Monday, May 17, 2010

It's called "Conservative Leadership 101" because you eventually grow out of it

Yesterday, one of my friends became a fan of “Conservative” on Facebook. Yes, apparently you can become fans of adjectives now. I’m waiting for “Quirky,” myself. Or perhaps, “Grammar.” Not really holding my breath for that one.

Curious as always, I checked out the “Conservative” Facebook page. And this little nugget graced its feed:

The way New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie goes off here on Star-Ledger political columnist Tom Moran, I’m surprised he didn’t tell Moran to “get a brain.” I’ve waited years to make that joke.

According to every page where I’ve seen this discussed, Moran is a liberal columnist. Which means he’s somewhere to the left of Glenn Beck. So that’s a helpful tidbit.

The footage is frequently in flux, so here’s the official video from the Star-Ledger:

Not surprisingly, this tirade has gone viral among those who love seeing the “liberal media” get slapped. Or just love slaps in general. I haven’t seen it so much in the liberal blogosphere, though that may be a testament to circumstance; conservatives see it as a sign of life in a sea of spilled oil (metaphorically speaking), while right-wing bluster barely registers a dent among its detractors. It’s a dime a dozen in this economy.

But I don’t think it should go unpunished. The rant is wrong in so many ways, both in substance and in tone. Especially in tone. Christie makes George W. Bush seem humble. And I’ve heard more appropriate laughter at funerals.

First, the tone. It’s always fun when someone is called out on their confrontational nature and they answer by being confrontational. It works only as a bullying tactic, because I can’t imagine someone saying, “His bluster has me rethinking my ways.” And I seriously doubt that’s Christie’s intent anyway.

Bluster and thought rarely mix. You only have to see the reactions of the people behind Christie to see what his real intent is here. And it’s not to persuade. It’s to SHUT YOU UP IN A PSEUDO-WITTY WAY, LIBERAL WEAKLING! PUNCH LINE! BOO-YAH! CHRISTIE 1, MEDIA 0! PWNED!! Really, it’s Moran’s fault. His face was in the way of Christie’s fastball.

But enough about the alpha-male jackassery. Let us parse the content:

“You know, Tom, you must be the thinnest-skinned guy in America...

Just check any comment section on this blog to see what a productive start this ever is to a conversation. And this is just some blog, never mind a new governor setting his tone to a journalist.

“Because if you think that’s a confrontational tone, then you should really see me when I’m pissed.”

I used to work an absolute joke of a job for someone who would say stuff like this. Every day was abject hell. It’s a three-pronged observation: 1) They’re admitting they’re vile even on their best day; 2) they’re fine, even joyful, about this and see no need to change; 3) you’re the spineless wimp for having the nerve to think it’ll ever get better than this. I lasted only two months. Others weren’t so lucky.

“That’s not confrontational!”

I’m reminded here of Ike Turner’s quote from his book Takin’ Back My Name: “Sure, I've slapped Tina... There have been times when I punched her to the ground without thinking. But I have never beat her." Semantics sure are fun!

“I love when people say they don’t wanna have argument. That’s what we were sent here for!”

Well, no, actually. You were sent there to represent the people of New Jersey. Arguing is sometimes a part of that, but mainly in the same sense that cannibalism is sometimes a part of plane crashes. You resort to it when times are critical.

“They believe in bigger government, higher taxes and more spending...”

At least he’s off to a good arguing start...

“I believe in less government, lower taxes and empowering local officials who are elected by their citizens to be able to fix their problems.”

He’s also in favor of apple pie, baseball, Chevrolet, the American flag, freedom and both dogs AND cats! His opponents hate them all and campaigned specifically on causing more problems for “their” citizens.

“That may lead to a disagreement or two. Now, I could say it very a way you all might be more comfortable with.”

But then I’d have to admit that you’re sentient human beings.

“Maybe we could go back to the last administration where I could say it in a way you wouldn’t even understand it.” [Laughter]

HA HA HA HA HA!! Those effete bureaucratic Jon Corzine types! They talk in fancy-schmancy edjamacashional words what don’t even feel you leavin’ sucker-punched after youse hears ’em! A-hyuk!

“But the fact of the matter is, THIS IS WHO I AM!”

See? He just can’t help it. Kinda like...Ike Turner.

“And this is who the people elected.”

Unlike all those filthy Democrats, who must be stopped at all costs.

“And so you guys want to continue to talk TONE, my combativeness...listen, everybody plays to their part.

It’s like he’s making excuses for his behavior, which only adds to the rich tapestry of exponential assholishness.

“Like it or not, you guys are stuck with me for four years.”

Barack Obama should say this. It would be dickish, but that’s the official language of American politics. Christie is fluent.

“And I’m gonna say things directly...and nobody in New Jersey is gonna have to wonder where I am on an issue.”

Was this really a problem before?

“And I think they’ve had enough of politicians who make them wonder.”

I disagree. It’s been clear for years that every U.S. politician is either a Real American or a Marxist Traitor. Marked “R” and “D” respectively. Thanks, Fox News!

“I came here to govern, not to worry about re-election.”

He’s got a point here. I wouldn’t worry about such a prospect either.

“I came here to do what people sent me here to do. And so, blunt, direct, maybe you might say, honest and refreshing.” [Laughter that makes mustache-twirling redundant]

If this guy were any higher on himself, he’d literally sweat seeds and stems.

“Maybe you could put that in your paper tomorrow.”

Like the mayor said in Animal House, “If you talk about extortion again, I’ll have both your legs broken.”

So remember, friends, Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) is the latest rising star of the Republican Party. He’s a take-charge, take-no-prisoners guy who will always give it to you straight. And he’ll stick it to all his critics and the mainstream media. He’s a fighter in an age when things are going down the tubes. A real Man’s Man who fought long and hard to be in government as a means of getting the dastardly government out of your lives. He’s not there to listen; he’s there to argue!

Christie’s exactly what we need to battle President Obama, that arrogant, non-team-player who doesn’t listen to the American people and only cares about asserting his executive power. The nerve of that guy!

And to think we’re stuck with him for the next four years...


ladigitalfx said...

What a grandstanding, condescending asshole. Politicians would do well to realize that it's all fun and games when they have the mike, but the journalist is going to get the last word in print.

Tom Alday said...

Haha, the fact that you dislike him makes me like him even more.

Robert Taylor said...

Boy you're lucky I'm an anti-statist because you're entire article made you simply seem like even more of wimp than Moran by nitpicking Christie's response, and you made Christie that much more appealing.

Try attacking his actions instead of his rhetoric sometime...wimp.

Ian McGibboney said...

ladigitalfx - Exactly, and Christie's going to realize, as all politicians do, that you need to cooperate to get things done. Taking a combative stance from the outset isn't going to help in that regard.

Still, I can easily picture conservative reactionaries rallying around this guy as he get savaged in print, just because they see the media as evil and out to get him. They'll say how Moran and others are out to get him, the poor, poor put-upon guy. And that will be humorous.

Tom - I'm sure it did. I seem to influence a lot of your tastes. If I start using Foursquare, will you swear it off forever?

Robert - Boy, I guess I am lucky, huh? Glad you apparently have checks on what could turn out badly.

Christie's attitude was stale on my 7th-grade playground. He has to realize he's an adult on an adult stage, and that confrontational, condescending bluster went out with the economic meltdown. Otherwise, he's gonna be exposed for the wimp that he is. All bullies are wimps at the core.

People with the truth on their side don't have to compensate.

Tom Alday said...

"that you need to cooperate to get things done. Taking a combative stance from the outset isn't going to help in that regard."

Funny, when Obama was running around with his "I won" talk during the health care debate you ate it up, now though that kind of bluster is bad? is it because Christie has an (R) after his name or some other reason that he's not allowed to be as combative as Saint Obama?


Ian McGibboney said...

Speaking of hypocrisy, it's interesting how you guys babble on and on about Obama's refusal to listen to the people, his arrogance, etc., which isn't even true, but some blowhard like Christie actually does these things and brags about it, and he's the sterling example of leadership.

And I'm the partisan one?

Robert Taylor said...

It's a bitch, Ian

Tom Alday said...

Actually Ian, if you paid attention to NJ politics you would know that Christie listens to people, it's his opponents that don't and are arrogant. He got elected in a heavily blue state by listening to the electorate, you know like a politician is supposed to. He tried to compromise with the unions to solve the state budget problems caused by Corzine and years of Democrat graft and corruption and they made jokes about killing him. But he's the combative one. Got it.

And really, you think Obama telling his opponents to do what he says because "I won" isn't arrogant? He really does shit roses to you doesn't he?

Ian McGibboney said...

I generally don't pay attention to New Jersey politics, Tom, and I wonder how many other people out there who are jacking off to this video are viewing it in a big-picture context.

It would be one thing if people were saying, check out this guy. He's cleaning up corruption, etc. But no. Everyone who I've seen highlighting this video - including you - is making it about how he's talking straight (i.e., like an asshole) and sticking it to the pansy reporter or whatever. That's why the video is gaining popularity. It's right-wing tuff-guy porn.

Obama is too conciliatory for his own good, as are most Democrats. I don't want him or anyone else to take it to this guy's level, but I do appreciated some fight. Obama is nothing like Christie, even if his critics say he is. I can't imagine the stink that would be raised if a video of Obama emerged where he personally insulted a reporter while answering a question and his staff cheered. There's no use in defending this, Tom.

Tom Alday said...

Moran asked a retarded question. Christie is getting assailed daily in NJ for his efforts to ensure the state doesn't sink into bankruptcy and this little twerp has the balls to call him out for being combative and saying mean things about the unions that joke about killing him? Should he just roll over and let the unions and all the other liberals that have fucked over NJ continue to do so or should he fight them like the people of NJ elected him to do?

Tom Alday said...

Also, I find it funny you think an asshole like Alan Grayson should run for President, yet Christie says things much more tamely and he's a pox upon us all. Funny. That have anything to do with party affiliation?


Ian McGibboney said...

Guess what, Tom? That "little twerp" was doing his job and asking what I felt was a legit question. Christie could have dismissed it with a witty retort if he didn't like it, but I think he did like it. He walked right into it, for sure. On purpose.

Pseudo-journalists like Megyn Kelly can kiss my ass, but if they were throwing me their loaded questions, I would deal with them and not make the interview about what a vapid bimbo she is and how perfect I am. It shows a certain lack of cleverness on Christie's part.

As for Grayson, you had to dig deep for that one. My point was that he was one of the few Democrats at the time not waffling or catering to the right. He's blunt, but he's not a bully. At the very least, he directs his rhetoric towards other public officials rather than question some reporter's manhood.

Your continued attempt to find some loose connection between everything I say and some Democratic equivalent is desperation and make you the partisan one, not me.

Tom Alday said...

Grayson is "blunt"? I think calling female government officials "whores" is a little more than being "blunt", but hey, you think he deserves to be President for remarks like that, not I. Your record on Presidential elections is like 1 and 5 so we know you really know how to pick 'em!

As for who he directs his attacks towards, he likes barging into meetings and threatening private citizens, I'd hardly call them "other public officials".

But oh no, Chris Christie called a reporter thin skinned, the horror!

Also, like the dig on Megyn Kelly out of nowhere. She's 10x the reporter you'll ever be. I bet that chaps your hide.

Ian McGibboney said...

Well, if I supported Grayson specifically for his tendency to call women whores, then yeah, you'd have a point. But I was referring to some specific issue speeches he'd made in Congress, and how the Democrats in general could use the kind of fight he had in him. (Incidentally, my rule about Grayson predates that whole scandal by a few weeks).

Christie's getting lots of support lately precisely for this tirade, which you're now denying is anything of the sort. Funny. You, Tom, refer to his candor. Candor about what? What did he say besides digging at the reporter and some buzzwords about how direct he will be? What is the point of celebrating the video if it isn't about the digs? And why shouldn't I point out that the GOP, in addition to being the Party of No, is also turning into the Party of Bullies?

As for Megyn Kelly, well yeah, very few men will bring TV ratings like a hot blonde. Does that make her a journalist? No. It makes her a TV anchor. Nice voice, nice face, but nevertheless very politically loaded questioning on a supposed news show. And that's the point. No, I deal with the real thing.

NOLA Progressive said...

What is it about dyed in the wool Neo-Con types that just salivate all over tubby white pricks? I mean put Christie and Rush in the same room and gay marriage may not be a wedge issue anymore. The dude is a dick head. Argue Grayson and any number of liberal counterparts are too. So what? The dude is still a dick head.

Ian McGibboney said...

Getting into the appearance discussion can be tricky. But it is worth noting that conservative pundits - chosen at least in part for their ability to engage and enrage viewers - are, by and large, heavy, boisterous blowhards or bleach-blonde models. The men they want to be and the women they to be with. This also explains the McCain-Palin ticket (though McCain really wasn't blowhard enough for it to work).

That's not to say liberal pundits can't be the same way. Look at Ed Schultz and...well...I don't know if there's a Megyn Kelly there. But no matter how good-looking or unconventionally cute or not they are, most of them at least have some experience and talent other than asking loaded questions and passing off barked playground insults as wit. To paraphrase Matt Taibbi, they're more than the jerks you see every morning in the mirror.

So it's no surprise that conservatives want the same qualities in their leaders. Christie would bother me as a football coach, much less a governor.

Tom Alday said...

It really drives home the hypocrite charges when you liberals, who during the last admin cheered Dems like Dean, and cheer Grayson today whine and complain about conservatives being uncivil.

boo fucking hoo

Ian McGibboney said...

Tom, if you can find a Democrat being held up as an example of leadership for his ability to berate reporters to the chorus of laughing sycophants, then you have a point. Until then, you don't.

Tom Alday said...

Is it just because he attacked a reporter?

It seems to be. Do you think if you stick up for Tom Moran he'll make you his sidekick or something, like Batman and Robin?

As for who or what is unfairly getting held up as a leader, I'd kindly remind you that you think a guy that calls females "whores" and says Republicans want everyone to die quickly should be President, and other Democrats should follow his lead.

NOLA Progressive said...

It's not so much just the appearance. It has to be a combination of tubby white guy and just a total asshole. You know miserable, sleazy, regional manager of sales, slimeball type. Ed doesn't fit that prototype.

Ian McGibboney said...

Tom - It's not that he attacked a reporter so much as that he felt the need to unload on someone he saw as inferior to him. You could argue the reporter baited him (I wouldn't, though), but Christie didn't do himself any favor by taking it. It's bad politics to talk down to people, even if you view them as media scumbags. It wouldn't surprise me at all to see Christie insult constituents, especially ones he thought didn't vote for him. Even CEO websites say that being an autocratic asshole is very passe and a terrible way to engender good business. With politics, it's an even worse idea.

And granted, my Grayson endorsement (which you are frankly taking way too seriously) was in part about his remarks to the health care opposition. That wasn't bullying; it was truth. Hyperbolic? Probably, but it's not like the GOP made a reasoned case to the contrary. Anyway, they're public figures on a public stage. They can and do swing back. But again, I wrote that before the "whore" comments came to light. And even then, I wouldn't pass around any "whore" video and say, hey, this is what we need in a leader! That's the difference.

NOLA - You're right. I was thinking in relative terms, because no lefty radio host of any major stature can even begin to approach the assholishness of their righty counterparts. Your slimeball description is spot-on.

Tom Alday said...

"It has to be a combination of tubby white guy and just a total asshole. You know miserable, sleazy, regional manager of sales, slimeball type."

When did this become a discussion about the late Ted Kennedy? lol. Sorry can't help it. But hey he's almost a year sober so good for him!

"because no lefty radio host of any major stature can even begin to approach the assholishness of their righty counterparts."

Not that I can think of a single liberal radio host of "major stature" (there are none) but Mike Malloy is way more vile than anything from the right. I mean the guy was too extreme for Air America for Christ's sake.

Anyway, since Grayson's "whore" comments, and attacks against regular citizens have come to light I haven't seen you withdraw your endorsement of him as President so I can only assume you have no problems with them. That kind of invalidates your entire criticism of Christie, since dressing down a stupid reporter isn't even in the same area code as things Grayson (your preferred Presidential candidate btw) has done or said. So I guess your Christie complaint is less about "meanness" and more about the (R) after his name. Correct?

See Ian, these are the kind of conflicts that arise when you have no core values and just go with whatever talking point you can find. Tuck this away for future reference.

Ian McGibboney said...

TA: "I haven't seen you withdraw your endorsement of him as President so I can only assume you have no problems with them."

Well, no, Tom, because you're the only person harping on what no one seriously thinks is a thorough endorsement. I still like the guy, but you're beating a dead horse. The point is that I think he has a sense of fight that the Democrats need, not that I like that he calls women whores.

Do I harp on you voting for McCain because you think of women as "cunts"? Get a clue.

As for having no principles, you're arguing on the thread right underneath this that I'm too rigid in my views! WTF? Pick one and stick to it. And maybe prove the talking-point thing one of these days.

Talk about projection...

Tom Alday said...

Oh he has a "sense of fight"! I guess that's a bad thing though when a Republican like Christie has it. Got it.



I think that about sums it up, eh?

Ian McGibboney said...

The difference between Grayson and Christie is the difference between you and me, Tom.

I talk about issues, sometimes forcefully. You hurl epithets and pat yourself on the back. If I call you on it, you insist you're the doing the same thing as me, which not only isn't true but suggests that it allows you to stoop to that level as well. Weak.

Tom Alday said...

Ah yes you "talk about the issues" like how anyone that bought ammunition after Obama was elected is obviously a racist, how anyone that voted for Bush was a fascist and how anyone that wants smaller government is a teabagging redneck. Yes Ian, you would never stoop to hurling epithets! Carry on you noble truthsayer you, carry on.



end of story

NOLA Progressive said...

Grayson lost his cool and said something innapropriate. Specifically the whore comment, not the healthcare statements (those were spot on). He then later apologized for that remark. Specifically apologized for the negative female connotation, not the impetus for the comment as it was justified.

Slimeballs like Rush and Christie never apologize or refocus a comment that they make. They are all swagger all the time pricks. There isn't an ounce of empathy in them. There is your difference, and it's glaringly obvious. TA likes this personality type- so be it. However, it is not comparable to Grayson's.

Slam Kennedy all you want as well TA. I admire his strenghts and abhor his weaknesses, of which there were many. Your pot shot doesn't hit home on that one.

Ian McGibboney said...

NOLA - Right on! Here's how I see it:

1) Tom likes Christie for all the reasons I said it's wrong to like him (i.e., the bully factor);

2) That adoration is fueled further by the fact that it bothers me;

3) Tom plays the equivalency card and pulls out Grayson as a counter-example, saying in essence that Grayson has the same personality type;

4) Tom does not like both, when his logic suggests that he should (i.e., they're both bullies).

5) He then accuses me of being a hypocrite because I don't like both (in essence, accusing himself of the same thing).

6) The comparison doesn't even hold up (as you've pointed out, NOLA), so we're not the ones being partisan hypocrites. Tom, who equates the two but only likes one, IS being a partisan hypocrite. His logic does him in at the end.