I'm a big fan of Beltway pundits like Ruth Marcus, Chris Cillizza and Dana Milbank, people who understand that both sides do it. So this is my attempt to pay homage to their cunning and thoughtful columns.
Your ole perfessor here is often left wondering "who's in charge?" when it comes to Washington D.C.
Is it President Obama? Or is it the liberal left in Congress and Organizing for America?
Is it John Boehner? Is it Rand Paul? Ted Cruz? Or their backers at Americans for Prosperity?
Nobody knows. Nobody answers to anyone in D.C., even though they were elected to answer to the people.
Well, the perfessor went looking for a leader, someone unafraid to go against the grain, and he found one: Gov. Chris Christie.
Christie is a man who gets things done in his state. Bold. Outspoken. Effective. These are all words one would use to describe this future political titan. Christie exudes leadership. He's like a Bruce Springsteen song - tough, lean and yes, mean. Heck, when Christie grabs the microphone to smack down his opponents, he's as comfortable as Springsteen in front of 20,000 screaming, apopletic fans. In all my years observing this crazy world of politics, few have the strength, courage and determination of Christie, the kind that dizzies people with his command.
Out there on the backstreets of New Jersey, into the Jungleland, you get to see Christie throw his power around. "The Boss" took on the bloated teachers union. He took on a blue state legislative body - and won. He's so popular that Democrats aren't even campaigning against him in next month's election. All signs point to this heavyweight of the Garden State taking on a bigger agenda in 2016.
I think you know what I mean.
Tuesday, Christie solidified his standing as a fierce independent. He dropped his appeal against gay marriage in New Jersey, making way for it to be the 14th state in the union that recognizes same sex marriage.
Social conservatives felt sick.
Liberals felt sick.
Guys like me were overjoyed.
Christie may not be in favor of same sex marriage, but he won't campaign against it. That's leadership. President Obama and John Boehner could take notice. President Obama doesn't want to cut entitlements, but he has to. Boehner doesn't want more revenue, but he has to.
Yet neither will.
Take a look at the land of Springsteen for advice, gentlemen.
Christie is obviously playing the right notes. He's going against what his supporters want him to do. He's doing exactly what the opposition wants. That's compromise. Why are more representatives and senators not going to Christie for advice? You think Christie will worry about the blowback from allowing gay marriage to go through? Nope, because his supporters understand that this is leadership. Tough choices have to be made, even if you don't like it.
When Chrisite takes the biggest stage of his life in 2016, it's going to be hard for Democrats to combat him. Maybe if they start bucking their fringes they, too, can legitimately say they are willing to compromise. But only then.
Right now it looks like we're getting a new boss. There may not be darkness at the end of the street anymore.
We can only hope this is the rising.