Monday, November 11, 2013

Oooh.  He's Quite The Guy

But, gee whiz, guys and gals, wouldn’t it just be totally and awesomely cool to have a real Jersey guy become president? Think of all “hits” the dying, increasingly digitized newspapers in the state would receive writing about him? Might rival the Kardashians as a trender.

Bob Braun wrote that on Wednesday when even he wouldn't have known that George Stephanopoulos would go out and prove on Sunday that he is one of those media guys who find Chris Christie totally and awesomely cool. On This  Week, the ABC News host "asked" the Democratic establishment's favorite governor, favorite Republican, and favorite manly man

There's also been a lot of questions about the president's health care plan. You called on him to apologize this week. He seemed to take your advice, a couple of days later he did apologize for people who were getting their health plans canceled.

President Obama did call to congratulate the fellow the media inevitably has designated the leading GOP presidential contender.  The day after the landslide victory for the guy whose abiding passion is berating teachers publicly, presidential press secretary Jay Carney stated “Obviously [the president] and the governor have spent a lot of time together … The president was glad to congratulate him on his victory." That was about as far as he could go without blurting out, "How obvious did  the President have to make it he was hoping the governor would be re-elected?"  Still, a media firestorm had rapidly evolved, and suggesting that the President of the United States apologized because of the influence of one of the many Repubs who criticized him is an extraordinary stretch.

Stephanopoulos was eager to contribute to a narrative among many professional Democrats (a group that once included Stephanopoulos) that beneath the rough and abusive exterior, Christie, a Koch brothers favorite, is really a moderate who speaks truth to the power of the far-right.   "You got a majority of the Latino vote" (i.e., approximately 51%)," he stroked, "and you're for a path to citizenship," itself a pre-requisite for the approval of the Democratic establishment. Continuing in that vein, Stephanopoulos assured his viewers Christie "also said that undocumented students in New Jersey should get in-state tuition rates."    He neglected to mention the significant increase in tuition rates at state universities which resulted in part when the governor slashed aid to public colleges.

It isn't only George, of course. Adam Nagourney and Jonathan Martin, at the "liberal" New York Times, gush

At a time when Mr. Obama and members of Congress are mired in partisanship and gridlock, many governors — including Chris Christie of New Jersey, a Republican who was re-elected by an overwhelming margin on Tuesday, and the chief executives of such states as Arkansas, California, Nevada, New Mexico, New York and Ohio — are showing that it is possible to be successful in elected office, even in this era.

These governors are, at least by comparison to lawmakers in Washington, capable and popular leaders, pushing through major legislation and trying to figure out ways, with mixed success, to avoid the partisan wrangling that has come to symbolize Washington.

With unavoidable sarcasm, Steve M. observes

Chris Christie is dreamy! Chris Christie's elevator pitch for himself ("Washington sucks! Governors like me rule!") is so excellently pithy that we're going to write about it as if it's a news story and not a campaign slogan! After all, that's our job, isn't it? To recast politicians' self-promoting spin as objective news?

Christie did, as Stephanopoulos pointed out, agree to accept an expansion of Medicare, a wise decision while running for re-election in a liberal, Democratic state.  But George ignored, as virtually the entire media has, that

Right after taking office, Gov. Christie decided to cut funding for fundamental reproductive health-care programs. Six Planned Parenthood clinics in New Jersey were shut down, and thousands of women have been deprived of the counseling and care they need. That means that thousands of women in New Jersey cannot get gynecological care, counseling on reproductive choices, diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted disease, because they cannot afford it. The governor has deliberately underfunded these programs...

But primary blame does not lie with the mainstream media, which cannot be expected to do its job in the absence of criticism of Governor Christie from those who should know better, do know better, and yet kept quiet.  Braun notes

If Chris Christie, someone who couldn’t be re-elected freeholder, whose brother bought him the US Attorney’s office,  who used the machinery of federal prosecutions to eliminate his rivals, who incited hatred against teachers and other public employees, who presided over unemployment and property tax  increases, who made the poor poorer and the rich richer, who made publicly abusing women a new professional sport in New Jersey—becomes president of the United States, we have one group to blame:

The leadership of New Jersey’s Democrats.

And Christie’s bosom Sandy pal, Barack Obama.

And even now, after his guy pal has been re-elected, President Obama remains supportive of a presidential aspirant, who for New Jersey politics, has been an unprecedented opponent of women's health, transportation infrastructure improvements, unions, public employees, poor people, public school students, same-sex marriage, and an increase in the minimum wage. Heck of a job, Obamie.

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