I like Chris Christie, at least comparatively. Unlike his colleagues, this man often refuses to drink from the Cup of Stupid. But in order to win the nomination these days, one must resonate with the asses. It’s always interesting to see which angle they attempt, bullshit or revisionist history. For this stump speech Christie managed a nice combination of both. His speech was ultimately a scathing attack on his own party.
The intro was skipped and fell more under the category of ‘revisionist history’ with a slathering of Reagan worship, but Nancy was there so we’ll let that slide and start here:
We tend to still understand foreign policy as something designed by officials in the State Department and carried out by ambassadors and others overseas. And to some extent it is. But one of the most powerful forms of foreign policy is the example we set.
Revisionist History: What example? Was it when we invaded the wrong country or is it when we embraced torture? Obama’s example is about 100x better than his predecessor’s, which is still only meh. I get it, you just haven’t seen a competent foreign policy strategy in so long you can’t identify one anymore.
I cut out some more Reagan glorifying (you’re welcome).
The image of the United States around the world is not what it was, it is not what it can be and it is not what it needs to be. This country pays a price whenever our economy fails to deliver rising living standards to our citizens–which is exactly what has been the case for years now.
Revisionist History: Our image on the world stage died like a gopher under Bush’s Crawford Ranch. It came back, albeit slightly, under Obama, which is nothing short of a miracle. Have you seen the polls regarding our global credibility under Bush? Yeah, I know, what does world opinion have to do with world opinion? The facts always need to be Hannitized for your protection.
We pay a price when our political system cannot come together and agree on the difficult but necessary steps to rein in entitlement spending or reform our tax system. Here is what we did. We identified the problems. We proposed specific means to fix them. We educated the public on the dire consequences of inaction. And we compromised, on a bi-partisan basis, to get results. We took action. How so you ask? Leadership and compromise.
Bullshit: On a national level, who is cock-blocking who? Or is it whom? Whom is cock whoing who? Cock-a-whoodle who. Sorry. When have Republicans compromised on anything meaningful? Haven’t you noticed your base, Mr. Christie? Hint, they’re the ones running away from the guys with the nets.
Leadership and compromise is the only way you can balance two budgets with over $13 billion in deficits without raising taxes while protecting core services.
Bullshit: Most of the deficit was created under Republicans, or certainly the policies that created the deficit are predominately Republican. If you follow that link those numbers are a little kinder to Bush than the Congressional Budget Office’s, but you get the idea. And Republicans are certainly not protecting those core services in my town. Critical services are crippled in Arizona by Jan I-might-have-a-degree-in-radiology-somewhere Brewer and it’s now costing my community more as our emergency rooms and jails fill up (not to mention the loss of human lives). This will also play out on the national stage when the Right resumes power—irresponsible cuts that cost us more elsewhere. Yeah, I saw this coming too.
Then Christie brags about how well he’s doing in New Jersey.
Bullshit: Having lived there myself, I can assure you no one does well in New Jersey!
In Washington, on the other hand, we have watched as we drift from conflict to conflict, with little or no resolution.
Bullshit: Actually Obama has had a ton of foreign policy successes, which is amazing given what he was handed. Remember, we were broke and heading for WWIII when he took the oath. You just don’t hear that over on Fixed News. Domestically, he can’t overcome the Tea Planeters or the grim realities of our time. Has he done well on the economic front? Hell no. Did he have a chance? Hell No!
We watch a president who once talked about the courage of his convictions, but still has yet to find the courage to lead. We watch a Congress at war with itself because they are unwilling to leave campaign style politics at the Capitol’s door. The result is a debt ceiling limitation debate that made our democracy appear as if we could no longer effectively govern ourselves.
Bullshit: Two words, Tea Party. Have you listened to Standard & Poors reason for the downgrade? Do you follow the news?
And still we continue to wait and hope that our president will finally stop being a bystander in the Oval Office. We hope that he will shake off the paralysis that has made it impossible for him to take on the really big things that are obvious to all Americans and to a watching and anxious world community.
Yes, all hail the concept of an aristocracy. Obama was elected, so let him lead. Stand the hell aside. If it doesn’t work by 2012, by all means elect yourself already. That way we can plummet into the abyss and stop pretending this system is anything but a fucking farce. Sorry, happy hour just ended in my town…as did our nation. Besides, putting everything to a popular vote is no way to run a country. People tend to suck at governing—even worse than politicians. For proof of this see any Fox News poll.
Yes, we hope. Because each and every time the president lets a moment to act pass him by, his failure is our failure too. The failure to stand up for the bipartisan debt solutions of the Simpson Bowles Commission, a report the president asked for himself…the failure to act on the country’s crushing unemployment…the failure to act on ever expanding and rapidly eroding entitlement programs…the failure to discern pork barrel spending from real infrastructure investment.
Bullshit: I agree we should have backed Simpson Bowles, but that’s easy to say after the fact, especially when it enjoyed about one percent support from Republicans, or anyone else for that matter.
But if Christie really supports S&B, that’s something. It’s why he’s smarter than your average R (still not saying much). I didn’t think the Foxeteers were allowed to even know about Simpson Bowles, because it actually might have worked. Their plan is to keep us broken and keep saying ‘no’ until they’re back in power. You see, it’s very patriotic to break the rule of law and the economy and then be obstructionists until our country implodes.
And now for our National Anthem: Oh Ohhh say can you read…of course you can’t, we don’t fund education anymore.
More Reagan worship. In fact, I’m having a ‘shoot my face off’ moment.
But, there is also a foreign policy price to pay. To begin with, we diminish our ability to influence the thinking and ultimately the behavior of others. There is no better way to persuade other societies around the world to become more democratic and more market-oriented than to show that our democracy and markets work better than any other system.
Revisionist History: Fox News is still doing great in this area. Herr Goebbles would be proud.
Blah, blah, blah.
A lot is being said in this election season about American exceptionalism. Implicit in such statements is that we are different and, yes, better, in the sense that our democracy, our economy and our people have delivered. But for American exceptionalism to truly deliver hope and a sterling example to the rest of the world, it must be demonstrated, not just asserted. If it is demonstrated, it will be seen and appreciated and ultimately emulated by others. They will then be more likely to follow our example and our lead.
Bullshit: American exceptionalism is as dead as our dollar! Get used to it. Oh, and we’re 21st in literacy rates and 29th in infant mortality. We’re dropping like a stone in about every major category and we have been for the last decade. But, hey, we still have the best healthcare system in the world…well, for those three people who can still access it.
More Reagan worship (of the bile kicking back into the throat variety).
Unfortunately, through our own domestic political conduct of late, we have failed to live up to our own tradition of exceptionalism. Today, our role and ability to affect change has been diminished because of our own problems and our inability to effectively deal with them.
To understand this clearly, one need only look at comments from the recent meeting of the European finance ministers in Poland. Here is what the Finance Minister of Austria had to say:
“I found it peculiar that, even though the Americans have significantly worse fundamental data than the euro zone, that they tell us what we should do. I had expected that, when [Secretary Geithner] tells us how he sees the world, that he would listen to what we have to say.”
Truth??: I don’t know how to categorize this one. How dare truth rear its ugly head in a Republican speech! No argument here, but keep in mind our version of capitalism ended in November of 2008. We’re just making shit up now. It will be no different when your brand gets back into office. Romney’s economic recovery plan is similar to Obama’s and a Tea Planeter in the Oval Office would only trigger the depression. Nice choices, left to us by assholes.
You see, without strong leadership at home—without our domestic house in order—we are taking ourselves out of the equation. Over and over, we are allowing the rest of the world to set the tone without American influence.
Revisionist History: So then why, presumably, did you back the Republican policies that effectively ended our way of life?
We would take an honest and tough approach to solving our long-term debt and deficit problem through reforming our entitlement programs and our tax code.
Bullshit: Agreed (partially). Along with those two items, Reagan would have raised taxes, as he did during his presidency, and if you add some cuts to defense, you’ve just described Simpson Bowels, which I backed during its inception and Christie only mentioned after the bloody thing failed.
I’m bored and need to get back to Desperate Housewives, but here’s one more for the road:
Now, seven years later, President Obama prepares to divide our nation to achieve re-election. This is not a leadership style, this is a re-election strategy. Telling those who are scared and struggling that the only way their lives can get better is to diminish the success of others. Trying to cynically convince those who are suffering that the American economic pie is no longer a growing one that can provide more prosperity for all who work hard. Insisting that we must tax and take and demonize those who have already achieved the American Dream. That may turn out to be a good re-election strategy for President Obama, but is a demoralizing message for America. What happened to State Senator Obama? When did he decide to become one of the “dividers” he spoke of so eloquently in 2004? There is, of course, a different choice.
Revisionist History and a hearty Bullshit!: Actually, Karl Rove made dividing our country a Bush re-election strategy in 2004, and he even admitted as much. Since then Fox News has galvanized the misinformed across our country into one group of talking pointed heads, who all somehow morphed into Tea Planeters as some kind of reaction against themselves. Don’t you read the Discord?
And Obama isn’t being cynical about our future, he’s telling the truth, while you, sir, are not. Who’s demonizing the American Dream? Business owner have simply bought into Fox’s poisonous propaganda. You know what hurt businesses? Destroying our economy, that’s what. Review: the economic fault breakdown remains about 65% (R), 35% (D).
Obama’s proposing Clinton level tax rates. We need to pay for the shit your team broke, Sparky, that’s called fiscal responsibility. It doesn’t all have to come from Tiny Tim. It’s a shared burden. Although, we could pawn that crutch of his. Hmm. I guess it’s more of that American exceptionalism again. Give me that crutch, kid!
More Reagan worship, American exceptionalism, and revisionist history. Ta-da!
Granted this speech is going to resonate with people who don’t understand much, but Christie has a daunting problem. Until that speech, he hasn’t really placated the misinformed masses within his own party. He might appeal to independents in the general election, but only if he can get through the Republican nomination without dropping too many IQ points. How does anyone walk that tightrope? [Fat joke omitted]
He spent most of this speech railing on Obama about the economy. Of course, this same speech could have been given by Obama himself, just switching the argument to Republican obstructionism and Bush’s policies (hint: he would have a slight edge on the truth). How do you pin it all on Obama? How do you ignore how we actually got here? The reason Reagan seems so wonderful is only comparatively. He was a meh president and that’s what everyone thought on his way out the door. Remember? Republicans think the chronological order was Carter, Reagan, Obama. They have blocked out more time periods than Gary Busey during an Amsterdam space cake weekend!
Christie attacked Obama’s foreign policy too? Don’t even go there. For one hundredth of Bush’s budget, Obama kicked al-Qaeda’s ass all over the desert. I’m not talking about the wars he couldn’t change, but the tactics to continue the War on Terror more effectively. He did it the way most suggested (like me back in 2003), via intelligence, police action, and predator drones. Sorry, but nation building was a significant part of our demise.
Then Christie says Obama and the left are using fear tactics. That’s like the Snow Miser complaining about a draft! Fear and greed is all the Right understands anymore. Remember, Republicans only ‘boo’ the truth anymore, so listen for it. When they boo, it’s when someone is challenging their delusion.
So what are the real legitimate complaints about the last three years? Obama chose to postpone the depression, just like Bush tried with TARP. Sure the double-dip is looming—in fact, you heard it here first. Yours truly gave Obama about a 15% chance to correct the economy. I made this prediction practically during his inauguration! That 15% chance lived somewhere within the Deficit Commission suggestions and Simpson Bowles plan and both parties deserve scorn for ignoring them outright. Christie is actually right about this, the one kernel of truth in this otherwise burnt political popcorn of a speech.
American exceptionalism was a key focus, again…brought to you by the people who made that word laughable. But shhhhh, they haven’t figured that part out yet. American exceptionalism is a form of political romanticism of the worst order. America will be rated on how it handles itself in the years to come. Will it take a formal bow and go down gracefully, or will it be dragged off the world stage kicking and blubbering like a Tea Planeter? The best days for America are ahead only if we stop electing greedy sociopathic assholes. If given the choice in 2012 between Michele Bachmann and Mayan gods descending from the skies, I’ll take my chances with the Mayans.
Oh, and I’ll stop mentioning Bush when you all stop ignoring the devastating impact his presidency has had on our collective future. This speech is further proof there is no such insight and Christie’s better than that. Tell the truth! You’re bat shit base will vote for you even if you do…well, after they boo.