Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Whatever It Is, It's Not Courage

It was bad enough when Joe Scarborough on his "Morning Joe" on April 20  said " I wonder whether Chris Christie’s problems have put him in position where he has to go for broke and do what all the other candidates are not doing — and that is tell the truth about our fiscal house."  Recognizing the lack of substance of the governor's proposal,  Charles  Pierce five days earlier had noticed

The really hilarious part is that Christie is pitching his personal form of granny-starving as a boon to younger Americans, because what is a more obvious solution to the problem of unemployed American youth than to propose a policy that guarantees that American workers will stay on the job until they are nearly 70, and that only works if you assume that every human-resources department in the country will be raptured off to cost-cutting heaven and not notice the line of septuagenarians working on the factory floor? 

Following the display of ignorance by the program's host, Nicole Wallace (video below) made matters worse when she commented "I hate the term finding his voice, but he knows his voice and he knows his mind, He’s already helping the race by being the adult in the room. Entitlement reform is a huge issue. It’s not the sexiest issue. But New Hampshire voters can handle the straight talk.”  Pierce, five days earlier, had written

Bold! Again! There is something entirely sick about the desire among our political elites to make the lives of the poor and elderly worse so as to demonstrate how important and serious those elites are. There is a consensus here that exists some place outside the world in which most people live.

Hanging out with GOP presidential hopefuls at the First in the Nation Republican Leadership Summit in New Hampshire, Jim Newell reports

Another plank of Christie’s big plan is to reform Social Security disability benefits. There are too many working-age people out there falsely claiming disability and we need to get them back in the workforce. Grr! During his Q&A segment, a woman took issue with this part of the plan. She told him that she has a 24-year-old son with Asperger’s syndrome and he can’t keep a job, so he really needs disability benefits. Christie assures her that her son’s case is legitimate and he has no intention of harming him

The woman, having secured a pledge from Christie to protect her son’s bennies, then asked Christie what he’s going to do about all the illegals immigrants coming to take our jobs. Near the end of his answer Christie acknowledged, in another one of his hard truths, that the 11 or 12 million undocumented immigrants in the country cannot be relied upon to all “self-deport.” (Poor Mitt Romney.) Was this the part where humanity’s truthiest truth-teller was going to go all-in for amnesty? Not quite. He merely suggested that leaders of both parties are going to have to come together to find a solution for that. The reason it hasn’t happened already, according to Christie, is that there’s been “no leadership from the White House.” You might think that pushing with its political might a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill would count as some kind of leadership on this issue, but apparently not. That’s just another hard truth from Chris Christie.

There is a difference between straight talk and pandering to Ken Langone, Pete Peterson, and investment bankers. There is, too, a difference between telling the truth and being unwilling to tell a mother with a disabled son that that he's targeting the young man's benefits. Some people call Chris Christie a bully. He should be thankful- that wins votes in a Repub primary. Cowardly is more like it.

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This  is a reasonable question. If going to a predominantly Jewish neighborhood to harass and intimidate Jewish people at a synagogue is no...