Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Christine Todd Whitman: A Lesson In Self-Deception

I referred in my last post to Christie Whitman's book, It's My Party Too as a comic rant. I'd like to clarify that a bit.
I'm only about a third of the way through it, but her complaints about the Republican party have me screaming, "Well, what did you expect?"
My father used to say (well, he said once that I remember) "if you lie down with dogs, you get fleas."
It's a perfect aphorism to toss at Ms. Whitman.
For 40 years now (beginning with Goldwater) the Republican party has been not only flirting with, but consummating relationships with a number of questionable "special interest groups" including the Religious right, anti-tax fanatics, racists, xenophobes, etc. This has not been done covertly. When George W. Bush made his trip to Bob Jones University in 2000, it was heavily covered by the press. When his father made the decision to play on racist fears by making Willie Horton the centerpiece of his campaign, this was a key advertising decision.
So how is it that a nationally prominent Republican like Ms. Whitman comes to be outraged by her party's embrace of the right? They have been doing this for her entire political career, and she has played along with it, serving as W's New Jersey campaign chair even after her humiliating tour of duty as EPA Administrator.
Sorry, but she is part of the problem, not a potential solution. Her outrage is a joke.
Her appearance last month on The Daily Show is the only time that program ever left me screaming at the TV screen the way I so often do when I make the (admittedly poor) decision to watch Chris Matthews or Bill O'Reilly.
She may have grown up in a rational Republican household, but her party has been leaving behind its legacy of reasonable conservatism ever since Goldwater came out in favor of "extremism in the defense of liberty."
I'll have more to say about this book in my other blog, The Escondido Review, when I finish reading it. I just had to get a few thoughts out here now.