Thursday, January 16, 2014


I agree with the basic premise of Charles Blow's latest column -- that it would be a bad thing if Chris Christie wins the 2016 presidential election, and not primarily because of Bridgegate. But when Blow endeavors to explain why Christie shouldn't win, it's as if he's all but forgotten what Christie has done as governor:
... the focus on the scandal has taken too much of the focus off the meat of the matter: that for many progressives, this must be a continuity election.

Chris Christie and candidates like him should frighten progressives not because some deem him charming but because he's a shifter. He has built a reputation on being a straight-shooter, but he has a track record as a needle-threader.

There are some issues on which one could argue that Christie is a moderate, but on others he's unsettlingly ambiguous, vacillating between extremes.

For instance, he used to favor abortion rights, now he's anti-abortion. He believes in exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother, but also supports parental notification and a 24-hour waiting period.

And, although he doesn’t believe that homosexuality is a sin and believes "people are born with the predisposition to be homosexual," he doesn't support same-sex marriage. In fact, Christie vetoed a same-sex marriage bill in the state in 2012. Last year a judge ruled that the state must allow same-sex marriages.

As for immigration, this is how the editorial board of The Star-Ledger put it in December:

"... When the governor was seeking the Latino vote weeks ago, he assured advocates he'd support New Jersey's version of this bill. But now that he's been re-elected with 51 percent of the Hispanic vote, he's backpedaling....”

Instead of rooting for a bridge to drag Christie under, progressives must focus without deviation on the issues that cry out for continuity in 2016....
Really, Charles? You want to tell people of a progressive bent that Christie is a bad choice, and the best you can come up with is that he's a moderate on some issues and "unsettlingly ambiguous" on others? How about conservative? How about right-wing?

Have you completely forgotten his first term?

Have you forgotten the slashing of government workers' pensions (and the demonization of those workers), which is now being followed up with the pursuit of additional attacks on pensions? Have you forgotten about the cancellation of a high-speed rail project, or New Jersey's withdrawal from the multi-state Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which happened a few months after Christie met with David Koch? Have you forgotten that in 2010 Christie cut $1 billion is state education aid but handed out $2.3 billion in business tax breaks in his first three years as governor?

Really, Charles? The Obama hug and the Springsteen talk and the recent nice-guy act have flushed all this from your memory? (Though when I look around the "liberal media," it seems as if you're not alone in this.)

Christie did all that in a blue state is with a Democratic-majority legislature (albeit a round-heeled one). What would he do as president with a GOP House and (quite possibly) a GOP Senate?

Christie is not "ambiguous," except on a few social issues. We know what kind of president he'd be: a Republican president. That should be enough to put progressives on high alert.


aimai said...

Somebody who is ambiguous on abortion, or really any of the other issues, is someone who is lying to the voters half the time. You either have a settled viewpoint on these issues or you don't. So if you seem pro choice one minute, and anti choice the next, well--you are just lying to get over. I agree with your basic point, Steve, which is the guy is a fucking republican with extremely conservative goals. But in addition I'd like to point out that vacillating publicly between a good political position and a disasterous one is almost the worst of all possible worlds for the voters.

ladyblug said...

The same goes for Scott Walker!

Victor said...

At least with W, they tried to paint him as being a "Compassionate Conservative."
They, at least, tried to gloss over W's and his parties sociopathic tendencies and goals.

How do you fake this belligerent blimp's thuggishness, vindictiveness, and nastiness?