Wednesday, July 01, 2015

The Jersey Bore

Chris Christie (Photo: Michael Vadon)
The latest passenger on the Republican Clown Bus is a bore, though some might call him a boar, others a (political) whore, and he leaves everyone wishing there was more. I doubt he’ll last far into the race.

Christopher James “Chris” Christie officially announced his candidacy at his old high school today. Unlike Jindal, he didn’t make a bizarre video with his kids, but it was funny that Christie was burnded by the interim superindent of the high school’s district, who said: "It is my personal opinion that the governor adopts policies that he believes will serve his political agenda regardless of whether or not they are good or necessary.” Ouch.

As governor, Christie has done—well, not much of anything, really. IN fact, plenty of people say he’s hurt New Jersey. At the very least, his extremely low approval ratings seem to suggest New Jersey voters don’t much like him.

There are two things I don’t like about Christie. First, he’s a bully. When I heard he was having his launch at his old high school, I really did laugh. It stuck me as funny because I think of him as being just like a high school bully: Full of arrogant swagger, condescension, aggression, and willingness to attack anyone he doesn’t like. That last thing the USA needs is a president that makes people think, “what an asshole!” every time he speaks to the press. This isn’t about mere disagreement, this about not even being able to stand listening to him and his arrogant swagger.

The other thing I don’t like about him is his “say anything to get power” approach to politics. When the New Jersey legislature enacted marriage equality, Christie vetoed it. Christie had long said the usual far-right claptrap about marriage being only for man/woman couples, and he wanted gay couples to settle for civil unions, which, he said, should be strengthened. He also wanted people to vote on whether gay couples should be allowed to have the same civil and human right to marriage as heterosexual couples.

A state court threw out his veto, and he asked the state supreme court for a stay so he could appeal, they declined, and three days later Christie dropped his appeal and New Jersey became a marriage equality state.

So: He frequently criticised marriage equality, he vetoed it when he had the chance, and called for having people vote. Then, he gave up and dropped an appeal of a court ruling against him, thereby brining marriage equality to New Jersey. He would argue this was pragmatism, but it seems more like trying to have things all ways.

On the other hand, Christie did say, correctly, that homosexuality is innate, and he signed a bill outlawing “ex gay” “conversion therapy” torture, making New Jersey the second state to do so.

On balance, my main problem with Christie is that he’s a bully, and after the fact, that he’s far more conservative than he likes to pretend he is, so I can’t trust him to actually believe anything he says. On that last point, he’s actually not so very different from the majority of Republican clowns candidates. These issues are also why voters on both ends of the spectrum dislike him.

And all of this is without even getting into the "Bridgegate" scandal, which has already seen convictions and has raised serious questions about Christie's honesty and integrity.

Chris Christie is 52, the second-youngest Republican clown candidate so far (after Bobby Jindal, who is the youngest). On Inauguration Day, he’ll be 53 years, 231 days old. The oldest US President, Ronald Reagan, hallowed be his name, was 69 years, 349 days when he was sworn in.

I don’t like Chris Christie. His bully-boy shtick is old, tiring and downright boring. I also have no idea what he actually believes about anything—assuming he actually has any firm convictions. Plenty of other voters share this low opinion of him.

There’s still 1 year, 4 months, and 9 days until the US presidential election.

Photo of Chris Christie by Michael Vadon (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons.


rogerogreen said...

Actually, he's a boor.

Arthur Schenck (AmeriNZ) said...

I thought about using that word, but since I know so many people for whom the vowel is the same as "who", it would've wrecked my rhyme scheme. Interestingly, for most of those same people, the words "moor", "dour" and "boor" all rhyme with each other…