Chris Christie visited NJ 101.5 for ‘Ask the Governor’ last night, Save Jerseyans, his monthly soap box designed for interaction between the vox populi and its highest state-based elected official (whenever, of course, he’s actually here). It’s rarely boring and, sometimes, a little instructive for those of us who try to keep a close eye on Trenton.
During last night’s exchange?
He waxed philosophically about why New Jersey isn’t getting any cheaper:
“All we want to do is complain about it but if I go to somebody’s town and say, hell, your property taxes are like this because look at how much your school taxes are […] we are going to take the steps that are necessary to do that. ‘No, no, no! Not in my town!’” the Governor lamented to host Eric Scott. In other words, it’s the people’s fault that they keep electing people who support their inclination to avoid the big picture.
Truth. In many cases.
But in many other cases, the people of New Jersey DID vote for change.
Chris Christie just didn’t do much to help them out.
Did you know that, state-wide, more voters cast ballots for Republican legislative candidates than Democrats alternatives in 2013, the year Chris Christie was re-elected with more than 60% of the vote?
Gerrymandering is half of the reason why Democrats kept the legislature; blame the late Alan Rosenthal and the Republicans who thought he would be anything but a disaster.
The other half of the puzzle: a bombed-out and depleted New Jersey Republican hierarchy does not know how to win (Rosenthal’s selection is but on example) and, in some instances, possesses no real desire to win. We’ve written about this topic, too, no less than a thousand times. at the risk of boring you and myself. Chris Christie could’ve used his tremendous first term popularity and fundraising prowess to build a REAL opposition to the status quo in Trenton.
He was busy visiting Fox & Friends and campaigning for candidates in distant states, collecting chits for an ultimately calamitous run for president.
And the “no desire to win” part isn’t the stuff of conspiracy theories, and they weren’t simply crimes of omission. Commission! It’s all openly documented. For example, it was an open secret that Chris Christie Inc. and Democrat bosses were in bed with one another throughout the cycles in question when the GOP had a fighting chance.
Think I’m crazy? After voting for the man twice and covering his career for nine years? Then I’ve got a bridge to sell you.
Chris Christie ran a “nothing-themed” campaign in 2013 to pump up his numbers and ride Sandy’s fumes. He didn’t advance any arguments. He didn’t help any Republicans. He was absent from the trail until the 11th hour.
Let’s get something straight down the homestretch of his tenure in office: New Jersey voters hate Chris Christie because they wanted to BELIEVE in him. He was supposed to turn Trenton upside down but HE got turned around. He did slow the speed of the car heading for the cliff from 100mph to 65mph. Thank you? See Paul Mulshine’s “he’s the least-worst governor” analysis if you want to dig deeper.
The bottom line: We expect career Democrat machine cogs to screw us over. We didn’t expect the corruption-busted U.S. Attorney to turn heel.
So moving forward… can you blame voters for feeling a little confused?
No honest observer could.
The buck always stops with the people in a democracy, but it doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about the fate of New Jersey’s finances or the near-over GOP effort to repeal Obamacare: blame for the coming meltdown rightly belongs to the politicians who sabotaged democracy by failing to serve as the voice the taxpayers voted for.