Chris Christie's Bogus Attack on Rand Paul

Christie gets in touch with his inner Maureen Dowd.

Back in 2005, a woman named Cindy Sheehan was camping outside President George W. Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas. Sheehan’s son Casey had died in the  Iraq War that Bush had started, and Sheehan’s vigil turned her into a heroine for many of the war’s opponents, including Dowd.  “The moral authority of parents who bury children killed in Iraq,” wrote the New York Times columnist, “is absolute.”

Unfortunately for Dowd, other parents also had lost children in Iraq, and some of them stepped forward to say they still continued to support the war, which had a rather complicating effect on Dowd’s overall point. But that is a logical consideration, and Dowd was not trying to make any logical arguments. She was trying to overwhelm them with sentiment.

Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey, did the same last week when he tore into civil libertarians concerned about domestic spying. The House had then just finished debating legislation sponsored by libertarian Republican Rep. Justin Amash to rein in the National Security Agency. Speaking “as a former prosecutor who was appointed by President George W. Bush on Sept. 10, 2001,” Christie said he wanted “us to be really cautious, because this strain of libertarianism that’s going through parties right now and making big headlines I think is a very dangerous thought.”

Dismissing those holding “these esoteric, intellectual debates,” he continued: “I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans and have that conversation. And they won’t, because that’s a much tougher conversation to have.”

In one regard, Christie is right: It certainly is hard to tell someone who lost a loved one on 9/11 that the government should refrain from taking any step that conceivably might prevent a future attack. It is hard because doing so could add to their pain, and people of good will do not want to make anyone’s suffering worse.

But in another more important regard, Christie is wrong – as Christie’s own behavior should demonstrate.

Example: Back in February, Christie signed an executive order loosening restrictions on alcohol sales. (The order lets establishments that have seasonal licenses to sell booze start doing so two months earlier.) No doubt he had good reasons, such as helping businesses recover from the economic hit of Hurricane Sandy.

On the other hand, according to the Centers for Disease Control alcohol annually causes 75,000 premature deaths in the United States – which is 25 times the death toll of 9/11. Would Christie be willing to sit down with the widows and orphans of drunk-driving victims, or of alcoholics who slowly drank themselves to death, and explain why he is making it easier for people to drink? That would be a tough conversation to have. But it would not make Christie wrong on the merits.

Here’s another: Last month Christie, a critic of Obamacare, vetoed a bill to make the expansion of Medicaid in New Jersey permanent. Would he sit down with the widows and orphans of people who died from a lack of affordable health care and explain his “esoteric, intellectual” rationale for the veto? That would be tough, too. But it would not, ipso facto, make him wrong.

Christie has been more open to gun control than other Republicans, but he does not support a total ban on all private firearms. Would he tell the widows and orphans of gun violence why? Christie does not support putting armed guards in schools to prevent mass shootings. Would he explain why to the grieving parents of Newtown, Conn.?

Government exists to protect all people’s rights, not some people’s feelings. A country in which the government can, in the name of national security, invade any home or arrest any person, with no explanation and no appeal, might be secure from foreign invasion. But its people are not safe – they are simply threatened by a different menace.

For all their intensity, emotions simply do not provide a good basis for settling disputes. They do not tell us whether a proposed remedy might actually work; or, if it works, whether it would do more harm than good; or whether some other remedy might cost less and work better. They do not tell us what is right, and what is wrong. Raw pain should command our sympathies. But it should not overwhelm our senses.

This column originally appeared in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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  • WTF||

    No alt-text?

    A simple "Get in mah belly!" would have been fine.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    There's a thin man inside him, and he's hungry!

    h/t Jim Davis

  • The Original Jason||

    I don't think people would pay me $63 an hour to dance in front of a webcam...

  • soflarider||

    Is this your best friend's brother's wife or your best friend's husband's sister?

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    "It's a microphone. Not an ice cream cone."

  • some guy||

    "I'm not a hypocrite. I'm just consistency-impaired."

  • Pro Libertate||

    I knew I'd seen him before. He was in Dune.

  • some guy||

    He looks more like a Hutt to me. More self-interest, less pure evil.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I was thinking more Beast Rabban than Baron Harkonnen.

  • some guy||

    If he's the Beast, then who is his Baron? Who has guided him to this path?

  • ||

    Barack Harkonnen.

  • ||

    +1 Shai-Hulud

  • Pro Libertate||

    I thought he was a Bene Gesserit obamanation.

  • ||

    When did he implant the heart plug in you?

  • Pro Libertate||

    I, of course, was referring to the book, not some mass hysteria that there was a movie.

  • ||

    So it's still there then?

  • some guy||

    What are your feelings regarding the mini-series?

  • Pro Libertate||

    REJECT.

  • ||

    I always liked the movie a lot. How could you not, with such an awesome cast and soundtrack? The miniseries was extremely disappointing.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'm not going to mock someone who clearly has suffered some great emotional trauma.

  • ||

    Maybe it's because I was just a kid when it came out, and I hadn't read the book yet.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Were you raised by wolves or something?

  • Zeb||

    The movie would have been OK if I had never heard of the book.

  • Bobarian||

    The movie would have been better if I never heard of it.

  • Slammer||

  • PH2050||

    Wow. Thanks for the link, I want to see that documentary now.

  • ||

    There was a book too?

  • mr simple||

    Some novelization of the movie, no doubt. It must be a tedious job to be the one who writes down everything that's going while watching the movie. I wonder if there's a lot of rewinding to get the words right or if they just go with the gist of it.

  • ||

    I often see the movie before reading the book. Dune, LotR... I may even get around to reading Starship Troopers.

  • ||

    I may even get around to reading Starship Troopers.

    It bears no resemblance to the movie (thank christ), so nothing's been spoiled for you.

  • CE||

    At least he looks the part of a rapacious statist.

  • staceyshea40||

    my friend's sister-in-law makes $70/hour on the laptop. She has been out of work for 5 months but last month her check was $14048 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this web site.. www.Rush60.com

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Government exists to protect all people’s rights, not some people’s feelings....

    "For all their intensity, emotions simply do not provide a good basis for settling disputes."

    You insensitive jerk! Isn't that just typical of a man, you, you *man!* I think I'll have myself a good cry and forget I ever saw your insensitive comments.

    /Chris Christie

  • ||

    You insensitive jerk! Isn't that just typical of a man, you, you *man!* I think I'll have myself a good cry and a pizza and forget I ever saw your insensitive comments.

    /Chris Christie

  • General Butt Naked||

    You insensitive jerk! Isn't that just typical of a man, you, you *man!* I think I'll have myself a good cry and a deep dish pizza and forget I ever saw your insensitive comments.

    /Chris Christie

    Bet he has 'em shipped in from Obamatown daily.

    As is every day.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    You insensitive jerk! Isn't that just typical of a man, you, you *man!* I think I'll have myself a good cry and a pizza and forget I ever saw your insensitive comments.
    BO CHOODA, HO HO HOOOOOOOO

    /Chris Christie

  • Gordilocks||

    Don't expect a politician, especially one of such very low-rent as Christie, to apply their own logic to their own actions or policies. That would imply consistency, which is in seriously short supply among many of these douchenozzles.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Ayn Rand versus Lap Band!

    Aqua Buddha versus Gimme Fooda!

    And a third one that I can't think of right now.

  • ||

    Koch versus Kielbasa!

  • db||

    Kentucky Scrapper versus Giant Crapper!

  • CE||

    Libertarian populist vs. RINO?

  • Rhywun||

    I did not know he was a prosecutor - that explains a lot. Too bad, I kind of liked him, pre-Sandy and pre-lap band. For awhile he was the NJ left's bete noir, and that was all good.

  • Metazoan||

    Hey, it distracts the commentariat from the from the Five Minutes Hate on NYC and anyone who lives here.

  • Rhywun||

    Nah, NJ is included in that. After all, we share the same accent, the same taste in good pizza, and the same insurmountable level of government corruption.

  • KDN||

    we share the same accent,

    Speak for yourself, bennie.

    /shoretrash

  • Pro Libertate||

    Good pizza? Ha!

  • some guy||

    the same taste in good pizza

    Here we go again...

  • Rhywun||

    Hey, at least I didn't bring up artisanal mayonnaise. Oh... shit.

  • ||

    Where are you in Jersey, dude?

  • Slammer||

    What exit?

  • Rhywun||

    I live in Brooklyn and work in Jersey City.

    It's not like I live there, thank god.

  • Metazoan||

    Wait Rhywun are you in NYC or Jersey? Or neither (I thought it was somewhere around here).

  • Rhywun||

    But outside the Five Minute Hate on NYC, I will ridicule NJ with the same gusto as the rest of America.

  • Bobarian||

    Old joke from when I was stationed at Ft Monmouth:

    Why doesn't California fall into the ocean?

    Because Jersey sucks... hard.

  • Tommy_Grand||

    Good article. I am disapointed in Gov. Christie. Even triangluation should have limits.

  • Monkey's Uncle||

    I think that the Clintons and Dick Morris proved that triangulation truly has no limits other than one's own political ambitions.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Somebody has to take up the Giuliani mantle.

    9/11. That's why!

  • Ron||

    Small complaint here
    I see an article on reason I'd like to read so I click on the link.
    Then I start to read and fine I'm only reading a part of the article so
    I have to click on another link to read the whole article on this site. Why do I have to do that just send me to that damn article in the first place and if I don't like what I'm reading I'll quit reading then.
    Does Reason get paid for every click.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Does Reason get paid for every click.

    If that is a question, the answer is yes, they do.

  • Rhywun||

    You might have noticed that every website does that now.

  • db||

    When did Time Cube Guy sell out?!?

  • triclops||

    S terrorist attack proves we need a massive police state. But a lack of terrorist attacks also proves we need a massive police state, because it's been working so well.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    +1 nonfalsifiablity

  • some guy||

    And nary a mention of what inspires terrorism in the first place.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Apparently, Rand Paul. He causes terrorism.

  • some guy||

    "If we commit to leaving other people alone, they'll never stop hating us!"

  • ||

    You mean get to the root cause?

    But if we fixed that we wouldn't have this excuse to control you.

  • Pro Libertate||

    This guy is such toast. While I'm not confident that a limited government candidate will win, I do think the GOP voters are looking for someone less Leviathan-friendly.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Ummmmm, toast...

    ...and butter

    ...and eggs

    ...and bacon

    ...and sausage

    ...and AMERICAN cheese

    /christie

  • Rhywun||

    Mmmmm... floor pie!

  • CE||

    And less Leviathan-shaped.

  • ||

    I think the right way to deal with establishment republicans is to shame them.

    "Cowardly republicans care more about being safe than they do about liberty and the constitution." Openly call them cowards (as they are) and contrast them with the founders. There is no defense for this and they'll eventually roll over and die.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Defending liberty is hard and requires courage every day you do it. It's much easier just to lie low and try hard to not be seen.

  • grey||

    Do they have shame? I remember my epiphany when I realized progressives had no shame, I'm not sure this isn't true for establishment republicans as well. They had no shame is dishing up McCain and then Romney.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Joel Cairo said it best:

    You...you imbecile! You bloated idiot! You stupid fat-head, you!"

  • Slammer||

    Iowahawk said, "If Weiner became Mayor at least we wouldn't have to worry about "cup size."

    Good one.

  • db||

    Why? Does his wife have large breasts?

  • Tony G||

    Where is this 'libertarian strain' running through the left?

  • CE||

    Ron Wyden caught a little of it.

  • PH2050||

    But, but...mah feels!

  • Jackand Ace||

    What was not bogus was Christie letting everyone know that Paul is just another representative of a state that is on the dole.

    "A 2010 report from the U.S. Census Bureau that analyzed per-capita federal spending at the state level seemed to back up at least part of Christie’s stance, though it placed New Jersey’s figure at 77 cents retuned per every dollar paid to the federal government. Kentucky was in the top 10 among U.S. states for federal spending on items such as retirement and disability benefits, grants, contracts, salaries and wages, loans and insurance. New Jersey, meanwhile, ranked in the bottom third of the states."

    And that quote is from Kentucky.com, not a Jersey website.

  • Bobarian||

    Well, for one, only a madman would retire and stay in NJ.

    2. KY has two active military bases.

    3. Red states for the most part, have more miles of road and land per person.

  • Jackand Ace||

    New Jersey has a base as well. And note in the above where the federal outlays are: retirement, disability, grants, and so forth. But his point remains, Paul can label New Jersey as a "gimme gimme" state, but in reality, its his that is one.

  • Steve G||

    Yeah, in-laws live in rural KY and disability/welfare is an honest living there.

  • ||

    Same here. I moved to Texas from western Kentucky, and getting a welfare check is seen as a just an honorable profession.

  • burserker||

    US census bureau numbers are bullshit,and can be easily manipulated for the output you want to see. how many corporate headquarters are located in NJ and count towards their tax payout; but then use tax credits and don't actually pay?

    i'm not saying KY isn't on the take, but this whole argument is bullshit and proves nothing.

    christy kreme is still a fat fuck statist, who is drunk with power and enjoys drinking gravy by the boatload

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    Rand would love to massively slash the size of the Federal Government, but the obstructionist, in both parties, won't let him. So I don't see how this is relevant. Irrelevant = bogus.

  • Anders||

    "Christie has been more open to gun control than other Republicans, but he does not support a total ban on all private firearms."

    Oh he really does actually.

    If you bothered to do any research on his published statements, especially as a DA, you would understand that he is one of the biggest gun-grabbers in America.

    He's like a fat slightly more male version of Janet Reno.

  • Rhywun||

    He's like a fat slightly more male version of Janet Reno.

    I think his girth is a refreshing change from the usual preening fancy-boys that run for any office these days.

  • Anders||

    I take exception to referring to Reno as a fancy boy.

  • Michael Price||

    So do I, she's not fancy.

  • Render Unto Caesar||

    Every time you don't let emotion dictate your policy decisions a puppy dies.

  • The Grinch||

    I'm a little late to the party here but I just wanted to add I believe Chris Christie's an obese, Crisco-sweating fat piece of fucking shit. Dear God, I loathe him.

  • Rhywun||

    Please. I've got Cuomo II and Mike Bloomberg to deal with - Christie doesn't look so bad after that.

  • Robert||

    This article's a bit of a mindfuck, isn't it? It's using Christie's record of pro-freedom actions to impugn his criticisms of Rand Paul's pro-freedom stances. That's like...fainting with damn praise?

  • OneOut||

    Back when Christie was the darling of the Republicans the left mocked him for being fat.

    After his Sandy antics and now crossing swords with Rand Paul it's the right that keeps calling him fat.

  • Anders||

    He has always been fat and he was always the best option NJ could come up with.

    But Signor Bacon is still a big government statist, a gun grabber, and the rest. The fact that he is not a re-incarnation of Mao was the major victory in his election.

  • dbobway||

    Thank You O who comment on this site. The trolls don't know how to belittle you, the rinos want you but can't have you, the liberals drool in their sleep dreaming of being you. None of them make me laugh more, putting our no nonsense government in proper perspective.

    Met a bartender who said he knew her well and began to humm a song.
    And all the men in the bar knew the tune and began to sing along.

  • DeloresJGilliam||

    my buddy's step-sister makes $72 an hour on the computer. She has been laid off for 8 months but last month her payment was $12918 just working on the computer for a few hours. Here's the site to read more,,,,
    http://Rush60.com

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