Why Chris Christie won’t be president

Why Chris Christie won’t be president

As his speech before GOP honchos this week showed, Chris Christie obviously is running for president. The New Jersey governor likely will be re-elected next year, then begin campaigning in earnest for the White House.

Chris Christie wikimediaHe attacked potential opponents, meaning especially Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, with being out of touch with voters. “”I think we have some folks who think we have to be college professors,” he said. “For our ideas to win we have to govern. And if we don’t win we don’t govern.”

Except that his potential opponents — Paul, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindahl, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, etc. — all are as much “winners” as he his.  They won their last elections.

We don’t know yet what the key issues will be in 2016. Look back to 2005 and remember what the issues were then, compared to the actual issues of the 2008 election: the Hurricane Katrina relief disaster, the economic collapse of Sept. 2008, the slide downward of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, etc.

But Christie already is on the wrong side of what almost certainly will be a key issue in 2016: What I call the Stasi SuperSnooper State. The revelations of NSA violations of our Fourth Amendment rights against “unreasonable searches and seizures” just keep coming. Even as Christie was speaking, the Washington Post revealed new information from whistleblower Edward Snowden on how the NSA’s own internal audits revealed pervasive abuse of personal privacy “thousands of times.”

Yet the issue Christie currently is best known for is defending the NSA, while attacking Paul for defending privacy. Christie, acting as if he were at the 2004 GOP convention, even brought up the specter of 9/11. Unless every American is spied on relentlessly, he held, we could be attacked again by terrorists. Put another way: Only by destroying our freedoms can we remain free.

Winning platform

But as Paul understands, the winning platform is to embrace restoring our Fourth Amendment protections. A “strange bedfellows” coalition has formed to do just that, including libertarian conservatives like Paul and left-wing progressives like the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald, who broke the original Snowden revelations and so much more. Dating back to the Bush regime, Greenwald has been America’s most stalwart journalistic defender of the Bill of Rights.

On the other side are the Establishments of both parties, who consider Snowden a traitor: On the Left, there’s President Obama, obviously, who wants to extradite Snowden and put him in a cage, along with Attorney General Eric Holder and many Democrats and “progressives.”

On the Right are Christie and the GOP leadership in Congress. Former Vice President Dick Cheney branded Snowden a “traitor.”

Matt Damon Bourne Ultimatum posterYet Americans are on Snowden’s side, according to a Reuters-Ipsos poll. And in particular, the young people the Republicans say they want to attract — and whom they obviously need to win future elections — think Snowden is “some kind of Jason Bourne,” as even the anti-Snowden Sen. John McCain conceded.

The 2016 Democratic nominee almost certainly will have to side with President Obama and against Snowden. Although Obama’s popularity has been dropping nationally, he remains wildly popular among most Democrats. Bucking him in 2016 on this issue would be difficult.

So Republicans have a ready-made issue for them: Backing the restoration of the Fourth Amendment and opposing the Obama police state.

Because Christie is a on Obama’s side, the governor will go noplace fast in the GOP primaries.

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