Fickle Fingers of Fate

I’ve passed the 15,000 words mark in the ebook, and I think it’s going to take me another 10,000 words to say everything I want to say, although probably not more than that. So it’s cooking.

Meanwhile, here are a couple of things to read together. Charles Pierce quotes a Romney fundraiser who is still angry about “the hug” between Chris Christie and President Obama after Hurricane Sandy. The fundraiser thinks “the hug” gave the election to Obama. Pierce writes,

Part of me wants to point out that, apparently, the utterly self-centered cluelessness of the candidate spread pretty widely throughout all levels of the Romney campaign. (Christie was supposed to let his constituents fight each other for bottled water rather than accept help from the federal government? People on the Jersey Shore were supposed to live in lean-to’s until Willard closed on that new place in D.C.?) Part of me wants to point out that this is yet another indication that the prion disease afflicting the collective brain of the Republican party rages unabated. But a much bigger part of me wants to laugh and laugh until I fall down.

The point being that the clueless wonders who supported Romney never understood that elections are about governing. The whole governing thing seems to elude them.

At Salon, Elias Isquith argues that Christie’s tendency to stoop to governing now and then, or at least talking about it, is what’s behind the Tea Party’s intense dislike of him.

The difference in framing between how Christie’s describing his job and how, say, Sen. Rand Paul or Sen. Ted Cruz or Rep. Paul Ryan or even Gov. Scott Walker would describe their job is subtle but important. If Paul or Cruz or Ryan or Walker were bragging about their accomplishments in a victory speech — the moment above all others when a politician can “campaign in poetry,” as Gov. Mario Cuomo once said — they wouldn’t wax rhapsodic about their own management of the state. They wouldn’t make the point, as Christie did, that government is there to “give” and “work with” and “work for” its citizens.

On the contrary, they’d say something about “Getting government out of the way” or “Removing government’s barriers to liberty” or “Liberating the American spirit from big government’s red tape.” At most, theirs would be a grudging acknowledgement of the necessity of government, a recognition that much as they’d like to live in a world without an activist state, they’re willing to accept one, reduced to a minimum, all the same. Similarly, while Christie as governor has come to accept Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, and was too smart —and too pragmatic — to continue mounting a doomed bid to stop same-sex marriage from becoming a reality in his state, other top-tier Republicans, the ones the Tea Party actually likes, would more likely flaunt their ideological rigidity and relish the chance to fight a losing battle in the name of true conservative principles.

The rhetoric difference is also the difference between New Jersey and, say, Mississippi. You can’t win a statewide election in New Jersey by promising to shut down abortion clinics or promoting concealed or open carry laws or spouting homophobic nonsense. There’s a strong fiscal conservative streak in New Jersey, however, so yelling about the teacher’s union can get you some votes.

Nevertheless, if Christie hadn’t responded to Hurricane Sandy as he did, the state would have been done with him. He knew that. Everybody in New Jersey knew that. The fact that baggers nationwide can’t even fathom that tells me that Romney supporters aren’t the only ones who are clueless.

21 thoughts on “Fickle Fingers of Fate

  1. Walker brags about what legislation that has been enacted, and nothing as to its effectiveness. What, Obama won NJ and NY because of Christie? Yeah, ok.

  2. So it’s cooking.

    Oh, I was wondering what the subject of the book was going to be about. I guess more like Betty Crocker than Grace Metalious or Jacqueline Susan, huh.

  3. Conservatives/Republicans have absolutely NO INTEREST in governing.

    They want the power that comes from being in charge of a Government.

    As proof, let me submit the difference between New Jersey and, say, Mississippi and Louisiana.
    After Hurricane Sandy, with a Democratic President in charge, the Republican Governor of NJ got a lot of federal aid fairly quickly for his state.
    Democratic leaders, want to govern.

    After Hurricane Katrina, with a Republican President in charge (somewhat, but not really), the Republican Governor of Mississippi got a lot of federal aid pretty damn quickly for his state.
    The Democratic Governor of Louisiana was made to jump through hoops, and beg for help.
    No governance there. Just Good Ol’ Fashioned Conservative partisan politics.

    Maybe the message they hoped that Christie might get after seeing W’s actions after Katrina, was that in the aftermath of Sandy, if he would have criticized Obama and supported Romney, and could have held off getting help for his state until AFTER Mitt was elected, then his state would have gotten as much, or more, than what he’d ask for.

    We have to do everything in our power to make sure that for the foreseeable future, we don’t have Republicans controlling the Executive and Legislative Branches of our government at the same time.
    It would make the W years seem like Camelot.

  4. Don’t have a clue what the price will be or if there will be a price ( I’ll WILLINGLY pay ), but I will be disappointed if I am not the first in line.

  5. Doug.. Do you mean the blog or the ebook?.. I would assume that she’s writing an ebook to market it. I’d be happy to spend a couple of bucks to help a starving artist. But I am genuinely curious about the subject of Maha’s ebook. Again, my assumption is that she’s writing an ebook to supplement her income; and a book that appeals only to a narrow demographic ( right thinking liberals) would limit her ability to make the most amount of money possible.
    I could also be completely wrong and find out that she’s writing it as a labor of love and isn’t concerned about money. After all, rents are fairly low in Westchester County.

  6. I don’t have a Kindle, or other e-reader, maha.

    Is there another way I’ll be able to read it? I’d love to!!!!!

  7. I forgot to add, that somehow or other, I’ll scrape up the money for it, and donate it via Paypal (or, whatever) – I think I may still have an account there, back from the days when I could support some of my favorite blogs, because I was still working.

    • Here’s the deal, guys. My working title is Rethinking Religion: On Being Religious as a Modern, Tolerant, Progressive, Peaceful and Science-friendly Citizen of the World. The subtitle needs work. I’m writing a lot about the intersection of religion and politics, plus religion and social pathology, and religion and craziness generally, and why it really doesn’t have to be this way. I haven’t made any final decisions but my current plan is to sell the digital version through Kindle. You wouldn’t have to have a Kindle to read it, though; you can download a free app and read Kindle books on a computer or smart phone. I have no idea how to price it. I’m thinking maybe $5? or even $10? I don’t want to scare people off, but I don’t want to give it away, either. You can get up to a 70 percent royalty on the Kindle books, and if I give them exclusive digital distribution they apparently do some promotion on the site.

      I could reformat and have a paperback edition also available through Amazon. Amazon is good for this because you don’t have to pay them up front. I send them files to print the book, and if somebody orders one they print it and ship it and pay a royalty on that.

  8. There are free Kindle reading apps for PCs and Macs. Same with the Nook. Amazon also has a cloud reader that lets you read your Kindle books in a web browser.

  9. Sounds very interesting, maha.
    Best of luck!
    Tell me when it’s ready, and I’ll lift the old couch up, shake it, and see what comes out. 🙂

  10. “The guy, as a person, is horrific,” said Ballard, a top lobbyist and finance chair of former presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

    …said the top lobbyist and finance chair for a guy who, as a person, is horrific.

  11. “The point being that the clueless wonders who supported Romney never understood that elections are about governing. The whole governing thing seems to elude them.”

    It’s easy to be an ranting ideologue when you are just a mere legislator, a mere representative, a lobbyist, or a rich doner. Rand Paul, Paul Ryan, and their ilk don’t have to deal with the actual realities of actual governing (doing well or poorly at the task). They can propose all kinds of unrealistic policies which do or do not get passed and can have approval from all kinds of idiots– and not have to suffer (at least in any direct way) the consequences of it. They can afford to be irresponsible in a way that someone with real governing responsibilities cannot.

    That the well-to-do feel like they have their own interests at stake makes sense, if seen in the myopic way that they do. This isn’t surprising. But what makes these ideologues so insidious is how they poison political discourse by fueling resentment among those who clearly would not benefit, not even in the short run (i.e. the “Southern Strategy”).

    In the end, what they do is not only politically wrong, but morally wrong as well (the very sort of thing Jesus condemned, ironically). They encourage people to be resentful of the fearful Other with their straw men. They appeal to the basest aspect of the human being and make ordinary people all the worse for it.

    I can understand (though of course not support) someone for selfishly looking out for their own greed and power. What I cannot forgive is how they have chosen to deliberately appeal to resentment to ordinary people in order to transform them into bigots and inadvertently support these ba$tards. Unforgivable.

  12. I apologize for the paywall joke. A good writer provides a valuable product and deserves to be paid according the quality of her/his work. Damn few writers are. I appreciate being a member of the gang here, and I never seriously meant to diminish the value of Maha’s work. In retrospect, the crack was a bit crass.

  13. Doug…No need to apologize. Your joke was understood in the spirit you intended. If anything I should be the one apologizing. I knew you were being lighthearted and jovial and yet I responded with a seriousness that just killed the spirit of your intention. I guess in my zeal for the desire to see Maha prosper in her endeavor I responded badly in what could be seen at your expense. I’m sorry if I caused you any discomfort.. That was not my intention.

  14. Maha,

    Thank you for the explanation. I still want to be first in line. I am lucky that I can afford whatever price you charge.

  15. The new book may clinch it for me finally getting an e-reader. I can be such a Luddite!

    “Jesus Shrugged”… there’s today’s Secret Chortle While at Work!

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