When voters are given a choice between voting for a Republican, or a Democrat who acts like a Republican, they’ll vote for the Republican every time.
– Harry S. Truman
Some of the rhetoric needs to be dialed down, though at the culmination of a year in which the Governor of the State of New Jersey has vilified, attempted to humiliate, deeply disrespected professionals, and treated rank-and-file like their work, future and families don’t mean a thing to those of us they serve, some of that is forgivable.
There will be change in the role and compensation of public workers. Some of it will be right, most of it will be wrong. Gov. Christie is destructive. He’s willing and perhaps eager to make his national reputation among a rightward-turning Republican Party at the expense of bedrock New Jerseyans, like teachers, firefighters, policemen, laborers. People with kids. People who pay taxes too.
But this diary isn’t about him. We know what he is. In fact, New Jerseyans of all stripes know him better than Americans as a whole do. They’re still dazzled, we are increasingly disaffected.
This diary is about the Democrats who legitimized Gov. Christie’s crusade to get New Jerseyans to distrust each other, and encourage a suspicion among us all that our neighbors and co-workers are cheating us, getting a bigger slab of our pie than they deserve. When in fact, the pie itself is being sold right out from under us to profiteers, privatizers and business interests with lives of cushiness unknown to most of us. While we’re encouraged to scrap with each other over scraps. It’s very effective.
As Jeff pointed out very well yesterday, this crap has consequences.
The risk to the Democratic Party is obvious. We are effectively divided. Republicans licking their chops. The forward-thinkers of this party no longer direct their intentions to the Republican governor. Now that heat turns to Democrats. People for whom the marriage equality fight is still vivid sense memory now have another reason to distrust too many Democrats who’ve sold their souls to a Governor with a stronger sense of mission than they have. The once-reliable ground troops of this party are demoralized and may not be there for some of you.
That part’s fine. Some of you Dems don’t deserve it anymore. But the reality is that will spill over to local races. Control of the legislature is at issue, Christie’s said it. Huge risks for people affected by all kinds of issues Democrats should out front for. How do you think Democratic candidates for Congress feel about you right now? Sen. Bob Menendez, up for re-election in what may be a tough year, sure as hell let you know what he thinks.
Every seat in the NJ legislature is up November 8, 2011. Some of you are going to have to look somewhere else for your grassroots support, for your shoeleather, and for your muscle. And you know what? Cry me a river.