If you are a state legislator, and you’re trying to slow-play your Governor’s fiscal reform plans because you figure if you wait him out, popular sentiment will swing to your side, there are a couple things you can, and probably should do.
- Take up a number of frivolous bills and claim they are long-neglected matters that should have been attended to long ago.
- Make a promise to deal with the Governor’s agenda by some distant point in the future then go on vacation.
These are tried and true tactics, like trotting out show pony citizens with sad faces who will be “hurt” if your opponent gets his way, that politicians have been using since long before any of us were born. I’m quite sure Steve Sweeney, President of the New Jersey Senate thought he’d drop a few of the old tactical chestnuts on his new Governor and that would be that. Time to scheme up more sophisticated strategy bought; ire of the public dodged; spotlight shiften; responsibility avoided.
Except that Sweeney forgot a very important rule. I don’t blame him. It’s not as if the rule has been in place for a long time. It only dates back to the last election and it says:
- Make sure, before you pull your cutesy political stunts and head off on an extended break, that your Governor isn’t Chris Christie.
As it happens, Christie is in the middle of a town hall tour (well, really, he started shortly after his election and hasn’t really stopped since then), which gave him an excellent opportunity to respond to Senator Sweeney’s gambit. The results are not at all pretty.
This, friends, is how a conservative takes care of business — with good humor, confidence, a command of the facts, and a relentless attack that renders leaves little of your opponent but a smoking pair of very expensive shoes remain. Chris Christie delivered a clinic in how to make your political opponent look like a small, ineffective nothing. Delicious.