I’m rather amused by the fact that Chris Christie, who is incredibly conservative, suddenly being considered a squishy moderate for no good reason at all. Joseph Farah is the latest to declare him a RINO and say that if Christie is the Republican nominee in 2016, he’ll be voting third party:
With New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie picking more fights with fellow Republicans – the good ones, at that! – there’s little doubt about who the new leader of the real Republican Party is these days.
It’s Sen. Rand Paul.
So when Sarah Palin says, “I’m on team Rand,” I say, me too.
It’s not even a close call.
In fact, as a New Jersey-born liberty lover, let me say that Christie is an embarrassment to the Republican Party. And that’s saying something given the nature of the establishment Republican leadership.
Should Republicans nominate the likes of Christie in 2016, I will join the ranks of millions looking for any alternative to voting Republican. In fact, I suspect such a bad choice will signal the demise of the party, whose leadership, right now, is doing just about everything wrong.
But his conservative critics can’t point to much of anything in the way of actual policy differences with Christie. His record is very, very conservative. He has vetoed funding for family planning services five times and six Planned Parenthood clinics have closed as a result (the funding he vetoed wasn’t even for abortion, it was for cancer screening, contraception and STD testing). He vetoed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, leaving New Jersey virtually alone in the Northeast without marriage equality. He has cut business taxes and increased business subsidies while cutting the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income residents. He’s railed against public sector unions and cut benefits and increased costs for public employees across the board. He’s increased the number of charter schools in his state and pulled funding from public transportation and environmental projects.
So what is this about? Well, he doesn’t seem to have much use for the paranoid far right. He appointed a Muslim state judge and, when criticized by the Islamophobic right who screamed “ZOMG, Sharia law!”, said he was “tired of dealing with the crazies.” And most importantly, he buddied up to Obama — temporarily — when seeking federal aid after Hurricane Sandy. But that has nothing at all to do with policy. So the Joseph Farahs of the world, for whom no one is ever pure enough, have ejected him to the rival tribe. To which I say, keep going. The more you reject even mainstream conservatives in favor of the fringe, the worse for the GOP.