Saturday, November 29, 2014

Operation Pig


By Anonymous Operative

Yesterday, Chris Christie let all pigs know he is not on their side. And by Pigs, I don’t mean his Wall-Street campaign donors.

The New Jersey Governor vetoed a bill that would outlaw the transporting of pregnant pigs in small, debilitating crates. For good measure, he attacked the bill's supporters as "partisan politicians"... and they returned the compliment. This bill, created by veteran progressive state Senator Ray Lesniak, was created to protect these animals’ rights. Unfortunately, Pigs can’t vote in Republican primaries (or the Iowa caucus) thus it may have been in Chris Christie’s best interest to veto the bill.

While Christie vetoed this bill due to personal political needs, Ray Lesniak created this bill for political reasons too. He wants to be Governor when Christie either leaves office to gallivant around Des Moines and Sioux City or when his term expires in 2017. This bill is another bullet point on the aggressive, ongoing checklist Lesniak has created to make himself the progressive candidate for the Democratic nomination for Governor. He is a working class progressive and understands the advantages for progressives in a closed Democratic primary.

While I’m sure the pig crates truly are cruel, like most Republicans I am no scientist and will leave that conversation to the animal rights community. I would rather discuss how the political desires of the two men involved in this legislative brawl need to be checked with reality.

Beltway pundits have soured on Christie’s ability to win early primary states due to his mainstreamish stances on social issues. (Unlike psychopaths like Rick Santorum and Ted Cruz, Christie has not gone so far as to call for overturning the results of the last century and a half of American history.) However, as usual, these Beltway stooges are incorrect in their analyses.

Christie cannot win the Iowa caucuses because he will have zero political clout in the state due to his crude style and bellicose manner. His biggest ally there is Governor Terry Branstad, but he alone cannot deliver the necessary endorsements. In order to win that state, a Republican candidate needs the endorsements of local (often rural) press and pastors. You can only imagine the individuals who work at these small town institutions. All they need is one repetition of Christie’s Jersey Shore "sit down and shut up" moment to write him off the endorsement list and ensure his demise in the state.

In the states of New Hampshire and South Carolina, the Governor’s Tony Soprano-esque style will not fly. The conversation will not even last long enough to begin the discussion of Christie’s policy stances before he curses out a Manchester, NH reporter with a libertarian streak or a Charleston, SC southern gentleman who would like to hear Christie’s opinions on whether or not Michael Brown was shot enough times.

At the end of the day, Christie will have the Rudy Giuliani issue from 2008. He will find himself in an unwinnable fight against the electoral calendar. Even Chris Christie can’t be mean enough to a calendar to make it change its ways.

But then, there is pig-loving, New Jersey state Senator Ray Lesniak. By all accounts, he is an outstanding legislator and prolific fundraiser. He often finds himself endorsing (and later winning) political fights against the corrupt NJ Democratic establishment. Recently, he has been hinting at a desire to run for Governor. He would probably be a good governor, but it will just never happen.

The current lineup for the Democratic nomination is full of establishment clout and cash. Former Goldman Sachs executive and Ambassador to Germany Phillip Murphy (Corzine 2.0) will have the personal wealth to go the distance (and buy endorsements from local, broke county parties). Jersey City Mayor Steve Fullop will have the out-of-state Wall Street contacts (from his days at Goldman Sachs) to fund his operation. And finally, corrupt South Jersey Senator (Senate President) Steve Sweeney will have the full backing of the corrupt/conservative money machine that is George Norcross III.

Most Democratic donors in New Jersey do not give to people they feel inspired by. They give funds on a transactional basis. There will be nothing for them to get from a Lesniak candidacy while there is a lot to lose by going against the party establishment. For Lesniak, in a state like New Jersey, there is just no path to victory.

What is feasible (and more practical) is for Lesniak to remain active in Senate politics so that he can have a good chance at becoming a progressive Senate President once Sweeney leaves office to do Norcross' bidding.

At least then, pigs would have a chance…

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At 5:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Iowa and somehow we keep reelecting one of the rudest people in politics, Steve King. I would not totally bet against Christie winning the "piss off da liberals" contingent here in Iowa, but his lack of fire and brimstone will be a big problem for him.


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