Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Chris Christie is NOT a Reasonable Republican

A lot of ink is being spent on the story out of New Jersey: President Obama meets with a not-as-batguano-crazy Republican governor as they tour the areas devastated by Super Storm Sandy and talk about rebuilding the Jersey Shore.

But make no mistake: Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) is not a Reasonable Republican. Being less obviously crazy, and occasionally making statements that irritate his teapartying colleagues, does not mean he is any more fit to govern than any other Republican.

Here is a Reasonable Republican: onetime Republican, then independent, Gov. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island who is so Reasonable that he has declared that he will run for re-election as a Democrat.

Lincoln Chafee was a one-term U.S. Senator from Rhode Island, the son of long-time U.S. Senator from Rhode Island (and former governor), John Chafee. He lost to Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse in 2006 and left the Republican party in 2007 citing irreconcilable differences:

Chafee said he disaffiliated with the party he had helped lead, and his father had led before him, because the national Republican Party has gone too far away from his stance on too many critical issues, from war to economics to the environment.

“It’s not my party any more,” he said.

He said the “starve the beast” strategy that Republicans have used in an attempt to shrink government has undermined social programs that bolster a strong American middle class. He mentioned Pell grants, which help needy students attend college, and Head Start programs, which support the education of low-income children. Instead of supporting those “good social programs,” he said, the party’s approach was “squeeze, squeeze, squeeze.”

He is pro-choice and pro-education. And because he is a Reasonable American Politician, he is no longer a Republican, and … surprise! … he is winning elections again in his Democratic state.

Compare and contrast.

Here is “reasonable guy” Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ),  (from Emily’s List):

1. Chris Christie Is Proudly Anti-Choice

2. Chris Christie Cut Funding to Family Planning Organizations

3. Chris Christie Targeted Poor Families in His Budget

4. Chris Christie Vetoed Equal Pay Legislation

5. Chris Christie Vetoed a Hike in the Minimum Wage

6. Chris Christie Supports the Ryan Budget

He also refers to teachers as “thugs” and thinks that people should vote on other folks’ civil rights, proposing a referendum on marriage equality rather than have it legislated like it is in a dozen other states (he vetoed the legislation passed by the New Jersey legislature).

As a Wisconsin Democrat hoping to see the states we lost in the 2009 teaparty sewer overflow wave start returning to their Democratic roots, I am anxious that New Jersey Democrats don’t think that Chris Christie is anything other than a traditional Republican … and judge him not on his photo ops (at least the photos were not from an airplane) but on his governing.

There is a Democrat running, State Senator Barbara Buono who has an ad up to introduce herself to the voters:

In the commercial, Buono directly tells the camera about what she describes as “another New Jersey.” She touts parts of her life story, including working her way through college and being the daughter of a butcher. She also takes aim at Christie’s economic record, saying the state has 400,000 unemployed and high property taxes. Buono has made economic issues a key part of her campaign against Christie.

She is down by 30 points in a state which voted for Barack Obama by a margin of 16% over John McCain in 2008 (602,215 votes) and 18% over Mitt Romney in 2012 (647,533 votes). The state legislature is solidly Democratic and both U.S. Senators are Democrats.

The only Reasonable Republican is one who sees what Lincoln Chafee called the “gradual depravation of the issues the party should be strong on” and turns their back on that party. Or like Sen. Margaret Chase Smith (R-ME) in her Declaration of Conscience where she decried what she saw her party becoming in the 1950s: “I don’t want to see the Republican Party ride to political victory on the Four Horsemen of Calumny – Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry and Smear.” This:

I don’t believe the American people will uphold any political party that puts political exploitation above national interest”.

I hope they don’t.

We can have Reasonable American Politicians who govern instead of obstruct, who help people instead of destroy their safety nets and their dreams, and who return civility to our political discourse.

All it takes is for the American people to say “NO … we will not uphold any political party that puts itself above national interest”. Our collective NO-saying starts in 2013.

(Crossposted from Views from North Central Blogistan)


  1. In New Jersey and Virginia and then Wisconsin, Florida, Ohio, Michigan and Iowa.

    Democratic states deserve Democratic governors.

  2. Oklahoma Lawmaker Blasts GOP’s War On Women: ‘What Happened To The Republican Party That I Joined?’

    In an op-ed published on Wednesday, an Oklahoma Republican sharply criticizes his fellow party members for focusing on enacting unnecessary legislation to limit women’s access to abortion and contraception. “What happened to the Republican Party that I joined?” state Rep. Doug Cox (R) wonders, pointing out that the mounting pile of reproductive restrictions represents a government intrusion into women’s personal lives.

    Maybe he should look here for more on his party:

    As Congress debates exactly how many billions of dollars to cut from the government’s main food assistance program for low-income Americans, a new report finds that the existing safety net has failed millions of people who must constantly worry about how to feed themselves and their families.

    According to the International Human Rights Clinic of NYU Law School, the four biggest food assistance programs fall short for as many as 50 million food insecure households.

    That is the modern Republican party: anti-choice and pro-starvation. Own it, Rep. Cox. It is ugly and it is yours.  

  3. Jk2003

    The media will love him for about a month.  Then his big mouth will hurt some very important journalists feelings and they will turn on him.  His shtick will wear thin quickly.  Then they’ll start talking about his actual record and it will be done.

  4. nomandates

    over substance when it comes to politics is ruining far too many states.

    If Democrats in blue states that have been electing GOP governors don’t act now, they’re going to end up like Texas, which used to be a solid Democratic state yet hasn’t elected a Democrat to statewide office since 1994.

    I’m convinced that ALEC and other GOP operatives practice in TX, then roll out to other states. So if State Senator Barbara Buono gets the nomination and then seems as though she has a chance of winning, expect a major smear campaign.

  5. Portlaw

    Lincoln Chaffee. He was a Republican when he was in the senate and the ONLY one to vote against the Iraq War, a stance that many, to their eternal shame, of our fellow Democrats did not take. Then he switched to being an Independent and has just now switched to being a Democrat.  

  6. slksfca

    Certainly not since my father died in 2009. He was an Eisenhower Republican from way back, and was a good and decent man.

    I sometimes wonder what he’d make of his party today. The last years of his life he was not at all politically engaged, not even voting in 2008 because he no longer trusted his own mental acuity (which was indeed beginning to falter).

    Anyway, thanks for the diary!

  7. princesspat

    Popular Governors, and Prospects for 2016

    While our last look at governors’ popularity was limited to candidates eligible to run for re-election in 2014, this time we’ll look at all 50 governors. We collected and averaged, where available, the four most recent job approval polls for each chief executive conducted since the beginning of 2012. The following chart is organized by net job approval, the percentage of residents who approve of a governor minus the percentage that disapprove.

    His chart is interesting….if I counted right 32 Governors will be up for election in 2014.

  8. Tea Party Conference Call Features Threat To Assassinate U.S. Senator Because She Supports Immigration Reform

    In a Tea Party-sponsored conference call held on Wednesday night, a participant called for the assassination of Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) over her support for immigration reform. Prominent conservative policymakers Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)’s communications director Stephen Miller and Heritage Foundation research fellow Robert Rector also joined the call, hosted by the conservative Eagle Forum group.

    The most jarring and unexpected moment of the night was when the moderator opened up the phone lines to callers:

       BOB FROM MAINE: I’m from Maine and our Tea Party will be meeting up next week. What is the best way that we can get our senator to listen to us?

       ANOTHER CALLER: Shoot her. [laughter]

       MODERATOR: Yes, we will shoot her with…(inaudible) and phone calls.

    After the anonymous statement was made, no one on the call voiced their opposition. Instead, the threat was met with laughter and “oohs.

    Laughter? Really? In this day when cable news networks putting bullseyes over politicians they don’t like inflame people to shoot at them … when anti-abortion websites and churches call for the murder of abortion doctors … it is just fine to yuk it up with folks who want to kill politicians whose positions they oppose? Why would anyone want to be associated with this Republican party?

    That Eagle Forum clan meeting gathering also found Phyllis Schlafly willing to weigh in about GOP Hispanic outreach:

    “The Hispanics who have come in like this will vote Democrat and there’s not the slightest bit of evidence that they will vote Republican,” Schlafly said on “Focus Today.” “And the people the Republicans should reach out to are the white votes, the white voters who didn’t vote in the last election and there are millions of them.”

    Psst!! Phyllis!!! There are not enough angry white guys to win national elections any longer … sorry. Actually, not sorry at all. Relieved.


  9. rb137

    I have to admit — Christie is all Jersey. My daughter still loves her Christie immitation (Get owf u da damn beach!)

    That said, his politics are brutally regressive. It amazes me how some politicians can seem so personable (well, for Jersey) and just underneath the surface be so destructive. His views on women’s rights and climate are what stay in my craw. There are plenty of other things, too, as you bear witness to here.

    It’s like buying into The Basket of Puppies Foundation, only to find that the box is full of scorpions instead…

  10. Star-Tribune Editorial: What Michele Bachmann’s exit means for Minnesota

    Bachmann’s departure puts Minnesota Republicans at a crossroads; the path the party chooses could determine its future. Will Republicans continue to advance candidates, like 2012 U.S. Senate candidate Kurt Bills, who appeal only to a narrow band of ideological purists? Or will the GOP now put a priority on supporting mainstream conservatives capable of accumulating the congressional tenure and clout needed to make a real difference for Minnesotans? […]

    Bachmann’s prominence was based mostly on the notoriety caused by her outside-the-mainstream views and outlandish statements. Her all-about-me personal style alienated even her own party leaders.

    It’s impossible to consider her career without regret. She has immense political gifts: poise, confidence, charisma, speaking skills. Had she employed them more often in service of her district and state, and in support of a more responsible conservative vision, she might now be announcing new political horizons instead of her departure.

    First, I am not sure that her party leaders were alienated. She was Tea Party through and through and the opinion pieces, post-announcement, that I saw suggested grief rather than glee.

    I also quibble about whether a “more responsible conservative vision” even exists or if it has been buried under so much dung that no one would even care to look for it. I wonder who the editorial writer thinks represents that vision. Paul Ryan? Scott Walker? Ted Cruz? Marco Rubio?

    It will be interesting to see how many more election cycles the teapartiers hold sway. I am pretty sure it will be for at least one more in the House, mainly because the gerrymandered districts don’t require changing anything in order to win. State houses and senate seats are a different story. And 2016 is too far away to predict.

  11. Eugene Robinson: Too Juvenile to Govern

    I don’t share the GOP’s philosophy, but I do believe that competition makes both of our major parties smarter. I also believe that a big, complicated country facing economic and geopolitical challenges needs a government able to govern.[…]

    … the party seeks not consensus but crisis …

    None of this is boosting the GOP’s poll numbers. I’ve got an idea: Why don’t they try doing the people’s business for a change?

  12. NPR does a story on him in their usual “he can’t be all bad” way. There are a couple of interesting parts, though:

    Pacing the stage like a revival preacher and speaking without notes, Cruz made no mention of guns, the Sandy aid or the immigration bill. Instead, he performed a political postmortem.

    “I’m going to suggest the last election can be explained in two words: 47 percent,” he said.

    Those words, , created the wrong narrative, Cruz said. Much better, he said, was Romney’s line, “You built that.”

    “And yet, as good as it was, it could’ve been a lot better. Because to whom was it addressed? It was addressed to the 53 percent. It was addressed to the people who’d already built their businesses,” Cruz said. “How much better would it have been if Romney had campaigned and said, ‘You can build that’?”

    Of course, the 53% is a lie because the 47% as moochers is a lie. Those 47% include people who did build it, people who built their businesses, contributed to their country and are retired. Those that Paul Ryan and his ilk call parasites because they live off Social Security or military pensions.

    Cruz lists rising stars in the Republican party who he says are part of the “build it” mentality and who are committed to the free market: “like Marco Rubio, like Mike Lee, like Rand Paul, like Pat Toomey, like Scott Walker.”

    Ha! Scott Walker had only one private sector job right after he dropped out of college, a part time job he held for a very short time. Other than that he has been on the public payroll. Yes, if you “build a nest from the graft of ripping off the taxpayers”, you will get ahead.

  13. BREAKING NEWS Monday, June 3, 2013 10:07 AM EDT

    Senator Frank Lautenberg, Democrat From New Jersey, Dies Frank R. Lautenberg, who fought the alcohol and tobacco industries and promoted Amtrak as a five-term United States senator from New Jersey, died Monday morning. He was 89.

    Mr. Lautenberg died as a result of complications from viral pneumonia at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell, his office said. He had decided not to run for another term next year.

    It appears that Gov. Christie will get a chance to name a replacement, presumably a Republican. Another reason to vote for Democrats for governor in your Blue State.

  14. Major Democratic donors flock to Christie

    Gov. Chris Christie is cashing in donations from top Democratic fundraisers and other traditionally liberal donors across the country, even nabbing the support of a handful of rainmakers aligned with President Obama and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a Star-Ledger review of state and federal records shows.

    The checks are flying into the Republican governor’s war chest from all sorts of unlikely places – the hedge fund run by liberal billionaire George Soros, for example, and the politically progressive halls of the University of California, Berkeley.

    The nascent support from Democratic donors is an early sign of Christie’s fundraising prowess in a potential run for the White House in 2016, experts and Democratic donors said, and dovetails with recent polls showing him gaining popularity nationally among Democrats and independents.

    Shame on you, Democrats who should know better. If you are trying to keep your place at the table in case Gov. Christie becomes President Christie, you might want to stop and think about just what you are saying to people hurt by his policies as governor and who will surely be hurt by the policies of any Republican president.

    PLEASE don’t give him a figleaf*!

    (*Apologies for any unbidden imagery created by that wording)

Comments are closed.