Chris Christie Attacks "This Strain of Libertarianism That's Going Through Both Parties Right Now"

Nervous Republicans react to the Amash/Conyers bill.


Yesterday the House voted on Justin Amash and John Conyers' amendment to defund the NSA's mass collection of American phone records. The measure failed, but it failed by a surprisingly narrow vote, and that margin is making some Republicans nervous. One of the nervous Republicans, to judge from Aaron Blake's report this evening in the Washington Post, is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie:

"As a former prosecutor who was appointed by President George W. Bush on Sept. 10, 2001, I just want us to be really cautious, because this strain of libertarianism that's going through both parties right now and making big headlines, I think, is a very dangerous thought," Christie said.

Asked whether he includes [Rand] Paul—a fellow potential 2016 presidential candidate—in his criticism, Christie didn't back down. "You can name any one of them that's engaged in this," he said.

Blake notes that Christie "also praised the national security strategies of both President Obama and George W. Bush." You can add that to the evidence for something Glenn Greenwald wrote earlier today:

One of the worst myths Democratic partisans love to tell themselves—and everyone else—is that the GOP refuses to support President Obama no matter what he does. Like its close cousin—the massively deceitful inside-DC grievance that the two parties refuse to cooperate on anything—it's hard to overstate how false this Democratic myth is. When it comes to foreign policy, war, assassinations, drones, surveillance, secrecy, and civil liberties, President Obama's most stalwart, enthusiastic defenders are often found among the most radical precincts of the Republican Party.

The rabidly pro-war and anti-Muslim GOP former Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Peter King, has repeatedly lavished Obama with all sorts of praise and support for his policies in those areas. The Obama White House frequently needs, and receives, large amounts of GOP Congressional support to have its measures enacted or bills its dislikes defeated. The Obama DOJ often prevails before the US Supreme Court solely because the Roberts/Scalia/Thomas faction adopts its view while the Ginsburg/Sotomayor/Breyer faction rejects it.

The worst policies to come out of Washington tend to have bipartisan support. Here's hoping Amash/Conyers is a step toward a transpartisan opposition.