In this morning’s News Roundup we catch Chris Christie’s self-righteous outrage about this Daily News cover story, which he called “liberal” (oh no!), “reprehensible” and degrading to the “power of prayer,” accusing the Daily News of “trying to eliminate the Second Amendment”.
Chances are, he’s not going to like this one, either – today’s. The Daily News calls the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre a terrorist, lumping him in with (alleged) San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook and 4 loathsome representatives of the more common terrorist act on American soil, white guys who go on shooting sprees and mow down complete strangers.
Over the last 48 hours, the Daily News has challenged 3 huge orthodoxies: (1) the idea that for a politician, “prayer” is inviolable and above reproach, that at least in terms of the 24-hour news cycle, little more is expected than the nicety of a call to seek solace from God together. Most news organizations never question politicians about what they’ll do after they spend a few minutes in quiet contemplation, or suggest that “prayer” is just a way not to deal with that question. And (2) that white mass killers are “gunmen” with “mental health problems” and brown mass killers are terrorists. And (3) that the merchants of death at the NRA – and frontman Wayne LaPierre – bear responsibility for killings by massing money and power against common sense measures to protect us, what the Daily News calls “NRA’s sick gun jihad against America in the name of profit”. These were courageous, authoritative editorial decisions at the Daily News.
Christie has a complicated relationship with the NRA. He vetoes gun legislation designed to keep his constituents safe, exercising his voodoo control over Republican legislators to get them to back away from a bill they all supported just months ago, which would have made it harder for people with mental health records to get a gun permit. And he blew off a meeting with Sandy Hook parents when they drove down I-95 from Connecticut with a petition urging him to sign a bill that would have reduced the size of ammunition magazines in NJ from 15 to 10 rounds, to slow down a shooter intent on wiping out a whole lot of people before police can get there, like was done to their kids. You’d think the NRA would love this guy. This is a tough gun law state, which he had nothing to do with, and maybe they don’t want a candidate from a state like ours in the White House. But even though he sings their song, calling the confluence of New Jersey’s low murder rates and tough gun laws nothing more than a coincidence. But with all that, sometimes the NRA just gives him the snub.
None of that keeps Christie from joining in the tough talk. Yesterday, many of the GOP candidates spoke at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s presidential forum. And they outdid each other, itching to get their war hawk on, jumping past the F.B.I., the President and California law enforcement calling San Bernadino a terrorist act before the authorities do. Christie’s developing a two-pronged approach to breathing life into his feeble campaign; compassion for drug addicts (soft-side) and national security (hard-ass, channeling the Bush-Cheney tack that he’s the only one who can keep us safe). Christie yesterday:
“The entire campaign changed a few weeks ago,” he said. “We need to come to grips with the concept in America that we are in the midst of the next world war.”
Now, with everything you know about Christie, his character, his demeanor and judgement, imagine a President Chris Christie in the White House as World War III is brewing …