The media elite—the Democratic elite—were quick to offer their analysis. The New Jersey governor, they explained, proved the triumph of centrism and mainstream ideas in the Republican Party. The country is changing, and GOP salvation lies in moving away from its “hard-line” views on abortion and gay marriage, and toward the more “moderate” governance of Chris Christie.
Is that so? Mr. Christie is pro-life. He’s against assisted suicide. He opposes gay marriage. He has rejected equal-pay bills. He cut funding for Planned Parenthood in his state. He then vetoed bills to restore that funding five times.
Mr. Cuccinelli’s loss was not a verdict on social issues. It was a verdict on his unwillingness to address the left’s attacks. The Virginia attorney general spent a career speaking forcefully on social issues, yet when the controversy hit him in this race, he wilted.
He adopted—as many Republicans have—what co-founder of the National Organization for Marriage Maggie Gallagher calls the GOP’s “truce” strategy. As she describes it: “Republican candidates pledge not to run ads on topics such as abortion. When social subjects arise, GOP candidates go mute, retreat and change the subject.”