Andrew Sullivan asks a question we here at Blue Jersey have been answering since 2008. But in doing so, he completely misses the central point about our governor:
How Big An Asshole Is Chris Christie?
“The question is a truly difficult one. I used to find Christie’s bluntness and boldness refreshing. I don’t mind his aggressive manner – it’s entertaining at least, and we can all use some personality in our politics at times. I’m in favor of standing up to public sector union mediocrity. I like his relative social liberalism, especially in the madrassa-like swamps of the GOP base. He may even be exonerated in the Bridgegate scandale.
But then you just read about him. It’s clear to anyone with eyes and ears by now that he is an almost pathologically ambitious figure, who has no qualms about persecuting his enemies, pettily seeking payback when necessary, and using public office to pursue political vendettas. What you really see in the Bridgegate mess is his desire to get Democratic party officials to endorse him to burnish his bipartisan credentials for a national race. If they didn’t, they had something to fear in New Jersey. He’s a big guy, in other words, with a tendency to punch down and suck up.”
Look, Andrew, I know your New Republic, neo-lib slant on politics means you have to give the benefit of the doubt to “moderate” Republicans like Christie. And you’re right about this: the man’s small, mean, vindictive, and prone to scandal.
But anyone who knows anything about Chris Christie’s record knows his biggest problem is that he is a terrible leader and policy maker.
Christie cut a deal on public employee pensions, then reneged on it, causing the state credit rating to tumble. He sat by and watched Atlantic City implode. He let Camden’s police force wither until it hit the point it had to be taken over by the county, needlessly endangering the lives of the city’s residents. The people who were hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy overwhelmingly say he’s bungled distributing aid to them.
Christie trashed New Jersey’s historic commitment to school funding equity. He slashed property tax rebates and brazenly declared he put the brakes on those same taxes. He took hundreds of millions from clean energy funds and used them to plug his budget holes. He pulled out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and had no alternative plan to cut emmissions..
Christie killed the ARC tunnel, setting up an almost certain transportation disaster in the near future. He risked starting a needless panic over ebola to score a few cheap political points. He oversaw the most anemic job growth in the region, even as he gave billions in tax breaks to corporations. He cut women’s health care.