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Brief diary this time:

Thomas Frank wrote a very interesting book a few years ago about the phenomenon of some voters, generally conservative, clearly voting against their own economic interests. In the case of Kansas, this was largely due to cultural issues -- according to his thesis, which seems sound.

But what to make of the Jersey vote for Christie? Liberals, women, Hispanics and all too many Dems voted for him in large numbers. Why? Christie is a conservative (not a moderate) with a terrible record on labor issues, unions, public servants and investment, the minimum wage and tax cuts for the rich, for example. And his stances on cultural issues line up very closely with the GOP platform. He's just much better at de-emphasizing hot-button social issues. His record, taken as a whole, should be anathema to everyone on the left -- on economic and cultural grounds, at least.

So, why did he receive so much support from Dems and people left of center?

To me, it's even worse to vote against your economic interests when you don't get anything in return. And when Kansan conservatives vote against their own best interests, they at least vote for other conservatives. All too many Jersey voters can't make that claim.

It's bizarre. Thomas Frank needs to write a sequel.

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Comment Preferences

  •  He fooled all of the people, some of the time. n/t (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    diomedes77, skohayes, a2nite, Lily O Lady
  •  New Jersey has a reputation for corruption. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rebel ga

    Maybe they felt a change was needed?

  •  high taxes and corruption. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, agent
  •  I think it's pretty simple (7+ / 0-)

    Governor Christie managed to do what a majority of his voters really like, never mind that it has come at the expense of their future. He's for capping property taxes and forcing public sector employees to make cut to their pensions. This has massive, massive appeal to a lot of people, especially folks who don't work in the public sector.

    On the other hand, he openly criticizes the Republican Party all the time, and has developed very good and very smart relationships with certain fiscally conservative Democrats in New Jersey who give him 100% support, which is why no Democratic nominee stood a chance. He is very generous with state funding, too, from what I've heard, so that brings in even more politicians on to his side as they know which side their bread is buttered. He

    Plus, at a time when most Republicans treat the president like he isn't even American, Governor Christie treats him like a human being. As pathetic as that sounds, it probably makes him look acceptable.

    tl;dr: Democrats know the legislature is safe and Christie acts like a guy willing to compromise rather than a guy who will deliberately break the government because he hates it so much.

    Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

    by moviemeister76 on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 09:40:18 PM PST

    •  Cutting public sector wages hurts everyone. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, vtgal, Chi, Lily O Lady, Buckeye54

      It puts downward pressure on wages across the board. "Stick it to" public sector workers, and that backfires on every rank and file worker. And, it hurts the overall economy, as people have fewer dollars to spend in that economy.

      All to pay for tax cuts for the rich and help corporations flush with cash. As in, giving even more money to people who are sitting on it, shipping jobs overseas, etc. etc. while taking money from people who spend it.

      It's really asinine.

      •  Oh I agree (7+ / 0-)

        Although, from everything I've read, he actually did help out some of the poor keep their pensions, which made him quite popular.

        Thing is, speaking as someone who has to listen to people complain about how public sector workers "have it so good" and should be forced to give up their pensions "just like the rest of us," I am pretty damn confident that way more folks in New Jersey supported his move to force public sector employees to take pension cuts than those against it. It's stupid and short-sighted, but a lot of people believe that public sector employees really do have it better and are lazy. You have no idea how many liberals spout that nonsense to me all the freaking time. Of course, they are generally white liberals, and these white liberals generally think public sector employees are all black.

        In other words, Zombie Reagan is still around.

        Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

        by moviemeister76 on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 09:59:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  no way. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        doc2

        do you have evidence of this downward pressure?  re money in the economy: see the broken glass fallacy.

        •  Yes way. (0+ / 0-)

          How about the one to one correspondence between the loss of union jobs in America and the decline of rank and file wages for everyone?

          It's pretty obvious.

          And what on earth does the broken window fallacy have to do with demand falling as wages fall?

          It's just common sense. If you are bringing in less money than you once did, and/or have to put more money toward your own pension, you're going to spend less. It's all about disposable income. Reduce it, and people will cut spending.

          And our consumerist, capitalist system depends almost entirely on spending increases to grow.

    •  The truth is the if the GOP (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      agent, moviemeister76

      were like Christie, we'd be a lot less threatened by the GOP. We disagree with him on most policies, but we don't disagree with him on all policies, and he is not for destroying the country in order to wipe us liberals out. He's a political opponent of ours, while most of his Party are now enemies of ours. Personally, I'd rather face a presidential election in which the GOP nominee is somewhat reasonable than in which the nominee is a Tea Partier. Because having a Tea Partier win the presidency is an outcome I'd have trouble living with.

    •  Therefore (0+ / 0-)

      All democrat in new jersey should become republican despite that Christie ideology stand in contrast to theirs? I live in new jersey and personally have nothing against Christie outside his political ideology. Before Sandy, there was a tape of him bragging to the "Coke" brother's type how he made cut that make people to suffer.
      My beef is with the democratic party leader in New Jersey. They sold their conscience for a bowl of Sandy porridge. it is a shame.

      •  That's not what I meant (0+ / 0-)

        I meant that if you don't pay too much attention to politics, which most don't, then Christie not only doesn't look that bad, to a lot of folks it probably feels like they are voting for a person rather than the party. Alternately, the Democratic nominee got no support and very little funding, which meant she was likely hardly visible at all.

        And before Sandy, as I recall, he was hugely unpopular. Sandy turned all that around.

        Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

        by moviemeister76 on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 09:42:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Many of the feel he "relates" to them (4+ / 0-)

    They're in LaLa land.  Dem leaders in NJ were bribed to endorse Christie over Buono, Buono was a "weak" candidate, Sandy Aid and they see Christie as standing up to the GOP/Tea Party and working for NJ, after all didn't he tell them to fuck off when they complained about his hugging Obama when he came to tour Sandy damages?  

    It will be interesting to see how his Jersey attitude will play on the national stage and if he can use it to get win the primaries and become the GOP candidate for President in 2016. Additionally, can you see him on the world stage dealing with Putin, et al and probably getting us into a war with Germany when he tells Merkel to fuck off?  

    By the way, I saw a poll that shows Hillary would beat him in NJ if they run against each other for President.  Of course it's only 2013 but with his attitude problems, I don't see this changing much and when it comes out (and it will) how much money from Sandy relief was diverted other places Christie will have more problems in NJ not to mention others in the country.

    Never be afraid to voice your opinion and fight for it . Corporations aren't people, they're Republicans (Rev Al Sharpton 10/7/2011) Voting is a louder voice than a bullhorn.

    by Rosalie907 on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 09:42:40 PM PST

    •  Nasty to say but (0+ / 0-)

      If it were to be Hillary vs Christie in 2016, British bookmakers would be taking bets on which the campaign trail would finish off first.  

      There was an interesting diary earlier about how voters relate to Christie in a similar way to archetype TV show fathers (Homer Simpson, Jackie Gleeson etc). On there I made the point that it has much to do with his likely super obesity (I doubt he was light enough to qualify for the "morbid obesity" label judging by my own frame in April 2013 when I was 3 Kg short of the "super" categorization of class III obesity - for the record I am now down to merely class I without using a gastric band and, as I told a new dietician, "not a morsel of calorie counted food has passed my lips")  

      Christie I believe has a problem with voter's perception ("big guy next door I'd have a beer with") vs his own health. Frankly if he had a gastric band fitted 7 months ago, he's been cheating with high calorie/high fat/low volume foodstuffs like ice cream. If so he is endangering himself more. The rigors of a nationwide campaign of primaries and general election will likely kill him and there will be a lot of concentration on the person who would be "a heartbeat away from the Presidency". If not and he does manage to get down to at least the morbid range of BMI, he'll loose his "cuddly" image.  

      We will work, we will play, we will laugh, we will live. We will not waste one moment, nor sacrifice one bit of our freedom, because of fear.

      by Lib Dem FoP on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 10:40:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Plus the cowards in the Democratic Party (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    diomedes77

    resented Buono for having the guts to stand up to Christie and not play ball.

    So everyone from the President on down, with the exception of Holt and Pallone deserted her and gave her not one dime nor did they campaign for her.  When the President came, did he give her even a shout out?

    NO.  

    When Booker won, did he give her a shout out and remind people to vote for her?

    NO.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 09:56:45 PM PST

  •  You can ask that of alot of Dem areas, what's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes, diomedes77

    the matter with Mass? mostly Repub governors, NYC? first dem mayor in 20 years.

    •  Good point. (0+ / 0-)

      The issue seems widespread, and it makes no sense.

      Again, I think Thomas Frank needs to write a sequel.

      Liberals can't accurately be so smug on the subject and just call out conservatives on this. They're infected with the problem too.

  •  Jersey Shore (0+ / 0-)

    Christie is Jersey's middle finger the rest of us.  Tired of being New York City's land fill, they want a strut on the national stage.

    A little like Texas sticking us with W.  

    Instead of a simpleton cowboy, we get a foul-mouthed self-important bully.

     

    Barack Hussein Obama- Don't Mock the Constitution.

    by odenthal on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 11:41:47 PM PST

  •  Corrupt party machine (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes, a2nite, Lily O Lady

    All you have to do is follow the money.  The bosses could get what they wanted from Christie.  The bosses fear what Christie knows about their operations.  So they throw their support to Christie and influence even elected Democratic leaders to throw their support to the Christie.  The net result is that the Democratic candidate was ignored, disrespected and starved for money.  It's easy to figure out from there what the results will be.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

    by noofsh on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 12:10:18 AM PST

  •  It didn't have an opposition party (0+ / 0-)

    that was united against Christie.  That was the problem.  And the fact that Christie was a media darling.

    And I dispute that many left of center voters voted for Christie.  His opponent got nearly 40%.  Those votes had to come from somewhere.

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 05:41:42 AM PST

    •  Here's a pretty good breakdown . . . . (0+ / 0-)

      From Business Insider:

      Party ID
      2009: 41% Democrat, 31% Republican, 28% independent
      2013: 42% Democrat, 27% Republican, 31% independent

      Racial composition
      2009: 73% white, 14% black, 9% Latino, 2% Asian
      2013: 72% white, 15% black, 9% Latino, 3% Asian

      If the electorate didn't change, that means Christie's share with all of these demographics did.

      He won 55% of women (+10 from 2009), 20% of the black vote (+10), and 48% of the Hispanic vote (+11), according to the exit polling. He won among all age groups except 18-to-29-year-olds, which he lost by only 6 points. He also captured 31% of the Democratic vote (+an astounding 23 points from 2009) and 64% of the independent or unaffiliated (+4).

      Notice the 31% of Dems, the 55% of women, and the 48% of Hispanics.

      That's just crazy given his actual stances on the issues . . .

      •  31% of Democrats doesn mean that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        diomedes77

        these were left of center Democrats.  Especially in south jersey.

        "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

        by Paleo on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 07:53:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  True. (0+ / 0-)

          Good point.

          But chances are, that number had a good chunk of left of center voters.

          Will try to find the numbers on self-identified "liberal" voters.

          Which brings up another pet peeve of mine. Why doesn't America even recognize people to the left of liberal (like meself)? The rest of the developed world does. The rest of the developed world doesn't believe the political spectrum ends at liberal.

          Only in America.

          •  They should change liberal to progressive (0+ / 0-)

            "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

            by Paleo on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 08:08:45 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm to the left of prog. (0+ / 0-)

              Proudly so, too.

              There is a virtual media blackout of people who share my views.

              I'm a non-doctrinaire, non-orthodox ecosocialist, an adherent of Marxian economics, and have worked out some of my own tweaks to Parecon-style societies.

              Was shocked when Russell Brand spoke up, cuz he was actually speaking my language -- to a degree -- and I've never been a fan.

              I also believe strongly that liberals and progressives should back those of us to their left. It makes their case easier. They become "the center" rather than the furthest left of the possible when we're visibly in the conversation.

              The breakdown of the left is largely due to the assault and total marginalization of those left of progressive.

  •  People don't vote only based on (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xanthippe2

    issues. They never have. People like politicians that remind them of themselves. While most politicians (see Clinton, Hillary) measure every word out of the their mouths as to offend the fewest number of people, the public responds to politicians whose style is to be more bombastic and less guarded. And because Christie is so popular, no top-notch Democratic challenger was willing to face him. Combine a popular style incumbent with a weak challenger and you end up with the guy whose policies are suboptimal winning by 22 points.

  •  What I do not understand is the construction union (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    diomedes77

    support for him.  My husband, a proud, second-generation member of the IBEW, was flabbergasted when he saw announcements from the electrician's locals that Christie was an invited speaker at meetings, but not Barbara Buono.  Christie has no love for unions although he directs his venom primarily at the teacher's union right now.  I wonder what the position of all of these construction unions will be when he turns against them.  It's bound to happen.

  •  There's a parallel between Christie and Booker (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    diomedes77

    in my mind anyway. Both are "celebrity" politicians with big personalities and high name recognition and get lots of fawning media attention.

    Don't get me wrong. I voted for Booker in the special election because Lonegan is a nutjob's nutjob, and I think Booker is sincere about his progressive promises... anyway, we'll see between now and next year.

    On the other hand, Christie has done nothing to reduce the (growing) gap between rich and poor, has done nothing to reduce the unemployment rate, has starved the schools and attacked teachers, has vetoed legislation meant to improve the lives of the working poor and grant marriage equality, been a bully and an asshole. But, he can be funny and charming when he wants to and comes across as "tough" and "no nonsense" - or what some would call Jersey attitude - in a way that appeals to a lot of New Jersey residents.

    On top of that, incumbent Christie bought himself a lot of good will by appearing to be a good, bi-partisan leader during a natural disaster. While I respect that he did that, even at the cost of pissing off the tea party base, I think it's the least a governor should do. I guess the "appearance" of moderation and bipartisanship appeals to a lot of voters who haven't been paying attention to his record.

    As for Barbara Buono, it was frustrating lost opportunity. She was a good candidate with poor name recognition who couldn't get the support of the Democratic establishment in the State, and that really killed her in a state that seems to like its celebrity candidates.

    As an aside I note that Frank Pallone and Bill Pascrell seem to be taking a page from Christie's book while dealing with Tea Party Congressmen in the House. Maybe a little Jersey attitude is needed on our side of the aisle.

    •  Booker worries me. Like Cuomo. (0+ / 0-)

      They're the new breed of Democrat. Socially liberal, economically conservative (like Obama). And very much pro-corporate.

      I follow American politics very closely -- too closely for my own good. But I don't support either party. To me, they're both just cheerleaders for a despicable economic system, and by extension, an imperialist nation. The Dems are the least destructive of the two (and obviously so on most issues) . . . . but I don't like our choices in America at all.

      I voted for Jill Stein this last time.

      Booker and Andrew Cuomo are part of the reason why.

      People like Elizabeth Warren, OTOH, give me some hope that the Dems might be waking up to our massive inequality problem -- which is the main reason for our struggling economy. Not to mention obscenely immoral, etc.

      Jersey needs its own Warren.

  •  It's really not that complicated. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    diomedes77

    As US Attorney, Christie never missed an opportunity to get his name in the paper and his face on local TV, cultivating a reputation as the scourge of corrupt politicians (of which we have no shortage, R & D). In '09, he got to face the ethically challenged, deeply unpopular incumbent Gov., Jon Corzine, and won narrowly.

    This year, he ran for reelection with no scandals, lots of campaign cash, a modestly growing economy, a weak, underfunded opponent, a fawning media, and a separate Senate special election. Pretty much any sitting Governor with those advantages would be a shoo-in for reelection, whether R or D.

    •  But that doesn't explain the cross-voting. (0+ / 0-)

      I agree with you about the advantages he had  . . . . But why did 31% of Democrats cross over and vote for him? Or 55% of women? Or 48% of Hispanics.

      None of his policies are good for those groups, or fit with their general politics.

      It's one thing to have strong advantages going into an election. It's another to peel off huge numbers of the supposed "opposition" in the process.

  •  ask yourself who the last two (0+ / 0-)

    Dem govs where and how they turned out. Dems are still feeling burned by what happened before Christie. So Christie doesnt look so bad in comparison.

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