Wonder how the Democrats in New Jersey feel now? So many made a point of backing Chris Christie for governor last fall. This helped give Christie the patina of a politician who is a cut above the rest. Christie got that supposedly valuable word “bipartisan” attached to his name with the help of various members of the New Jersey Democratic Party who endorsed him.
Why they endorsed him was something of a mystery. Christie did not bend to compromise with Democrats or their constituencies. Rather he looked to slap them down when he could. But the press created this image of Christie as someone that appealed to both sides of the aisle even as he bullied voters, belittled reporters and sparred with members of the Democratic Party.
New Jersey Democrats had a really good candidate to run against Christie for governor last fall. Barbara Buono was her name. She is a solid Democrat with a long track record. But it sure seemed like her name may as well have been Typhoid Mary the way she was avoided by her own party. It was a Christie love fest and apparently Democrats had to get on board while there was still room. Were they threatened by Christie? Were they just wanting to get on board the Christie White House Express early to maybe catch a plum federal appointment? As I said it is a mystery.
What is not a mystery these days is that if a politician identifies themselves as a Republican, they pretty much by definition endorse Republican policies wholesale. Therefore for the most part they stand in direct opposition to most of what a Democrat or a progressive should stand for. I want to make this quite clear. Whether the Republican in question is named Christie or Branstad or Grassley or Matt Schultz or a Mike Huckabee. Much of what a Republican must espouse is due to kow-towing to the tea bagger contingent that has taken over their party.
So whether it is Christie or Branstad, they believe that
a) women should not be in control of their own bodies. That groups of old white men should choose whether birth control or abortion is available to women. Gee, this sounds like a middle eastern country.
b) Babies must be born. After that who cares if they are fed, schooled or doctored. If they did choose the right parents then their lives may be miserable.
c) Christian religion is much more important than science. Following the precepts of Christianity is not important. Saying you are a Christian publicly and loudly is important.
d) If you are poor, you must remain poor and suffer. No government help of any sort should be available to you, or your family ever.
e) If you were born rich you are obviously chosen by God to lead and deserve to be treated as special by the government.
f) If you are a working person, you are lucky to have a job. You should have no right to organize into unions and should be happy to even have a job.
These values are not written down anyplace, but this is what the Republican party practices daily. So why the main stream media has taken it upon themselves to paint Chris Christie as someone who does not encompass these repugnant views is beyond me. They skewer any Democratic politician who endorses even one of those views, yet let Republicans pass even get praised even though holding such views is the price of admission to their party.
Iowa’s version of Chris Christie is Terry Branstad. As governor he uses his line item veto to cut substantial aid to food banks and the press barely reports it. When he realizes he can’t simply dump the Medicaid portion of the ACA because it would be too politically dangerous, he comes up with a scheme that attempts to make the poor pay for their Medicaid and our press barely reports on it. Instead of being truthful in record keeping his administration constantly lies about things like jobs and the press doesn’t even question it.
I am hoping Iowa’s Democrats are much smarter than New Jersey’s Democrats. Branstad over the years has proven he is thoroughly Republican from his days as an early leader of ALEC to these days when he is more than happy to punish the poor. Democrats don’t need to bow to Republicans like Branstad, they need to proudly back their own candidate, Jack Hatch. Hatch is a long standing progressive who would bring solid progressive credentials to Terrace Hill. Iowa can no longer afford Branstad’s unreported Republican agenda.