There's Jell-O, and then there's McDonnell and Christie
Virginia Attorney General and the commonwealth's all-but-certain Republican gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli needs to send a big box of Shari's Berries to Bob McDonnell, the commonwealth's GOP governor. McDonnell gave Cuccinelli a gift of a tax hike (the largest in Virginia's history) that offers the attorney general a golden opportunity to be an insurgent, provide leadership to conservatives across the country, and retake the ossified GOP.
Then there's Chris Christie, who Ann Coulter once publicly -- and shamelessly -- pushed for president. Christie is twisting and bending like three hundred pounds of Atlantic City saltwater taffy to "reach across the aisle" to expand Medicaid (as part of a $32.9 billion budget proposal). Christie's Medicaid decision only helps enable ObamaCare, which Christie claims he still opposes. Christie is up for reelection in the Garden State.
Skip the Shari's Berries for Christie; overtaxed Jerseyites can't afford it (and neither can the governor's waistline).
First, the McDonnell tent-folding.
This from the Washington Times report on McDonnell's big back-of-his-hand to Cuccinelli:
National Review Online editorialized that the [tax] bill is politically "problematic," putting Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who's running for Mr. McDonnell's seat, in an awkward position. Mr. Cuccinelli opposed the transportation plan, but his opposition, Democrat Terry McAuliffe, favored it.
Cuccinelli, a rock-ribbed conservative who has not only talked the talk but walked the walk as Virginia's AG, is being put in a bind by McDonnell. Cuccinelli will have to run against the governor's support of the huge tax hike. Oily Democratic fixer, Terry McAuliffe, the Democrats' likely standard-bearer, gets to try to exploit the McDonnell- Cuccinelli split.
Yep, establishment Republicans will circle the wagons around McDonnell. We'll hear: "But Virginia is a purple state trending blue. North Virginia has a big voter base and transportation needs. McDonnell has be practical and govern." Blah... blah... blah...
When the purplish editors of the National Review question the wisdom of McDonnell signing legislation hiking taxes hugely, you know something stinks in Richmond.
Cuccinelli has spoken out against McDonnell's tax heist. Bully for him. The Virginia attorney general simply needs to make lemonade from McDonnell's big, fat lemon. Cuccinelli's task is to run unapologetically -- and boldly -- against Virginia's GOP establishment. The attorney general needs to declare himself an independent Republican who will speak for the increasingly disenfranchised voters and taxpayers (the "country class") throughout the commonwealth. Cuccinelli should run an intense grassroots campaign built around championing the concerns of hard-pressed Virginia families and taxpayers.
Moreover, Cuccinelli can do conservatives everywhere an enormous favor by creating a new model for conservative campaigns in 2014 and 2016: Run with the grassroots against the Ruling Class Democrats and their Republican enablers. Cuccinelli can energize conservatives and independents by Reaganizing his campaign.
What more can be said about Chris Christie? Christie's virtual bear-hug of President Barack Obama last autumn did no favors to Mitt Romney. Yeah, yeah, yeah -- Hurricane Sandy's devastation of the Jersey coast required that Christie play ball with Mr. Obama. But there's a big difference between nicely thanking the president for his involvement and sloppy-kissing him the way Christie did.
Now Christie, who wants to be re-elected governor in an awful way, is willing to expand Medicaid in his state and enable ObamaCare, though he claims he's doing so against his heartfelt principle.
Here's Christie in his own words:
"Let me be clear: I am no fan of the Affordable Care Act," the governor said. "I think it is wrong for New Jersey and for America. I fought against it and believe, in the long run, it will not achieve what it promises. However, it is now the law of the land. I will make all my judgments as governor based on what is best for New Jerseyans."
Yet another "practical" Republican setting aside principle and bending under the yoke of the Democrat Ruling Class's aims. Christie says he'll take federal money for increased Medicaid coverage, but Uncle Sam's largesse has limits. As Medicaid costs increase under ObamaCare, the states will need to foot a larger portion of the bills. Christie's "practicality" will eventually stick it to New Jersey taxpayers in a big way. But, what the hell, Texas is open for business, and the winters there beat winters in the Oranges. Soon-to-be expatriate Jerseyites (the producers) might find Texas' mild winters more agreeable than the Garden State's gloom.