After failing to live up to many Republicans dreams of suddenly pulling a Kool-aid man and bursting through the walls of a GOP debate with an announcement to run, Christie has sort of faded out of the national conservation. With the exception of his endorsement of Mitt Romney and telling the Republican establishment that Mitt Romney isn’t the well-coiffed poison they think him to be, Christie has pretty much resumed his position as New Jersey’s union-busting governor.
But the gargantuan governor of the Garden State took some time away from screaming at teachers agenda when he told a crowd of voters at a town-hall style event in Little Falls, NJ that he sympathizes with the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Anyone who has followed Christie’s meteoric rise might be wondering why a man who has used the power of his office to castigate the public sector while giving his wall street political benefactors a free pass would sympathize with the OWS movement. Aside from the obvious point that he desperately needed wall street money during his 2009 gubernatorial bid, Christie has espoused the GOP talking point of claiming “shared sacrifice” during hard times while flagrantly allowing the ones who orchestrated the disaster to continue filling their money bags. It can be easily said New Jersey was going bankrupt on the account of union and political graft and that reforms were desperately needed , but Christie has directed all of his anger and rage at the public sector side of the coin while not even looking at the private sector side. Christie has always said that high taxes in New Jersey would send millionaire “job creators” packing, but analysts claim that Millionaire Taxes Don’t Chase Out the Rich. Yet the governor swiftly vetoed the state’s millionaire tax.
So what could the GOP dreamy governor possibly have to say that sympathizes with the OWS movement, a movement that stands in opposition to the astronomical amount of greed and misery being inflicted on students and the middle-class by the corporatists on Wall Street and in Congress.
“What they’re saying is ‘The government’s not working for me anymore, the government is not being fair, the government is not helping me the way that they should,’” Christie said.
“I understand why they’re angry. Because you look down at what’s happening in Washington, D.C., it should disgust all of us. You have a president who’s unwilling to drag people to the same room and bang heads and force solutions. You have Congress in both parties who won’t talk to each other. … At the same time we have people out in the country who are suffering. And they’re playing games in Washington, D.C.,” said Christie
Okay, the fact that Jabba the teacher cut is actually addressing this massive movement and giving it the time of the day really says something about the unprecedented affect the OWS movement is having. it is especially noteworthy when you consider Christie was a stone’s throw away from entering the field of presidential candidates, whose sole purpose has been to see which candidate can vilify the middle class, gays, Planned Parenthood, immigrants, students, and pretty much anyone not in the top 1% the most. So Christie’s remarks are definitely worth mentioning. Also, Christie was right in his assessment of a stubbornly disobedient Congress preventing relief for citizens underwater, but that obstruction has mostly come at the hands. Upon further inspection, it seems Christie is likening the OWS movement the what the miserably uninformed teabagger movement became: hordes of confused, white and angry people who showed up to healthcare town-hall debates with rifles, and who compared the president to Hitler for the same policy enacted by then Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney . Of course the OWS protestors are angry with the government and wish it would actually fulfill its constitutional pledge to serve the people instead of millionaires and lobbyists. But it’s the governor’s party that has been the most vocal in its opposition to every single solution President Obama has given them, even when it was written in their favor. Most recently, his Jobs initiative.
Indeed, the governor does believe that this movement derived from the same level of frustration as the tea party did. Further, he thinks this movement is somehow ideological in its purpose.
“The Tea Party folks have one set of views on how to solve the problems, the Occupy Wall Street crowd has a different view,” Christie said.
Sure, certain segments of the movement are left-wing versions of the foaming-at-the-mouth right-wing teabaggers,only armed with fair-trade canvas bags instead of AK-47s. Perhaps it’s due to the heterogeneous nature of the protests that the message is getting muddied, but the overall message of the OWS movement is not about petty politics or ideological fervor. Rather, wall street greed and the iniquitous practices that they have inflicted on 99 percent of the country.
I suppose it’s easy for Christie to not make this distinction. After all, Fox News and other members of the mainstream media have done nothing but paint this as being a group of angry Radiohead concert goers.
In sum, at least the governor is not vilifying this movement like a lot of his Republican counterparts (including the man he endorsed), even if he doesn’t quite understand the motivations behind the movement or sticking to the Republican mantra of constantly vilifying government.
Michael is a comedian/VO artist/Columnist extraordinaire, who co-wrote an award-nominated comedy, wrote for NY Times Laugh Lines, guest-blogged for Joe Biden, and writes a column for MSNBC.com affiliated Cagle. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Seriously, follow him or he’ll send you photos of Rush Limbaugh bending over in a thong.