Spinning through the radio dial yesterday I came upon a national political talk show and caught a caller from Texas proclaim that Jon Huntsman was no conservative because he “flunked all four tests” which were (1) he supported same sex marriage (when the host interjected that Huntsman only was for civil unions the caller replied they were “the same thing”); (2) he was for abortion; (3) he believed in evolution; and (4) he believed in global warming. Such litmus tests put into context the extremism of modern US conservatism and highlight the very public departures from this dogma by two prominent Republicans in recent weeks.
First, Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman used his Twitter account to say:
To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.
Shortly after that, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also said that “Climate change is real” and that “Human activity plays a role in these changes, and it is impacting our state.” Christie has also taken on another frequent flier of the right: Christie was heavily criticized for nominating a Muslim-American lawyer to a New Jersey judgeship because of fears of “Shariah Law.” In response (shown in the video below), Christie effusively praised the lawyer and said
This Sharia Law business is crap. It’s crazy. I’m tired of dealing with the crazies.
What’s up with this revolt against the conservative mainstream? National political figures like Huntsman and Christie don’t do anything by accident; every word is calculated. We could be witnessing the opening salvos in a counter-revolution by moderates against the prevailing positions of the Republican Party in America today.