Sen. Kevin O’Toole called Thursday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing over Philip Kwon’s nomination a “lynching.” As Tom Moran has already pointed out, this was out of line. In case anyone needs a refresher, according to Wikipedia, “Lynching is an extrajudicial execution carried out by a mob, often by hanging, but also by burning at the stake or shooting, in order to punish an alleged transgressor, or to intimidate, control, or otherwise manipulate a population of people.” OK? Serious stuff there, that happened way too often for way too long in our nation’s history. It’s like someone saying that “the upcoming election will be a Holocaust for the Republicans.” It’s not something to trivialize.
But there is something broader here too. Look back just a week or two to when Assembly Transportation Chair Wisniewski got subpoena power to investigate the really sketchy seeming Christie patronage going on at the Port Authority.” Republicans reacted by calling it a “witch hunt” (that word was used in the judiciary hearing too) and suggested that Christie himself was already taking the necessary steps (to investigate his own patronage apparently).
Often conservatives accuse progressives of being entitled. But this Governor and the party he leads have started to act with a huge sense of entitlement. They feel that if they can cut deals with the Democratic Legislature on some issues (pen/ben) that means they are entitled to whatever they want, with no oversight, acting like they have a mandate to do whatever they want.
As Sen. Sweeney pointed out in his statement on the court process on Friday:
The governor talks often of how ‘elections have consequences.’ For him, the consequence of the people electing a Democratic Legislature concerned with protecting the integrity of our legal system is now clear. The governor must work with us to put together a balanced tandem of candidates for the Court. The Senate will not consider anything less.
Let’s hope that the message from the Legislature continues to be that Christie doesn’t get what he wants by having his surrogates make outlandish accusations, but rather by genuinely negotiating and making concessions.