New Jersey governor Chris Christie may qualify for an NEA grant soon, because he is now America’s master at turning chicken shit into high art.

At a moment when what the GOP really needs is a popular, courageous pol to steer his party away from the iceberg of of bedroom issues that threatens to tattoo them forever as reproductive fascists in the mode of the Ayatollah Khomenei, Christie is instead casting himself as the King Solomon of gay marriage and doing a fine impersonation of Boss Hogg in the process.

Christie has threatened to “swiftly” veto a gay marriage bill just passed by NJ’s Democratic legislature, demanding instead that the issue be put to the people in a referendum. If only the masses will give him the thumbs up, then he will gladly sign the bill into law. But to leave the decision to the representatives of a representative democracy? Well, that’s just undemocratic!

That Christie would even float this as plan “B” is the kind of code only a conservative voter can pretend he doesn’t understand. Chris Christie doesn’t give a shit what gay people do. Fuck, marry, pass their estates to their hairless sphinx cats… he is a progressive on the matter. Christie will flatly say that it is his religion, not he, that considers homosexuality a sin. Civil unions? Not a problem. But oh! that word “marriage”. That we must protect in the form Funk and Wagnall’s intended!

It’s the kind of cop-out that would make you laugh if it wasn’t so mean and reinforcing of the image of politicians as career-minded whores. Christie is angling for a chance at the vice-presidential slot on the GOP ticket, and wearing the cloak of an arch-reactioanary is apparently the only criteria that matters. And yet conservatives were once on the verge of lighting themselves on fire if only that would get Christie into the race for president. And why? To save them from the cavalcade of moonbats, plutocrats and tinfoil hats that they themselves unleashed with the Tea Party. Do they really still not understand that it is a moderate they are crying out for?

How long can a party that will embrace such cowardice in the face of irresistible social transformation last? Gays are out in the military, they are out in Congress, they are marrying legally in one state after another. If Christie would focus on his job and not his career–you know, what he was elected to do–he could do his Republicans the biggest favor of their lives by signing gay marriage into law and letting his party know it is ok to take the gun out of its mouth.