Until You’ve Lived It, You Just Can’t Get It

Christie’s Republican Critics Don’t Get It

In early December of 2005 I attended the annual holiday gathering of the Monmouth Ocean Development Council.  This particular party stands out in my memory of the hundreds of such parties I’ve attended over the years because of the entertainment.  A jazz band from New Orleans was touring the country to raise money for the Katrina recovery efforts.  Their music was fabulous.  Their plea for help is what stuck with me.  It was deep, personal and profound.  The wreckage seen on television four months earlier was a distant memory for me, until I felt a little of the pain in that band’s plea.

The difference between hearing about and watching news accounts of a devastating hurricance and living through the aftermath of such a catostrophic event is like the difference between watching porn and having sex, though not nearly as fun.  It’s not fun at all.

Last week I spoke at the Monroe Township Republcian Club’s monthly meeting.  As I told the group in my opening remarks, it was good to be away from Monmouth County for a little while.  It reminded me of the drive I took to Deptford, NJ in late September of 2001 to visit a customer, but really to escape the pain that Middletown was experiencing after 9-11.

In Monroe it was good to experience a bit a normalcy; to listen to people complain about how long their power was out for and what a lousy job their mayor and JCP&L had done to get the power back on. I started that morning watching the guts of my neighbors’ homes being transferred into garbage trailers.  I drove past parking lots filled with Red Cross trucks, utilitiy trucks from the mid-west and laundry trailers from Oklahoma that morning.  It was good to see normal life only 25 miles from home.   It was a relief to talk politics with like minded people and to forget the devastation at home for a little while.

Like my friends in Monroe and many other inland communities, the national Republicans who are blaming Governor Chris Christie for President Obama’s reelection, Hurricane Sandy is not real. It’s like bad porn.  They are getting their satisfaction from complaining and scapegoating their own concerns which are trivial in comparison to what Christie has been dealing with.

You won’t hear Mississippi Governor Hailey Barbour, Louisianna Governor Bobby Jindal, or former Florida Governor Jeb Bush complaining about Christie’s actions, including his embrace of Obama, during Sandy.  They get it.  They’ve been there.

Had Mitt Romney won the presidency, his strategy of appealing to the 53%, letting Obama define him as a heartless robber barren all summer and then waging a 2 month campaign that let America know what a good man he really is, winning the first debate and then cruising would have been declared a disciplined and brilliant campaign. I and many others were ready to write it up that way.

Had Sandy not have happened, it might have worked. Chris Christie might have helped put Romney over the top.  But Sandy did happen and Romney’s strategy was risky and flawed.   Republicans now know they need a message and messengers for the 100%.

As I pointed out to my friends in Monroe, a community where the most common surname is Patel, there are too few brown people in the room at most Republican events.  That’s not Chris Chrisite’s fault.

If by doing his job and doing it well, Chris Chrisite helped Barack Obama win a second term, that speaks more to Christie’s appeal and influence in America than it does of Obama and Romney.

Some have said that Chrisite should have handled Obama they same way New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg handled the president and declined to participate in a photo op.  For those people, Hurricane Sandy is not real either.  As someone for whom the wreckage is real, I’m happy to be living on the Jersey side of the Raritan Bay, and not in Staten Island where Bloomberg would have started the New York Marathon a week after Sandy hit while his residents were fending for themselves.  They still are fending for themselves, three weeks later, according to NJ.com.

When Christie ran for governor in 2009, he said he would govern as a one termer.  Meaning that he would govern without regard for the politics of his positions, policies and actions.  We can argue over whether he has really governed that way during most of the last three years, but there is really no argument that he has governed that way over the last three weeks.

Those that don’t appreciate that and who are blaming Christie for the election not turning out the way they wanted, just don’t get it.


Posted: November 20th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: 2012 Presidential Politics, Art Gallagher, Barack Obama, Hurricane Sandy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

6 Comments on “Until You’ve Lived It, You Just Can’t Get It”

  1. James King said at 1:11 pm on November 20th, 2012:

    All good points Art but you seem to forget the Democrat machine is an angry, devisive one. Christie could have hugged Obama, saved a kitten out of a tree and took a bullet for a Sandy victim and come 2016 he will be a “wealthy, evil, white Republican”. You know that, right?

  2. Art Gallagher said at 1:17 pm on November 20th, 2012:

    Good point, James. I’m not really focused on 2016 at the moment.

  3. Stacy said at 1:45 pm on November 20th, 2012:

    It’s all about perception. There’s nothing complicated about it. This is a good time to swallow that bitter pill and adjust your priorities to be just a bit more in touch with the one’s that the rest of us have like helping others put their lives back together. Perhaps, James you could consider volunteering an afternoon to help out someone who no longer has a place to live and relies on handouts of items and food to get by.

  4. brian said at 2:39 pm on November 20th, 2012:

    lt’s good that Gov. Buffoon only wanted one term…………………….

  5. Christie’s Republican Critics Don’t Get It said at 3:03 pm on November 20th, 2012:

    […] Cross-Posted at MoreMonmouthMusings.net […]

  6. Joe said at 3:28 pm on November 23rd, 2012:

    Art, you have hit one salient point however if Christie were truly an independent thinker and wished to put his state above his own personal political aspirations, he would have not only hit the NJEA but he would have also gone after the garbage known nationally as Cap And Trade legislation. He would also have shown a little more concern about the slow road to UN tyranny that Agenda 21 program has us on (instead his administration continues to push Agenda 21 and it’s critical “Smart Growth” component). Instead of pushing fiscal restraint across the board, he instead promises us increased property taxes on account of the recent storm. What about the misappropriated funding collected annually from the utilities that was supposed to go back to the municipalities, instead the governor uses it for balancing the still bloated state budget (In Middletown alone, the amount annually is over $1,000,000 that the local taxpayer now has to make up). I could go on and on about these and other low hanging fruit that the governor has passed on. One could ask why? Could it be by making back room deals with a moderate to progressive legislature he feels that he might garner support from the Dems for future political interests?

    Let’s see what type of leader Governor Christie turns out to really be. My guess is that he is just another go-along to get along NJ Republican content to allow the state to slide ever further to the progressive left (bankruptcy and political irrelevance) all for the sake of continuing his political career.

    If he needed a good model of what type of governor he should be, its too bad he doesn’t hold William Agustus Newell to be the model. The life of William Augustus Newell (1817-1901) is a well-kept secret. His titles of; physician/surgeon, politician/statesman, inventor, government official, churchman, humanitarian, historian, and writer indicate something of his long and highly useful service to his country, state and constituents. Furthermore, his accomplishments include: governorships of what are now two states on opposite coasts (New Jersey and Washington); the founding of the United States Life Saving Service, now the Coast Guard; service as a three-time congressman from New Jersey; White House physician for friend and former congressional colleague Abraham Lincoln, during which time he saved the life of Tad Lincoln from typhoid. He also provided medical care for all he came across on both coasts, whether the patients could pay or not; the first congressional proposal for a federal bureau of agriculture; service on horseback in the Northwest in his late sixties as one of the five United States Indian Inspectors; support for the vote for women and for male blacks, and for full rights of male native Americans in Washington Territory. He practiced medicine until a month before his death in his eighty-fourth year. Truly providing “A Life of Service”. Interestingly, he was the first elected Republican governor in NJ after the fall of the Whigs and Know-nothings. Governor Newell did more in that one term as governor leaving a legacy that any statesmen would be envious of. To top it off, he has his roots here in Monmouth County and is buried in Allentown.

    In closing, instead of “pontificating”, it is my hope that folks will consider what should be expected of our elected officials and insist on a higher standard than is currently our yardstick. For what its worth!