Sunday, October 02, 2011

Chris Christie: The Second Coming?

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A busted clock is right twice a day. Even a blind pig finds an acorn now and then. And it appears that William Kristol has actually been right about something. These are, as Paul Simon sings, days of miracle and wonder.
I know I've been awfully hard on Smilin' Bill, the amiable boob who's the editor of the conservative magazine The Weekly Standard and who's been popping up for years on the Sunday panel shows, grinning like a possum eating persimmons and spouting utter nonsense like "The Iraq War will cost at most $200 billion," "Sarah Palin's resignation won't hurt her chance at the Republican nomination and anyone who says different is afraid of her," and other lack-witted pronouncements.
Kristol is the guy who's often caused me to offer my services to the networks, because I can be just as wrong for half the price.
However, after the last Republican debate, Kristol wrote a "special editorial" on the Weekly Standard's website and summed up the Republican field in one word: "Yikes!" He went on to say that "none of the candidates really seemed up to the moment, either politically or substantively. In the midst of a crisis, we're getting politics as usual - and a somewhat subpar version of politics as usual at that."
He quoted a "bright young conservative" who'd emailed him in dismay: "WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!" He also rather glumly quoted my favorite poem, Yeats' "The Second Coming," to describe the choices before Republicans: "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity."
So far, so good. And so right. Kristol, however, can't stay correct for long, and his solution was typically dimwitted: Call in Chris Christie, the corpulent New Jersey governor, whom Kristol calls "a big man for a big job."
Problem is, Christie's said over and over that he's not running. His poll numbers in his own state are awful. He also appointed a judge who's a Muslim to the bench and called people who protested "crazy" and their concerns about the imaginary threat of Sharia law "crap."

He's dead right, but it immediately disqualifies him in the eyes of the crazies who believe in crap.
Oh, and I don't want to be Pedantic Literary Guy here, but Kristol also completely misunderstands the poem he's quoting when he says that the last line ("what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?") "sounds like Chris Christie."
I wonder how Gov. Christie would feel about the comparison, because the "rough beast" Yeats speaks of in his vision is kind of scary. He's a "shape with lion body and the head of a man, gaze blank and pitiless as the sun." Not the kind of candidate you'd want to have a beer with, for sure.
Nevertheless, it seems that Christie is the latest in a series of desperate attempts by the wingnuts and teahadists to find someone who'll save the party from nominating Mitt Romney, a heretic who's actually worked with Democrats and gotten some good things done for his state, like a reasonable health care plan.
But the far right doesn't want compromises with Democrats. They don't want a health care plan for anyone who's not them. They're willing to burn the country down in the name of "taking it back." So they fall for grifters like Palin (perpetually fundraising, perpetually coy about whether she's running) or nutters like Donald Trump and Michele Bachmann.
But then the flavor of the month says something so mind-bogglingly stupid ("The HPV vaccine caused a woman's child to become mentally retarded!") that even the mainstream media can't ignore it, and down they go. So Rick Perry becomes the new ABM (Anyone But Mitt), until he falls apart in the debate, then shows that he's actually got some positions that make sense, such as not punishing children who grew up in America because they were brought here by illegal immigrant parents.
But sanity enrages the goon squads, that noisy cohort the party refuses to acknowledge, yet somehow manages to get invited to every GOP debate. You know, the ones that cheer for executions, shout "yeah!" when someone asks if you should just let an uninsured man die, and boo soldiers in Iraq because they're gay. For those people, Rick Perry's greatest sin is that he's not crazy enough. So the perpetually angry and disgruntled right moves on. Now they turn their eyes to Christie, who's not even running.
Yeah, good luck with that.


Dana King said...

Christie, should he run, would fall prey to Perry disease. Yes, he's a prick, but , as you noted, a prick who believes in some mainstream ideas. That's not going to fly.

The more I see of Obama, the less terrified I am at the prospect of Romney, if both houses of Congress were Democratic.

Celine said...

The teahadist motto should be, "We have to destroy America in order to save it." Sadly, nobody under 40 would get the point.

J. E. Medrick said...

I'm under 40 (27) and I get it :P I was 23 and living in Japan when I read it for the first time! Don't discount avid readers :)

Very, very worrying we seem to be moving in that direction...

Anonymous said...

I say give Christie a shot. The liberal press pushed in Obama and look what has happen in America. We need a real change, not this fairly tale "Hope and Change" that was bought up by those who voted for Obama.

JTG in Detroit

JD Rhoades said...

Unfortunately, JTG the "change" the current GOP is pushing isn't change at all. It's a return to the failed policies of George Dubbya Bush and discredited theories like "tax cuts create jobs!"

JD Rhoades said...

The more I see of Obama, the less terrified I am at the prospect of Romney, if both houses of Congress were Democratic.

That's a big "if."

Anonymous said...

So... What is your take on our Mr. Obama's performance? You sound very content with having this continue for another 4 years.


JD Rhoades said...

JTG: I'm not happy with everything the President has done, but mostly because I think he hasn't stood up to the Right and the DINOs in his own party nearly enough. The stimulus should have been bigger, then it might have actually moved us forward instead of merely saving us from falling into the pit. He should have pushed harder for the public option in the health care bill.

But on the whole, I think he's done a hell of a lot better than McCain would have ever done, and certainly better than any of the clowns they have running now.

He's winding down the war in Iraq, as promised, which was a huge issue for me and which I think will go a long way towards cutting deficits (who the fuck starts two wars and CUTS taxes?) Osama bin Ladin was killed on his orders as CinC. We've broken the back of Al-Quaeda. Most honest economists agree the stimulus DID help keep us from plunging into a Depression. The economy IS getting better, albeit slowly. And there's a health care plan that is actually going to cut the deficit in the long term and is a good start on real reform.

So on the whole, I give him a B.

David said...

But on the whole, I think he's done a hell of a lot better than McCain would have ever done, and certainly better than any of the clowns they have running now.

That's about it for me. Even when I'm less than happy with aspects of Obama's performance as President, and wish that he would not use an iCave, I'm still glad that we never got to experience a McCain Administration.

Charlieopera said...

So on the whole, I give him a B.

Wow ... this takes democratic loyalty to a new planet, JD.

B? Really? That's some hefty spinning there, brother.

Charlieopera said...

Okay, now that I’ve had some time to digest that “B” …

I can’t think of a Republican President in my adult lifetime (34 years) who wouldn’t WANT Obama’s record for a) delivering to corporate America, b) strangling labor (organized or not), d) setting back labor (organized or not), d) maintaining the erections defense contractors must still have, etc., etc., etc. (it’s a bit ironic bringing up “war” reduction with this president … or anything he “said he’d do” …

His own “job czar” promotes outsourcing to China.

So do his buddies on Wall Street (the ones he bailed out, no strings attached and now that the table has been set for them to reap even more financial rewords, have dumped him on his pants for the Republican Party candidate (whoever it might be).

Yeah, he saved corporate America from a depression alright … the problem is the rest of us are the victims and a depression remains a distinct possibility. Foreclosures are expected to rise over the next two years, not decline.

EPIC FAILURE (so “F” AS IN FAILURE) is what Obama has been … unless, of course, you’re one of the Wall Street types who’s been cashing in since 2008.

To be fair, Karl Rove did call me immediately after reading your comments and asked me to chirp in …

Charlieopera said...

Here’s the other thing. Obama did what nobody believed possible in 2008, an election year when pretty much any Democrat would’ve beaten John McCain. Obama took a presumed dead Republican Party (due to W) and revived it overnight.

Of course he had help … blue dog democrats (do they count as those who would ruin the country before save it?) … and an inability to lead outside of speechifying …

Why pester yourselves with this bullshit anymore? Democrats, Republicans … join the Wall Street protest against capitalism (if you’re really for the greater good) and realize playing the Dem-Rep game is one big circle jerk/farce already.

Does a hedge fund manager really “deserve” to “earn” $2.4 million an hour? Does Bill Gates “really earn” $650K an hour? If you believe billionaires really “earn” that money all by their lonesome(s), well, I guess you should keep hitting the birdie back and forth (feel free to use it as a metaphor for up & down and/or side to side).

If you insist on voting and understand that all this Rep-Dem posturing is theatre, then shake things up (just for the hell of it) and vote for Ralph Nader or anybody who isn’t a major party representative … you might shake things up, probably not, but so long as money owns the process and the collection of clowns that represent them (disguised as representatives of the people), it’s all a waste of energy perhaps better focused elsewhere.

Me, I’m going to play a Strat-O-Matic baseball season (1965 probably) … and so long as I don’t cheat, the outcomes will be as fair to one team as they are to the other.

JD Rhoades said...

Charlie, one of the players in your Strat-O-Matic game has as much chance of getting elected as Ralph Nader. Sorry, but it's the truth.

A vote for Nader is a vote for the Republican candidate. Again, the Naderites jeer at this idea, but it's still true.

The biggest thing, though, is that I don't want that sour old bastard preaching at me for four years.

Charlieopera said...

JD, you're likely correct about Nader's chances. But what does a vote for the Democratic Party net you?

Obama may not be a sour old bastard, but he's now proven himself equally as incompetent as the last moron to sit in the oval office. “W” may have stumbled and bumbled his way into wars and deregulations via his warped convictions but Obama (speaking of clowns) seems to have none (outside of rhetoric). The net results always seem to be the same, one president to the next. The system couldn’t be more corrupt and the politicians less effective (no matter what their convictions—should they have any).

From where I sit a vote for Obama WAS a vote for the Republican Party ... on friggin' steroids.

Fran said...

You may be right, Charlie, especially regarding the corporate angle. But as a gay American, Obama has made my life better than McCain ever would have, and once he doesn't have to run again and presuming he wins, I strongly suspect he's going to make things better for us.

We all filter things through our own personal points of interest, and this one's mine. I'm disillusioned with him on lots of fronts, but he is still by far and away the best bet from a gay perspective, at least of those who stand a chance at winning.

Charlieopera said...

Fran, my sister (passed a few years ago) was gay. She never had the opportunity afforded gays today in New York. I see it more a condemnation of our entire system that gays remain second class citizens politically. I also suspect Obama really isn't really for the absurd marriage positon politics forced him to pronounce; that marriage should be between a man and a woman. I hope he finds the courage to say it before he's out (however he leaves office). There's no argument here about his "coming around" on the issue. His speech the other night was righteous ... it would be more so if he took the stance I suspect he really believes and he finally threw his never ending caution to the wind. It would be nice to see him go the Roosevelt route and fight for real (for progressive policies), but I have zero confidence in his ability to actually do anything but talk. I have lost whatever little confidence I had in his convictions. I suspect that has more to do with our political system (which basically requires corruption before these guys can get near major party sponsorship) than anything personal about the man ... so I can understand your support for him ... but there are other parties out there who think the issue itself is absurd to have to discuss in 2011 and the longer people put those other parties/options off because of fear of the other side ... well, nothing really changes. I suspect it was individual states (activists in those states) coming up to date on gay issues more than anything Obama did (which makes me all the more suspicious of his sudden concern for all things progressive). Personally, I can't forgive him the bailout without protecting workers; that ended any hope and change for me. It was beyond foolish. It was incompetence run amok. It was government of big business, by big business, for big business.

I hear you ... but it is an election year and we're going to hear a lot of promises over the next year ...