By Matt Rooney
New Jersey Republicans are rudderless at the moment. They’re unable to speak with one voice for a few glaring reasons, one of which being that there isn’t any consensus among the legislative caucus as to what the GOP stands for. Kind of a problem! And it’s one that’s difficult for party leaders to solve until the current crop is gone.
I obviously have my own ideas. So do you. Based upon your feedback, Save Jerseyans, and my journeys around the state to meet with normal, hardworking, tax-paying, outside-of-Trenton grassroots Republicans? We’re on the right track here at Save Jersey.
But I don’t have all of the answers. No one does. It’s also admittedly easier to point out which ideas and messaging clearly DO NOT work and, of course, to reprimand the stubborn Republican officials who don’t want to change course even as the iceberg penetrates deeper into the S.S. GOP’s hull.
Bad message #1: “Democrats are well-meaning but wrong.”
Exhibit A: “What this governor does not address is the tough stuff,” Assembly GOP leader Jon Bramnick opined at a January presser staged to push back against Phil Murphy’s latest tax proposals. “He is a nice man with a big heart whom I like personally, but nothing he said today is going to stop the exit from New Jersey.”
Gut check time, folks. That messaging is never going to work because, instinctively, the persuadable residents of New Jersey know it’s 100% false.
Phil Murphy is not a nice guy. Limousine liberals are not “good” people who just happen to be wrong about tax rates or a specific set of policies.
Let’s use Phil Murphy as an example for his class:
- Ignored a credible alleged rape victim (Katie Brennan) who volunteered for his campaign
- Acted like a slum lord to the all-female athletes of the soccer team he owns, housing them in third world conditions until outside pressure mounted and forced his hand
- Dined at a ritzy restaurant while a minor snow storm snarled traffic, leaving school children and thousands of commuters stranded for hours (or even overnight), and then he refused to apologize or assume any responsibility for the state’s clear failure to prepare
- Oversees a regime of corruption and incompetence epitomized by the SDA patronage pit and a slew of questionable hires (including a former public officer holder convicted of corruption BEFORE he got a Murphy Administration job)
- Declared a sanctuary state throughout New Jersey, putting the interests of non-Americans ahead of the bank accounts and safety of own voters; he’s also protecting pedophiles/sexual assault perpetrators who are here illegally
- Pushing new taxes (or hikes) on rain, guns, alcohol, uber, divorces, gasoline… you name it. All while property taxes continue to rise and the Governor doesn’t pretend to even have a plan to address it.
Does this sound like a middle class hero to you?
A “champion” of the so-called working poor?
Someone who goes to bed every night, and wakes up every morning, worrying about how teachers, ironworkers, small business owners and young professionals are going to afford their property taxes, mortgages, rent and/or student loans? And focused on tackling those problems regardless of what the specials interests say?
There are nice Democrats. I count many of them among my friends. There are also well-meaning dupes on EVERY side of the ideological coin. We’re not talking about those people today. We’re discussing the elitist, entrenched,arrogant, privileged (!) class of Leftists who run states like New Jersey and run them directly into the ground. They don’t “feel our pain.” They don’t care about imparting “hope” in our people or plotting a path “forward.”
The Phil Murphy-Cory Booker Democrats are paternalistic a——s who KNOW they can run your life better than you can and are much more interested in (1) obscure social issues (like who gets to pee in which bathroom with which downstairs equipment) to whip up support and (2) helping illegals/violent criminals/career government dependents who can be counted upon to supply votes in the next power-securing election. They’re mortgaging out kids’ futures to pad their own pockets and protect their own rears.
They don’t care if we can afford to stay in our homes. We’re here to work, and pay taxes, and get out if we don’t like it.
That’s not a good person by any cognizable definition of the word. If Republicans in this state want to start winning? And beat back the bad guys? Then they need to start saying what outraged New Jersey residents KNOW and feel in their guts. You don’t get points for treating the wolf at the door with courtesy! You fight him with everything you’ve got.
One of my favorite current members of Congress — Dan Crenshaw of Texas — torpedoed this false premise better than any New Jersey Republican earlier this week on Capitol Hill:
Let's get some things straight about the budget: spending more money doesn't make you morally superior. More dollars for unsustainable programs doesn't mean you have a bigger heart.
My generation will suffer if we don't start making responsible reforms to our spending. pic.twitter.com/khrVG02vbu
— Rep. Dan Crenshaw (@RepDanCrenshaw) March 13, 2019
MATT ROONEY is a practicing New Jersey attorney, regular panelist on Chasing News with Bill Spadea, and the founder and blogger-in-chief of Save Jersey.