On March 14th members of the Republican Party will come together at the Conservative Political Action Conference. According to its website, CPAC is an annual event designed “to rally conservatives, share strategies and promulgate and crystallize the best of the conservative thought in America.”
The list of those invited to speak mirrors the “A” list of the party leadership: Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, Ted Cruze, Jeb Bush, Rick Santorum and Sarah Palin among others. Former governor and Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, has accepted an invitation and will make his first formal address since conceding the presidential election to Barak Obama. If you are anyone of consequence in the Republican Party…you’re there.
Accept New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
CPAC has decided that Christie is not worthy of an invitation to the grand ball. His fatal flaw... speaking the truth.
Christie’s first mistake was in accepting the president’s assistance in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Christie toured the devastation with the president, shook his hand in solidarity and then had the nerve to praise the president’s efforts to bring federal assistance to those in need. He committed these grievous acts during the last week of the hotly contested presidential campaign. Some Republicans (those living in an alternate universe) went so far as to blame Christie's actions as the single root cause of Mitt Romney's soul crushing defeat.
As if this weren’t bad enough, Christie had the nerve to criticize the NRA for running a pro-gun ad using the president’s daughters to make a political point.
Finally, to add insult to injury, he had the audacity to call out Speaker Boehner and the Republican caucus for delaying the Hurricane Sandy relief aid for six weeks for political purposes.
Chris Christie is an outspoken Republican governor in a blue state. He has cut government spending and lowered taxes. He has secured the state’s once financially unstable pension fund. He has taken on the public employee unions and won. He has forged a historic compromise agreement with the powerful teaches union and put in place a program that rewards teachers and students alike. He is bombastic, rude and suffers no fools. And he has a 74% approval rating among both Republicans and Democrats.
He is the only Republican among the “A” list mentioned above that actually practices the conservative principles that he preaches.
And if the 2016 presidential election were held today, he is the only Republican that would have a realistic snowball’s chance in hell of defeating Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden.
So why is Christie being snubbed by CPAC? He is snubbed because he dares to seek compromise to get things done.
Today’s Republican Party is about hate, fear and retribution. If you are a Republican who dares to consider compromising with your more liberal opponents you are labeled a RINO (Republican in Name Only) and subject to facing a primary challenge from the right. If you want to get along in the Republican Party you have to toe the right wing radical line…even if it means being defeated at the polls. You don’t think of compromise when you hear the names Palin, Santorum, Cruze, Paul and Ryan.
If Republicans want to focus on ideological rhetoric, hatred and fear mongering; if they want to continue to down their current path to irrelevance; then they should heed the words of their “A” list presenters.
But if they want to actually win elections and get things done, they might want to listen to the guy who has.