Mona Charen

Everyone knows by now that the governor (and possible presidential contender) can be a hothead. Some have called him a bully. Even if you think that's too strong, it's undeniable that a trace of bellicosity has been important to what the professionals like to call his "brand."

Still, he shouldn't have said what he did in that radio interview. However strongly he may feel about those who disagree, and certainly he has his reasons for feeling aggrieved, he shouldn't have said that his opponents "have no place" in his state. It's understandable, considering the intemperance and intolerance he demonstrated, why the press is going wild with this story.

What? Did you miss it? That's because it wasn't possible presidential candidate and Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey who said those things about his opposite numbers, it was possible presidential candidate and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York. Speaking on WCNY radio, Cuomo told listeners that Republicans are in the midst of a civil war:

"Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that's who they are, and if they are the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that's not who New Yorkers are."

Naturally, there has been no outcry in the press. With the exception of the vigilant Kathryn J. Lopez of National Review and a few other "extremists," the interview had all the impact of a feather floating onto a blade of grass.

Let's put the equivalent words into the mouth of Christie. To do so, we must mischaracterize the Democrats' views as Cuomo was caricaturing Republican views. "Pro-assault weapon"? Few second amendment defenders see themselves as pro-assault weapon. The term "assault weapon" is inexact -- and can sometimes amount to a matter of cosmetics, not ballistics. In any case, people who resist gun control have solid arguments and can be found in all counties of the state of New York. Those who believe that the right to bear arms is a personal right that cannot be unduly infringed by the state also form a majority of the members of the United States Supreme Court. Are they not welcome in the state of New York?

Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
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