Mensch vs Con Man

Mensch vs. Con Man – that’s how friend of Blue Jersey Steven Goldstein views the contest between Senator Bob Menendez and challenger Bob Hugin.

Goldstein’s career has ranged from television producer to legislative staffer to founder of Garden State Equality and winning the fight for marriage equality to teaching at Rutgers to running the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect. Now, he’s pursuing a life-long dream, studying to become a rabbi.

Today, at a rally in Princeton for Senator Menendez’s re-election, Goldstein was superb in his handling of Hugin’s paid hecklers and challenged Hugin to back up his assertion that he’s a different kind of Republican. (Hint: He’s not. He’s a Trump toady).

Enjoy watching and listening to Goldstein’s remarks:

Featured photo courtesy of Steven Goldstein

Comments (5)

  1. NJBlech

    Sorry but if you’re a Democrat based on issues and not based on tribalism, like me, there is nothing to enjoy in this video. The appeal sounds desperate, and for good reason. The Democratic Party in NJ nominated a candidate who had a 14-count indictment handed down on him by the Obama administration’s Justice Department. No need to go into the details here as they have been well reported, and, even though the jury ended up being deadlocked, a six member bipartisan (3 Rs, 3Ds) Senate committee handed down a severe admonishment to Menendez and ordered him to repay all the gifts he took. What is to enjoy about having this person as the standard bearer for the party? In the latest poll in South Jersey (CD-2) Menendez is getting clobbered while Van Drew is cruising to election. This is not surprising since to the South Jersey Democratic machine, it matters little whether Republican Hugin or Hudson Co. Democrat Menendez wins, so expect little push for Menendez in South Jersey (indeed the SJ Dems’ position is likely strengthened by a Menendez loss). And if you’re a national Democratic strategist, whom do you want to try and help across the finish line, Menendez and all his baggage or the fresh faced Democratic senate candidates in Arizona, Nevada, and Texas, as well as all the promising fresh faces running for Congress? Bottom line is that a Democratic senate candidate in NJ should be cruising to re-election and the reality is he is in the fight of his life. Many New Jerseyans are thoroughly embarrassed by the choices we have in the U.S. Senate election. Menendez should have done the honorable thing and not sought re-election. And, when he didn’t, the Democratic establishment should have done the honorable thing and given him the boot. Menendez and the NJDems did neither and now the rank and file Ds are being told to fall in line. Pathetic.

    1. marshwren

      Kind of hard to disagree with any of that, with the caveat that the election of Norcross sock puppet Van Drew is a net loss in several areas (particularly for the environment and bringing gun laws into the 21st C.) from LoBiondo, who was otherwise useless.
      Here’s what the future of the DP should be and this is only the (Southern) tip of the resurgent Left’s iceberg.
      It’s no accident or fluke that the Left’s successes since the ascension of Dear Leader to the Heavenly Throne have been concentrated in the reddest of red states or districts. Most of these places are poor, and the poverty doesn’t discriminate much; which gives these regions deep histories of (usually reactionary/racist) ‘populism’. As well as explaining why–outside the Black Belt and the later primaries–Sanders racked up a lot of delegates in states like WV, OK, IA, NE, IN, and (rural) MI, among other places.
      This contrasts to the DLC ‘mafia’ states (MA, RI, CT, esp. NY with their Rino in a jackass’s clothing guv), and the “Delaware Valley Triumvirate” of wholly-owned subsidiaries of various Wall Street banks and hedge funds NJ, PA, DE), where corporate Democrats rule with a fairly heavy hand (as those of us involved in the Sanders campaign either learned, or already knew). In it’s own way, the DP (establishment) has become as anachronistic and ossified as the GOP establishment. The problem is, when their base revolts, RNC lacks the power or will to oppose them. When the DP’s base revolts, the still Clinton-owned and -operated DNC moves heaven, hell and earth to crush it, even if it means electing the likes of a Donald Trump.
      There will be no meaningful change until the centers of corporate Democratic power–the NE Acela Corridor, the Left Coast and Chicago–are deposed by the Leftists who live there, just as their red-state cousins are doing to the GOP in the tribal homelands of ‘conservatism’.

      1. NJBlech

        I pretty much agree with everything you write. The politics here are pretty complex. Those of us opposed to Menendez were thwarted during the primary by those in North Jersey who wanted Menendez because they wanted him to remain as Senator (and thus keep power in Hudson Co.) and those in South Jersey who likely wanted to prop him up temporarily in the primary before his grueling campaign in the general election, a loss there strengthening the hand of the South Jersey Dems, as it would remove a Senate seat from the North Jersey Dems. And indeed it was no coincidence that the Camden Co. Dems scheduled a big meeting last night with Bloomberg on the same night the state Dems were trying to rally the troops for Menendez. If Menendez thinks the South Jersey Dems are truly behind him he is more naive than I thought. The South Jersey Dems rallied behind him during the trial and the primary but that is it. Now they are more interested in Bloomberg’s national 2020 campaign.

        1. Bertin Lefkovic

          The only thing that those of us opposed to Menendez were thwarted by was our own inactivity. We have to stop allowing our primary election choices to be defined by the Democratic establishment. Had progressives produced a legitimate alternative (i.e. Peter Jacob, Jim Keady, or Dana Wefer – all of whom felt their significant political talents would be better served following a different path) to Bob Menendez this year, that alternative would have won.

          We have nobody to blame but ourselves for the fact that Hugin probably has a better chance to upset Menendez here in cobalt blue NJ than Beto O’Rourke has to upset Ted Cruz in crimson red Texas, so we have no choice but to drag Menendez’s worthless carcass across the finish line. Unlike Torricelli, Menendez would rather lose than quit, so for the sake of the country, we have to do everything possible to help Menendez win.

          And there can be no doubt that the Norcross machine is going to do everything it can on behalf of its own candidates and as little as possible for Menendez. Donald Norcross wants Menendez’s seat and he is young enough that he is willing to wait six years to get it, which means that they will have no qualms about helping Hugin win in November like they helped Christie beat Corzine and Hugin.

          1. deciminyan (Post author)

            While I have on more than one occasion disagreed with Bertin, his comment here is spot on. We need to recognize that as progressive Democrats, we have both long term and short term goals. In the long term, we need to replace the South Jersey machine with a system that works for the people, not the power brokers. I wish there was a silver bullet to accomplish this, but there isn’t. We need to amplify the messages from the Indivisible, Action Together, and other advocacy groups to groom and elect progressive candidates. By doing this, we develop a team that can more effectively challenge the machine and the GOP (who are often in cahoots, as Bertin points out).

            But in the short term, we must recognize that either Hugin or Menendez will be our US Senator for the next six years. One is a Trump clone and the other is a flawed candidate. If Hugin wins, there’s a good chance that his victory would be the one Republican that allows the GOP (Government of Putin) to retain control of the Senate. Is that what we want?

            Menendez has a decent voting record. I don’t agree with him on everything (especially Cuba), but he has been a solid vote for most social justice bills and will work to wrest the Supreme Court from the right wing bigots. That’s why I’ll vote for him in the short term while doing what I can to influence reform in New Jersey’s Democratic politics in the long term.

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