“Deal or No Deal” host Howie Mandel has reinvented himself again and again over the years --- from prop comedian to actor to talk-show host and now to game show host. The Republicans this season seem to be doing the same thing. First, Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani re-invent themselves as conservatives by denying their pro-choice stand on abortion. And now, Senator Leonard Lance and Assemblywoman Marcia Karrow are hedging their bets with conservatives, too----by coming out early and supporting Assemblyman Mike Doherty for a US Senate run in 2008. Given their history of being fiscally conservative but socially liberal, this seems to me like an about face.
Do these two rational thinking Republicans really share core values with Doherty----enough to support him for Senate? This is a man, who in a recent debate on global warming with Assemblywoman Linda Stender, denied the existance of global climate change. He declared that he does not believe in evolution, either. “It does not matter. Evolution or creationism. It just does not matter,” said Doherty. Well, at least Doherty is in line on that issue with 30% of the Republican candidates for President. Doherty is not only out of touch with his district; he is out of touch with New Jersey.
And certainly there are Republicans who have more well rooted conservative credentials than Doherty. Congressman Chris Smith, for example. And certainly there are Republicans whose values appear to be more in line with most of New Jersey, like the often-mentioned U.S. Attorney Chris Christie. Even Lance himself would make a better Senate candidate than Doherty.
Although Republicans all, Lance and Karrow do not appear to share core values with Doherty. They are both pro-choice; Doherty is not. Lance supported the Highlands Act; Doherty does not. Perhaps something else is afoot. I smell a deal…
Earlier this year, Doherty floated the idea that he was exploring a run for Lance’s state Senate seat. Senator Lance [who serves as the Republican Minority Leader] certainly could have held off a challenge by Doherty in the 23rd Senate District, but perhaps such a run would have shown Lance’s weakness with the conservatives in the district. Or maybe some weakness in Doherty’s home county of Warren. Who knows? Lance’s name has been mentioned as a possible nominee for the Supreme Court, so I am sure he would not have wanted a primary for his Senate seat to muck up the works. Either way, sometime before the filing deadline in April, all the Republicans kissed and made up, so there was no divisive primary. Deal or No Deal?
So, who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of New Jersey Republicans in their support for Doherty. Of those Republicans who still have hearts, I mean.