Chris Christie: A Conservative Myth Exposed
Lately, it has become fashionable among conservatives and Republicans nationwide to lavish effusive praise and encomiums upon Governor Chris Christie as the “Conservative Savior” of New Jersey - and this trend has begun to mushroom into a fervent cult of pseudo-personality that is already calling for him to throw his hat into the 2012 Presidential campaign ring.
Prefatory Note: This is the final installment of our series on Governor Chris Christie. Toward the end of this post you will find the list of our main criticisms of Mr. Christie that appeared in the introductory post; each item in this list contains a link to the appropriate article containing the references that support our case. If there is any one post in this series that you link to on your own blog or Facebook page or send to friends and family, let it be this one.
It appears that Mr. Christie has become a “rock star” whose political stock went through the roof after his debut on YouTube. Republicans and Tea Party patriots nationwide flock to him as the second coming of Ronald Reagan - a conservative crusader who took on the unions and balanced New Jersey’s budget by slashing spending and vetoing any tax increases; a tough-talking, take-charge leader who will guide the Garden State to the land of political milk and honey.
We at Conservative New Jersey have observed this “Christiemania” with a mixture of puzzlement, amusement and ultimately alarm because we understand New Jersey and we have carefully studied Mr. Christie’s entire political career - one characterized at the beginning by breathtaking ambition and rancorous battles with fellow Republicans.
It is a matter of record that in the 1990s Mr. Christie was decidedly in favor of abortion rights - but became pro-life after the birth of his first child in 1995. In spite of the fact that his Lieutenant Governor and Attorney-General both favor abortion rights, we’ll take his word for it.
Mr. Christie proudly pointed out that as U.S. Attorney he “put 10% of the New Jersey State Senate behind bars” and bragged about his flawless record as a crusader against crime in the Garden State, pointing out that of the 160+ scoundrels he prosecuted, every one was brought to justice.
Not quite. There is the case of former Passaic County Republican Party Chairman Peter Murphy, who Christie claims as one of the bad guys he bagged. It turns out that Murphy was actually convicted by Christie’s predecessor - but the conviction was overturned by the courts. After Christie assumed office as the U.S. Attorney, a new trial for Murphy was scheduled but in a plea-bargain arrangement with Mr. Christie, Murphy pleaded guilty in exchange for time already served. He eventually became the GOP municipal chairman for the borough of Totowa and, mirabile dictu, supported Mr. Christie for Governor.
Then there is the awful Union City Sex Slave Case. In 2005 Christie’s office indicted Luisa Medrano as the “ringleader” of a sex slave operation involving thirty female immigrants - many of whom were 14 years old and younger and all of whom were here illegally. The women and girls were brutally treated and forced to undergo abortions if they became pregnant. In one instance, one of the girls managed to give birth, but the infant was drowned in a toilet.
If convicted on all charges, Medrano would have faced 250 years in prison. Five months after the indictment, Mr. Christie declared “Human trafficking, to me, is one of the most horrible things that can happen, one of the most anti-American things that can happen.”
If you think Medrano is rotting in prison as you read this, think again.
Chris Christie was building a record of political convictions, and the “ring leader” had given cash gifts to a local mayor in return for having her paperwork expedited and other favorable treatment at town hall.
A plea deal was negotiated with Christie’s office. The “ring leader” testified against the mayor. Most of the charges against her were dropped and she received no jail time for her crimes. She was ordered to pay the more than $500,000 she owed in back taxes on profits from her operation. The mayor, who had received a few thousand dollars in gifts, was sentenced to more than 4 years in prison.
Makes sense, right? Why incarcerate a monster in prison for life when you can score partisan points by nailing a penny ante pezzonovante Democrat with a four year stint in the hoosegow?
Then there is the 2009 Republican primary for Governor. No sooner had he given the hint that he might consider running for office than the folks at NJN managed to corner him for a brief Q&A in December of 2008:
It was a little over three minutes of some of the most exquisite political fandango we ever witnessed. Mr. Christie was unable to give a straight answer to ANY of the questions posed to him. When asked if he is a conservative Republican or a moderate Republican, he responded:
What I am is somebody who has always been committed to the best in public life and I think…again…all these labels and the things that people try to do when they’re playing politics demean public debate. If any candidate presents themselves for office, I would suggest that people shouldn’t judge them by the labels that anybody puts on them. They should judge them by the words that come out of their mouths and the actions and deeds that underlie their political and public career.
Honestly: can you imagine Ronald Reagan - at any point ever in his political career as a Republican - being this verbosely evasive?
On the other hand, you can cut the irony with a chain saw, insofar as we have taken Mr. Christie’s admonition to heart and judged him by the words that came out of his mouth and the actions and deeds that underlie his political and public career.
It is said that a tree falls in the direction it leans and we certainly knew which direction the tree called Ronaldus Magnus was leaning when it fell on June 5, 2004. Can anyone - ANYONE - tell us with any certainty the direction in which the tree called Christi Gubernator is leaning?
Perhaps this campaign video from 2009 will give us a clue:
Ah yes, nothing like the soothing words and soaring rhetoric of Barack Hussein Obama to give us warm fuzzies about working together in bipartisan unity and electing Chris Christie Governor of New Jersey.
Mr. Christie himself echoed President Obama in yet another campaign video in which he tells us that “New Jersey’s problems are too big to be solved with one party solutions, whether its school choice, green energy or revitalizing our cities. We’ll need good ideas from both sides. If you want partisan politics as usual, well, I’m not your guy.”
How is it possible to get good ideas from both sides when the ideas of the Democrats are primarily responsible for the wretched situation in which we find New Jersey and the nation? Precisely which good Democrat ideas could Governor Christie implement to save the Garden State from a destructive course set by Democrats…and those Republicans who think like them?
Before answering, consider the evidence we have examined in great detail in the course of this series and review it once more:
- His budget passed only after three conservative Republicans were bullied into voting for it and the savings achieved in the budget were done at the expense of new taxes, new fees, federal Stimulus funds and accounting gimmicks; the 2% property tax cap will actually cause taxes to skyrocket; he has yet to propose the “across the board” tax cuts he promised as a candidate; the budget actually INCREASES state expenditures by 6% and the number of staff in the Governor’s office making $100,000 per year increases by ten;
- His confrontation with the unions is pure Kabuki theater with nothing accomplished but acrimony; he has yet to lay off a single state employee and his proposed 2011 state worker reduction plan is little more than window dressing;
- He has populated his cabinet with notorious liberals while firing the only true conservative - after slandering him;
- He has endorsed notorious RINO candidates in the 2010 mid-term election while avoiding (with one notable exception) contact with conservative candidates;
- He supports a multi-state Cap & Trade scheme known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and is so committed to Cap & Trade that he used funds raised from RGGI’s carbon auctions to help balance the budget; he has directed that state funds be appropriated to subsidize “green” technology ventures such as off-shore windmills;
- He has refused to join other state attorneys-general in a joint lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare while accepting federal funds for the implementation of a similar program on a statewide level;
- He is on record saying that he does not believe illegal aliens are here illegally; he has indicated that he supports amnesty for illegals; he generally favors strict gun control and he supports construction of the Ground Zero Mosque even as he condemns those who oppose it.
Then there is candidate Christie’s 2009 video love letter to Barack Obama in which he invokes the likes of Bruce Springsteen - who refuses to go gently into that good retirement and for the past two decades has publicly expressed nothing but contempt for everything that conservative Republicans hold dear.
Apparently, Mr. Christie’s overtures were not lost on many of New Jersey’s Obamabots, who appear to have an affinity for any candidate who repeats vapid, vacuous “Hope and Change” mantras:
While it is true that you can tell a lot about a man by his enemies, you can also tell a lot about a man by those who call him a friend - or in this case, who cast their votes for him.
We agree with columnist Charles Stile: Chris Christie has very cleverly co-opted the anger, the energy, the momentum - and, most importantly, the donor lists - of numerous conservative organizations and Tea Party groups without seriously committing to the conservative cause apart from bluster, bravado and nicely crafted soundbites. Any actual “conservative” acts or deeds on his part amount to little more than politically acceptable sops and window dressing that enable him to continue basking in the worshipful glow of Beck, Hannity and other prominent members of the conservative movement who, in the final analysis, are less admirers than enablers.
Does this mean that Chris Christie is the worst Governor we could have elected? Not at all, and, as we observed in other posts in this series, there are many laudable things he has done. A commenter named DiMarco summed up our position elegantly:
Is Christie the best Governor New Jersey has had in decades? Absolutely! However, just because the rotting apple smells better than the rotting banana which smells better than the rotten egg which smells better than a pile of excrement does not mean you should wear it as perfume.
The main point of the series (and it is a series) is that Christie is not the conservative that many in the media portray him to be and that many people believe he is. Each part of the series highlights various aspects of Christie’s administration and proves with facts that he is not a true conservative but more of a moderate with some liberal tendencies.
As for those people who referred to Christie’s efforts on behalf of some conservative campaigns, I have a question: Did he do so during any of the primaries - when the voters had to choose between a conservative and a party-backed RINO?
It is entirely possible that given the remarkable shift in the direction of the political winds, Gov. Christie will fine tune his message to make it one more easily ingested and digested by a Republican base starved for Reagan conservatism. If so, we can only urge caution and two axioms by which to assess him:
First: a tree really does fall in the direction it leans. Unless and until you study Mr. Christie’s past, you cannot begin to understand him in the present - much less anticipate what he’ll do in the future.
Second: actions really do speak far louder than words. Mr. Christie is adept at telling people what they want to hear - not what he is actually doing or what he really believes. Ignore what he says and concentrate on what he actually does.
In dealing with the Soviet Empire, President Reagan assured the American people that he would “trust but verify.” We implore the electorate in both New Jersey and America to do no less when considering Governor Christopher J. Christie as a conservative candidate for ANY office.