You won’t read these words often at FrumForum, but Mark Levin makes an important point today, if only indirectly.
Critiquing Ann Coulter’s cheer-leading for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Levin demands on his Facebook page:
When will my dear friend Ann start to address the substantive problems with Christie’s actual positions or are we going to get another year of “only Christie can win” fortune cookie logic? Does she support his positions on: gun control, amnesty, the appointment of an Islamist to the bench, the green agenda, his campaigning for Mike Castle, his MIA on health care litigation, etc.; and how does she think this would energize the base outside of New Jersey? Has the Tea Party even in NJ been pushing for his candidacy? No. Yes, he’s solid in his YouTube battles with teachers and his efforts to try and address NJ’s budget problems, the outcome of which have yet to be determined. But the federal government is a vast enterprise that requires a solid conservative at the helm, especially now.
Levin is right: Chris Christie is not a Tea Party conservative. He’s a tough, budget-balancing Republican Northeastern governor with little interest in battles over the gold standard and abortion. From my point of view, that’s all to Christie’s credit. But as Levin says, it makes no ideological sense for Ann Coulter to tout Christie. So why has Coulter taken this view? I’m guessing that part of the answer is that Christie has invested the effort to court Coulter. In the same way, an important part of the reason for Levin’s skepticism, as Levin candidly confesses, is Christie’s post-election snubbing of Levin:
Whenever I raise questions about Christie I usually get a few people saying he’s too busy being governor to address all these issues. Then how can you promote him for president? Can he not walk and chew gum at the same time? That’s a minimal qualification for president. And he’s constantly doing friendly national media interviews. He’s in Washington all the time. He campaigned all over the country for RINOs. He just refuses to address these issues — that is, he refuses to address issues that expose his weaknesses to conservatives. We tried to get him on my show but he’s always “busy.” He can’t call into the program from his car?
But there’s more at work here than vanity.
A left-wing friend of mine jokes that conservatives are “the party of affect”: meaning that conservatives tend to care much more how a politician speaks than what a candidate says. Christie almost perfectly exemplifies this rule. If he were a soft-spoken, conciliatory Northeastern budget-balancer, he’d be dismissed as a Bill Weld/Mike Castle RINO. But instead, he’s an-in-your-face confrontationalist. So he can favor handgun control and still be the Coulter choice for president. Just so long as he’s rude about it.