Tag Archive: dictator

9/11 Memo to Gov. Christie: Not Everything is About You

Like everyone, I’m still dumbstruck by the events of September 11, 2001. I was in Detroit, not here. Detroit, sharing a river, bridge & tunnel with Canada, is the nation’s most vulnerable area to illegal entry. City was in lockdown. Travel between the two countries at dead-stop. On Woodward Avenue, National Guardsmen on jeeps with rifles on their shoulders.

But I’ve always believed that September 11 didn’t happen to America, it happened to New York – and also to New Jersey & Connecticut. Because the people who died in the World Trade Center were our people. I can’t imagine what it was to be here. In the middle school, kids throwing up whose parents worked in NYC. The flyers. The smoke and steam visible from our cities on the Hudson.

With the 10th anniversary coming, felt as deeply near the Pentagon, Christie’s usual bombast seems particularly unwelcome now. In the last few days, Christie has called Mayor Bloomberg, whose city deserves respect right now, a Napolean a dictator and a putz. I realize part of what he’s is after is to get recognition for Donald DiFrancesco, who was ever so briefly sitting as governor when 9/11 happened. That he wants a role for David Samson, Port Authority Chair, and not inconsequentially his appointee. That some of it is wanting to make sure NJ has a role in the commemoration, as we certainly had a role in the loss.

But, even giving the Governor that benefit of doubt, most of his embarrassing kicking and screaming is simply typical Christie conduct.

But as we come up to the worst national day in most of our lives, it’s time for the Governor to tuck away his tantrums, and show respect – with his own behavior – for that loss. It’s not the time for ungentlemanly name-calling or jockeying for position. Gov. Christie is the biggest of big wheels – okay, Governor, we all get it, bully for you. But arguing about the program? People died – try to keep your eye on the ball. Grow up a little before September 11, 2011. Try to remember that not everything is about you.

Postscript: At a presser this morning at Trinitas Hospital in Elizabeth, the Governor denied calling Bloomberg any of those things. I don’t believe him for a minute.

Chris “Milhous” Christie

Now I don’t know if this is closer to disgraced former President Richard Nixon or disgraced former President George W. Bush, but it certainly violates “framing 101”:

“I’m not a dictator,” Christie said.

Now, if this is where Christie is one month into his term, then he is in for a long four years.  

Most importantly, and something that Christie should probably learn quickly – if not for the benefit of those who are already his supporters and like his “in your face” style, but for pretty much everyone else in the state and either hasn’t formed an opinion of him yet or is skeptical of him (or dictators, for that matter) – is the first rule of Framing 101:

When you say that you are not doing something or acting in a certain way, you are reinforcing the view that you are in fact doing or acting that way.  The use of a negative to caveat the behavior will only get lost on the audience.

Example:  Nixon’s “I am not a crook” only had people associate “Nixon” and “crook”.

Example: Clinton’s “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” only had people reinforce “Clinton” and “sexual relations”.

Now, it is fine with me if Christie wants people to think he is a dictator this early in his term as it will drive his negatives up and make it easier for him to be a one-term Governor.  Because frankly, he isn’t going to change his behavior based on how much of an arrogant ass people think he is, so letting him twist on his own words is just fine with this guy who likes to focus on the power of words.