Christie in 2016?

After his big win Tuesday night, Chris Christie is certainly the media’s man of the moment.  Take that liberal media bias.  And speculation for his prospects in 2016 are at a fever pitch.  Chait throws some cold water on all this:

 Four basic, interrelated problems stand between Christie and the 2016 nomination:

1. His ideological deviations are not fake. They’re real. Christie hasopenly endorsed gun controlcalled for a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, and conceded the legitimacy of climate science (“But when you have over 90 percent of the world’s scientists who have studied this stating that climate change is occurring and that humans play a contributing role it’s time to defer to the experts.”)

The largest, and least appreciated, of Christie’s betrayals of party doctrine is his decision to participate in the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare. Some other Republican governors have made the same decision, but they have all faced unrelenting and bitter opposition from legislators of their party and conservative activists. Unyielding hatred to every aspect of Obamacare, regardless of its practical impact, has become the main doctrinal tenet of conservative thought. That alone could potentially disqualify him.

In the one sense, Chait seems totally right to me.  How can a guy with these positions ever win in the Republican primaries.  That said, I think one might have said similar things about Mitt Romney– especially on the health care angle– back in the day.  If the establishment comes out all behind Christie, there’s every reason to think he should win.  The establishment candidate pretty much always wins the Republican primaries.  And, it’s awfully tempting to say, “but things are different now– there’s never been a Tea party before.”  And that very well may be true.  But people love to say “but this time is different” and more often than not, it’s not actually different.

A big problem for Christie is that he’s still actually serving as governor.  It was easy for Romney to run away from his moderate record when he was a full-time Republican presidential candidate.  Christie does not have that luxury.  He actually wants to effectively govern in a blue state– which demands compromise and moderation from a Republican.  Compromise and moderation are not exactly the principles with which one wins over Republican primary voters.  If I were Democrats in Jersey, I would certainly do everything possible to continually put Christie in difficult positions that will be hard for him to defend in the Republican primaries.

Meanwhile in the Atlantic, Garance Franke-Rute writes that Christie does not have a likability problem:

Chris Christie’s landslide reelection victory Tuesday in New Jersey has prompteda new round of articles arguing he’s temperamentally and politically unsuited to being president, a pugnacious Northeasterner who won’t connect out on the hustings in real ‘Murica if he makes a bid in 2016…

On the most basic test of likability—is Christie a guy it would be a blast to have a beer with?—it seems impossible to answer no. People at the State Fair will enjoy his presence, because Christie is a politician who knows how to enjoy the quintessence of local commercial goofiness, which is much of what the State Fair is. Give that man spatula and set him to flipping pork chops: Anyone who can charmingly answer the phone at Hot Dog Johnny’s can do retail politics in primary states…

Christie has a quality rarely found in politics: Instead of sounding like a generic politician, he sounds like himself. “Authenticity” is not something that can be scripted, though sometimes consultants find it worthwhile to sand it down a bit around the edges. There’s no question that Christie can appeal to Democrats in a general election in a relatively middle-of-the-road state. In New Jersey, the same voters who overwhelmingly elected him to a second term also raised the minimum wage in their state on Tuesday. And he proved he can also woo Latinos and women, winning the majority of them in New Jersey Tuesday. According toGallup polling in June, Christie is the potential Republican presidential contender looked on most favorably by Democrats.  [emphasis mine]

All true.  Christie does seem to have very strong personal appeal.  However, that last highlighted phrase at first gives me pause.  Really, the Republican most acceptable to Democrats wins the nomination?  But that was probably the case with McCain and Romney.

So, 2016?  My money is still on a Tea Party guy (e.g., Cruz, Rubio, etc.) winning the nomination.  But it sure ain’t a lot money.  Starting in 2015 we’re in for a lot of fun in this race.

Video of the day

My wife posted this on FB (where I noticed a bunch of people were) but I had not watched it when I mentioned something about it in class, but that I knew my wife said she cried.  One of the students said, “it’s good, but I sure didn’t cry.”  Now that I’ve seen it, I know why.  I wouldn’t expect a college student to cry.  I’d expect a mom (and maybe a dad, too) of a special needs kid to cry.  Good stuff for any human, though:

Photo of the day

Friend shared this compilation of “3o most powerful photos ever taken.”  I totally disagree, but there are some pretty cool ones here.

11. “Wait For Me Daddy,” by Claude P. Dettloff in New Westminster, Canada, October 1, 1940

“Wait For Me Daddy,” by Claude P. Dettloff in New Westminster, Canada, October 1, 1940

Down with socialism!

These anti-communist and ant-socialist propaganda posters are pure awesomeness.  Via IO9.

Anti-Communist propaganda is more awesome than any horror movie poster


Anti-Communist propaganda is more awesome than any horror movie poster

Map of the day

Net migration rates by county (which there was an enlarged version).  Pretty cool to see where the action is (which includes most of NC and clearly shows the Triangle among the fastest growing areas):


Winkler, Richelle, Kenneth M. Johnson, Cheng Cheng, Jim Beaudoin, Paul R. Voss, and Katherine J. Curtis. Age-Specific Net Migration Estimates for US Counties, 1950-2010. Applied Population Laboratory, University of Wisconsin- Madison, 2013.

The War on Drugs is a war on liberty

Mike first pointed this out to me in a recent comment.  I’m really glad to see this is getting wider coverage now.  The fact that stuff like this happens in America is truly beyond words.  Andrew Sullivan’s summary:

After being pulled over for not making a complete stop at a stop sign, David Eckert was suspected of hiding drugs because a police dog alerted and because Eckert was allegedly clenching his buttocks. What happened next:

1. Eckert’s abdominal area was x-rayed; no narcotics were found.

2. Doctors then performed an exam of Eckert’s anus with their fingers; no narcotics were found.

3. Doctors performed a second exam of Eckert’s anus with their fingers; no narcotics were found.

4. Doctors penetrated Eckert’s anus to insert an enema.  Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers.  Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool.  No narcotics were found.

5. Doctors penetrated Eckert’s anus to insert an enema a second time.  Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers.  Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool.  No narcotics were found.

6. Doctors penetrated Eckert’s anus to insert an enema a third time.  Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers.  Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool.  No narcotics were found.

7. Doctors then x-rayed Eckert again; no narcotics were found.

8. Doctors prepared Eckert for surgery, sedated him, and then performed a colonoscopy where a scope with a camera was inserted into Eckert’s anus, rectum, colon, and large intestines.  No narcotics were found.

The police dog, Leo, had made this same mistake before. Jacob Sullum notes that, “if police say a dog is properly trained, they can get a search warrant based on nothing more than the animal’s purported alert, and that search will be upheld unless a defendant can present evidence showing the dog is unreliable”:

Hence if it turns out that Leo’s alerts frequently lead to fruitless searches, that does not necessarily mean he will be deemed unreliable, even if he is wrong more often than he is right (which is often the case with drug-detecting dogs). According to police (and the Supreme Court, which essentially has adopted their point of view), dogs that seem to be making mistakes may actually be alerting to traces of drugs so minute that their existence cannot be confirmed. Hence you can never definitively say that a police dog erred, even though there are many possible sources of error, including distracting smells and conscious or subconscious cues by handlers. Not to mention the fact that cops who want to search someone can always falsely claim a dog alerted. The upshot is that if a cop wants to explore a motorist’s anus, stomach, intestines, and feces, all he needs is a dog and a judge who takes to heart the Supreme Court’s unjustified faith in canine capabilities.

Oh yeah, and they sent the victim the hospital bill for this stuff.

Sure, this may be one “rogue” police department.  But as Sullivan points out, it is allowed to happen because of incredibly loose interpretations of probable cause that basically give police absurd rights to violate your person.  This should not should not should not happen in America.  The fact that stuff like this does all in the name of the “war on drugs” is a travesty and should absolutely shame every drug warrior.  Until our country starts to demilitarize the war on drugs and takes saner policy steps, this kind of needless and atrocious abuse (though hopefully rarely this extreme) of American citizens will continue.

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