Since the Supreme Court with Roe V Wade somehow found a right to a medical procedure in the Constitution back in the 1970's, there are over 60 million Americans who never got the chance to grow up to be taxpayers and fund this agenda.
And you wonder why we're in a fiscal crisis?
Illegal immigration is another example. It costs plenty, especially the border states. In California for example, the cost of social welfare programs for illegal aliens last year is estimated at between $15 and $19.5 million (depending on whose counting and whose counted as an illegal alien). And that doesn't include the costs incurred by the criminal justice system,accidents caused by uninsured or unlicensed motorists and similar costs. To put this in perspective, California's estimated budget shortfall last year was a mere $25 million.
So...when did the great mass movement from South of the Border to America really go into overdrive? Back in the 1970's, of course, after Roe V Wade became law. If you need workers and too many of your own children ended up in the biowaste can at Planned Parenthood, you'll import them. Especially if they're willing to work for wages and in conditions a lot of Americans wouldn't...which in turn lowers wages across the board.
I use these as examples. Our fiscal problems are by no means due entirely to abortion or illegal aliens, but that will give you an idea of how these things fit together.
It's also why Chris Christie and his ilk have nothing really to add to the conversation. Whatever else they might be, they are not conservative in any sense of the word. Merely standing up to few grabby public employee unions, admirable as it might be, isn't enough. Not when you're greedily lapping up the rest of the Kool-Ade n' donuts yourself.