Christie Showing the Power of the Real New Tone

Move over President Bush.  Step aside Karl Rove.  There's a real "new tone" in town. Frankly -- unlike your misguided attempt, this new tone is actually effective.  And conservative and Constitution conscious Americans across the land are cheering and collectively saying "about damned time!!"

And Washington got a dose of the new tone of Chris Christie up close Wednesday as the governor addressed a packed house at an American Enterprise Institute event (video here).

To be blunt, it's not the fact that Chris Christie's bold in-your-face demeanor is playing well that is surprising.  What surprises those of us not living in the Washington-Manhattan-San Francisco bubble is that it took so long for someone to have the courage to embrace this attitude.  This is what folks have been craving for the longest time.  This should not have been some kind of deep dark secret.  It is common sense.  Then again, in Washington, common sense usually is a deep dark secret.

What's instructive here is that Christie is not even that conservative.  Sometimes he wobbles off on some ridiculous leftward lurch -- as he did with the Ground Zero Mosque issue -- and yet he is the darling of millions of conservatives everywhere.  He is right nation's viral YouTube hero and Ann Coulter's pick for President. 

So why and how -- in this age of supposedly rigid litmus tests -- has a man who is firmly in the middle right become a right wing hero?  Easy.  It's the attitude, stupid.  If you look closely, what you have to conclude is that conservatives are not so much aching for an arch-conservative as they are someone who is not afraid to boldly proclaim the conservatism that he/she does believe in -- and not afraid to focus on the most immediate problems.

As even far lefty Eleanor Clift had to admit in the Daily Beast, Christie is playing well due to his "heft and swagger, both physical and intellectual."

Give us a 70% guy who is true to himself and who is going to stand his ground for that 70 over a 90% guy who will sell out half of that to stay friends with the media and the lobbyists and the precious "independents."

Moreover, Christie is not afraid to get in the face of our economy's key enemies -- unions and especially public sector unions -- and lay out plainly how they and their contracts are literally destroying the country.  He is not afraid to "just say no" to their continued demands for a life of security and ease starting as young as age 50 after a career of semi-skilled service.

(Public unions should not even exist, but that's another article).

Contrast this with the Bush-Rove "new tone" or for that matter with the McCain wing of the GOP -- folks who have a fetish for reaching across the aisle and working in a "bipartisan manner" to get legislation signed.  More often than not, legislation like that from Washington has a lot of tax-payer financed goodies for union constituencies.  (Who knows, perhaps one day government will steal a couple of car companies from the bond/stock holders and give it to a union.)

What the New Jersey governor has become is the de facto defender of the Golden Goose -- and the biggest voice calling out those who would kill it while sucking all of its blood away.  This is why Christie gets a pass from many on a few issues where he has these moderate out of body experiences.  The NJ governor appeals to those who realize that if the Golden Goose is in fact killed, then everything else we like to debate will be done in poverty and national bankruptcy in a society where unions dictate everything.

And yet, the wizards of the beltway and the smartest among us have been saying for decades that the only way to appeal to America is by planting a set of red lips on the collective backsides of the other party.  Political strategists think they are being brilliant by assuming 40 per cent of Americans are Democrats and 40 per cent are Republicans (roughly) and that all elections will be won by whoever can fool the other 20% the best.

This is what passes for beltway brilliance.  In reality, it is shallow zero sum ignorance. It totally ignores the idea that actually conservatives outnumber liberals 2-1.  It totally dismisses the notion that some of that 20% are simply ignorant and will move right when someone can break through the clutter and reach them. 

It dooms politicians to forever being thermometers reading the temperature instead of being thermostats willing to change the temperature. Chris Christie is a thermostat, not merely a thermometer.

What Christie is showing us is that conservative principles -- when presented effectively -- will win the day.  Ronald Reagan showed us that in 1980 and 84.  And another thing Christie is showing us is that style matters, but the only iron clad rules are be bold and be yourself.  Authenticity, boldness and conservative common sense combined is a powerful mixture indeed.  All too often Republicans have lacked one or the other, if not all three.  Reagan was Reagan.  People saw that.  It resonated.  It gave power to his message and his ideas.

What's exciting about Christie is that he has become bolder and even more in your face since he won the election.  He has gotten better and more effective and  -- shock shock: more popular!  With his peerless Jersey style, even the Washington bubble cannot hide from it.   We can only hope that folks like John Boehner and McConnell and all of the new tea party freshmen are taking notes.  If even some of them are, then Chris Christie will be doing the entire Republic a huge favor -- even if he stays in the statehouse in Trenton.  

That is a new tone I can believe in.