Friday, November 08, 2013

The take-away from Christie's Democratic support in New Jersey

 By Richard K. Barry

31 percent of self-identified "liberals" voted for Chris Christie for governor of New Jersey. We all understand that he's the man who stood tall in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. He worked with President Obama to get results for his state. In other words, he worked across the aisle, which is, apparently,  some sort of freakin' miracle these days. He made New Jersey proud and for that a lot of people who shouldn't have voted for him based up his record, voted for him anyway.

The problem is that a lot of folks are going to busy themselves making way to much of this.

Charles P. Peirce at Esquire is one of them (though his characterization of Christie is bang on):
There is no reason on god's earth why a self-identified liberal would vote for Chris Christie. He's a tool of the ascendant oligarchy, awful on women's rights, terrible on infrastructure, very high on union-busting, and a short-tempered, thin-skinned bully into the bargain. If you're a New Jersey Democratic legislator who needs a little somethin'-somethin', I can see why you would support him. But 31 percent of liberals? Please. Because of that number, and because he also got 32 percent of the overall Democratic vote, the Christie '16 narrative is now set in stone. He's the Obamist candidate who can bring folks together. He can end the "divisiveness" in our politics, which will be a way for us to anesthetize ourselves to the reality that one of our two major political parties determined that the nation would not be governed by a black man. We will all move on to glory together because of Chris Christie's healing hand.

I might see it a little differently. A lot of voters all over the country are tired of the extremist Tea Party nonsense. The Democrat establishment intentionally put up no fight in New Jersey, correctly reasoning that it was unwinnable. So, sure, a lot of Democrats in the state voted for an old school Republican against a no-name Democrat to send Tea Party radicals a message that under some circumstances they will consider voting for the GOP.

But just because Christie looks moderate when compared to the Tea Party, which is really who he was running against, doesn't mean he'll look moderate when running against a real Democrat. 

We'll see how that goes, if he ever gets the nomination, which I suspect is unlikely.

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