GOP Governor Christie: The Next Republican President

With the death of beloved-liberal Senator Frank Lautenberg from New Jersey, there’s a gaping opportunity for Republican Governor Chris Christie to not only seize control of his future in New Jersey, but to seize leadership in a political party that is desperate for sanity.

Thus far, Christie seems to battle with Tea Party members as much as far-left Democrats. There’s no doubt in my mind, that the slowly-growing plague in the GOP is the Tea Party. They are a polarizing, fanatic group of people that probably cost Mitt Romney a stay at the White House.

There are 315+ million people in this great country, and although I’m not one of them, a very large majority is religious. The overall sentiment, however, is that in a growing population of the country religion is decreasing in the political arena. What people do for an hour or so on Saturday and Sunday is slowly decreasing in importance to their every day lives.

Though abortion is still (and probably always will be) a hot topic, other issues such as prayer in schools/public places or euthanasia tend to get brushed off on a national level. It’s just not considered as important as taxes, education, war and domestic security. If Washington D.C. were to hold a press conference and Barack Obama and John Boehner were to walk out and tell the country: “We can stop terrorism forever if we remove ‘In God We Trust’ from our currency if you all vote for it,” the result would be a landslide victory.

The Tea Party and other ultra-conservatives, on the other hand, refuse to recognize this and insist that their voices not only be heard, but also be the trumpets of the Republican party. Well, they shot themselves in the feet and then stuck their feet in their mouths. The issues of women’s health and abortion drove a wedge within their own party, and all the Democratic opponents had to do was point to the headlines.

Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana likely got the final push he needed because Richard Mourdock made the mistake of saying rape was God’s wish (Were his words out of context or twisted? Likely- but it was too late). Representative Todd Akin botched an easy win by calling some rape “legitimate”. Akin’s situation got so bad that his own party asked him to step down; he refused and promptly gave up an important senate seat to the Democrats.

What does this have to do with Governor Christie? I’ll tell you.

Senator Romney refused to get involved in all the controversy. Romney, who, by gaining the nomination for the Republican Party, became the leader of the GOP and was nowhere to be found. The GOP has no leadership. It has a handful of influential people who love the spotlight but can’t bring the party together.

Michelle Bachmann, Ricky Rubio, Jeb Bush, Bobby Jindal…where are they? They’re supposed to be the next wave of Republican talent. They’re supposed to be shoe-ins for the 2016 nomination. But they rise and fall when put under the national spotlight. They focus on wedge issues that only ultra-conservatives want to talk about.

Where’s Governor Christie? He’s working with the democratic President of the United States to reinvigorate the Jersey Shore. He’s working with democrats and republicans alike to expand gun control in the state. He’s friends with the democratic Mayor Cory Booker from Newark.

I’m not saying the guy is a secret liberal, quite the opposite; he has a lot of policies that I do not agree with. What he is, however, and it should scare democrats, is rational (despite his sometimes irrational outbursts). He’s something the GOP hasn’t seen in a long time. He compromises and crosses the aisle. He does what needs to be done for the people of America, not just the people who pay him the most money.

Now, Christie has the opportunity to fill a very loyal, liberal seat in the United States Senate until a special election can be set up. Christie can seize this moment and fill the seat with the presumed winner- friend Mayor Booker. Booker was already the leader for the democratic nomination and it could prove to the state and the nation that Christie is a realist and respects his opponents if he doesn’t always agree with them.

That said, he could appoint a GOP replacement to Lautenberg and give that man or woman a fighting chance to defeat Booker in the general election next June. But defeating a well-received Booker will be difficult in a generally liberal state and there’s more at stake here. If Christie appoints a republican and that person loses the general election, he could have alienated himself from moderate democrats that could look for more of a centrist in the upcoming Presidential election.

By nominating Booker now, and basically handing the democrats their own senate seat, Chris Christie could further endear himself to a growing population of Americans that are sick of the extremist politics occurring across the nation. He could unite the middle of America that is begging for rational, central leadership, particularly from the conservative side.

Especially if former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton stays out of the 2016 elections, both parties could be struggling to find a new leader for the White House. Christie could be that person for both sides of the aisle. IF he plays his cards right.

Democrats Should Not Re-elect Nancy Pelosi

It’s about much more than track record.

It’s about much more than how much she loves the President.

This past election, the nation overwhelmingly shouted to our government that we are not going to be taken hostage by the Christian fundamentalism portion of the GOP platform. The GOP was painted (and let’s be honest, they held their own brush) as exclusionary and divisive. Their policies polarized the nation and especially alienated the more moderate voting block who wished for a more fiscally responsible government but weren’t willing to sacrifice their social and moral beliefs.

Many of us celebrated on November 6th, but there was another underlying message amid the gloating: the GOP must do better at working with Obama and the Democrats.

That should not be a call to only half the House. The Democrats have to extend a better hand across that aisle than Nancy Pelosi.

Pelosi, over the last two years, has been just as polarizing as John Boehner.

In fact, the GOP should think about switching that face as well.

If we as a people are asking for a new, nicer government, one that works together to create a better nation then they owe it to us to give us better, more productive leadership within their own walls.

I don’t want two stubborn mules hurling words at each other. I don’t want congressmen being forced to pick sides based on the color of their tie. I don’t want congress being stalled because the other side came up with the idea.

That starts at the top.

I don’t know who will run against Pelosi, though at this point it seems no one will.

In her announcement, Pelosi spoke of working together. Well, Ms. Pelosi- you are one of the reasons the GOP stopped working with the Democrats. You are reviled by the opposition party (the MAJORITY party). How, by you staying in the leadership position, are you helping that cause?

Her untouchable seat from California allows her to be so staunch. She has no legit opposition in local elections.

We need someone who relies on the independent voter to be elected. We need someone who can draw respect from both sides of the aisle and all the seats in between.

If the Democrats are serious about asking the GOP to work with us for the next four years and into the future, then we need to show them that we’re willing to work with them as well.

That starts with a new face at the top.

Confessions of a “Bleeding-Heart Liberal”

Forgive me, Uncle Sam, for I have sinned.

It has been over a decade since the last time I was forced to go to confession.

I have a confession to make, Uncle Sam: I’m a liberal. But before you sentence me to hell, I’m not a  hippie or a hipster. I don’t chain myself to trees or own a Velcro wallet. I don’t pour red paint on fur or eat veggie burgers or drink PBR.

I do, however, believe in helping the needy.

I do not believe that welfare and unemployment benefits should be accepted by bars and restaurants and other frivolous businesses.

I believe that reading books and attending a liberal arts college does not make me an elitist, it makes me educated.

I believe that reading about all religions, not just the one thrust upon me, makes me a moral, good person.

I believe that the color of your skin, the genitals on your body and the sexual preferences and kinks you enjoy do not define you.

I believe that a man who believes he deserves seven wives doesn’t have the right to tell a man he isn’t allowed to have a husband.

I believe that a man has no right to tell a woman what she can or cannot do with her body.

I believe that science should dictate medical laws, not religion. Medicine is a science. Religion is not.

I believe that as long as my taxes go to helping the poor, the uninsured, the schools and the infrastructure of this country I do not mind paying them.

I believe that war is wrong and that imposing our views and values, no matter how good we think they are, onto people of other nations and cultures is dead evil and should not be covered by those same taxes.

I believe in apple pie and ears of corn just as much as you do.

I believe you have the right to go to church on Sunday just as much as I have the right to sleep in.

I do not believe you are evil for going to church, so please stop thinking I’m evil for staying home.

I believe that Donald Trump withholding $5 million from charities just because he doesn’t like Obama is wrong.

I believe that the majority is not always correct.

I believe that blocking every bill supported by the President and then complaining that he gets nothing done is childish.

I believe that not working with others in Congress means you should go back to kindergarten and learn that skill all over again.

I do not believe that disagreeing with me makes you an evil person.

I believe that restricting rights from only certain groups of people makes you an evil person.

I do not camp out on the steps of Wall Street.

I do use a Credit Union.

I believe rape is rape. I believe it is the most evil thing one human being can do to another. I believe it is worse than homicide. I believe there is no such thing as legitimate rape, as all rape is legit. I do not believe there are different levels of rape.

I believe rapists deserve exponentially more jail time than they get.

I do not believe in the death penalty.

I also do not believe in death panels.

I do not believe that hand-cuffing a president allows you to mock him for a lack of production.

I do not believe that manipulating and using young men as soldiers allows you to forget them when their term is over.

I do not believe progress is an evil word.

I do not believe that all speech is covered by the first amendment. Hate speech is actually specifically not covered by that amendment. Using the words “retard” (Ann Coulter) or “fag” (Christian extremists) or “nigger”, “chink”, “wet-back”, etc. (racists) is violating far more than just an amendment.

I do not believe that being a liberal makes me a bad person. It does not make me elitist. It does not make me yellow-bellied. If it makes me different than you, then so be it. That does not make either of us better than the other.

It does not give you the right to turn your nose at me. It does not give you the right to throw childish temper tantrums. It does not give you the right to hate.

Uncle Sam, I am a liberal.

But I’m not here for confession.

I’m not sorry for who I am.