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While devouring everything I can find about Republican self-immolation, and feeling very gratified in the process, the contrarian in me advises that it may be time to start to shift our thinking from celebration to rational thought.

After all, standing up to Republicans this time was only one Democratic victory.  An important one, but still only one.

Follow below the universal "Warning-Wisdom Ahead" squiggle for more.

Lincoln Mitchell over at HuffPost:

Part of the fallout of the (shutdown) in Washington...is the discussion of tension within the Republican Party. This is often referred to, somewhat melodramatically, as a civil war within that party...[However] this tension is not comparable to previous ideological battles within both major parties...The primary reason for this is that there already has been a civil war in the Republican Party; and the far right won...Today, there is no battle between the moderate and far right wing of the Republican Party...[emphasis mine]
Mitchell goes on to say that the battle in the Republican Party is less about Party Policy and more about Strategy.  In other words, the message is sound (what planet are these guys on?) but shutting down the government was not the best way to communicate it.  From Mitchell again:
To call the fallout from the shutdown a civil war is to suggest that there are moderates in the Republican Party and that the party has not been completely taken over by the far right. This is something the Republican leadership would like the American people to believe, but the evidence suggests otherwise. In recent years there have been no Republican voices calling for a vision that is substantively different than that of the Tea Party. The Tea Party has both set the legislative and political agenda and, for the most part, been the public face of the Republican Party. The relative absence of criticism within the Republican Party for the rhetorical excesses or radical policy proposals from the Tea Party is clear evidence of this...[emphasis mine again]
Although there has been some criticism, it has generally been of the kind you give the schoolyard bully to cover up the fact it was you actually giving the orders.

At the end of all of this for the Republicans (after they're done cutting off their noses to spite their faces), is the Chris Christie strategy.  

People, Repubs and Dems, like Chris Christie.  They'd like to believe he's just not a typical pol - he's a man's man, wears tracksuits, doesn't give a damn about letting his body literally go to pot, stands up to the big, bad unions, and tells his fellow Republicans to go to hell while he rubs up against President Obama to get money for victims of Hurricane Sandy.  But, as Kathleen Grier of the Washington Monthly says, Chris Christie is a) a hardcore conservative and b) a jerk.

Chris Christie seems like one of few sane Repubs but is actually as dyed-in-the-wool Tea Party as Ted Cruz or Mike Lee.  We must mobilize to prevent false moderates like Christie from getting any more traction with the general populace, which is complicated by the fact the media absolutely loves him and the way he "tells it like it is".

He's one of many "new" Republican moderates the GOP will foist on the American public, like wolves dressed in sheep's clothing.  There may not be many out there now, since they'll be eviscerated by the Tea Party Machine, but as the 2014 election draws closer, I wouldn't be surprised if we see more "moderates" climb out of the woodwork, espousing "fiscal conservatism" (read: screw the poor) and "bipartisanism" (read: screw the other side if we can).

I'm reminded of a recent post here on DKos (Why do Americans keep falling for right-wing ideas? Because we just want to be happy.) that explains the phenomenon of voting for the crazies that will make life absolutely miserable, unless you're one of ones that profit off other people's misery.  I am constantly surprised that rational people actually send these guys to major political office, then blame the system for how it works.

But I feel myself rambling.

The 2014 elections are a long way off, and the shutdown will be like eating bad pizza -- you might think you're past it, but then comes back on you with a vengeance (you may attach your own visual to that).  We may think that we can count on the GOP and its radical wing to further distance itself from reality (shooting more holes into its feet), but we undermine their political savvy at our own peril.  It's also worth noting that Democrats have their own brain cramps, not to mention a notorious tendency, perhaps accidentally, to do the Republicans' dirty work for them.

Getting Obama elected and reelected was a show of unity that this generation of Democrats has not seen before.  It is now time to support the his legislative agenda and call out the "moderates" whose sole intent is to undo that unto which Obama has staked his presidency.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

UPDATE:
Thanks for the comments and the recs - and for the rec listing!  Not too bad (and quite unexpected) for a first-time diary.

Remain vigilant!  It can happen here!

Originally posted to Edmund Cristo on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 12:58 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Sure there are, they're called Democrats* (24+ / 0-)

      * with few exceptions like Elizabeth Warren, the majority are Reagan-era Republicans on all but social issues

      Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

      by The Dead Man on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 03:32:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly! (4+ / 0-)

        The overton window is so far to the right that Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford and Reagan seem to be left of the majority of current Democrats.  

        Our choice in elections is now the former Republican Party or the Batshit crazy right wingnut neoconservative party.  I would love to see how an ACTUAL progressive liberal would do in a nationwide general election.  Seems like they are always destroyed by the media and our own party before there is even a chance to find out.

        "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

        by Buckeye Nut Schell on Tue Oct 29, 2013 at 06:50:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Greens give you an idea (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Subterranean, Stephen N

          Like merely showing up outside a presidential debate (where third party candidates are never invited since it is a show run by the duopoly) warrants an immediate arrest (without charge) and being chained to a chair.

          Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

          by The Dead Man on Tue Oct 29, 2013 at 09:08:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  No, actually there are fiscal conservatives (0+ / 0-)

      ...but that said, old school Republicans are not without compassion and concern for others.  They don't tend to be politically rabid (that would not be conservative, would it) nor do they blather for the press.

      But they are not happy at what they see.  They don't like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul looks like he is wearing a cheap wig, Rubio is a kid and a zero, Boehner is a golf pro, Cantor is far too self-involved to be appealing.  Who, pray tell, could vote for someone who sneers at everyone he talks to?  Very few.

      Romney was sort of okay, though a bit creepy, so what or who is left for them to support?  And how can they get their party back?

      The dirty secret is that the Tea Party has fairly little money.  They are being funded by fiscal Republicans, sort of in the way as one might hire some neighborhood bullies to throw cow shit at a neighbor's house.  When the task is accomplished, they are of no further value.  And will soon be abandoned.

      End of story.  Christie?  Eh, okay but no legs.

      •  No, Romney was not sort of OK n/t (0+ / 0-)

        We must drive the special interests out of politics.… There can be no effective control of corporations while their political activity remains. To put an end to it will neither be a short not an easy task, but it can be done. -- Teddy Roosevelt

        by NoMoJoe on Tue Oct 29, 2013 at 11:05:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I don't think Christie is going to be able to (19+ / 0-)

    escape the wrath of the teahadists in the primaries. Just like Romney tried to tap dance to the right, "I was an extremely conservative governor!" Christie will have to do the same. And by the time he tries to reel back to the "center" he'll be too damaged by the extremism for that to work.

    Spite is the ranch dressing Republicans slather on their salad of racism

    by ontheleftcoast on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 01:05:47 PM PDT

    •  I wish I could be as confident as you. (5+ / 0-)

      Romney was able to win the nomination because he was the one "moderate" of the group. All the business groups united behind him. The tea groups had a hard time figuring out who they wanted to support. They kept changing every week, and every week a new leader would crash and burn from their own crazy.

      I see the same scenario developing with Christie. The tea groups would need to unite behind someone early, and hope that person can keep from saying something utterly insane for the rest of the primary season.

      I can tell you this, I was very entertained watching that circus two years ago and am looking forward to 2015's version.

      •  They didn't "know" Romney (6+ / 0-)

        They know (as much as they need to) Christie, at least as far as his Obama groveling - totally different dynamic in play.

        Also, no Ted Cruz or Rand Paul in play then, the Massachusetts "Liberal" wouldn't have a teapot chance against them today.

        Even Coulter has lost her smite.

        Christie also has a long political history, that can be revealed and exploited for what it is.

        “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” ... Voltaire

        by RUNDOWN on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 08:06:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Romney was not the moderate (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        duhban, Mayfly

        Tmi Pawlenty was trying to be one.

        Gary Johnson was trying

        Buddy Roemer, was more progressive then Obama.

        John Huntsman was really trying to  be a moderate.

        All 4 of them were crushed early.

        Post Romney, the TeaBaggers will demand a real conservative candidate.

        Not McCain, Not Romney, Not a corporate.

        They will demand Santorum or cruz

        •  or Rand (0+ / 0-)

          or even more hilarious some unholy combination of that trio

          Der Weg ist das Ziel

          by duhban on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 09:45:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Teabaggers are not "conservative" (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mspicata, Mayfly, JBL55

          Let's get this clear, okay?

          The Tea Party is the radical right.  Conservatives are not radical.

          Has anyone else stopped to notice that the same assholes who are bemoaning the costs of setting up the ACA website, as in "Omigod, three hundred million!!??"....

          ...are the same ones who just pissed $24 Billion down the drain, while getting nothing for that money but their own pending demise and the likely loss of the 2014 midterm.

          What's "conservative" about that?  A true conservative would think that was a jackass move.  Which it was.

          The majority of Americans (about 80%) are somewhere in the middle on most issues.  The Tea Party was fun, but it's time (and funding) have just expired.

          •  very true, arthura--the word conservative has been (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JBL55

            misused so long that the original meaning has almost disappeared from view.

            The right of the women of this State to be secure in their persons against unreasonable searches shall not be violated by the State legislature.

            by Mayfly on Tue Oct 29, 2013 at 11:03:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Christie is dangerous (28+ / 0-)

    The media will probably give him the "moderate" label through the entire campaign which gives him a great shot to win. I'm sure some voters in the general will be turned off by his appearance, but most of those voters will be Democrats anyway. His physique is fairly common in the swing states I believe, so it probably won't be a liability where it matters.

  •  Christie may be a "man's man" but he (22+ / 0-)

    has zip appeal to women--and I'm not talking about his weight.  He's like the bad-tempered middle manager you had to deal with at your first job.  Anyway, I don't think he'll get nominated because he praised Obama during Sandy and teabaggers will never forgive him.

    tell mr. godot I'm walking the dog

    by chicago minx on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 01:09:34 PM PDT

  •  Christie has the same views on most issues (16+ / 0-)

    that the teabaggers do, the only trick will making people understand he is do different, just not bone stupid like the others

    he is a bully, authoritarian and only hugged obama to be on national cameras

    "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

    by merrywidow on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 01:12:14 PM PDT

  •  I have heard about the death of Republicans (27+ / 0-)

    More times than I can count, and they're still around making trouble.
    Christie is a media favorite and will get kid glove treatment all the way through the election.
    I take him very seriously.

    •  I take Christie seriously as well (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wintergreen8694, Gay CA Democrat

      I worked as a mid-level bureaucrat for four different administrations up here in Alaska (including her's).  I'm of the school that says that it's really hard to be elected if you're the less likeable candidate. I think we make most of our "decisions" less than rationally, but rather on feel.

      Christie is the one guy on the other side who I think would beat Hillary. Whether or not it's faux (hey, they're politicians -- they're all faux), he seems more like the guy you want to hang with than Hillary. Her weaknesses during '08 will be re-revealed against New Jersey's Bubba.

      While my heart hopes that the teahadists won't permit his nomination my head says they're unlikely to stop him. So yeah, I fear him, too.

    •  I know tons of people, TP-haters all... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mkor7, Gay CA Democrat

      that will vote Christie if the other choice is Hillary.  

      I think there will be a significant backlash against her, much of which will be obvious only when the votes are counted.  

      She's been a failure in every position she's ever had, starting with Hillary-care and ending as a mostly useless SoS, and many Americans recognize that.  

      To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

      by joesig on Tue Oct 29, 2013 at 01:58:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not so sure I agree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Apost8

        with you there... I mean, I was here for the Obama bashing Hillary supporters who conveniently forgot she and Bubba played the race card with the POTUS during the primaries. But I believe that she is viewed as an effective senator, and SoS...

        No star is lost once we have seen, We always may be what we might have been. Adelaide Proctor -7.25/-5.64

        by mikejay611 on Tue Oct 29, 2013 at 05:51:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Iraq war vote. Bankruptcy Bill. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Gay CA Democrat

          Her biggest vote by far--AUMF.  Voted wrong. Didn't even bother to read the intell.  Others paid in blood.

          Bankruptcy bill was a gift to the banks and credit card companies.  

          SoS time featured tons of travel....no results.  State was absent in Afghanistan under her.  

          But seriously: what would you list as her genuine accomplishments?

          To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

          by joesig on Tue Oct 29, 2013 at 11:44:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have to concur. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            joesig

            While I appreciate the enthusiasm for the Clintons, I think a lot of it is partly "Clintonostalgia."

            Hillary doesn't have Bill's patented "I feel your pain" empathy schtick. Nor does she share the Olympian ability to virtually shrug off misogynistic attacks that women like Warren and Klobuchar have in copious amounts. She's a passionate person who does not take criticism lightly and compounds that with very visible reactions when she is angry or offended.

            And I recognize it because I share those traits with her. It's why I don't see myself ever winning for President of the United States either.

            Frankly, it's no small part of why I think McCain did so poorly either. He's got a biting sense of humor, but when he's pissed or offended? He's about as subtle as a sledgehammer. His smart@$$ comebacks can indeed be entertaining, but unlike Christie neither McCain nor Hillary get a free pass when they lose their cool on camera.

            If it were up to me? It will be Elizabeth Warren in 2016. While I like and respect Hillary, I've never bought into the argument she was a good Presidential candidate. On paper? Yes. On the campaign trail? No.

            Having said all that, yes, of course I'll vote for her if she's the nominee. (I just hope & pray she's not...)

            •  I'm with you...and I'd vote you before her. (0+ / 0-)

              Christie will beat her....no question in my mind about it.  I'd like Warren, but it's not happening.  No strong Dem comes to mind, unfortunately.  Maybe Jerry Brown will run!  He'd actually be a great candidate with his CA results....but older than anyone.

              To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

              by joesig on Tue Oct 29, 2013 at 11:56:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  this will sound terrible (13+ / 0-)

    this will sound terrible but there is no way Christie gets elected unless he loses a TON of weight.  Even if he does, I dont think it will matter because people THINK of him as the big fat guy.

    Look at the serious candidates since 1976 -

    Carter was lampooned for his ears and got killed by the nice handsome guy selling a sunrise.

    Bush 1 beat the guy who looked like a dork in a Tank

    Clinton beat the old guy and then the even older one

    Bush II beat....well he got the 9 to appoint him

    President Obama beats the third go round of the old guy

    Mitt was old but looked pretty young.  But look at his competition - all younger, photogenic and fit.

    Now fast forward to 2016.  A lot of national voters have only seen Christie solo.  Alone you dont get the scale of how big he is.  Put him on TV for a debate where he is EASILY twice the size of everyone else and he gets slaughtered.  You KNOW health care will be a HUGE topic and instead of talking policy he will have to talk about HIS health.  He will get asked about who his VP will be before he even wins the primaries because it will be that important.

    Fat and ugly are the last bastions of pure discrimination.  People wont voice it but they will think it.

    It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

    by ksuwildkat on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 02:23:34 PM PDT

  •  Why why why (10+ / 0-)

    do we create a fictional, all-powerful boogieman Chris Christie who does not exist to scare ourselves with? I am assuming this is snark it's so over the top. "People, democrats and Republicans" like him? Because he stands up to "big bad unions"? Yeah, that'll work in Ohio where union-busting SB 5 was repealed by a greater than 20% margin.

    He doesn't have "traction." Nobody has "traction" right now in the GOP because the party has no idea where it's going. The teabaggers are seizing the day; the rest of the party is spinning in a panic, not knowing what to do, who to appeal to. And the problem they have is they cannot spin anyone as a "moderate" until after the primaries are done, and then it will be too late, just as it was for Mitt Romney.

    Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

    by anastasia p on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 02:30:42 PM PDT

    •  please explain why he isgoing to win NJ (9+ / 0-)

      by double digits next week despite a shittier record than Corzine. The guy is a threat. The sooner we see that the better.

      •  Newspaper editorial boards of (6+ / 0-)

        the Newark Star-Ledger and the Herald-News of North Jersey both endorsed Christie, despite lots of criticisms packed into the editorial. One tally of the damage from Hurricane/Tropical storm Sandy put the damage to NJ at a whopping $37 billion. There are still thousands of trees down, that localities haven't even gotten to clearing yet. The print press isn't doing a through job of covering the many problems that still need to be addressed in the state. it is really sad to see the state of journalism, when major newspapers stoop to the level of covering the "stripper from Idaho" tweets to now Senator Elect Cory Booker---when they know that the Republican party dirty tricksters go out in advance and pay people to do stunts like this. The environmental damage of fallen trees from the storm is compounded by the sacrifice of more timber to print such drivel--when the reporters know its drivel. What would Voltaire say about such a vapid press?

        •  read Bob Braun's blog (5+ / 0-)

          a former reporter for the lLedger, known for his harsh criticism of the teachers union, has had an about face in his retirement and now sees the whole privatization and demonization of unions and teachers as a bad idea that is killing public schools. He states the Ledger's endorsement is the most bizarre he's ever seen and stems largely because Tom Moran, editorial director, is viciously anti-teacher and pro privatization, which is why they endorsed the big jerk despite a shitty record.

    •  I was inspired to write this... (16+ / 0-)

      because I was watching a supposedly "liberal" news network (who employs the goateed one) and the morning show anchors were gushing about how Chris Christie was the "everyman" and their go-to guy for "a moderate Republican's perspective."  This from a network that's in the tank for liberals no matter what.

      This was less a creation of a boogeyman and more of a "remain vigilant - it may happen here" kind of post.  As someone up top said, the Republicans have died many deaths and they're still kicking and, God help us, still relevant.  And, let's face it, the fact that unity among Democrats was a major news story during the shutdown portends that no one, perhaps even ourselves, expects it to continue.

      •  Thank you for this diary. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gay CA Democrat, Avilyn

        I know that most people here are interested in the 2016 nomination, but some of us live in NJ and have to endure the governorship of Chris Christie.  I find Christie's bullying personality repulsive, in addition to his policy positions, so I really have trouble understanding why people who disagree with his policies "like" him.

        •  Thank you for your kind words. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Gay CA Democrat, Avilyn

          You have my utmost sympathy that you have to live with Chris Christie.  I feel your pain - I gotta live with Rick Perry.

          •  Edmund Cristo... (0+ / 0-)

            So far as I can recall (and my memory is far from perfect), you've been the only DK'er I know of who's sounding the alarm on Chris Christie this loudly.

            I sure hope to Hell people listen to you. Because you are more right than you know.

            Hate to say it, but it's been almost a decade. I now regularly see people on FB with profile pics of Dubya, talking about what a great President he was and how things were so much better with him than they are now with Obama. (Yes, really.)

            I fear America is preparing for yet another cyclical detour into mass delusion and group stupidity. Which is all the opening Christie needs.

            Meanwhile, Hillary really really REALLY wants you to know she's the "real" centrist who can bring both sides together! No, really!

            Heavy sigh...

            •  Thanks! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Gay CA Democrat

              I'd read about Christie before, when he was testing the water during the 2012 campaign.  I was especially intrigued that he had the cojones to buck the Tea Party establishment, especially when they had such a grip on the government.  He seemed to me at the time like someone I might be able to root for in case the Tea Party took over.

              Man, was I wrong.  It's one thing to be a politician - it's another to screw have-nots, most of whom only need a hand during tough times, for the benefit of others who have no need for anything anymore, except to stroke their own egos and line their pockets.  

              To cap it off, to totally portray yourself as yourself as a regular guy, emphathizing with people who are looking for a leader, and to stab them in the back!  There's a special level of Hell for people like that, I thnk.

              So yes - sound the alarm loudly and often.

              •  You're Welcome! (0+ / 0-)

                The big problem I foresee is pretty much the same problem Hillary Clinton and her supporters fell victim to before: blatant overconfidence and no preparation for a serious electoral campaign challenge. Once again, Hillary is seen (and seems to think) she is the inevitable winner.

                Big mistake. HUGE.

                That kind of arrogant overconfidence which I run into from almost all of her supporters both online & offline leaves me absolutely aghast. We've got people openly discussing Hillary's first term as President already! Right, sure--because she is guaranteed to win. And the GOP will just lie down and let her campaign walk all over them. No problem!

                UMMM...no. No, no, no. NO. Let's get real here: just look at Christie's numbers in New Jersey. The amount of Democratic votes he's winning is appalling, disturbing and incredibly alarming. And having a newly-elected Democratic senator in Cory Booker singing his praises only undermines whoever our eventual Democratic nominee is.

                It flabbergasts me to see Clintonistas falling all over themselves once again as they rush to crown Hillary as President THREE YEARS(!) before we've even had an election. I hate to agree with Barbara Bush, but it's hard to argue with the "No more Clintons, No more Bushes" meme.  Time machines do not exist and we can't go "back to the future."  If anything, Hillary really ought to have run in 2004 when doubts about Bush were starting to increase and a longing for a return to the Clinton years was far stronger.

                If we're going to have any chance of beating back Christie, we have to take him seriously. And we have to put our strongest progressive candidate up against him.  Hillary is many things, but she's never been the strongest progressive in the Democratic Party.

                Right now, if she's going to eventually end up being the nominee? I think Christie has a lot of underhanded advantages in the years ahead and he will use everyone of them to beat the so-called "inevitable" next President.

  •  If Christie can get the nomination. . . (9+ / 0-)

    . . .we could be in big trouble. Fact is, people are stupid and when it comes to Republicans, that goes double. They are the party of the gullible. And the truly gullible see that asshole as their new savior.

    If he is nominated, even the Teabillies will vote for him. Remember how anti-McCain Rush Dimbulb was. . .until McCain got the nomination? Then everyone, including Dimbulb, fell in line behind the guy they were formally demonizing.

    And, there are a whole lot of Democrats that will fall for the schtick.

    •  Since WWII, the Public (4+ / 0-)

      has seldom allowed one party in the White House for more than 8 years. So, the likelihood of a return to the GOP in 2016 is great unless the Dem nominee energizes the masses. Obama won't be able to pass on the '08 enthusiasm. That's gone.

      If the Democrats nominate a charismatic woman that could do it and is the main reason I'm okay with a Hillary nomination. I'd rather have Elizabeth Warren, but she's not running. I'd rather someone younger, but neither Gillibrand nor Klobuchar excite people as much as Hillary (for reasons that escape me.)

      If the GOP nominates Christie and Dems nominate a corporatist like Cuomo or even someone fairly progressive like O'Malley, but who is just another white dude, Christie will probably win.

      "I was not born for myself alone, but for my neighbor as well as myself."--Richard Overton, leader of the Levellers, a17th C. movement for democracy and equality during the English Civil War.

      by SouthernLeveller on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 05:46:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  O'Malley cannot win (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SouthernLeveller, mikejay611

        He has raised way too many fees in Maryland. And look, I don't think he had much choice. We have a balanced budget provision in our Constitution. He either had to raise fees or raise taxes. But that fat will be used against him if he decides to run and, I think, it can be used very effectively.

    •  everything is relative (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Orlaine

      I think Christie will get the nonimation. for all the hand wringing over the tea party, we still have to remember that the GOPers still nominated Romney last time, and they will pick their "best" option next time, which I belive will be Christie. and he will be the strongest option they can put up against HRC.

      but, that does not mean we are in trouble. the GOPs electoral problems in national elections are not going away. their problems with women and minorities are not going away, and they will not fix them with a Christie pick. to have a chance in the national election, he will have to take on the tea party and make at least a symbolic break with them  over something....ACA?, gay marriage?, abortion?....something, which he may try to paper over with his VP pick. then there is the convention. what does the Tea Party demand for keeping their mouths shut?

      IMHO, 2016 is not setting up like 2000. the arguement for changing parties after 8 years of Obama is just not there, and I don't see the coalition that voted for him twice changing their minds about the direction of the country in the next 3 years.

      HRC runs, HRC wins. Christie is the only GOPer that will keep it from being a landslide.

      •  Remember, Al Gore received (0+ / 0-)

        the majority of the votes (over half a million more).  The Florida Election System failed the country.

        Well, the electoral system should be abolished for the President - Popular Vote wins !!!!  Too much hanky panky with the electoral voters (like PA with 18 which voted Democratically in 2012 but only has 5 Democratic Representatives due to Gerrymandering, even Texas is much more purple and gets a bad rap for the Gerrymander job that was done).

        -6.13 -4.4 Where are you? Take the Test!!!

        by MarciaJ720 on Tue Oct 29, 2013 at 12:27:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm convinced Christie will win in 2016 (6+ / 0-)

    Politics is cyclical and one thing we can never, ever underestimate is the stupidity and ignorance of voters. How else to explain the Democrats who vote for Christie in New Jersey?

    If Hillary Clinton runs the same type of campaign with the same type of centrist strategy as she did in 2008 (as kos himself has already written about recently), it will only make it easier for Christie to fool some of the people and enough of the people to get elected President.

    Hillary has GOT to run a different campaign and a better campaign in 2016. Because if she doesn't? Christie will take full advantage of it. Couple that with Republicans at the state level making life Hell for women & minorities to vote and we could be looking at the 2000 and 2004 Campaigns Version 2.0.

    No one here should discount Chris Christie. And no one should assume Hillary is a shoo-in for 2016.

    •  She can't... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mkor7, Gay CA Democrat
      If Hillary Clinton runs the same type of campaign with the same type of centrist strategy as she did in 2008 (as kos himself has already written about recently), it will only make it easier for Christie to fool some of the people and enough of the people to get elected President.

      ...run counter to what she believes; what she actually is and win, can she? She is a former Republican; a 3rd way Democrat right?

      No star is lost once we have seen, We always may be what we might have been. Adelaide Proctor -7.25/-5.64

      by mikejay611 on Tue Oct 29, 2013 at 06:00:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  assumptions cut both ways (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Check077

      agree that nothing is ever gauranteed, but its a bit much to assume that Christie is the favorite in 2016. based on what? Al Gore's defeat in 2000? compared to an historic first female POTUS the electorate that twice elected Obama is going to pick regionally popular governor from a highly unpopular party?

      as for what HRC needs to do, she needs to run an agressive defense of the Obama presidency and his legacy, something that Obama has done her more favors on that Bill Clinton ever did for Al Gore. then she needs to make the GOP nominee, whoever it is, defend the tea party. if its Christie, force him to denounce their extremism, and when he does it make him explain why the country should change parties at all if he disagrees with him so much.

      the theme of 2016 is that there is NO reason not to stay the course. we have had good effective leadership for 8 years after an 8 year disaster given to us by the GOP. the last 8 years would have been even better if not for the GOP. HRC only needs to remind everyone of that fact every single time she speaks and we will be fine.  

      •  Christie is never going to defend the Tea Party (0+ / 0-)

        But I don't think he'll embrace it either. Because that would undermine his whole strategy of appearing moderate and as someone who can work with Democrats to get things done (even if those things are ultimately bad for our future).

        No, the theme of 2016 is not that there is NO reason to stay the course. Not when polls say people think the country is headed in the wrong direction.

        Kos has already written one article deriding Hillary's early moves to portray herself as the centrist candidate that Christie is aiming to disguise himself as. The New York Times ran an article a couple months ago about disarray and chaos at the Clinton Foundation. These early signs eerily echo her last campaign during the Mark Penn era. (Shudder)

        Christie has got the likes of Democratic Senator-elect Cory Booker and Shaquille O'Neal shilling for him. And Democratic voters are voting for him in New Jersey in large enough numbers that show ominous signs for how Christie intends to run in 2016.

        Underestimate him and make the mistake (again) of thinking Hillary as President is inevitable? And we might as well just roll out the red carpet to the White House for Mr. Christie.

        He needs to be taken seriously. And Hillary needs to do better campaigning than she has ever done before.

  •  I see Christie exactly as I see the other GOPers (0+ / 0-)

    and not a bit different in any way.

    The republican brand is not damaged. It's been destroyed.

    I ask him if he was warm enough? "Warm," he growled, "I haven't been warm since Bastogne."

    by Unrepentant Liberal on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 04:13:32 PM PDT

  •  He's trying to win back their (0+ / 0-)

    affection.  He can't get the nomination without their approval and he knows that.

    After he wins the nomination, he can fall back to the Mr. Niceguy mode.


    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 04:30:59 PM PDT

  •  Meanwhile in Alabama, oh riley (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jfdunphy

    an (admittedly crazy) anti-GOP blogger is in jail for violating an unconstitutional judge's order by posting dirt about the son of the former governor.

    http://www.popehat.com/...

    "Your victory has demonstrated that no person anywhere in the world should not dare to dream of wanting to change the world for a better place." -- Mandela

    by agoldnyc on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 04:55:12 PM PDT

  •  It's all about the swing states (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jfdunphy, 207wickedgood, Orlaine, Check077

    Face it, 2016 comes down to who can flip the swing states and can Christie do it?

    Ohio?  It's gonna be REALLY tough for Christie to win Ohio after all the union-busting rhetoric he has employed.

    Wisconsin/Michigan?  See Ohio.

    Virginia?  This is where Christie's 'moderate' image scares me.  He could pull it off.

    Florida?  See Virginia.  Lots of displaced Yankees might be really tempted to vote for a 'Jersey guy'....especially in South Florida.

    Nevada?  Maybe.

    Colorado?  Difficult to see how a 'Jersey guy' with bad optics is going to make Colorado - which is trending bluer by the day - blue.  Especially against someone like HRC who can peel away some Republican women.

    Pennsylvania?  THIS. IS. SCARY.  Lots of Philly voters could swing to a 'Jersey guy'.  Remember, this is a state that voted in Toomey (of all people).  The anti-union stuff might hurt him.

    Quite frankly, Christie has ZERO appeal to core Democratic constituencies like union-members, women, Hispanics and African-Americans.  He might peel off some older, blue-dog Democratic voters, but he has to thread the needle.

    I still love our chances if we have Hillary as our nominee.  She's is going to be very difficult to beat in 2016.

    Biden vs. Christie?

    Old white guy vs. fat white guy.  I don't like our chances nearly as much here.

  •  My disgust with the NJ governors race (8+ / 0-)

    The governors race in New Jersey just says a lot about the corruption of the normally Dem-aligned interest groups as well as the Democratic Party itself.

    The League of Conservation Voters has been doing a lot of campaigning for T-Mac in Virginia. T-Mac supports opening Virginia's coasts to oil drilling and is a soullless corporate shill who will easily abandon environmentalist policies. The LCV, on the other hand, has decided not to endorse in New Jersey's gubernatorial race. On the one hand, you have a guy who hands out waivers on environmental regulations left and right to whatever business asks him, took NJ out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and denies the reality of climate change. On the other hand, you have the woman with the 3rd best environmental record in the state senate, per NJEF who is a committed progressive. AND THEY'RE SITTING THIS OUT.

    I've been getting fundraising emails from various prog and Dem groups for T-Mac. Earlier today, I got one from Democracy for America. Seriously, DFA? T-Mac? But nothing for Buono. Elizabeth Warren (?) even sent out an email asking me to donate for T-Mac. But I haven't heard from Hirono, Baldwin, Warren, Murphy, Merkley, or any of the other senators whose mailing lists I'm on about the race in New Jersey.

    You also have the fact that Obama has not campaign in New Jersey for Buono, when his support helps both (a) to turn out the African American vote and (b) turn out the donors. The party just doesn't seem to care much about that race, having given it up before it even started. It's a disgrace.

  •  I totally agree (3+ / 0-)

    that the "civil war" in the republican party is a meme without much foundation. Fact is, the war was won by the Tea Party years ago. There are no moderate republicans left to stand up against them, and Chris Christie ain't no moderate, he's just a better politician than Cruz. Which in a way, makes him scarier to me than Cruz.

    We now face a pretty rabid right wing party in the GOP, and I really wonder how long it's going to take for America to wake up to the fact that one of our two parties is a band of extremists.

    History says America rejects this. Lord, it's taking a long time for them to reject it, but hope springs eternal.

    "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

    by StellaRay on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 05:06:17 PM PDT

  •  Christie is beloved of the media... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VirginiaBlue, Tronsix2, tomephil

    but I don't think he plays well outside the northeast.  His personality is too abrasive.  Get up in his face and let him roar a bit at someone who asks the wrong question during the presidential race.  He'll disintegrate faster than Herman Cain.

    Still enjoying my stimulus package.

    by Kevvboy on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 05:09:16 PM PDT

  •  BTW, what is Christie's view on abortion? (0+ / 0-)

    I know that Romney won the nomination last time and has a very checkered past on abortion.  However, Romney never was a 'tell it like it is' guy that Christie 'supposedly' is.

    To me, that's the true test whether Christie can win the nomination.  If he was pro-choice before, he can't magically become pro-life and STILL retain his 'tell it like it is' image.  The second he vacillates, he's lost his aura.

    Everybody knew Romney was a flip-flopper and an opportunist.  That's why the 47% comment just floored him.  Finally, Romney was caught 'being himself' and 'Romney being Romney' => big loss.

    With Christie, he likes to portray himself as 'himself, Jersey guy, telling it like it is', fine.  Then 'tell it like it is on social issues' Christie and let's see what happens.  I guarantee you, his luster is lost and in a big time way.

    •  Christie was "pro-choice" until 1996 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wintergreen8694, tomephil

      Supposedly when he had an "epiphany" during an ultrasound of his not yet born daughter. Life is now sacred.

      So I guess that means he can now pick whichever mode is tactically convenient as needed.

      Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Tue Oct 29, 2013 at 02:39:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  He vetoes Planned Parenthood funding every year (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tomephil, jan4insight

      so he is no friend to women.  Here  is the story from 2012.  

      But given how terrible our media is here in New Jersey, dominated by the New York and Philly media markets with paltry home grown media, and with the Democrats completely folding to him, I'm guessing a lot of people don't know that he is anti-choice.

  •  Maybe scandal will finally catch up with him . . . (0+ / 0-)
  •  I'm just hoping that the real Dirt on him (0+ / 0-)

    surfaces after the PTB have annointed him the MSM Horserace frontrunner for the rich ahole party.

  •  Christie is a formidable candidate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gay CA Democrat

    In a perverse way, he represents this country better than any Presidential candidate of my lifetime.  

    He has also clearly made the calculation that he can burn some goodwill among the base in exchange for some credibility in the general election.  And let's not forget that Hillary is our likely nominee.  The first time she ran a pretty awful campaign.  I'm sure she'll be better next time but I do not consider her unbeatable.

    "Unrestricted immigration is a dangerous thing -- look at what happened to the Iroquois." Garrison Keillor

    by Spider Stumbled on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 05:59:23 PM PDT

  •  I was so disappointed that Shaq has a commercial (5+ / 0-)

    out endorsing Chris Christie--saying that Christie is a "GREAT!" man.  

    Does he really not know how much Christie has hurt people in NJ?  Is he really unaware of what a bully he is, and how much he disrespects anyone who disagrees with him?  I am really just at a loss for words. I used to have a lot of respect for Shaq.  Now, not so much.  He needs to do a LOT of homework and research about the real Chris Christie.

    •  Me too. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gay CA Democrat

      Very disappointed.

    •  christie vs clinton (0+ / 0-)

      Christie had some involvement in prison half way houses for profit that were a disaster, I think everyone forgot about that fiasco.

      I like Clinton too, but I kind of agree, it may be her humanity makes her seem less presidential, and it's an
      indictment of what we expect out of our leaders that they must not only be smart, committed, able to stands millions of dollars worth of books that try to destroy them,
      They also have to endure years of scrutiny where glimpses of humanity can destroy a presidential patina. I loved Howard Dean, buy Yeah!!! no presidency for you.  

      The republicans are already running spots where Clinton under pressure on Bengazhi angrily says what does it matter?! I share the feeling that Benghazi is the latest
      crap republicans just rehash endlessly to try to destroy her.
      Bottom line Obama had my vote after he  had the podium at that democratic convention.    I think Warren has my vote if she'll go for it, atleast I hope she's on a ticket.
      Biden Warren? Clinton Warren?   In a better America
      Warren Sanders? Warren Dean? but that would be expecting too much. STW

  •  We have reveled in so many repug (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gay CA Democrat

    debacles in my lifetime. The latest was the mockery of the tea party by many on this site. All that has happened is that the repugs still control most state legislatures and 50% of the fed govt.

    And they haave controlled the agenda for the past 50 years.

    Avoid hubris!

    “Never argue with someone whose livelihood depends on not being convinced.” ~ H.L. MENCKEN

    by shigeru on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 08:34:10 PM PDT

  •  I'll be surprised if he even runs for it (0+ / 0-)

    If he wanted his shot at being a 'moderate' he had it in 2012 and passed. I think Christie is smart enough to know he's DOA with the TP and in the primary.

    As such count me shocked if he even runs.

    Der Weg ist das Ziel

    by duhban on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 09:50:27 PM PDT

    •  Will the TP hate Hillary more ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gay CA Democrat

      than they hate Christie?  I am sure they would rather have anyone other than Hillary - or any Dem - so they might actually do something similar to thinking and get behind the most electable R rather than the purest R.

      •  the TP has swallowed 'moderates' (0+ / 0-)

        the last 2 presidential elections, I will be utterly surprised if they acquiesce to a third regardless of who runs (and frankly I'm about as doubtful of Hilary running for other reasons)

        Der Weg ist das Ziel

        by duhban on Tue Oct 29, 2013 at 07:28:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Big Repug $ + Christie's non-Romney style = (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wintergreen8694

    =powerful assets in seeking the Repug nomination.  

    Christie's style can appeal in part by being largely opposite to Romney's slick, evasive, privileged, Wall St., Mormon profile.

    Many Teahadists are stupid, but plenty of them should be smart enough to realize that Cruz or Paul as the Vice-Presidential nominee is a great deal for them.

    When Christie looks out at potential threats, he should be less worried about losing the nomination (which anyway would make him a great "I told you so" candidate in 2020 after Cruz or Paul was crushed in 2016) than about having good poison-detectors after he puts Cruz or Paul 2nd in line to the Presidency.

  •  I see in comments people think the Tea Party (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bsmechanic, Gay CA Democrat

    will, in their primaries, crush anyone not of their own, including Christie.

    Other options: The Tea Party goes for a third party, and the remaining Republicans get to pick a Christie (and let's not leave out a Jeb Bush).

    Or, the media announces that a Christie is a 'teflon candidate' like they did with Reagan. Where they stopped asking him any questions at all that weren't prepared for, and they never followed up on his hinks. The Media can make anyone appear any way. And they do.


    Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

    by Jim P on Tue Oct 29, 2013 at 12:37:18 AM PDT

  •  What the strategy vs GOP should be. (0+ / 0-)

    #1 - Demonize the Tea Party.  Follow the lead of Alan Grayson.

    #2 - Once it's demonized - tie the GOP back into it.

    It's kind of like cutting a venomous serpent in half.

  •  If the republican shift to the far right,, (0+ / 0-)

    has caused Democrats to adopt former republican positions on things like health-care, "earned benefit" cuts and economic policy, how can the people of this country, other than the very wealthy, consider it a victory?

    "Remember, Republican economic policies quadrupled the debt before I took office and doubled it after I left. We simply can't afford to double-down on trickle-down." Bill Clinton

    by irate on Tue Oct 29, 2013 at 08:22:24 AM PDT

  •  As a life-long NJ Dem, I can't wait for Hillary (0+ / 0-)

    to give our little bully boy governor the smack down he deserves.  It will be great to watch him be beat up by a girl!

    •  BAD IDEA. VERY BAD IDEA. (0+ / 0-)

      This is exactly why Elizabeth Warren and Barack Obama have excelled in getting elected...and why Hillary outside of New York state has not.

      I vividly remember Hillary shouting into the cameras at one press conference, "SHAME ON YOU, BARACK OBAMA! SHAME ON YOU!!" It went over like a lead balloon.

      Contrast that reaction with Warren's astounding grace-under-pressure when getting grilled in Congress by misogynistic Republicans or on cable news by far right Wall Street insiders. The woman simply does * not * crack, never loses her cool and seems to not show a trace of frustration or irritation.

      Hillary is absolutely awful at this. Her jaw clenches and her eyes glare. Behavior which, unfortunately, the mainstream media aids and abets in giving Chris Christie a total pass on. That blowhard can behave like a complete jack@$$ to anyone and everyone and the press just eats it up.

      Both Warren and Obama are keenly aware of the MSM's (and sadly America's) pathetic double standard when it comes to women and minorities in politics. Both of them have gone far, far out of their way to avoid losing their cool or their composure or showing much disdain on camera because they rightly are aware they would get dismissed with the "angry black man" / "angry shrew" stereotypes.

      Warren's got ice water in her veins, but Hillary most certainly does not. When she's angry, she's visibly angry. And while she has every right to be given all the abuse and grief she and her family have had to put up with for decades, the cold hard truth is that politics like life is not fair. Hillary's lack of finesse when it comes to conflict and her visible displays of anger do not play well in a national campaign. And that's a big part of why I wish Elizabeth Warren or Amy Klobuchar will hopefully run for President. Like Obama, they are candidates who are supremely savvy about American prejudicial double-standards toward female and minority candidates.

      The moment Hillary were to allow herself to go off on Christie and try to rip him a new one? That will be the moment she loses the race for President. And no, that absolutely is not fair...but it is most definitely what is all too likely to happen.

      •  After he does it to her first? I don't think so. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Check077

        She will make him look like the fool he is.  But thanks for the reasoned and thoughtful analysis; I appreciate you taking the time to respond and I guess we have to wait to see what happens.  BTW I don't think he can get the nomination anyway.

        •  Understood. But yes, the MSM is sexist... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          viral

          ..and when it comes to debates between male and female candidates, the mainstream media can and will allow Christie to get away with behavior they will then turn around & penalize Hillary for.

          One of the things I respect about Elizabeth Warren (as well as President Obama) is that phenomenal ability to appear to just shrug off the bigoted barbs continually thrown at her by profoundly prejudiced and insanely ignorant GOP politicians. She never cracks. Ever. I swear, the woman must be from the planet Krypton. She never lets them see her sweat.

          Right or wrong, America still holds women and minorities to a different standard than they do white straight men. The double standards are disgusting. But like it or not, they are still there.

          Christie is, to me, the very likely GOP nominee. And just like now with the MSM, they're going to let him get away with murder. Because of that obvious fact, if Hillary is the eventual Democratic nominee, she simply cannot afford to try and out-Christie Christie. It will backfire on her if for no other reason than all the sexists will punish her for it while letting Christie get a free pass.

          2016 is going to be all-out war and we cannot expect America is going to evaluate candidates without sexism still playing a role. And it will play a role.

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