Suppose you and your buddies were high-ranking political operatives, and you also happened to be a bunch of sleazy Democrats who were desperate for power (but I repeat myself), and you decided to orchestrate a campaign to take out the top Republican contenders for the 2016 Presidential election, one at a time, by making spurious charges that would taint them in the public eye.
You’d want to focus primarily on governors, who have a huge electoral advantage over other officeholders.
Who would you start with? Perhaps you’d pick pension reform pioneer Governor Chris Christie, a moderate Republican who still polls well in his home state of New Jersey and nationally, and who some operatives believed at one point posed the greatest threat to Democrats retaining the White House in 2016.
By and large, though, you’d focus on the more conservative potential candidates, especially popular Republican governors who have had success in their states and built respectable national profiles while more troubled states look to them as governing models.
You might, for example, target Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who—after being elected in 2010 and enacting union reforms that saved his state billions of dollars—survived a recall election in 2011, and then won reelection in 2012 by a bigger margin than in his initial victory.
Or you might target Texas Governor Rick Perry, who presided over 14 years of explosive economic growth and watched residents of neighboring states flock to live and work there, while Democratically-controlled California saw its population dwindle.
While you’re at it, you might set your sights on governors whom the public doesn’t view as top-tier Presidential candidates, but whose besmirching will help sully the GOP’s national image and give you cover for your strategy of clearing the field for 2016. You might, for example, target outgoing Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, who was voted in during the pre-Tea Party Revolution in 2009.
But which trumped-up charges would you saddle these straight-shooting governors with? Well, if you’re like most Democrats, you’d project your own sins onto your political targets, both because you lack imagination and because you want to throw people off your trail when you perpetrate the exact same crime.
Namely, you’d accuse these governors of political conspiracy.
You’d insist, for example, that Chris Christie just had to have known about the George Washington Bridge lane closings between Manhattan and Fort Lee, New Jersey back in September 2013, which a couple of untrustworthy aides orchestrated as retribution for Fort Lee’s Democratic mayor’s not endorsing Christie. You’d remain unmoved when, after a year of New Jersey and New York District Attorneys and state lawmakers poring over every call and email of Christie’s from the previous year, investigations turned up zero evidence that Christie knew anything about the plot.
Or you might fling convoluted, labyrinthine conspiracy charges at Scott Walker, while hiding under the protection of a “John Doe” investigation that kept your identity anonymous, all while preventing Walker from speaking out to defend himself. You’d accuse him of talking to people who work for groups who do fundraising for organizations that air election ads, or something like that, and you’d expect the charges to stick—even though Walker wasn’t even running in the election in question.
Perhaps you’d launch a successful push to indict Rick Perry, whose crime was refusing to allot taxpayer funds to a Democratic state prosecutor after video surfaced of her being arrested for drunken driving and then harassing and physically abusing police offers and police property while they tried to contain her in her holding cell. Never mind that Perry knew that if he ousted her, she would simply be replaced by another Democrat, and that Perry therefore couldn’t possibly have been plotting to get a Republican into her position.
Then again, maybe you’d sue Bob McDonnell for supposedly conspiring with his wife to accept lavish gifts from a Virginia businessman in exchange for political favors. If the jury didn’t buy McDonnell’s defense that he and his estranged wife weren’t on speaking terms, let alone conspiring terms, then they might not take pause at the fact that the businessman in question never even received the favors he was supposedly angling to get from McDonnell.
Suppose that you and your left-wing conspirators…
You know what? Don’t suppose. I’ve got no specific evidence of high-level Democratic operatives conspiring to take down prominent GOP Presidential candidates to clear the field for their preferred candidate. But unlike my liberal counterparts, I won’t lob out official accusations of conspiracy until I have evidence for my charges.
- Christie Trip to Mexico Highlights Latin America as ‘New Israel’ For Presidential Contenders (jpupdates.com)
- New Jersey’s Chris Christie plans to visit Wisconsin to back Scott Walker (jsonline.com)
- The Final Primary Elections: New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Delaware, Rhode Island and New York (abcnews.go.com)
- Walker, Burke exchange blasts on projected budget shortfall (jsonline.com)
- Scott Walker Lowering Car Insurance Standards In Wisconsin (cheapcarinsurance.net)