Chris Christie has just shored up his credentials with conservatives. The man with a reputation for being able, willing and downright eager to play hardball – with vigor, humor and zeal - has shown beyond doubt that he is capable not only of hiring staff who are willing to stick it to conservatives – the fear that many movement conservatives have expressed – but he is also willing to hire staff who can go after liberal Democrats as well.
So for those conservatives worried that a more moderate GOP candidate will hire staff if he makes it to the White House who will persecute conservatives – perhaps using the IRS the way that Barack Obama has done – now those fears can be put to rest. With Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey we clearly have a prospective GOP Presidential nominee who is so moderate he was pointedly not invited to speak to last year’s Conservative Political Action Conference.
When an inner circle staff member for the Governor retaliated against a Democrat Mayor who had refused to endorse Christie’s reelection, conservatives saw proof positive that here is the rare moderate able and willing to hire staff who will go after Democrats too, not just conservatives.
Many conservatives have noticed that moderate and establishment Republicans like Senator John McCain, get downright excited and fired up when going after conservatives. When has Senator McCain ever called a Democrat a “wacko bird” for example – as he called fellow Senators Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Ted Cruz and other Senators who did not conform to his idea of how to be a good Republican Senator?
When has Karl Rove ever used the harsh language against any liberal Democrat, that he has used on Fox TV against conservative Senators and Congressmen who did not agree to his idea of how and when to compromise with Democrats?
This is of course, nothing new for veteran conservatives, who recall going all the way back to Governor Nelson Rockefeller, how the “hardball” was practiced on conservatives to demonize them and completely shut them out of the Republican Party, while “reaching across the aisle” and conciliatory language was always used with liberal Democrats.
One of the many examples of such attempts to demonize conservatives was Congressional Majority Leader Eric Cantor recently attempting to label a Tea Party conservative challenging him in his primary as a liberal.
The moderate and establishment Republicans have been loudly building support for Governor Christie even before his reelection victory in New Jersey.
Christie supporters, like other operatives for moderate GOP elected officials, certainly know how to play hardball.
Conservatives were outraged that their favorite, Ken Cuccinelli, was given a small percentage of the funds that GOP national committees gave the previous candidate for Governor in Virginia.
The 2009 campaign of more moderate Bob McDonnell raised $24 million versus more conservative candidate for Virginia governor, Ken Cuccinelli, because moderates held back their support.
The 2009 campaign of the more acceptable moderate outspent the Democrat by $7 million to win that race, while the more conservative Ken Cuccinelli lost after being outspent by his opponent by $13 million.
The drop off of support can directly be traced to the refusal of moderate and establishment Republicans to support the conservative candidate. While these are the very people who always complain that a conservative should never be nominated because only moderates can win against Democrats, they clearly created a self fulfilling prophesy by refusing to support the conservative GOP nominee – which is the usual “hardball” stance they take.
While these are the people who are always chastising conservatives who want to stand on principles in how they should run for office and how they should govern, the moderate and establishment Republicans do exactly what they warn against. They’d rather lose an important Governor’s race as they did in Virginia so they can “prove” they are right when they demand that GOP primary voters should never nominate conservatives.
Besides the GOP national committees – which are financially supported by hundreds of thousands of grassroots donors who support the claims that these committees will elect conservative Republicans, there were large donors who helped the acceptable 2009 nominee while boycotting the conservative Ken Cuccinelli.
As reported at Brietbart.com, The U.S. Chamber of Commerce donated $972,877 to the more acceptable 2009 GOP nominee, while giving nothing to Ken Cuccinelli in 2013. The Brietbart article listed two dozen big donors who supported the more moderate 2009 GOP nominee but shunned the conservative Cuccinelli, including R. Ted Weschler, Paul Singer, William A. Royal Jr., and the owner of the Washington Redskins.
Many of these high dollar donors are also give major support to Karl Rove’s American Crossroads. Rove has repeatedly criticized GOP incumbent legislators and GOP nominees, constantly threatening defeat for nominees he feels are “too conservative.”
Much of the national GOP committee money that was withheld from the conservative Ken Cuccinelli, Those funds ended up in New Jersey, sent to help the reelection of Governor Christie, who was already well ahead in the polls and not in need of those funds.
The millions of dollars which without a doubt would have helped put the surging campaign of Ken Cuccinelli over the top in the final week of the Virginia governor’s race, was instead sent to the candidate who did not need it to win, Chris Christie.
The reason for this is simple: it isn’t about winning a Governor’s race but making sure they have a plausible narrative to shut conservatives out of the GOP in the 2014 mid term and future elections.
That’s hardball, and its long term thinking. It is of course, also the opposite of what the moderate and establishment GOP always tell conservatives to persuade them to support their candidates in primaries and general elections.
No doubt, Chris Christie is a nice albeit tough talking guy. But those who support him and work for him know how to take care of business. And Chris Christie knows how to hire people who “play hardball.” And those who support him as an alternative to a conservative GOP Presidential nominee, know how to play hardball.
But the longstanding concern of conservatives has always been: why don’t these moderate and establishment Republicans “play hardball” against Democrats? Why is their “toughness” and “tough talk” only directed at conservatives?
And the fear of many conservatives that this witty Chris Christie toughness will be used on the conservative movement – including its leaders and its organizations – if the New Jersey Governor becomes the GOP nominee for President, and if he wins the Presidency, can now be alleviated thanks to the “Bridgegate” scandal.
Like Barack Obama, Governor Christie saw nothing, heard nothing and knows nothing. He isn’t responsible, he didn’t do it, and he cannot be blamed for what he never did, and for what his staff did.
Unlike Obama, Christie moved quickly to put his scandal behind him by firing the aide who he says is responsible.
Like Obama, Christie went after a political enemy in the other political party.
But the silver lining in this cloud is that without a doubt, Governor Christies supporters can now alleviate the worries and concerns that conservatives have expressed that a GOP nominee Christie, and a President Christie, would play “hardball” on them – and like Karl Rove, Senator John McCain and their allies – he would do so with far more enthusiasm and zeal than any battles he ever has with liberal Democrats.
Bridgegate shows that a Democratic mayor who held out and didn’t endorse his reelection, was made to pay a price when the Governor’s aides blocked traffic through their city leading to a major New York City bridge.
One more “like Barack Obama” to note … The President knows how to hire people who follow his script. He doesn’t NEED to tell them what to do. If they’ve read Rules for Radicals, if they have followed the career of Barack Obama and the people he has hired and associated with and who have supported him, they know exactly what to do without having any need for specific direction.
This author does not believe we will ever find a smoking gun for why the Admiral in charge of an aircraft carrier battle group was ordered to “stand down” when urgent calls for help were coming out of Benghazi. Nor will we find anything which leads to Barack Obama, for why that admiral who refused to stand down, was immediately relieved of command and then hidden away so well that no Congressman has been able to locate him and summon him to testify.
This author does not believe we will ever find proof that Barack Obama can be held responsible for the “fast and furious” scandal where Americans – and many Mexicans – were killed by the guns that were approved for export to Mexico by federal government officials.
I do not believe we will ever find anything that leads to the Oval Office, regarding the use of the Internal Revenue Service to persecute, shut down and silence Tea Party organizations – which continues to this day – over the past several years.
No, in these and other scandals Barack Obama will always escape blame, because his people KNOW what it is they are to do, and they do it.
Chris Christie knows how to hire the same kind of people, and if he becomes the GOP nominee and controls the Republican Party on the national level, and if he goes on to become President of the United States, conservatives can rest assured that this time, there will be no appeal when the screws are turned on them, from sympathetic committees of the U.S. House of Representatives, and from a handful of United States Senators.
The GOP will be silent, Democrats will cheer, and all the new President’s men will create, to echo Che Guevara, “one, two, many Bridgegates” directed at conservative leaders and their organizations.
And we conservatives – especially Christian conservatives who have been most outspoken and critical of Christie’s liberal tilt on the issues of concern to them - can take solace in knowing that the man who knows how to hire operatives who can play hardball, will hire President’s Men who go after some Democrats as well as them.
For those skeptical about this author’s attempt to reassure them, one piece of advice. Stop splitting your votes all over the field and coalesce behind one coalition candidate so that moderate and establishment Republicans don’t keep winning the GOP nomination for President with 25 to 30 percent of the primary vote every time. Ask the also ran candidates – much as you may love their support and championing of our cause over the years – why are you doing so much to help split the vote and nominate yet another moderate, establishment Republican as the GOP nominee for President?
HanoverHenry of RED STATE is Pat Henry on Facebook, and I’m on the lookout for new friends there. While I have taken a sabbatical from my previous 5x a week, weekdays writing schedule at RED STATE, I continue to write here and on Facebook occasionally.
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