The scandal involving Governor Chris Christie and a retributive construction project near the George Washington Bridge in New Jersey is bad news for conservatives. It’s not bad news for conservatives the same way it’s bad news for Reince Priebus, John Boehner, and Karl Rove, because those guys were hoping that Chris would get elected to the Presidency and bolster the flaccid progressive party they’re running. He was their blue-chip prospect – a sassy East Coast politician who loves Big Government as much as they do.
They don’t mind one bit that Christie has a history of playing footsie with some unsavory characters like Mohammed Qatanani, an imam who’s also a proud member of Hamas. His admirers also don’t seem to mind that he believes global warming is real and that illegal immigrants should be rewarded for flouting the law with citizenship. Instead of deal-breakers, all of these facets of Christie serve to make him even more attractive to his fellow progressives in the GOP leadership.
The reason his indiscretion and inevitable decline is bad for conservatives is because it will make it very difficult for him to mount a serious Presidential campaign. A Christie campaign for President in 2016 would be an enormous boon for conservatives for a number of reasons: 1) It would mean that the primary would be contentious and the dead wood would get trimmed quickly, 2) The primary would serve as an ideal battleground to test the heft and mettle of our eventual candidate, making him/her ready for the fight in the general election, 3) Christie would do quite a bit of damage to the Democratic candidates throughout the course of the primary, 4) Conservative candidates would have a perfect target to make their case to the American people for liberty over progressivism.
One of the reasons John McCain emerged to secure the Republican nomination in 2008 was because support was so fractured for so long and the nomination process became a high stakes version of spin-the-bottle. A contentious primary will turn off a certain segment of American voters, but it will reinvigorate a more important segment of American voters who have been waiting for someone to pick a fight on their behalf.
There is a reason why Sarah Palin continues to resonate so deeply with so many people and it’s because she opened with a straight jab and a left hook as soon as she got on stage. Chris Christie is not in the same league as Palin when it comes to principled conservatism and moral fiber, but he’s good at picking a fight and won’t suffer fools gladly. He would serve as a goad for the candidates with promise and a hammer for the ones without.
The past two Presidential contests have produced such milksop Republican candidates because the primaries have been hopscotch practice instead of ten rounds of sparring before the big fight. Sure, they got occasionally contentious, but the fact that the man who created Romneycare emerged to challenge the man who created Obamacare demonstrates that Mitt’s primary adversaries were unwilling or unable to pack a punch. Republican voters were (and are still) livid about the intrusion of mandatory socialized medicine in their lives and somehow ended up with someone who couldn’t challenge President Obama on this crucial issue because he had to plead the 5th. Since Christie doesn’t seem to like anyone in politics, aside from his BFF Barack, it’s safe to say that his cantankerous nature would virtually guarantee a more strenuous primary for both our candidates and theirs; that can only lead to a Republican nominee whose fit and ready to face whoever the Democrats select from the Borg.
Finally, a Christie Presidential campaign would make it easy for an eloquent conservative candidate to present the case for liberty to the American people. In Christie, we have a great example of Republican progressivism, in all its big-spending, strong-arming, façade-wearing glory. Like Boehner and Ryan et al, Christie doesn’t have a problem with the expansion of government at the cost of liberty, he just wants to steer the car. He doesn’t want to fight Obamacare, he wants to use it to benefit his cronies at the corporatist trough.
The right candidate could demonstrate that no matter which way the coin lands, Obama or Boehner, we’re still stuck with a plugged nickel. The choice is not between Democrat and Republican, the options are much slimmer than that; the choice is between slavery and freedom, between servitude and liberty. Every action a politician takes moves us closer to slavery or closer to freedom. The 2016 Presidential campaign will be a referendum on liberty.
Or it won’t.
In which case, we can expect more brazen deprivations of rights and a more rapid slide into imperial totalitarianism.
In a way, it’s too bad that he got caught with his hand stuck in the cookie jar. He could have been very beneficial to constitutional conservatives who are ready to fight for their country. He could have served as the equivalent of a hard lump of sandstone, useful for thumping the losers and for sharpening the winner.