Tag Archive: Chris Christie

For climate change reality, watch the insurance companies and local officials

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley speaks at Maryland Climate Change Summit, 2013

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley speaks at Maryland Climate Change Summit, 2013

The Obama Administration’s latest move to battle climate change — new Environmental Protection Agency rules designed to cut power plant emissions by 30 percent — will likely set off a Republican response not unlike their response to the Affordable Care Act. We can expect lies, delays and lawsuits from Republicans and their Big Coal corporate backers to block the EPA rules. However, while many Republicans have the luxury of being climate change deniers to score political points, insurance companies and state and local officials do not have this luxury. Even insurance companies run by Republicans, and Republican state and local officials, will have to deal with the actual effects of climate change, such as an increase in claims by homeowners and business owners for damage related to rising sea levels, storm surges and fires, increased health care claims, and state and local budgets depleted by disaster response and rebuilding. That’s why it will be important to watch what these insurance company executives and public officials do.

Would Chris Christie’s resignation help him run for President?

Gov. Chris Christie Town hall meeting

As Chris Christie faced a devastating weekend of Bridgegate accusations, staff resignations and Super Bowl-related boos, some in the media, such as CNN’s Candy Crowley, openly wondered whether Christie should resign his new position as Republican Governor’s Association Chair. Political talk show host Mark Thompson of the Sirius Progress satellite radio channel recently went a step further, stating that, if Christie resigns as Governor of New Jersey, the Bridgegate investigations that are hounding him could go away, preserving Christie’s ability to run for President. The premise of Thompson’s theory, apparently, is that the voters have a short memory and won’t be thinking about Bridgegate in 2015 and 2016 should Christie toss his hat into the ring.

Chris Christie’s American Hustle

Gov. Chris Christie Town hall meeting

Gov. Chris Christie Town hall meeting

It’s no secret that “American Hustle,” one of the most critically acclaimed films of 2013, is based on the “Abscam” scandal that ensnared New Jersey lawmakers. Watching the movie during the past week, as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s “Bridgegate” scandal unfolds, it’s nearly impossible not to think of Bridgegate and Abscam together.

Could Chris Christie’s bullying help him in the 2016 election?

 

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey speaking at an event hosted by The McCain Institute in Phoenix, Arizona.

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey speaking at an event hosted by The McCain Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Gage Skidmore, used under Creative Commons license. http://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/10999009153/

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie‘s “Bridgegate” scandal has cemented Christie’s reputation as a bully. However, some folks are wondering whether being known as a bully could actually help Christie secure the 2016 Republican Party nomination for President, should Christie decide to run.

Chris Christie: “bully” and other word games

Republicans successfully use neuro linguistic programming (NLP) in their political messaging. That is, Republicans use and repeat loaded words or short phrases connected with names, issues, programs, bills, laws etc. in order to make voters feel a certain way. Thus, you can find many examples of Republicans praising other Republicans as “strong leaders” who take “decisive action.” On the flip side, Republicans use negative-sounding (and often flat-out false) terms like “liberal media” and “death panels” to achieve a negative effect. Republicans frequently use words such as “Muslim,” “Kenyan” and “socialist” for this reason after uttering President Obama‘s name. A list of many of these loaded Republican phrases is contained here. Through repetition, these Republican terms often sink into our brains and affect the way we feel.

Chris Christie has a Mitt Romney problem

Messaging Matters2

Chris Christie‘s “Bridgegate” scandal feeds into an existing narrative about Christie. Thus, Christie might be about to learn the lesson that Willard Mitt Romney learned in 2012 after his “47 percent” remarks were caught on video — that stories which reinforce an existing narrative about a politician typically won’t go away quickly.

President Obama playing 3-D chess

Between the 2012 elections, President Barack Obama‘s inauguration speech last month, and last Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, the President seems to have checked, or even checkmated, the Republican Party. In addition to Obama’s handy disposal of Willard Mitt Romney on Election Day, consider the following:

Republican civil war spills into open

A couple of actions by Congressional Republicans hours apart this past Tuesday night and Wednesday morning demonstrated how the Republican Party is in open warfare with itself. First, House Republicans were sharply divided in their vote to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff.” Republican House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, atypically, did not make a speech on the House floor in support of the vote. Boehner’s second in command, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, not only voted against his speaker and the fiscal cliff deal, he spoke out against it for all to hear. The Republican fiscal cliff vote tally in the House went against Speaker Boehner, with only 85 voting “yea” and 151 voting “nay” (the bill passed due to the overwhelming Democratic “yea” vote). This follows an embarrassing failure by Boehner to bring his own fiscal cliff “plan B” bill up for a vote in the House on December 20.

Republican Politics of Projection

As a younger voter in 1988, I remember when then-Vice President and presidential candidate George H.W. Bush stood in front of Boston Harbor and slammed his opponent, Massachusetts Governor Mike Dukakis, for the pollution in Boston Harbor. I was shocked because the U.S. had just gone through eight years of a Reagan-Bush administration that had attacked and dismantled every environmental protection that it possibly could, including fighting the very cleanup of Boston Harbor.  This was perhaps the beginning of the modern Republican Politics of Projection — accusing your opponent of doing the very thing that you have been doing — as practiced by Bush’s campaign manager, Lee Atwater.

Atwater had a young protégé, Karl Rove, who perfected the Republican Politics of Projection during George W. Bush’s presidency. Thus, for example, we had Bush administration officials approving and abetting the kidnapping and torture of suspects and the illegal warrantless wiretapping of Americans at home, then turning around and accusing those who criticized such actions of “hypocrisy” and being “out of bounds”.

Today, the Republican Politics of Projection continues in full force. Republicans in Congress vote for Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget that would end Medicare as we know it, then raise phony objections about Democrats “cutting Medicare” when the Affordable Care Act cut funds from a private program called Medicare Advantage that is not part of the actual Medicare benefit. Likewise, Republicans raise the spurious charge of “voter fraud” in order to commit the true voter fraud of vote suppression via unreasonable and unfair voter i.d. laws. Or how about when Republicans carp about Democratic-appointed or “activist” judges who “legislate from the bench”, when it is the Republican-appointed, so-called “conservative” judges who do this, such as in the infamous Bush v. Gore and Citizens United cases, with Republican approval. If New Jersey Governor Chris Christie were running for president today, Republicans would probably call President Obama “fat”.

The Republican Politics of Projection can be stated with the Republicans’ own simple term: hypocrisy. It is a very popular and effective tactic in the Republican playbook, and Democrats and progressives need to identify it and speak out whenever they see it, in order to lessen its power.

It’s the Hypocrisy, Stupid

New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie‘s ill-fated ride to his son’s baseball game on a $2,500 per hour State Police helicopter, after saying that New Jersey can’t afford a commuter train tunnel and other important services, is the latest example of hypocrisy by politicians that hits voters like a stink bomb. Some previous examples of this kind of hypocrisy include: