DADDY, WHAT WAS GOVERNMENT?
Every time you think America might be emerging from the sinkhole into which it's fallen, you read something like this:
Gov. Christie's approval rate highest ever amongst N.J. residents
Fifty-six percent of New Jersey voters approve of Gov. Chris Christie, according to a Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll this morning.
That's Christie's highest ever rating in a Fairleigh Dickinson poll.
"It's hard to imagine that a minority party governor could really do much better," said poll director Peter Woolley. "Unless maybe he runs into a burning building and rescues an old lady. But that trick has been taken."
Women approve of Christie by a margin of 48%-39%, men (naturally) by a whopping 64%-27%. And yes, this is a state where Obama will win handily no matter how the rest of country votes; it's a state where they're cool with gay marriage. None of that matters. Occupy Wall Street assails the 1%, the tea party demonizes Obama, but Chris Christie has united his constituents across the political spectrum by identifying a scapegoat: unionized public sector workers, particularly teachers -- otherwise known as history's greatest monsters.
It just makes me think that maybe this is a right-center nation after all -- but if it is, it is because voters literally don't understand the left-center alternative. They don't because it's been decades since any prominent officeholder has articulated an unapologetic defense of liberalism and government, thus giving voters a framework for understanding why they should continue supporting programs that they already depend on and use, and why they should support the taxation necessary to keep those programs afloat.
This is why Mitt Romney really has nothing to fear from this:
For Ron Paul, it's no longer about becoming president.
His backup plan since January has been to use delegates as a bargaining chip to extract concessions at the GOP convention: a prominent speech or the inclusion of Paul's views in the party platform that will be approved in Tampa, Fla., in August. To some degree, his campaign is about influence and leverage....
For a long-shot candidate like Paul, success might be the mainstreaming of his ideology....
With Nevada, and Maine, Paul now has the support of at least two delegations, with Minnesota and Missouri on the horizon as a possible third and fourth. He also might enjoy strong support from Alaska, where his supporters ousted the sitting party chairman at April's state convention.
He also has a mathematical shot at winning delegations from Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oregon and Vermont, which have yet to hold significant delegate-selecting conventions....
So, yeah, he's going to make demands of Romney in return for playing nice at the convention. And mainstreaming his ideology is probably something Romney will agree to.
Now, it would be3 nice if that included a climbdown from the extremes of American interventionism, or a curtailing of the drug war, but I bet Romney will hold firm on those items, and I bet Paul doesn't really care. It's the economic stuff he cares about.
I bet Romney can adopt all sorts of Ron Paul economic planks, diluted or otherwise, and a large chunk of the "moderate" (and even "liberal") public won't even blink. They've been brainwashed so thoroughly about the evils of government, for so many Reagan and post-Reagan decades, that they won't find most of the Paulite ideas in any way extreme. I still think Obama will win, but only because Romney's a stiff -- and because there's a coalition of non-whites and a smattering of (disproportionately female) liberal whites that gets it.
But the rest of the country is ready for government-bashing. And we're probably delaying our Randian future only temporarily this year.