New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, currently occupying the role of “hotly tipped GOP presidential hopeful and presumed 2016 frontrunner who will flame out early in the primaries,” a role last played by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, is in a bit of a bind.
Christie is the governor of a liberal state, and is himself basically a liberal on “social issues.” But he cannot be the Republican presidential nominee if he runs on a liberal social issues platform, or even if he is indifferent to social issues like many Republican liberals before him, because he has to win in places like Iowa and South Carolina, where “liberal Republican” is a hilarious contradiction in terms. But he can’t be TOO conservative on social issues, because in the general election he has to win over swing voters and wavering Democrats, who regard GOP primary voters in the South basically the way hobbits regard orcs in “Lord of the Rings.”
So! The Triangulation Tango.
Chris Christie, vocal opponent of gay marriage (“Hello, South Carolina!”), has just signed into law a bill that makes it illegal for mental health professionals in New Jersey to practice “gay conversion” therapy with minors (“Hello, Wisconsin!”).
“Well my religion says it’s a sin,” says Christie, a Catholic. “I mean I think, but for me, I’ve always believed that people are born with the predisposition to be homosexual. And so I think if someone is born that way it’s very difficult to say then that’s a sin.”
In fairness to the Human Weathervane, other people are having a hard time with this kind of thing; Maggie Gallagher, formerly of the National Organization for Marriage, initially blasted Christie for signing the bill, then retracted her statement, claiming it had been sent out without her knowledge (haha, sure it was), and that she needs time to read the legislation before commenting.
Other conservatives are less vacillating: “Christie is another Judas!” fumes famed Internet priest the Rev. Jay Finelli. “He’ll never get my vote, even if he runs for janitor.”
(nb Janitors are not typically elected to their positions)
Conservative Jewish and Christian groups are vowing to sue over the law. Is there a home for social conservatives in the GOP if Christie is the nominee? We’ll never find out, because he won’t be the nominee, but let’s throw it over to the press corps to engage in three years of pointless speculation on that.