It was startling enough when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called out Islamophobes who were throwing fits over his appointment of a Muslim judge:
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie appointed Muslim-American judge Sohail Mohammed to the state bench this week and has no patience for his detractors.
“Ignorance is behind the criticism of Sohail Mohammed… He is an extraordinary American who is an outstanding lawyer and played an integral role in the post-Sept. 11. period in building bridges between the Muslim American community in this state and law enforcement,” Christie told reporters.
When asked about fears that Mohammed could bring Sharia Law into his practice, Christie (who is known for his combative interchanges with reporters) snapped back:
“Sharia Law has nothing to do with this at all, itâ€™s crazy!”
Now Christie is saying that he thinks global climate change is real and probably man-made:
“I canâ€™t claim to fully understand all of this,” he said. “Certainly not after just a few months of study. But when you have over 90 percent of the worldâ€™s scientists who have studied this stating that climate change is occurring and that humans play a contributing role itâ€™s time to defer to the experts.”
He added that climate science is complex and “we know enough to know that we are at least part of the problem.”
He said this while he was explaining why New Jersey is backing out of a 10-state initiative to curb greenhouse gasses, mind you, but he still said it. And the rightie blogosophere is apoplectic. “RINO” is one of the milder names they are calling him.
Christie’s problem is that if he’s going to be re-elected in New Jersey he needs to back off being too crazy. I believe New Jersey’s population has a higher-than-average percentage of college graduates in the sciences, for example. And although parts of NJ are pretty right-wing, and moderate Republicans win NJ elections regularly, the state as a whole will usually elect a liberal over someone who is far-far Right.
But by backing off being too crazy, he’s looking less and less like someone the Republican base is likely to support in the presidential primaries. The establishment still loves him, however, and I understand that unemployed Pawlenty staffers are hoping to snag a spot on the Christie team if he decides to run.
If he is thinking about running for POTUS, perhaps Christie plans to position himself as the guy who hates taxes and government spending but who is smarter than Perry, less crazy than Bachmann, and not as plastic as Romney. It could work.