“That Tater N’ Cheesefood bowl which I did not order was delivered to me by the waitstaff of Cracker Barrel. It was fantastic.”
Esteemed New Jersey Governor, Chris “…[burp]…” Christie weighed in on the Wisconsin union drama earlier this week and, boy, the “full-disclosure” gloves appear to be off.
After dropping the following bombshell “Governor Walker was elected by the people of Wisconsin,”– okay, the full-disclosure thing was a joke– he offered his endorsement “I know him and I trust him and I support him”.
Note the rhetorical damage control on the governor’s part. Instead of leading with his endorsement or even letting it stand alone, he defers to some sense of democratic process. Why else would he open with “Walker was elected by people”? My first reaction to this was, “Uh…doy?” but it reads like a bullshit rhetorical move of first establishing the Wisconsin voters as responsible for Walker’s current position of power.
The reason it’s a bullshit move is that Walker did not run on a platform of castrating unions(of his choosing) of their collective bargaining rights.
Here’s Scott Walkman’s website: http://www.scottwalker.org/issues/government-reform
Nothing about collective bargaining. But you know how pat and dry these campaign websites can be. Surely a left-leaning news article from around campaign-time would hint at such a platform:
“Walker said he wants to cut the wages and benefits so the state can restore a 60 percent capital gains exemption and eliminate the new 7.75 percent tax on income above $300,000 for married couples and $150,000 for single taxpayers.”
No reference to slashing of collective bargaining rights, either in his platform or during any debates. So, Christie saying “Walker was elected by the people of Wisconsin” as some sort of deferral that they asked for or even wanted this is complete disingenuous horseshit. That logic works in Christie’s case because, like him or not(Me = not) he was pretty straightforward in his intentions to eviscerate the Teacher’s Union, then fill it with a hot-dog and coat it in cornmeal batter, and then devour it. I imagine if Walker was forthcoming on this play to effectively castrate the public sector’s right to bargain, Christie’s soundbyte would probably have read something like “Stan Walkman? Huh?” as he wouldn’t know Scott Walker’s name because he wouldn’t have been elected. And he probably isn’t familiar with the other Scott Walker because he isn’t cool and his parents probably banned rock n’ roll from the household, decrying it as devil’s music that leeches away at your body’s gravy stores.
But there was more to Christie’s official comment. First a vague, tepid endorsement: “I support Gov. Walker’s strong action to balance his budgetsnoozesleepjerkmyselfoff,” followed by yet another deflection: “I’m not going to micromanage Wisconsin from New Jersey.” “Micromanaging Wisconsin” in this particular context, as Christie is using it, refers simply to “responding specifically to Walker’s bill”.
In other words, at the macro level, Christie is all “What’s not to love? Walker’s proposal has all the things I love! Unhappy teachers, unhappy unions, beef juice!” But at the micro level, in terms of responding to the meat of Walker’s proposal, specifically the attempt to gut the right to bargain, he responds with a pissy “I’m not going to micromanage Wisconsin from New Jersey”. That’s something a hungover asshole says to his friend when asked for a ride somewhere. No one’s asking you to micromanage anything, you cranky bastard. How about a little more substantive response?
Which gets me to precisely what’s so interesting about Christie’s half-committal response. One reading, he’s just offering some half-assed support to a political ally. He supports the broad measures but isn’t about to go and endorse the whole thing because maybe he thinks it’s an overreach. Which, you know, fine. I get that. That doesn’t surprise me and I can wrap my head around it. But this Wisconsin drama is being set up as monumentally important in how other conservative governors, who are already lubing themselves up for union sodomy, are going to proceed. Already in Indiana, 37 Democrats walked out of the Statehouse blocking a GOP measure against mandatory union dues. The possibility that Christie is just laying back, observing, watching, looking for the best way to push through a similar measure with less resistance, less of a national shit show on his porch has crossed my mind.
He’s not that big of an asshole, is he?