In his preface to promoting jackstanton’s diary, “When does the bullshit stop?,” deciminyan asks the following:
With the Christiecrat wing of the Democratic Party taking power in Trenton, are we headed toward one-party government?”
The problem with this question is the tense is all wrong and the label is even more wrong. We have one-party government, because the Norcrosscrat wing of the Democratic Party took power in Trenton before Chris Christie was elected Governor and it is my belief that they suppressed the Corzine vote where they had the power to do so in order to help Christie beat Corzine.
Why did the Norcrosscrats prefer Christie to Corzine? During the eight years of McGreevey, Codey, and Corzine, George Norcross was one of many political bosses of one of many political machines in the state and even though he controlled more Assemblypersons and Senators than any one boss, the bosses in North and Central Jersey were closely aligned enough to keep him in check.
But during this time, U.S. Attorney Chris Christie successfully indicted and convicted a number of these bosses, dramatically reducing the amount of control that they had over electeds and other party leaders in their fiefdoms. Interestingly enough, despite being the most corrupt of the bunch, Norcross underwent the least amount of scrutiny of any of them and was able to increase his power and reach into other parts of the state as a result.
This chain of events led to the coup that overthrew Dick Codey as Senate President and passed over then-Assembly Majority Leader Bonnie Watson Coleman and installed Steve Sweeney as Senate President and Sheila Oliver as Assembly Speaker. Despite the best efforts of people like Codey, former Assembly Majority Leader, and former Senate Majority Leader, Barbara Buono to take the Assembly and Senate back from the Norcrosscrats, as long as Norcross has his bloc of 6 Senators and 12 Assemblypersons and is able to play the North and Central Jersey political machines against one another, keeping them divided and weak, Norcrossippi is going to run New Jersey.
But even more important than unifying the North and Central Jersey political machines against Norcross is defeating Christie in 2013. It is not a coincidence that Norcross was able to avoid the indictments and convictions that slayed his corrupt fellow bosses and take control of the Assembly and Senate at the same time that Christie became Governor. They came to power together and they depend on each other to retain the power that they have. Removing Norcross from his position of ultimate power is going to take generations of progressive activism that the progressive activists in Norcrossippi are either unwilling or unable to undertake.
Jay Lassiter has worked for Norcrosscrats on numerous occasions and has written in positive terms about the North-South divide, going fo far as to tell those of us who do not live in Norcrossippi to “work our own side of the street”. Deciminyan has written that he prefers Norcrosscrats to Republicans, which is a reasonable position to take, but it ignores the fact that the huge bloc of Democratic Assemblypersons and Senators is the key to the control that he has over the entire state.
If the electeds in LD1, LD3, and LD4 were defeated by Republicans in 2013, Democrats would still have majorities in the Assembly and Senate, but the amount of power that Norcross will have will be dramatically reduced to the point that by 2017, progressives could challenge and replace James Beach and Donald Norcross with progressives and Herb Conaway, Troy Singleton, Jim Whelan, and the Assemblypersons in LD5 and LD6 would be free to be the progressives that they truly are. But even more important than any of this is defeating Christie in 2013. The power that a Democratic Governor would possess would be enough to contain the power and reach of Norcrossippi.
Unfortunately, it is unlikely that Norcross and his acolytes will allow a Democrat to defeat Christie in 2013 and the only other way to get rid of him is to elect Mitt Romney President and that would be akin to cutting off our head to spite a zit on our nose. It would be much better to just pop the zit.
JCpolitico makes an interesting comment in this diary as well.
Wait, so all of a sudden Loretta Weinberg is the only real Dem in power even though she had no qualms about making a deal with Sweeney to push Bouno out as Majority Leader. Come on. I just don’t get how South Jersey wields so much power despite having the least population and being essentially the least relevant region of the state. That’s like letting members of congress from Idaho run the country for us.
First and foremost, Loretta Weinberg can do far more good on the inside of this notorious power structure than she can on the outside. Both Barbara Buono and Joe Cryan knew this when they were part of the original coup that ousted Dick Codey and passed over Bonnie Watson Coleman. But the power structure that Christie and Norcross have built for themselves is not unlike the dysfunctional system in Washington where Idaho may not run the country, but by virtue of the power of the United States Senate and the hyperutilization of the filibuster, it and other low-population states like it have an inordinate amount of power.
I was looking at the Washington Post’s interactive electoral map the other day and after seeing, despite the fact that New Jersey is losing a congressional seat, how many states have fewer seats than we do, I realized how broken our country’s political system, particularly our Senate, truly is. Only nine (California, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, and New York) states have more congressional seats, while the remaining forty all have less, and in most cases, far less.
Am I the only person here who thinks that it is insane that Alaska has the same representation in the Senate as we do, despite having a dramatically lower population? Say what you will about Chris Christie. He might be evil, but he is neither batshitcrazy nor a bloomin’ idiot like Sarah Palin, who had no business being elected Mayor of Wasilla, the crystal meth capital of Alaska, much less Governor, much less being nominated Vice-President. The fact that a chain of events like this was able to occur is proof positive about how broken our democracy truly is.
In my opinion, the Constitution has to be amended to modify the number of Senators that each state sends to Washington. Understanding the history of the Connecticut Compromise, I think that there does need to be some differentiation in the Senate’s representation. I think that the fairest approach to balancing the importance of original intent with the needs of the present would be to allocate one Senator to every state with 1-9 Congresspersons, two Senators to every state with 10-19 Congresspersons, and, continuing along this model, three Senators to New York, four Senators to Texas, and six Senators to California.
Obviously, it would be impossible to pass a constitutional amendment that would take away a Senator from 4/5 of the states in the country, but in my opinion, that is the only way that we would be able to fix the problems caused by a system that has put as much power in the hands of the Idahoes of our country that our current system does. Filibuster reform or the nuclear option, eliminating the filibuster altogether, would in the grand scheme of things have a minimal impact on the problems facing our broken government in Washington.
In fact, when I think about the magnitude of the problem, it makes me feel a little better about our broken state government. Imagine how terrible it would be if each of our state’s 21 counties were represented equally in the State Senate. Even with Norcrossippi and the Norcrosscrats behind him, Chris Christie is still beatable. And if we can beat him next year, whether Barack Obama wins or loses this November, I think that we need to start talking seriously about another way to fix our broken country, which is secession.
For the same reasons that I believe in a two-state or three-state (with Gaza and the Sinai becoming a separate state from both Egypt and Israel) solution to the problems that face the State of Israel and its Arab neighbors, I believe even more in a four-state solution to solving the problems of the Disunited States of America.
Our country would consist of everything North and East of Maryland and Pennsylvania with the District of Columbia becoming part of Maryland. As much as I would love to elect Howard Dean as our first President and make Burlington, VT our new nation’s capital, I think that Waterbury, CT would probably make more sense as long as we could drive most of the crazy evangelicals out. Otherwise, we might have to settle for Danbury. Then again, maybe we should really think outside of the box and elect Loretta Weinberg as our first President and make Teaneck our new nation’s capital.
As far as the other three states are concerned, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington could be one country, and the rest of the former U.S. could be easily divided down the middle, following the line that starts between Minnesota and the Dakotas and ends between Louisiana and Texas. Or maybe our country and the western country that I have created can just become Canadian provinces. Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota can form their own province as well.
Whether we secede from Red America and become an independent country or pledge allegiance to the Canadian flag and to the republic for which it stands doesn’t really matter. All I know is that regardless of the outcome of this November’s Presidential election, the status quo is simply unsustainable.