Tribune of the GOP establishment

(Note: I’ve now read Christie’s speech and I disagree with James Capua’s dismissal of it as little more than a collection of GOP establishment slogans. I discuss the speech here.)

First it was the New York Post, but that could be dismissed as sensationalism; but then it was the Bloomberg news service, which made it look more serious; and now it’s the New York Times itself saying that Christie is definitely considering entering the presidential race, that his advisors are looking at the logistics of a campaign and trying to determine whether and how this is possible. And get this:

Those pushing Mr. Christie to run include the media mogul Rupert Murdoch, former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, Nancy Reagan and the conservative columnist William Kristol.

Oh, brother. This is exact confirmation of James Capua’s piece today at American Thinker arguing that the Christie boomlet is all about the Republican establishment seeking to protect itself:

[T]he excuse for [Christie’s] current prominence was a talk he gave recently at the Reagan Library. While one could take exception to certain assumptions and emphases, there is nothing wrong with this speech. But … there is also nothing remarkable about it—not one phrase, not one image that rises above current Republican convention. Unite us rather than divide us; “when there is a problem you fix it”; we are all in this together; demand sacrifice from all; a healthy American economy reinforces our influence abroad; and, of course, “leadership is compromise.”

In this year of infinite promise, why is this banal utterance celebrated in Republican circles? It’s safe. In his California oration, Christie waddled as fast as he could to get in front of trends conventional Republicans endorse: the contest in 2012 needs to be all about the economy and jobs and efficiency—just fix the GDP, and Americans’ faith in who and what we are will miraculously follow. Christie never threatened to get anywhere near some of those philosophical, regional, or cultural issues that make NRC [RNC?] Republicans uncomfortable, nor did he evidence any sympathy for libertarian notions. On foreign policy, he embraced neither adventurism nor isolation, and he never questioned the wisdom of our decade-long struggle to introduce assorted barbarians to the glories of democracy. No matter how the decidedly non-disinterested observers try to sell it, it was just a generally angry-looking guy saying things we have heard many times before from mainstream Republicans. Though theoretically an homage to Reagan, Christie’s speech could have been delivered by John McCain….

… Whether by luck or design, Christie’s perfectly timed speech provided the opening for a last-ditch attempt by a Republican establishment, worried about a faltering Romney, to head off trends they do not like represented by the Tea Party, Jim DeMint, strong alternative conservative and libertarian voices in the New Media, and other unsettling influences on the right.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 01, 2011 06:01 PM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):