(Ed. Note -- I am going to try to weave "Tunnel" into any diary about Chris Christie, no matter what the subject. His Tunnel-cide of the Hudson River project was an opportunistic disgrace, for which he has suffered no consequences. Who will suffer? Anyone who breathes the air on both sides of the Hudson, anyone who vegetates in a car for an unnecessary hour on that hellish circular ramp on the Jersey side of the Lincoln Tunnel, anyone would have gotten years' worth of employment on the project and all of us for the lost economic development of the region and country.)Today's topic: Christie's Tunnel Vision on the ACA, as pointed out by Steve Benen on the Maddow Blog.
“This is a disaster and it was a train wreck that anybody who’s managed anything, ever, in their lives, could’ve seen coming,” Christie told New Jersey 101.5FM.Steve Benen finds at least four errors in this. I will focus on the one I consider the most insidious and foolish:
“This is just an awful law. It made no sense and that’s why I didn’t get into a state exchange,” the Republican governor said on Monday, during the monthly “Ask the Governor” program.
That's why I didn't get into a state exchange.Christie is not an idiot. (That's what makes him dangerous.) So it's obvious that he's willfully ignoring that the most successful states for ACA enrollment are those that have set up state exchanges, including Kentucky, California, Connecticut and Washington. And of course, the success in MA shows that the whole system can work when implemented by a state. So to say that his not setting up a state exchange was prescient on his part is simply disingenuous pandering to his new constituency, the Tea Party.
Steve B., who is generous to a fault, writes: "It’s possible the governor, gearing up for a national race, is just throwing around careless rhetoric to impress right-wing primary voters, and nonsense sells better than coherence."
It's not possible -- it's certain. Having fooled people in NJ that he's a "moderate" to be re-elected Governor, he is now clearly "pivoting" (boy do I hate that word) to the right to please the Tea Party and their ilk. An essential part of that is making know-nothing comments about the ACA like this one.
It remains to be seen whether this rhetoric will make up for Christie's ultimate tea party sins of accepting the Medicaid expansion (for just one year) and hugging Obama. I hope not.