Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Christie's Upside

Kathleen Parker has always been one of the last "reasonable Republicans".  She understands reality when it stares her in the face.

So her column about Christie is interesting.

First, there is the Republican Ridiculousness:

Even so, many Republicans in the Matalin camp see this as much ado about little, especially compared to, for instance, President Obama’s repeated falsehoods about people keeping the health insurance they like under the Affordable Care Act. Democrats see this as the inevitable ruin of a bully run amok.

Riiiiiight.  Confusing and confused statements about complex policy is the same as willful political thuggery.  This gibes nicely with Jon Chait's analysis that as Obamacare starts to work, it will no longer be about websites and funding but a "scandal" like Benghazi and the IRS that exists nowhere but within the partisan echo-sphere of Fox News and the Wall Street Journal.

Then she make a point about his future.

Christie was always a dark horse in 2016 in my mind.  There was Superstorm Sandy and his embrace of Obama (which now looks more like Christie being pissed that Romney snubbed him for Veep).  There was his bellicose style that won't play so well in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Obviously, this is a national story because Christie is a national figure.  He is the Great Also White Hope of Green Room Mafia.  He is a great media figure because he's quotable and flamboyant.  The media are also from the Acela Corridor and his style doesn't rub them the wrong way.

Christie has not fought the fights that he will lose in New Jersey.  This makes him heterodox within the GOP.  He opposes same sex marriage, but he's not going to the mattresses over that issue.  This works in New Jersey and among the Wall Street Republicans.

But it won't work among the Teahadists.

But being a Media Martyr suddenly makes him MORE appealing to the GOP electorate.  If there is anything the Teahadists hate more than Democrats, it's the media.

It still remains to be seen whether there will be more shoes to drop.  My guess (and the guess of many others) is that there will be.

But if he somehow survives this, he can play the media victim.  I don't know if that's enough, but it is something.

It is an interesting 2016 field on both sides.  Like in 2008, the Democrats will fall along the lines of Hillary and Not Hillary.  My early guess is Not Hillary will be Brian Schweitzer of Montana.

The Republicans are similar to 2012.  They will have a bunch of bodies, but little affection for any of them.  Christie is a belligerent, scandal tainted RINO.  Scott Walker has the charisma of a lawn ornament.  Jeb Bush has an unfortunate last name.  Marco Rubio is too dusky and flirted with letting similarly dusky hued people stay in this country.

Hey, there's always Rick Santorum....

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