Yesterday in his nationally syndicated column, the Washington Post's George Will joined the chorus of "true" conservatives to accuse Charlie Crist of being -- gasp! -- a moderate. Will condemned the national Republicans who gave Crist their endorsement the moment after Crist announced his candidacy for Senate. And he's showing symptoms of a major man-crush on Marco Rubio.
Just look at how Will describes Crist to his Republican readers by touching every recent buzzword: (I've put them in bold)
Crist appeared at a rally with Barack Obama promoting the $787 billion stimulus that got no votes from House Republicans and only three from Republican senators. He is a climate-change worrywart who wants to cap Florida's carbon emissions. He has chosen his former campaign manager to serve as a placeholder in the Senate during the crucial next 16 months.
And to reduce property insurance costs, especially for Floridians living near the nation's second-longest coastline, Crist expanded, and vetoed reform of, the state's reckless version of a property insurance "public option." It is government-run insurance that, by offering rates lower than rational assessments of risk would dictate, has driven private insurers to limit their business or even stop doing business in the state. When a huge hurricane hits, Florida -- and U.S. -- taxpayers might have to foot the bill, by which time Crist plans to be in Washington.
OK. So Charlie Hussein Crist is the electoral bachelor number one. Tell us about bachelor number two, George.
A Catholic and father of four, Rubio, whose parents fled Cuba in 1959, says, "It is hard to be apolitical when you are raised by exiles." He worries that his children's generation "will be the first to inherit a diminished country." His preventive medicine includes limited government, tax reform, spending restraint and removal of all impediments to the entrepreneurship that makes America a place "where poor people can put billionaires out of business."
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A Christian! (Note that Crist's religion isn't mentioned) A family man! (Unlike Crist, a nearly lifelong bachelor who has allegedly had premarital sex). A belief in the American dream that recalls the dementia of Reagan's final days in office. George Will trusts Florida Republicans -- or at least the true conservatives who turn out for the primary -- will see through the phony Crist and select Rubio, the genuine article.