The Spectacle Blog

Politicians, Policies and 2012

By on 11.8.10 | 11:36AM

Mark Levin and Dan Riehl have posted items about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's positions on Obamacare and other key issues. That's what happens when you become touted as a presidential contender, either (seemingly) unwittingly, like with Christie, or on your own aggressive initiative, like former Minnesota Gov. Tim "Global Warming Activist" Pawlenty.

Pawlenty now sees a president in the mirror when he shaves and is not only not repentant, but instead intends to double down on the 'global warming' nonsense as a 2012 primary 'wedge' issue (more on which useful idiocy the Left is counting on, later).

But this also reminds me of something I noted while addressing the Virginia Tea Party convention at the same time that Gov. Christie was in the process of winning the attendees' straw poll for president: he moved revenues from selling energy use ration coupons under New Jersey's state-level cap-n-trade scheme on-budget. Bad call.

Poof!, it's permanent. Like with the lottery, "sin taxes", the state getting in the liquor store business and so on, that which is demonized, immediately upon being converted into a cash cow, is a virtuous contributor to the public purse. We need the money! Where you will replace those revenues!? We witness this phenomenon all the time. We shouldn't have seen it here with Christie. And we don't need to see this among any aspiring chief executive or those who conservatives tout without knowing the whole story

No, no one is perfect, particularly in politics. This one, however, should be viewed as a modern, cardinal political sin. In Christie's defense we will hear it argued that the scheme was already passed, it was necessary as he tries to clean up the Left's train wreck (of which this will soon be seen as a big part, incidentally), and otherwise he's just moving some things around on paper.

On the other side of the ledger we know that he has bad instincts on the issue, he has come down wrong on the issue, and/or is not committed to scrapping extremely bad ideas before they metastasize.  

I am more moved by the latter case than the former. He could have done the right thing, and instead did the very wrong thing. There's just no middle ground on this one, which politicians naively believe a) always exists and b) provides safe harbor. Maybe he, unlike Pawlenty, will soon repent.

If a Republican contender wants to be more than a pretender, it does seem clear from listening to the public that he or she will have to show some spine on several key issues. But as with Mitt Romney on his MassCare debacle, it seems no one is willing to admit mistakes, even indirectly, and instead see as preferable even saying bizarre things, undermining their larger virtues for higher office, in defense of their actions.

On 'global warming' and even cap-and-trade specifically, neither Gov. Christie nor former Gov. Pawlenty have done the right thing. Worse, when confronting the opportunity, they've done the wrong thing.

Like this Article

Print this Article

Print Article