Chris Christie Ain't Shit:
Post-Sandy, there was never any doubt that New Jersey would reelect America's angriest yoga ball, Chris Christie, as governor. He could have been caught fucking a calzone while smoking crack, and he still would have been reelected. Why? Because New Jersey likes assholes? Because he reminds Jersey residents of their psychologically abusive fathers, always screaming at you and pointing his fat fucking finger in your face? Because New Jersey really hates abortion, teachers' unions, and large, job-creating public works projects? Yes, yes, and no. Why "no" on the third question? Ah, there is the more important story of the New Jersey evening.
The results of the referendum on a minimum wage hike in New Jersey are a bit confounding. What passed was not just a $1 raise, from a brutal $7.25 an hour to a slightly less ass-reaming $8.25. No, it was an amendment to the state's constitution that ties the hourly rate to the cost of living, with hikes possible every September, depending on inflation. Here's the fun part. Christie beat Democrat Barbara "Ignored by Everyone" Buono 60.5% to 38%. The minimum wage referendum passed 61% to 39%. That means that at over a third of Christie's voters supported it.
The real fun is that Christie himself opposed tying the minimum wage to the cost of living index. He vetoed a bill to raise the stagnant wage this year and mocked those who would bring it to the voters to amend the state constitution in that charming Christie way: "[It's] a truly ridiculous idea. That is just a stupid way to do it." He actively campaigned against the amendment. And yet, well, shit, we know how it all turned out.
Let's add one more fun fact to the supposed Christie anointment last night. Dude's got no coattails, no juice, no big mo, nothing. The legislature remained firmly in Democratic hands, with no seats lost in the Senate and just two lost in the Assembly. That includes counties where Christie won handily.
You can read that two ways: the kind way is that Christie cuts across party lines and is the moderate Obama-hugging god everyone wants to worship today. The unkind way is that Chris Christie ain't shit but an image, a cartoon character, a bulbous joke like a certain mayor of a certain Canadian city. He's a myth (or a Republican bedtime story, as John Dickerson calls him - maybe Goodnight, Goon?), and a myth will always top reality. The only way Democrats were going to beat him was to offer an alternative myth. Buono is a fine politician, but you can't take down the Hindenburg without a spark. In Jersey, that possibility dried up as soon as Cory Booker went Senate instead of Governor.
Or perhaps the other path was to puncture the myth. That was gonna take someone a fuck of a lot sharper than Buono to pop a yoga ball. Those things are thick. It'll take, say, Hillary Clinton, a myth in her own right.
Christie was never forced to answer for his extreme right-wing views on most things in any way that overcame all those fuckin' bear hugs he gave out after Sandy. His victory speech last night was bullshit. He said absolutely nothing specific about what he was going to do as governor other than some vague nonsense about "the completion of my mission." He may as well have eaten the calzone he fucked. The speech was meaningless and devoid of anything that might identify what Christie actually believes beyond "smaller government" and "lower taxes."
That's Chris Christie, though. He ain't shit but bluster and a tough guy pose. People will vote for such things when given no viable alternative. What the New Jersey election results actually prove is that people want higher wages enshrined in the constitution and they want a Democratic government. That ought to be the spin.