|Gov Christie calls S-L columnist thin-skinned for inquiring about his 'confrontational tone'|
The Star Ledger's Tom Moran got his feelings hurt in Trenton yesterday when he questioned Governor Chris Christie on his "confrontational tone" in dealing with the Democratic legislature. Christie held a press conference to introduce reform legislation that, in Moran's own words, will make Christie "one of the most consequential governors in Jersey history."
Instead of writing a piece about the merits of the reforms Christie is proposing, Moran wrote a column about Christie's manners. That Christie called Moran "thin-skinned" was the lead, as if that was the most important news of the day.
Moran wants Christie to follow the conventional "political mating ritual" of "making nice noises" about the Democratic legislature that has mated New Jersey over. Christie should be more like Corzine. He should be less confrontational because he needs the Democrats to pass watered down versions of the legislation, rather than "barnstorming the state pressing for his reforms, to pressure Democrats to go along." Mate that Tom. That's how we got in this mating mess.
On Monday, we saw Gov. Chris Christie joyfully defy that convention, too. He mocked Democrats in a press conference for a half-hour, as if the only deal he would ever accept with such clowns is their unconditional surrender.
He called their ideas "ridiculous" and "cute" and said they couldn’t do math. He accused them of pandering. He said they are faking when they complain that he doesn’t consult them. At every turn, he painted them as demons who are determined to drive the state into the ditch, not as partners with legitimate differences.
"They want bigger government, higher taxes and more spending," the governor thundered. "This is just ridiculous."
It’s an odd tactic, given that Christie needs the Democrats to achieve his core goals. Does he think slapping them around will win them over?
What's odd is that Moran thinks the Democrats will ever willingly help Christie achieve his core goals. He can't be that naive. Corzine tried to fix New Jersey's fiscal mess by raising taxes and eliminating wasteful spending. He shut the government down in a effort to do it. Then he blinked. He raised taxes but let the wasteful spending continue and expand.
Christie is fixing New Jersey's fiscal mess by reducing spending and giving local governments to tools to do the same. Christie's reforms are radical and necessary. They strike at the heart of the established bureaucracy that has made New Jersey unworkable and is no longer sustainable.
It's evidently OK with Moran that Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver makes racists remarks about the Christie administration. It's OK with him that Senate President Steve Sweeney won't even hold hearings or have a vote on Christie's Supreme Court nominee. That's just conventional political mating. What's really wrong in Trenton is Christie's plain spoken Jersey style tone.