The Star Ledger’s Tom Moran is back to his old tricks of using the race card while attempting to advance his political agenda.
In early 2010, shortly after Governor Chris Christie took office, Moran tried to derail the Christie administration by teaming up with Assembly Speaker Shelia Oliver to call Christie and his team “…white men, most of them political neophytes…” who never rode a bus and couldn’t understand how their deeply their economic policies were impacting “working poor families.”
Moran did that before he realized that Christie is a “force of nature who could probably make a dog sing if he put his mind to it.”
In a column posted on Tuesday that defends the President’s constitutional pronouncements about the Supreme Court’s right to overturn ObamaCare Moran employed Jeanane Garofalo’s tactic of accusing Obama’s critics of being racist.
Because Moran is smarter and prettier, his accusation is sublter than Garofalo’s crude remarks, yet it is no less offensive:
Obama went on to make an important point: That if the court overrules the health care law, it will be practicing judicial activism. Conservatives have been complaining about judicial activism since the Supreme Court struck down Jim Crow segregation laws in the South, and the heat rose considerably after Roe v. Wade.
Maybe fellow Star Ledger columnist Paul Mulshine can explain the difference between judicial activistism and constructionism to Moran.
Activistism is when a Court finds, invents or redefines a constitutional provision in order to make new law that is consistent with its political or ideological preference. That is what the U.S. Supreme Court did in Roe v Wade and what the NJ Supreme Court did in the Abbott decisions.
Constructionism is what a court does when it decides that the legislative or executive branches exceeded the power granted to them in the Constitution, like mandating people buy something they don’t want.
Moran, like Obama, probably knows the difference. Also like Obama, he probably just doesn’t think the Constitution is that important. That’s OK for Moran who hasn’t sworn to protect and defend the Constitution. It’s not OK for the President who has sworn that oath.
The race card worked well for liberals in 2008. The invoked it successfully to mute Obama’s poltical opponents in the Democratic primary and during the general election. They appealed to ‘white guilt” to get Obama elected. It was a disgusting and effective strategy.
But the race card is played out. It didn’t work in the politicization of the Trayvon Martin tragedy. It didn’t work when Garofalo played it. It didn’t work in 2010.
Moran should stop playing the race card. Conservative opposition to ObamaCare has nothing to do with the Jim Crow laws, just as Governor Christie’s economic policies have nothing to do with how many of his cabinet members and staffers have ever ridden a bus.
Moran’s job is the inform, educate and persuade. He should leave the obfuscation to politicians, activists and B-rate entertainers looking for their next gig.
Since Governor Christie took office, The Star Ledger’s Editorial Page Editor Tom Moran has been constantly critical of Christie’s style. It was Moran’s question about the Governor’s “confrontational tone” at a May 2010 press conference that lead to a “honest and refreshing” Christie becoming a YouTube phenomena and now a national media star.
Since the “chopper gate” story hit the fan last week, The Record’s Charles Stile has been gleefully making the case that the media and partisan noise about Governor Christie’s use of the State Police helicopter has been so ferocious because of “smash mouth” style. Stile, and other NJ media elites, have cited two recent polls, both taken before the chopper hullabaloo, that showed Christie’s approval ratings slipping as evidence that his style is wearing thin on New Jersey voters.
Stile has noted correctly that the chopper noise has been so harsh, despite the facts that Christie’s use of helicopter has been far more frugal than that of his predecessors and that his use of the chopper didn’t cost taxpayers anymore money than if he had traveled by SUV, because of Christie’s “in your face” plain spoken style. Christie’s political opponents and their media lapdogs have been laying in wait for an opportunity bash him back.
Stile has joined The Star Ledger’s Tom Moran in arguing that Christie should be nicer and more polite while turning Trenton upside down. Stile and Moran would have Christie’s compromising more and reforming less.
The irony here, from my point of view, is that over the last few months Christie has been nicer and more compromising. He’s toned it down. His opponents have subsequently stepped it up.
Maybe Christie’s poll numbers have slipped because he’s toned it down. Last spring he was railing against the NJEA and urging voters to defeat school budgets where unions wouldn’t compromise. Voters responded by defeating budgets in record numbers. Christie’s polls were strong. This spring Christie was silent on the school budgets.
Is there no more waste in our public schools? Has the the problem of excessive compensation, pensions and benefits been solved?
Since the GOP lost the legislative redistricting battle, Christie and Senate President Steve Sweeney announced a compromise over Supreme Court nominee Anne Patterson’s nomination that had been held up for a year. Part of the compromise included a promise by Sweeney that a hearing to fill the Court seat of former Justice John Wallace, which has been vacant for a year because Sweeney didn’t like that Christie did not reappoint Wallace, would take place next March. By making that agreement Christie acknowledged that Sweeney would still be Senate President in March, meaning Republicans are not going to win control of the State Senate in the coming election.
That the Democrats will retain control of the Legislature after the November election is probably realistic calculus on Christie’s part. He probably made a strategic decision that he can get more of his agenda accomplished by compromising than by fighting. That might be the best decision, but it also means that New Jersey will only have incremental improvement to our dysfunctional governments, rather than real reform…turning Trenton upside down reform…for the rest of Christie’s term.
I’d rather have the confrontational governor we elected. Even if it means stalemates and the shutting down of government, I’d rather Christie ridicule and embarrass the Trenton cesspool than compromise with it. Christie has only been in office less than 18 months. The cesspool has spent decades putting us into the mess we’re in.
As a matter of style, the chopper hullabaloo demonstrates that the media/establishment cesspool is not going to respond to a kinder, gentler Christie in kind. As a matter of substance, today’s news that the Democrats are going to attempt to increase education spending more than the Supreme Court has ordered and increase income taxes, demonstrates that the cesspool will always try to maintain and protect the status quo that makes them fat at the taxpayers’ expense.
Christie came into office promising to govern as if he only had one term to get the job done and without consideration for whether or not he’d be re-elected. Since then he has admittedly fallen in love with the job and become enamoured with national attention and presidential wooing his in your face style has brought to him.
Christie’s “in your face” style works. His adjustments should be by adding humor and charm to his ridicule, like Reagan did, not by compromising and being more polite.
If Christie has concluded that he has accomplished all he can in New Jersey with confrontation, he should get ready quickly and run for President. New Jersey and the United States both face horrendously serious problems. Compromise and tinkering around the edges of a broken system will not do.
We need Chris Chirstie’s unabashed leadership in New Jersey and in America. As Christie advised the new Republican leadership in Washington, we need to put up or shut up.
The Chris Christie for President buzz just won’t go away, no matter how strongly the governor declares he’s not running. Pretty soon the state police will consider putting Christie on a suicide watch.
Ann Coulter’s comment at CPAC…that the GOP either run Chris Christie or Mitt Romney will be the nominee and lose…has reignited the smoldering Christie for President banter.
In cable TV and radio interviews today, Coulter has said Christie is the only Republican who can defeat President Obama, and the governor would have her support even though she questions how conservative he is.
From the left, we have Star Ledger columnist Tom Moran, who helped make Christie a national figure with the famous, “You should see me when I’m really pissed” video. Moran wrote a piece for Sunday’s paper/website which was essentially a white flag of surrender from New Jersey’s Democratic establishment.
After comparing Christie to Oprah, detailing the powerful Democratic support Christie has won over in Hudson and Essex counties, and explaining how hopeless it has become for Trenton Democrats to oppose Christie’s reforms, Moran himself endorsed the Christie agenda:
He’s winning this argument because he’s right on the core issue — New Jersey has promised more than it can deliver. Governors all over the country, in both parties, are moving in the same direction out of necessity.
If Christie can win over Moran, maybe Coulter is right.
Perhaps the question should not be, “Is Chris Christie ready to be president?” as he repeatedly protests that he is not. Perhaps the question should be, “Is Kim Guadagno ready to be governor?”
Former congressional candidate Anna Little told a meeting of the Highlands Republican Club that the composition of the New Jersey Supreme Court is unconstitutional and “we do not have a Chief Justice as far as I am concerned.” She said she would file suit to challenge the new congressional district map if the court continues to have a vacancy when and if Chief Justice Stuart Rabner appoints a tie-breaking vote to the redistricting commission.
“Governor Christie did not reappoint Judge Wallace, who is on hold-over status,” said Little, “Senator Sweeney won’t approve Wallace’s replacement because Wallace is a Democrat.”
Justice John Wallace left the court in May of 2010 as a result of Governor Christie declining to reappoint him. Democrats have charged that Christie is tampering with the independence of the judiciary. Senate President Steve Sweeney has refused to hold hearings on Christie’s nominee to the court, Morris County Attorney Anne Patterson.
In an opinion issued in December, Associate Justice Roberto Rivera-Soto asserted that the Chief Justice Rabner does not have the authority to appoint a temporary justice to fill the vacancy unless necessary to fill a quorum on the court. Rabner appointed Appellate Judge Edwin Stern to fill the court’s seventh seat. Five justices constitute a quorum. Rivera-Soto said he would refrain from participating in decisions so long as Stern sits on the court, declaring that Rabner’s appointment of Stern was unconstitutional. Rivera-Soto later modified his position, stating that he would vote and issue opinions unless he decides to abstain. In between the two statements, Rivera-Soto informed Christie that he would not seek to be reappointed when he term expires in September. Many Democrats, notably Sweeney and former Senate President/Acting Governor Richard Codey have called on Rivera -Soto to resign immediately.
Little caused herself some problems during the 2010 congressional campaign while flashing her constitutional scholar credentials. In an October 2010 column, Star Ledger columnist Tom Moran said of Little,
“One is left with the feeling that Little hasn’t done her homework. Politics is refreshed by new faces and perspectives, but the best rookies study hard before they swing this wildly. The tea party is bringing us a new breed. They are angry, as we are often told. But isn’t there something arrogant about this, too?”
MMM doesn’t often agree with Moran, but the shoe seems to fit in this case.
Tom Moran is the editorial page editor of the Star Ledger and the reporter who unwittingly made Governor Chris Christie a YouTube sensation.
Moran decided that its time to grade the Governor. In a column published on Sunday, the pernicious pundit acknowledges that independent polls indicate that the voters are rating the Governor with A’s and B’s. He spends the rest of the column telling the voters (us) why they (we) are wrong about Christie. Moran say Christie only gets a C.
Moran gives Christie high marks for courage, calling the Governor a cage fighter for his cause. Despite this A, Moran gives Christie demerits for failing to compromise. This has been a theme of Moran’s throughout the year. Christie came to Trenton promising to turn the place upside down. Moran wants him to be nice while breaking the furniture.
Moran even gives the Governor a B on the budget, even though he calls Christie’s claim that he plugged an $11 billion budget hole “farcical.”
On the 2% property tax cap, Moran says Christie will earn a spot on the honor roll if it works, but so far it hasn’t. Duh. It hasn’t even gone into effect yet, and the “tool kit” negotiations with the Democratic legislative leadership are ongoing. Moran criticises Christie for not caving and accepting Oliver’s and Senate President Steve Sweeney’s first offer.
Moran takes Christie to task for calling Oliver a liar over her assertion that she tried to meet with Christie over the “tool kit.”
Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver was shocked when she learned that the governor had accused her of lying.
“That has irreparably affected my ability to work with this governor,” she says. “For him to cast aspersions on my integrity and say I would lie? That did it. That showed me I really cannot have a trusting relationship with this governor. Because he will distort the truth. He will stand up and lie.
“It was a game changer for me, a total game changer.”
Will Oliver’s resignation as Speaker be forthcoming? If she can’t or won’t work with the Governor she has no business being Speaker. Oliver should be grateful that the Governor and most of the media gave her (and Moran) a pass when she called the Governor racist in an earlier Moran column.
Moran seems to think it is a problem for Christie that Oliver and U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg “hate his guts.”
U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg felt this sting as well. After he criticized the governor for killing the Hudson River tunnel project, the governor lashed out.
“All he knows how to do is blow hot air,” Christie said. “So I don’t really care what Frank Lautenberg has to say about much of anything.”
This is the downside of the governor’s straight talk. He has to work with Oliver and Lautenberg, like it or not. And now they both seem to hate his guts.
“Look, I worked with Tom Kean and Christie Whitman, and had no problems,” Lautenberg says. “This is really unusual. There’s been hardly any communication from his office, and I’m on the Appropriations Committee. I put my heart and soul into this, and to have someone calling me names and trying to shame me? It’s incomprehensible.”
Lautenberg is old and has been very sick for most of the year. He can be forgiven for not noticing that Christie is not Tom Kean or Christie Whitman. Now that he’s woken up, he’ll start comprehending, if his heart and soul are really in his job. How effective has he been for us on the Appropriations Committee anyway?
Moran is right about one thing. Christie hasn’t delivered yet. But that is not the measure by which to grade a Governor 11 months into his term. Moran is a liberal ideologue masquerading as a moderate. Like ideologues on the right who are critical of Christie because he hasn’t fixed all the inequities of New Jersey government in 11 months, he is driven only by his own narrow agenda.
The NJEA is having a news conference in Trenton today to propose education reforms including “significant reform of the tenure system.” That is remarkable. Even if the proposed reforms are full of loop holes, which as a Jersey cynic I suspect they will be, the fact that the NJEA has entered the reform conversation is truly remarkable. Chris Christie made that happen.
Civil Service and binding arbitration is going to be reformed. Mayors and councils are going to be unbound from the ties that have driven property taxes to catastrophic levels and be empowered to truly manage their communities rather than rubber stamp state mandates. That is unbelievable. Chris Christie made that happen.
The 2% property tax cap, even with its exceptions, will truly force a reduction in the size of government, especially when inflation kicks in. Share services will become a reality out of necessity, rather than something community leaders pay lip service to during elections.
Chris Christie has changed the tone and transformed the direction of government in New Jersey. “Changed has arrived” he declared in his inaugural address. He is deliverying change. Trenton is not quite upside down yet, but it is surely tilted. He can’t be graded by the old score card, because he has changed the game in New Jersey and given Governors throughout the nation, and our leaders in Washington new rules.
Rather than a report card, lets judge Christie with a scorecard.
Christie is leading by a wide margin as the first quarter of his term comes to a close. Yet, the opposition of special interests and trough swillers have been studying the films and making adjustments. The final minutes of the quarter are critical as the effectiveness of the tool kit will be determined. Next year, the second quarter, is when the real heavy lifitng will start. Legislative redistricting, the budget and the legislative election will dominate the agenda. Municipal budgets drawn under the 2% cap will dominate the news. As the economy improves, if it does, “we don’t have the money” will not work as well in forcing reforms.
Christie gets an A for his first year. Next year will be the real test. Mid-terms will be in November. If the voters give Christie and A or B in the form of a Republican legislature, we’ll find out what “turning Trenton upside down” really means.