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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) doesn’t want you to think he’s the kind of guy who would use his power to secretly exact petty revenge against a local official by punishing the people of his own state. No, he’d rather you believe he’s just the kind of guy whose staff thought he was that kind of guy.

Where would the governor’s staff get the idea that their boss would sanction shutting down two lanes of the world’s busiest bridge and telling commuters that it was the fault of Fort Lee’s mayor?

Could it be the way Christie has constantly berated his critics in public? Or the way he axed the fellowship program of an academic who didn’t bend to Republicans’ will on redistricting? Or how he became the first governor of his state ever to not reappoint a member of the Supreme Court, for no particular reason?

Or maybe it was how Christie fired his former New Jersey Commissioner of Education, claiming that Bret Schundler had lied to him over errors that cost the state hundreds of millions in education funds? The governor claimed back in 2010 that the lesson of the incident was, “Don’t lie to the governor.” However, Schundler claimed that it was the governor who was actually lying.

Now Christie wants us to believe his staff didn’t learn that lesson. Instead, they learned to do some freelance bullying in his name that he did not sanction and was never made aware of. Then they lied to him about it. So he fired the liars, and now he moves on.

The governor staked his political career on this explanation — that he was incompetently oblivious rather than complicit in violating federal law — and he expects to get away with it, the way he got away with firing Schundler.

And why wouldn’t he?

Christie got away with defunding Planned Parenthood over and over again because of the “costs.” Then he spent tens of millions on an unnecessary election just so he wouldn’t have to be on the same ballot as Cory Booker. His trickle-down economics of tax breaks for corporations while cutting government services and going after public workers’ security has led to a curiously weak economy and a growing deficit. Still, he was popular enough to win a landslide election.

Politically, the governor has the savvy to paint himself as a moderate when convenient, a label he contrasts with his image as a “bully” — one he seems to savor and nurture, even though he repeatedly said, “I am not a bully” in his press conference about the bridge scandal. He’s obviously canny enough to know that the public never heard the “not” in Richard Nixon’s “I am not a crook” and John McCain’s “I am not George W. Bush.”

In this way, Christie — who is often depicted as a contrast to the rest of the Republican Party — is the perfect example of a modern Republican.

The GOP is building its post-Bush/Cheney “resurgence” on getting away with things that are non-sensical and often downright cruel.

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Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • daniel bostdorf

    As proof—Here Are 8 Videos of Him Yelling, Name-Calling, and Belittling People.

  • moelarryandjesus

    For Repiglicans, dead poor people are a feature of their policies, not a bug.

  • FT66

    I have been wondering why people take Christie’s bullying as his strength. That is not how good leaders behave. If a leader is always bullying his subordinates, all the time they will be working under fear and very easy to make mistakes. A pleasant atmosphere at a workplace with a good leader, is where all workers when they wake up early in the morning while brushing their teeth and looking in the mirror, will never tell themselves: where am I going today to work?

    • sigrid28

      Your post brings up such a good point: Christie is a public servant who oversees the work of other public servants, yet his conduct has created a state of fear and loathing throughout New Jersey, even among journalists–a pretty tough bunch. When subordinates fear for their wives and children when they come to work each day, the situation is bound to be up for grabs. That’s what the bully likes–a situation that lets him (or her) get his hands on anything his heart desires. It’s this power grab, which Christie tries to hide, that is gradually coming to light, especially through articles like this one, which connect the dots supporting this astonishing conclusion: Republicans have decided to bully the American public, and Chris Christie is their poster child.

  • disqus_fsqeoY3FsG

    He doesn’t have to hide it because it is what Elected Republicans and pundits because that is what they do, bully and attack those who they believe are weaker than them or do not deserve their respect. You can be a straight shooter without being rude, obnoxious, hateful and disrespectful.

    • charleo1

      Sure, one may be a straight shooter, a straight talker, blunt, matter
      of fact, and straight from the shoulder honest. But a full 30% of
      the Republican Right, are dumb as a box of rocks. And subtlety,
      to put it mildly, is not their strong suit. They won’t get it without the
      obnoxious disrespect. Use enough of it, and they can literally be
      made to swoon over, “Cat in the Hat.”

  • Kurt CPI

    Nobody believes Christie. Nobody believed Charlie Rangel’s stories of “oversights” on the tens of thousands of dollars in annual tax evasion. Politicians think that the laws they pass are for “other people”, not them. This is a recurring theme as the mantle of privilege quickly takes root (for those that weren’t already born into privilege). But Christie’s demeanor makes it clear that he is a bully. Harry Truman was a tough straight-talker, but he understood that he represented the people, not his self-interests. Christie has no such understanding, and his selective “straight talk” isn’t fooling anyone. If he ever had a chance at being the party-line arbitrator (which I doubt), he just blew it.

  • charleo1

    Make no mistake, Christ Christie is as dangerous a trickle down, Middle Class destroying, regressive taxing, and eventually budget busting, Republican, as this Country has seen since George W. Bush, and his, “compassionate conservatism.” Or, Ronald Reagan before him. Who’s contemptible economic policies, skewed entirely for rich, and the multi-national corporations, are just in the last decade, bearing their most poisonous fruit. Now, there’s no doubt about Christie’s talent. He’s smart, which puts him ahead of 90% of the GOP bench of possible Presidential contenders for 2016. Cruz is smart too. But also seems deeply psychologically troubled. Likely suffering acute megalomania. A T-Party favorite at the moment. And Rand Paul lacks a certain mental acuity. That vacant look behind the eyes, revealing a dumber version of George W. The T-Party is also quite fond of Rand. But, Christie is so dangerous because he acts rational. He is not afraid to talk to the opposition, and even brag on the man, 90% of the Christian Fundamentalists believe might be the AntiChrist. And for some Democrats, who are hoping the Republican Party gets over what ever it is that is causing them to behave like lunatics. The lure of a Republican not afraid to take on his own Party in their defense after hurricane Sandy, might prove irresistible. Let’s not forget, in a very Blue State, Christie tromped his Democratic challenger for Governor by a landslide. With the help of the aptly described, “Christie-Crats. Some are sure this bridge scandal will end his Presidential ambitions. And there is still probably much to be discovered in that respect. If he were a Democrat, yes. But, Republicans really are different. Vote for common sense gun control, or any tax increase on the fabulously wealthy. And they will come after you in a wild rage! Close a bridge they believe to be mostly used by Democrats, Well, stuff happens.

  • howa4x

    When your party is only there to protect the wealthiest Americans you can have bullying in your tool box, along with deception, and demonizing. Republicans have survived as a national party because although they always favored business they had a realistic view of society and knew when to help struggling
    Americans. Nixon the most reviled president in modern history knew that pollution was bad enough to create the EPA. Plus he didn’t dismantle the great society. That was left to Reagan who opened the war on labor with the firing on air traffic controllers. It was his presidency that started the upward flow of money to the wealthiest 1% with trickle down economics.
    Bush 2 knew he had to label himself as a compassionate conservative to win. that all changed with the arrival of the tea party. Now you could be nasty to your opponents and demonize them in ways that were out of bounds. Christie and Walker come out of that new breed of republican. Tough talking not taking any crap from state workers or teachers. both belong to ALEC a Koch funded organization to promote business interests at the state level by having business write their own legislation.
    Christie comes from a more Blue state so he has to appear moderate and his bullying comes off as straight talking.
    Both are angling to become a candidate for 2016, Walker publishing a book and Christie the head of the governors assoc. But Christie faces 3 to 4 investigations that will drip out info as he runs around the country to campaign for other Republican gubernatorial candidates. Soon he may look like a rebirth of a plague doctor if his troubles dog him on the trail and over shadow the candidate is trying to help. If that happens his allure will fade and he might be left as a diminished shell of a once a future king.

  • CPAinNewYork

    This doesn’t add up. Why would a Republican expect a Democrat to endorse him? And, not getting that endorsement, conduct an act of revenge that is so obvious that it’s guaranteed to blow up in his face?

    Sorry, but I don’t buy it. Christie is not stupid. He wouldn’t set himself up for such an inevitable fall.

    I think that Christie’s staff did what they did at the urging of the Republican ultra right wing. Christie was set up by his staff. It didn’t take long for the Republican ultra right wing to jump Christie. They hate him.

    • Bill

      Christie thought he could get away with this because he’s gotten away with all the other things he’s done.

  • dpaano

    It absolutely boggles my mind that so many people are fooled by the Republicans…..what is it that they can’t see? It’s amazing!! Even the people they hurt seem to keep re-electing them! How in the heck does that happen? And, why do we keep letting it happen?

    • CPAinNewYork

      All good questions. Care to suggest any answers?

      • dpaano

        I wish I could…..I’d like to put them all in a big room and make them listen to stories from people who are unemployed, don’t have health insurance, are living from paycheck to paycheck, etc. I doubt, however, that this would help get through their thick skulls! What has to be done is for Democrats to get out and vote en masse during the midterm elections!! We need to have our voices heard!

        • CPAinNewYork

          It seems to me that the Democrats are the problem. Why aren’t they continually showing the middle class and poor voters how electing Republicans hurts them?

          • Independent1

            More Democrats obviously need to try and make themselves more visible on nationally broadcast shows and even on local talk and other programs bringing out the GOP lies and wrong direction they’re leading America. However, the one problem I see which may be discouraging the Dems, is that despite the fact that many see the media as liberal, and campaign donations to the parties sort of bear that out – Dems get more compaign donations from media people than Repubs; media folks still seem to focus more on covering the lies and distortions from the GOP.

            I believe that’s because it seems that Americans are more quick to listen to and believe accusations about fake wrongs, than they are to politicians telling them the truth; i.e. denouncing the lies. So, from a sensationalism standpoint, I think a lot of media people focus on publishing what’s more sensational than on publishing denials of wrong doing and talking about setting the right direction for America, which probably goes right over the heads of most Americans who are accustomed to being fed so many lies and distortions by the GOP.

    • Independent1

      What your comments bring to mind are the visions of domestic violence; where one spouse has a history of abusing the other and yet the abused spouse for a number of possible reasons, insecurity, fear, the kids, etc. is powerless to seek help or leave the relationship. The GOP is like the abusing spouse who has abused his or her spouse time after time and gets away with it until he or she goes too far and either kills their spouse or harms the spouse so badly that he or she can’t take it anymore.
      Sadly, even in domestic violence situations, abused spouses will often not take opportunities they are given to break free and will actually return to the spouse that is punishing them. Which it seems are just what not so well off Republicans keep doing (those who aren’t going to benefit from the big tax cuts and other perks that GOPers push for the 1&2%) and despite suffering at the hands of the GOP will just keep voting back into office legislators and presidents that they must know don’t have their best interests at heart.

      • dpaano

        Independent1: Good analogy!! I have to agree with you 100%. I think, also, that some of them just don’t know or care who runs their country, so they continue to vote in the same person (if they even vote at all). It’s amazing that when you read articles about how many people can actually name their state senators, a goodly portion couldn’t tell you. It just goes to show that some people just don’t get the idea that politics DOES affect them and they NEED to be aware of what’s going on around them. It’s just sad that they don’t, and I can blame it on the media, or lack of it (the almost wholly-owned media by Murdock) in most of the Red states. People who are poor don’t have access to computers to read the news from other sources…..they’re stuck with their right-wing media news, and if that’s all you get….that’s all you hear.

      • sigrid28

        The domestic violence analogy may, in fact, explain the loyalty of Republicans hurt by the party’s policies–or help us understand them better. Statistically, the most dangerous moment for the abused spouse who has not yet been killed is when he or she decides to leave the relationship. That is why the standard method for bringing this about involves putting the abused spouse and children in protective custody and issuing an order of protection at the same time. This level of executive function requires preplanning on the part of the abused partner, resources, and help–hard to assemble while living with the abuser, even if Stockholm Syndrome is not a factor. The abused spouses who have the most trouble in escaping safely are those without resources–the poor. Republicans, who demonize the poor as a way of denying them even the benefits they may have earned during better times, have lately intensified the verbal abuse of the poor in anticipation of bullying them into nonexistence if possible. Perhaps this tendency on the part of the right signals the moment when those most abused by its policies–whether Republicans, Independents, or Democrats–are closest to making a break. The 2014 and 2016 elections will give them ample opportunity.

  • Pamby50

    Chris Christie snookered a lot of democrats into voting against their best interests. Now they seem shocked as to what has happened. We have known he was a bully just by the way he talks to people. As for the bridge scandal, I am beginning to think like Rachael Maddow. Chris Christie was going to win by a landslide. Supreme court judges on the other hand, make everyone a little crazy. That he didn’t nominate Justice John Wallace after serving 7 years, was a deal breaker for the dems. They head of the senate judiciary committee comes from the Ft Lee area.

    • CPAinNewYork

      Ok, but I’m still not clear how Christie’s failure to nominate John Wallace to the New Jersey Supreme Court explains Christie’s alleged having caused the traffic mess. How does the head of the New Jersey senate judiciary committee fit into this?

      Can you be specific? I’m not familiar with New Jersey politics.

      • Pamby50

        This all started with Justice John Wallace not getting re-appointed. The senate dems were outrage and vowed to not fill his seat. Every person that Chris Christie nominated, the dems said no. Another position came available and they filled that one but left Justice Wallace’s spot vacant. On 8/12/13 Chris Christie pulled a republican justice from the re-nomination process saying “I was not going to let her loose to the animals”. The dems said they were going to give her a whale of a time. Now on 8/13/13 at 7:34 am the memo goes out saying “time for some traffic problems in Ft. Lee”. Rachael’s contention is that this was not directed at the mayor but the senate leader Loretta Weinberg that represents the Ft. Lee area. I am beginning to think the same thing. Chris Christie did not have the mayor of Ft. Lee on his radar but the leader of the senate who has been making his appointments the New Jersey Supreme Court impossible.

  • Haviva

    Christie is not only a bully, he is THE RAGING BULLY!

  • constancespinney

    What this jerk needs is a smack in the mouth. He is disgusting.

  • charles king

    I do not have to much too say about the Gov. of New Jersey, I put him in the same catagory as The Gov. of Pennsylvania and all the Other Republican Govs, Who? are disregarding your Democracy. These people are trying to sell the country Plutocracy Where? the government is rule by rich white people and others Who? has put your Democracy at risk. Critical Thinking is needed for the People because their country is falling apart. The Plutocracts are in your small towns USA, and in your States, and in your Federal Government. The only HELP the country is your Democracy, you have to VOTE these people OUT, cause they Want? to keep the country in a disaray, and possibly destroy your Democracy, your Democracy is the only type of government that can defeat MONEY cause the Vote is very POtent, and forceful enough to make the system work. Thank You are the magic words in my book. I Love Ya All

    • daniel bostdorf

      Topic is:

      The Worst Thing About Chris Christie’s Bullying? He Doesn’t Have To Hide It…from the article:

      “Politically, the governor has the savvy to paint himself as a moderate when convenient, a label he contrasts with his image as a “bully” — one he seems to savor and nurture, even though he repeatedly said, “I am not a bully” in his press conference about the bridge scandal. He’s obviously canny enough to know that the public never heard the “not” in Richard Nixon’s “I am not a crook” and John McCain’s “I am not George W. Bush.”

      And I agree with what you state:

      ” Critical Thinking is needed for the People because their country is falling apart.”

      Some critical points to consider as you contemplate Christie the bully…

      Oligarchy: a country, business, etc., that is controlled by a small group of people: the people that control a country, business, etc.: government or control by a small group of people (the essential element of fascism)

      Plutocracy: government by the richest people : a country that is ruled by the richest people: a group of very rich people who have a lot of power (another central element of Fascism)

  • Sand_Cat

    The title says it all.

  • daniel bostdorf
  • Secular_Humanist

    I think Governor Christie aswered truly when asked about the bridge backup: :”I was the guy who set the cones…” That’s the phrase I would use as an election campaign ad against him.

  • On Guard!

    In some related video we find a brief summary of Obama’s lies about keeping your doctor and your insurance: