Monday, November 04, 2013

Do people find Chris Christie charming? *UPDATED*

I am sometimes flummoxed about how certain people end up being seen as charming. From the show Survivor to national politics, I find myself wondering how these individuals find themselves winning people over. People who should know better.

In particular, let's talk about Chris Christie. Christie, as governor of New Jersey, has developed his shtick. He picks out a person, always someone with less power, voice, and physical stature to him. And then he proceeds to bully them and shoots them down. It's his things. He just suddenly yells at someone for daring to challenge his policies or claims. ...And the public seems to reward him...?

One group he likes to pick on is teachers. More than once he's managed to get himself eagerly recorded tearing into a teacher who wants to challenge what he's said about the state's education system and them. How dare they question an elected official!

But people love it. It gets called, being a fighter. It gets called, being passionate. But don't call it bullying! Just because he tries to shut people up he doesn't like...

He does have his targets though. He picks them. Teachers are a target for some (sadly). They are public workers who "make so much money and have so many benefits" (Please feel free to roll your eyes at home.). So he can make them villains who he's defending you from. And that is what he tries to do. He's the hero...for being an ass. (And keep in mind, he picks his targets.)

And too many people suck it up. (See Chris Matthews.) Christie relies on bluster to get him past his massive failings in office. He screws up valuable and lucrative spending in state. He lives a life in which he's a public hypocrite often. But, damn it, he can yell at teachers and other public workers better than anyone else around! Tabula rasa!!! (Boris Johnson isn't the only one that can go Latin on you.)

I wish I could say the media will take him to task...But I've seen what the US media has been capable of in the last 14 years. It's pathetic.

A further frustrating thing with Christie is how Democrats have helped Christie get to the place he is, about to win reelection (...Unless we get a miraculous voter term out tomorrow, NEW JERSEY!) with a huge margin, which he'll parlay into a run for the White House. They've been unwilling to call him out on bad policy and poor governing. So he gets a clear run for the presidency.

He'll be the moderate. The guy who can win liberal New Jersey. The guy who can work across with the other side (Though his policies from opposing gay rights to opposing infrastructure spending suggest he'll work with the other side to push his agenda.). And he can thank many Democrats.

He gets to act the every man, he gets to kick public workers, he gets big state victories with Democratic votes (Around half of the New Jersey's Democrats have said that they support Christie in the election! Really, guys?).

Does he get to be president to?


Thought I would add a recent piece by Chris Hayes and the discussion that followed. It looks more into the failures of the Christie Administration in New Jersey.

I liked Joy Reid's point near the end. Christie gets so much credit for accepting federal aid after a disaster, and being cordial to the president in the midst of disaster recovery. How low a bar is that? That is damn well near the floor. And, somehow, Christie got over that bar and became the great hope. It doesn't show how good Christie is. It reminds how horrible most elected Republicans are. (See almost every elected Republican governor for examples.) It is good Christie did that. It makes him a better governor than most of what the GOP is trodding out, but it does not undo his failings.

Christie is all about appearance. He puts on a blustering show, than puts out a hand to the president for aid. And it gets lapped up by the media, while the mess behind him amasses. Like with too many Soon-To-Be-The-GOP-Nominee-For-President, a series of serious issues and problems are brushed away. Shh! He's look at him. He's such a regular guy, and he'll work across the aisle.

And Christie really benefited from all the federal money that rolled into the state. And he spread that around to the right places to get people in line. Spending federal dollars has it's advantages.

Also of interest, Christie won alone. By which I mean, the GOP didn't share in his success. It was a one man operation, and no one else was invited.

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