Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Model For the GOP: NJ Gov. Chris Christie

I think Gov. Chris Christie better be taken seriously by the GOP because they have serious issues across much of the West and South that threaten to make the party little more than a regional party due to the growing influence of Tea Parties and the Paulians (Ron and Rand). It's an influence that includes anti-science leanings, explosive rhetoric, pushing conspiracy theories and threatens to derail the party's chances in a year that should see major gains in both the House and Senate.

This year's midterm elections should be a slaugterhouse for Democrat incumbents because of the ongoing economic morass and people like Harry Reid should be tossed from office, but his GOP opponent Sharron Angle sounds like a loon (when she's giving interviews, that is).

You've got an Arizona GOP candidate for a utility board, Bary Wong, saying that the state should cut off utilities to illegal immigrants, even though that would probably be illegal. It also ignores the fact that increased power demands come from building larger homes that require larger HVAC systems, and that much of Arizona is situated in a desert or semi-arid climate. Illegal aliens aren't driving the need for more power in Arizona - residents demanding more and more power to operate their homes is driving the need for power.

The right wing of the party has embraced bigots, racists, and anti Semites, and that spells real bad news for the party. Moreover, the right wing has pushed hard to drive moderates from the party, leaving those who may be fiscally responsible but socially more liberal from the party.

So, Chris Christie is a breath of fresh air on the GOP scene because he's talking common sense and focusing on fiscal responsibility. That's something I've been preaching for a good long time here, and while his budget isn't perfect (he didn't fund the state's obligation for the pension fund), it does begin to focus on state spending and how local spending is driving up property taxes to record levels from which taxpayers demand tax relief through other tax mechanisms.

Christie also commented about the immigration debate, and makes some good points on the subject.
He added: "It's a very easy issue to demagogue and I'm just not going to participate in that."

Christie said more resources -- specifically, "money" -- were needed to support federal law enforcement and border security, along with "having a clear understandable law that people can follow."

"Until you have both of're not going to fix the problem," he said.

Christie also said he thinks state and local law enforcement don't have appropriate training to enforce immigration laws, and that it can distract from their overriding goal of keeping the public safe.

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