Did Chris Christie Slip Jennifer Rubin A Roofie?
Good heavens. This Jennifer Rubin column on Chris Christie is embarrassing, not only for her mindless slobbering over Christie, but for it's ignorance of the GOP's conservative base. Clearly, Rubin isn't qualified to speak for it. I imagine that would be a bridge too far for the Washington Post, which has no problems employing columnists from the far-Left. They are as guilty of trying to move the nation to the Left, as are the Democrats.
If Rubin ever interviews Christie, I hope she has the good sense to get a room. This deserves to be taken apart piece-by-piece. To begin with, Christie rarely, if ever, takes the toughest positions. He didn't sue on ObamaCare, is weak on illegal-immigration, appointed an Islamist-connected judge to a high court and isn't good on the 2nd Amendment, or environmental issues, either. He clearly doesn't even take the toughest position as regards public unions. Consequently, Rubin's assertion that he makes the toughest positions sound like "common sense" is, in a word, nonsense.
He is — no doubt a consequence of his years as a prosecutor — entirely fluid in his delivery. He maintains good cheer even when dismantling the question. And he makes even the toughest position sound like nothing more than common sense.
Then there's this bit below where she quotes Christie, while ignoring his tap dancing, mischaracterizing him as being candid.
But aren't collective bargaining rights inviolate? Christie, a former U.S. attorney, reminds us:
Now listen. All these rights are legislatively created. They didn't come down from tablets at the top of a mountain. And so, political things change and go back and forth. And every state is going to make their own determination on that. Wisconsin is in the middle of making that determination. As you know, Bob, there are plenty of states in America where that right doesn't exist. And so, each state has to make their own determination on that.
But it's not the legal precision of the answer that is exceptional. What stands out is his utter candor. I frankly can't imagine another politician debunking the notion that public employees have a God-given right to collectively bargain.
Utter candor? Sure, he's candid for saying public unions aren't writ in stone. Big deal! But to what effect? Because what he's actually doing is not being candid at all by plainly stating he evidently isn't going to take them on, certainly not to the extent Walker and others, including Kasich, I believe, are. Far from being candid and strong, he's actually relatively weak in terms of where the debate is right now and he avoids answering the question clearly as regards his plans for New Jersey.
Below, the man has not only repeatedly demonized teachers, but public workers, as well. He's done it to create YouTube moments in which he has used his pulpit as Governor, including when visiting other states such as California, to go after individuals who happened to be at a public meeting. Those people who served Christie's PR purposes so well were not union heads, they were simply pawns.
But his best answer was in response to the accusation that he is "demonizing teachers." In his unflappable and cheery way, he essentially told Schieffer that was nuts:
Listen, I think that the teachers in New Jersey, and there's thousands and thousands of great ones deserve a union as good as they are and they don't have it. And, I disagree with the premise of your question, which is that everybody agrees there should be education reform. It's everybody, but the teachers union who believes that everything is fine. If you listen to them in New Jersey, they'll tell you everything is fine.
Since we can assume Christie isn't going to take on the public unions as Walker is doing and he wants teachers to have a "good" union, I find myself asking just what kind of solutions he ultimately brings to the table. I hear a lot of demagoguery. Are these unions simply going to disarm and de-fang themselves because Christie wants them to?
When you drill down through Christie's education reform plan, it's mostly boilerplate and nothing we haven't seen and heard before. If I'm not mistaken, it doesn't even include vouchers and the NJEA is waging war on the plan. Also, as union members are certain to control the evaluation process, the key to his plan, it's more than possible that far more will be said than done in the end. Point being, sure, Christie talks a good game but has accomplished very little so far. Even his budget reforms relied on several tricks to appear more significant than it was.
Much of this plan hinges on how to accurately and fairly judge who is a skilled teacher and who isn't. That's a key debate, and given the poisonous atmosphere between the Christie administration and the teachers union, it's a debate that's tougher to have.
Frankly, I believe the American people are ready for more substance, than form; I don't get that impression from Rubin. For the most part, Walker, Kasich, Perry, Jindal, McDonnell and others have kept their sleeves rolled-up while working on serious reforms in their states - in some cases more significant than Christie's, and on whole they are better on several other issues key to the GOP base. Call me a cynic, but I want something more than great YouTube traffic before I pronouce someone ready to "take Washington by storm."
The reality Rubin ignores is this: Christie is proposing moderate reforms in a deeply blue state but is to the Left of many Republicans in red states on several critical issues. That isn't the description of someone who can move America in the Right direction as President. It's someone who would get to Washington and end up embracing the status quo. He also knows better than any one that serious reform in New Jersey will take years. Given that he invests so much time and money creating the impression he's the guy to bring it, possibly at the national level, suggests to me his real plan may be to do a lot of talking but not be around in NJ when the real crap hits the fan.
Lastly, here's something for you to think about, Jennifer. If you look into the actual record, say what you will about Palin, in some ways she accomplished more in Alaska by taking on the oil consortium in her two years, than Christie has so far in NJ.
And those who think he doesn't show restraint should think again. Is Sarah Palin ready for president? "She's got to make that judgment herself."
He, of course, insists he isn't running for president. But here's the deal (a Christie-ism): if he racks up another big win in the budget fights, the GOP field continues to shrink and disappoint and the economy is still in the doldrums, don't you think Christie might just decide to take the ball and run with it? And with his reputation and name identification, he could make that decision in November. By then, the Republican electorate should be desperate for a candidate who can not only beat Obama but take Washington by storm.