Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Charlie Crist: Bad Republican or Just Bad?

Now that Republican Florida Governor Charlie Crist is poised to run for the Senate as an independent, the left is bound to start using this as an example of what a small tent the GOP has become.

Before you nod your head in agreement, it's worth recalling that Reihan Salam thinks Crist may be the worst governor in the United States:

Charlie Crist is an extraordinarily gifted politician, known for his unpretentious and warm demeanor. He might also be America's worst governor. Given that there is a great deal of competition for this dubious honor, that's saying rather a lot....

Incredibly, Crist demanded that Florida use one-time funds to pay for 12% of the state budget. When Republicans in the state legislature took the difficult step of passing a budget that included unpopular spending cuts, Crist turned around and vetoed hundreds of millions in cuts, despite the continuing deterioration of state revenues. It could be that Crist believes that the federal government will simply pass a stimulus plan every year, one that will grow ever larger without consequence to Florida taxpayers. This, of course, can't possibly be true. As a result, Crist has committed Florida to a fiscal nightmare, one that will lead to draconian tax hikes and spending cuts long after he makes a break for the U.S. Senate or finds some other comfortable sinecure thanks to the good graces of his many wealthy friends.

After the disastrous presidency of George W. Bush, I'm willing to shrink the GOP tent in order to exclude bad governance any day.

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