This is the first of a very irregular series of political commentary by me. I usually do not get into politics, because many others have much better insights than do I in this area. Do not look for these very often, but when Muse whispers into my ear I must listen.
Chris Cristie is one of the most foul partisans that exists. He is also pugnacious, nasty tempered, and all around just not a very nice person. But like the proverbial broken clock, he was right twice today and yesterday. I am not even trying to defend his entirety, but he was quite pragmatic for the previous 48 hours.
This is an attempt to try to unscrew his behavior, bizarre for him. Please comment freely, for good or ill, about my words.
Please note that late in this piece I have modified my thoughts a bit. Please read all before you comment.
Christie is an opportunist of the worst sort. He rails against federal involvement in almost everything, but today is so, so happy that the current administration wants to help the people of New Jersey to get through one of the worst storms in history for that area, let alone in the memory of anyone living.
Christie is a bully. He even called out his own citizens for being brave and staying home. However, I have a bit more to say about that later.
Christie is generally obnoxious, and today was no different. It was the the way that he did it, not the way that he said it, that was different.
So, how was he correct?
As much as it pains me, he was correct thusly:
- He scolded the people who did not evacuate for putting the lives not only of themselves, but the safety of responders who might have to find them in jeopardy.
- He informed them that they were sort of last on the list for assistance, since they had been warned to leave.
Look, I am not defending him, but it IS important to recognize proper criticism when it appears. But this is a bit more convoluted.
If Christie were more credible, it is quite possible that many more folks would have evacuated when the order came. But because so many people consider him to be a buffoon, they sort of thumbed their noses at him. I might have done the same thing when I lived in Arkansas if the bandit Huckabee had made a similar request in similar circumstances, because I always knew that the Huckster was mostly a liar.
The bottom line is that Christie is such a horrible public official that instead of leading his people to safety, he blustered them into staying put. If I had been in such a situation when Bill Clinton was my governor in Arkansas, I would have followed his counsel, because he was both trustworthy and caring. Christie is neither.
Back again to what he did right. He did criticize the folks who would not leave, and they should have. Even more correct, he would not commit the safety of the responders (who he would love to see in private hands) to assist the ones who did not evacuate. So few right things, so many wrong ones.
Even better is how he postures himself to be a "good public servant" and be in "constant contact" with FEMA and even the President. Christie was so complimentary of our president that I thought that his tongue would ignite when he said that President Obama was very helpful, caring, and proactive. As Moon Unit Zappa once said, "Gag me with a spoon!"
In summary, Christie is a feces filled little man who, even when trying to be magnanimous, fails horribly. Actually, I doubt that he even has heard that word, let alone the meaning of it. He stumbled trying to put our responders at the forefront (and those folks are truly heroic) by denigrating the citizens of his state. I must agree, though, that the folks who stayed should have left.
So there you have it.
Postnote: I tried to publish this last night, and our site was not available. That might be a good thing, because I have modified my view of Christie just a bit in the past 24 hours, viz.,
He seems to be a bit more pragmatic and less political that I first thought. Of course, he is a partisan Republican, but with his statements lately he seems to be more comfortable with his true beliefs that Romney is with what his, whatever they are, is. Christie is sort of a "tell you like I think" person; Romney is a "tell me what you want me to tell you" person.
I shall take the broken clock every time, even if I do not agree with it, over a clock that keeps changing hours and minutes to be popular. Do I like Christie or vote for him? Likely not, but I now have a grudging respect for him. That is LOTS more than I can say about the Republican nominee for POTUS.
So here is my Rx: take the pugnacious Christie at his word, even though I agree with few of what he says, but at least sort of now find him honest. Take Romney at none, because his word is not any kind of a bond and he is a fundamentally dishonest person.
The bottom line is that both our president and the governor of New Jersey acted with honor, helping their people. Romney did not, just using his Ohio rally to give unneeded things the the Red Cross (and I have LOTS of problems with the Red Cross, but that is for another Rx).
Doc, aka Dr. David W. Smith