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The Knives Come Out -- for Christie

Comment

"Maybe the folks in Washington, D.C., should tune in their TVs right now and see how it's done," said the big winner of Tuesday last.

"I did not seek a second term to do small things," Chris Christie went on, but "to finish the job — now watch me do it."

Humility is not the governor's strong suit.

Yet, Christie registered a remarkable victory. He won with 60 percent in a blue state, winning 55 percent of women, half of the Hispanic vote and 20 percent of African-Americans.

If he could replicate those numbers in New Jersey and nationally in 2016, Chris Christie would be elected president in a landslide.

"[T]his fellow is really on the right track," says seven-term Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, "if the Republican Party is not too stupid." To fill out Christie's ticket in 2016, Hatch proposes Susana Martinez of New Mexico, who made eight campaign stops with Christie on Monday.

Democrats concur with Hatch. The headline on the lead story on page one of Thursday's Washington Post reads: "Democrats Take Aim at Christie: He's Seen as GOP's Best Hope for 2016."

"The Elephant in the Room" is the title of Time's cover story.

And with the corporate contributors and Beltway bundlers gravitating to him, Christie is emerging as the establishment's hope to recapture the GOP from its Tea Party, libertarian, social conservative and populist wing.

Will Christie be the candidate in 2016?

Put me down as a skeptic.

Some of us yet recall James "Scotty" Reston of the New York Times writing in 1963 that Nelson Rockefeller had as much chance of losing the Republican nomination as he did of going broke.

Comes the retort: Christie is no Nelson Rockefeller, but a pro-life conservative with five kids and Middle American values.

Why then the skepticism?

Geography, persona and culture — for openers.

The Republican Party is a Southern, Midwestern and Western party, suburban and rural. Not since Tom Dewey in 1948 has the GOP nominated a candidate from the urban Northeast.

And Chris Christie is not only from New Jersey; he is indelibly and proudly so.

The candidate who comes closest to him is Rudy Giuliani, hero of 9/11. Christie may be the hero of Hurricane Sandy, but Sandy is not remembered nationwide like the shock and horror 9/11.

As Rudy won two terms in the toughest turf in America for a Republican, New York City, Christie has now won two terms in New Jersey.

So, how did Rudy, who started off 2008 as the front-runner in the Republican polls, do? He did not win a single primary.

Then, there is the "in-your-face" persona of Christie, a pol who does not suffer fools gladly and is forever finding them along rope lines and at town hall meetings.

Not a good fit for Cedar Rapids or Sioux City.

Moreover, Christie seems to have no coattails. Despite his triumph, he failed to make significant gains in the state House or state Senate, both of which remain solidly Democratic.

Then there is the reputation Christie has built as a self-centered politician. At the 2012 GOP convention, his prime-time address was the political counterpart of Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself." Mitt Romney went unmentioned until 16 minutes into the speech.

According to Chuck Todd of NBC, though heading for a blowout, Christie rebuffed a desperate plea to come down to Virginia for a few hours to help Ken Cuccinelli, whose late surge almost won the state.

And while Christie embraced and thanked President Obama profusely for federal assistance during Sandy, when asked about a visit by his party nominee Romney to view the damage, he retorted, "I have no idea, nor am I the least bit concerned or interested."

Christie trounced state Sen. Barbara Buono, who was abandoned by her party. Yet, according to an NBC poll, were he running for president against Hillary, Christie would lose New Jersey 48-44.

In congratulating the governor, the Wall Street Journal noted that Christie has failed "to improve the state's economy. New Jersey ranks 49th in the Tax Foundation's state business tax climate index, ahead of only New York. The state jobless rate is still 8.5 percent, among the 10 highest in the country."

Christie appears to be peaking more than two years before the Iowa caucuses. And not only will Democrats be spending 26 months blocking him in Trenton and trashing him nationally, so, too, will those elements in the GOP who see in the coalescing Chamber of Commerce-Beltway elite alliance a plot to seize the party from them.

These folks will not be going gentle into that good night.

Nor is Christie being helped by all the bouquets being tossed his way by a media that regards his party's base as extremist. If a civil war is coming inside the GOP, does Chris Christie wish to be the champion of the establishment?

Because that is where the forces assembling are pushing him.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of "Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?" To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2013 CREATORS.COM



Comments

3 Comments | Post Comment
Christie's only problem is rightwing crazies who deny evolution, global warming, science itself, etc. He can mop up the floor with the corrupt and spine-free Democrats, but the mob in his own party is a formidable cancer that may well eat him up. And Buchanan is one of those metastisizing little rogue cells.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Masako
Thu Nov 7, 2013 6:52 PM
Re: Masako,

you may regret that I read your comment re: population growth because I've done the research and think it's too important not to share.
I agree, the entire world has a population problem, but it's also an ideological problem. If any other species procreated, grabbed land and consumed resources like Mankind, we'd call it a plague. But many of us choose to call it "progress."

We're "for" economic growth not realizing the side effect is population growth because economic growth is dependent on population growth and consumption.

There is an important distinction between economic development and economic growth.

Development, usually defined as constant rise in the GNP, actually refers to the process of modernizing an archaic economy, which may or may not increase growth.

But growth (in already developed nations) is mostly fueled by greed and consumption, i.e. more people consuming and the greed for profits from corporations and their stockholders. When economies are well established, further economic growth is mostly a result of rising demand for products and the need for more workers to produce them.
Growth for growth's sake must be broken before resources get too scarce to provide a safety net.

The GNP cannot grow indefinitely in a finite world. This needs to be understood on a gut level by everyone before the gradual actions needed to break the cycle can take place, but as long as people believe that perpetual economic growth is a means to an end there will be an underlying resistance to population stabilization. That's because population growth is a key ingredient in the expansion of many industries.

For example, the building industry is dependent on a steady increase in human numbers and we call it a "leading economic indicator." The prison industry is dependent on a growing criminal class, the medical care industry is dependent on never curing diseases and people remaining sick. Many other industries thrive on rising consumption and rising populations. It's ingrained in our economic thinking.

Chronic problems like pollution, wilderness destruction, water shortages, loss of farmland, urban congestion, welfare dependency, crime, inflation, sickness, and hunger are exacerbated as the population expands, yet many people refuse to make the connection because their political or religious backgrounds have blinded them to the limits of the natural world.

Good economics demand we economize, not consume.

The problem is not government or government spending. The problem is economic growth perpetuated by those companies and those industries that control 80% of the global economy leaving overpopulation and pollution in their wake when the jobs go away. And when the jobs go away and consumers can no longer consume and workers can no longer work what is left? Mass dependency on social services, a surplus of labor with increasing reliance on redundant, menial, low paying jobs and increase in crime and illness.

If we keep blaming our difficulties on the growth of government or the management of growth, rather than growth itself, environmental, social and political problems may never be solved.

Not to get off subject, but have you checked out the condition of our oceans and landfills and garbage dumps?
Let's hope industry comes up with a solution to fix that economic development of economic growth.

Comment: #2
Posted by: morgan
Sat Nov 9, 2013 12:37 PM
Morgan, much as we can disagree over topics like Israel, I'm not getting your apparent challenge here. I can't find a single thing you have written above to disagree with.

Don't know if you follow the NYT's hallowed economist Paul Krugman, but even he seems not to get that all of the models of economic success he is working with in his politically correct pronouncements depend on "growth," which in turn depends on more and more people populating the planet, as you have noted.

The hypnotic vision of constant, never-ending economic growth continues to commandeer the thought process of just about all of the prominent economists, and that formula for MAKING MORE MONEY, at least for a chosen few, will continue to carry the day as long as human population growth is there to power that short-sighted model.

Investors chase more opportunities, which depend on more and more and human beings to engage in buying and selling, and this increases the growth and hoarding of money. Once you take away the more human beings part of the formula, the whole thing grinds to a screeching halt.

Newtonian physics was the going religion in science until Einstein forced the “experts” to confront the fact that they were only seeing what you see when you don't look too far beyond your nose and don't question your myopic concepts of short time frames, small distances, very slow speeds, and a magic universal clock.

The accepted ideology until Einstein dissolved it away in 1905 held that time was constant and the speed of light was variable. But the subscribers to that orthodoxy had it exactly backwards, and it took a long time and significant struggle to get the physics establishment off of that.

Our venerated economists suffer from a similar unwillingness to confront their stubborn affection for a reversed reality that just doesn't exist. The bad news for us is that the science community in Einstein's day, though having to deal with its own backward political dynamics, was orders of magnitude less corrupted by the influence of money movers and profit motive than our economists are now. Anyone who wants to buck the going economic orthodoxy has to swim upstream against a mighty torrent of closed-minded certainty powered by good old-fashioned greed.

I digress. The fundamental truth is, once we hit peak population growth, either voluntarily or because of the calamities created by human overabundance, all of the quaint, growth-dependent theories of economics will go into the dustbin of history.

The Krugmans of the world and the other thought “leaders” who know everything haven't yet gotten around to thinking about the longer term future. They are stuck in the parables of the last few centuries and a pernicious inability to confront the long view.

It's the usual human failing—wait until things get very, very bad until you finally can't avoid acknowledging what you've been denying all along. It takes true leadership to steer against that kind of inertia, and there is precious little of that around right now.

Look back for a little teaser to 2008 and the fantasy money games being played in the investment world up until the second half of that year. Our “leaders,” back then, just about every one of them, were busy doing their little happy dances about making money, money, money, unwilling to look too far beyond the trough they were feeding from, and they kept right on toasting success until disaster smacked them right in the face.

That is a tiny vignette, an example on a much smaller scale, of the kind of blow up we are looking at if we do not wake up to what we are doing to the entire planet.

So Morgan, your distinguishing between economic development and economic growth is spot on, though I would add that long-term and sustainable economic sufficiency and well-being are the ultimate goal—and this applies to the entire planet's biosphere just as much as it applies to human civilization. We will never have a healthy economy unless if meshes with the planet's ecology. Yeah, I know, dream on, but we will eventually snuff ourselves out as a species and take a good part of the planet's biosphere with us if we don't get that.

And eventually is right around the corner. It took us about a millenium and a half to get from the rise of Christianity and the fall of the Roman Empire to the rise of science and industrialization in the west and the rise and catching up to the west of Asia as a result of worldwide circulation and integration of technology and trade.
The growth of humanity now is in a mad upward spiral, like a ballooning stock market on the eve of a crash, and the move will soon be resolved one way or the other--long before another 1500 years go by.

I truly worry about the world kids born now will live in when they reach adulthood, let alone the world of the generations that succeed them. The planet of our immediate future should look pretty darn bleak to any rational human being who fancies herself a true conservative.

It will be a war-ridden, food challenged, toxic world. Various plant and animal species will die off and this will further cripple the already weakened ecological balance of the planet. All of the environmental consciousness we are trying to develop now (which is mostly just a recapture of wisdom circulated in the late 60's and early 70's that was just plain ignored and spat on by administrations like that of the famous Ronald Reagan), is nice and necessary--but it is utterly meaningless if we do not address the huge elephant in the room of population growth.

The world is finite as you say Morgan. Technology can help, but it will not change the laws of physics or biology. It will not get us a bigger planet, or allow us to immigrate to another planet we can start ruining anew. Those solutions only exist in the Hollywood playbook. What we need is cultural and spiritual control over ourselves, and technology is not bringing us that.

The technology cornucopia is kind of like a basket of drugs—some capable of good use, some capable of altering our consciousness and sending us down the path of denial and self-destruction. In the same way that over-prescription of opioids by medical “healers” is sickening their patients and short-circuiting their chances of true recovery, our fascination with technology is leading us a to a phony and muddled conception of how to survive, grow, and evolve as a society.

There is a parade of lightweights masquerading as legitimate academics, like Erle C. Ellis (“Overpopulation is Not The problem,” NYT Op-Ed 9-13-2013) who incite us to bask in self-congratulatory denial, to adopt an arrogant and dangerous mentality of invincibility, and to keep on popping out those babies. Even the nitwit New York Times editors did that in a 2006 editorial actually celebrating the U.S. population hitting the 300 million mark.

The magic tonic of technology will not cure the ills of population growth. Thanks to sloppy thinkers like Ellis, who should know better, and the big, MONEY NOW profiteers who do know better but just don't care, we keep trying to put off the inevitable by nipping at the good stuff. Humanity is on its way to becoming another failed experiment of evolution. We need to get out of this euphoric haze and start taking a good, hard look in the mirror.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Masako
Sun Nov 10, 2013 12:05 PM
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