Chris Christie

Intolerance is OK if You Attack the Right (Wrong) People: Chris Christie Fat-Shaming Edition

Making fun of his weight distracts from the reality of public service as an excuse to live off the government teat.

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NJ.gov

Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.), who is technically a potential 2016 presidential candidate, is a pretty fat man. So when news came out he's spent 80 percent of his "state allowance" on food and alcohol. Christie receives a $90,000 annual "allowance" for work-related expenses on top of his $175,000 a year salary. The portion of the story receiving the most attention is $82,594 paid in 2010 and 2011 on concessions at MetLife Stadium, the New Jersey NFL venue where the Giant and Jets play. A fat man with political views not shared by the tolerant left spending lots of money on snacks? Cue the picking of the low hanging comedy fruit.

Just one example via Salon:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie spent more than $80,000 of taxpayer money on snacks at NFL games between 2010 and 2011, according to a report from New Jersey Watchdog. Christie used his government debit card 58 times at MetLife Stadium, and his office "did not provide any receipts, business reasons or names of individuals entertained, but defended the expense."

Christie's office has defended his use of the expense account, but were clearly embarrassed by the revelation that the governor was expensing quite a few beers while watching the Giants and Jets play because it reimbursed the costs associated with the games.

My first response was shock, of course. Christie averaged $1,500 in concessions at each game and didn't bother keeping receipts to explain the expenses. But my second response was total envy. Spending $82,000 on snacks is an actual dream of mine. I mean, not the exact amount but the idea of spending the cost of a down payment on a home on queso and hot dogs has always been very appealing to me.

Salon has published a lot about fat shaming. Even doctors can do it. 

There is, of course, a legitimate issue here. The idea of a government official having an expense account with such liberal rules of use on top of a decent salary ought to be preposterous. But the problem is hardly unique to Christie, and New Jersey Watchdog's report went viral not because the left suddenly found religion on wasteful spending by political leaders but because they can make fun of someone whose political positions they don't like and belongs to a demographic (fat people) which it has been traditionally acceptable to mock for what they are.

The White House's household expenses, for example, totaled $1. 4 billion a year in 2013, but liberals tend to defend presidential travel and living expenses as par for the course.  When a four-figure dinner the Obamas had on vacation made the news, Jezebel called people who criticized it "conservative morons," because of course the president should be able to splurge on dinner. While Jezebel will defend the spending habits of someone whose salary is funded by you and me,  don't expect them to stop mocking private citizens when they spend wealth that wasn't just taken from taxpayers. Because it's fun to mock stupid rich kids. And don't expect Jezebel to point out that six (6!) out of the ten richest counties in the U.S. are in the DC metro area, where wealth is largely generated by coming up with schemes to become the recipient of taxpayer money.

Chris Christie spent a lot of money at a football stadium and for the left the scandal is that a fat man spends a lot on snacks at a place where snacks are really expensive. Complaints about the spending habits of the president aren't met with concern, but with a chorus of "Bush did it too," as if we were all locked in and obligated to keep repeating every mistake anyone's ever made and keep doing the same stupid things, all in the interest of fairness.

The underlying issues—excessive government spending, for example, or the tendency by "public servants" to treat government as a meal ticket—are ignored in favor of making fun of a fat person. But don't you dare point to the Obama's expenses, you awful racists.

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  1. I can think of one good reason for a phat expense account for a governor:

    It gives him no reason not to pick up his own tab, rather than have cronies fund his entertainment.

    Now, picking up his own tab should not extend to picking up the tab for his buddies. What’s wrong with everybody pays their own way?

    1. Did you go dutch with your wife while you were courting her? If yes, she married well because a frugal man is a wise man!

      1. What, you think I pay my own way when I deign to share my company with a woman?

        Pshaw, man!

        1. My bad for underestimating your wisdom!

  2. So… Which one will get deleted?

    1. Two posts enter, one post leaves!

    2. The one with the most comments, of course!

    3. Both had the same URL; it was just two stubs pointing to the same page.

    4. the one that wasn’t tweeted!

  3. liberals tend to defend presidential travel and living expenses as par for the course.

    I see what you did there.

  4. Principals not aw fuck it you get the idea.

    Also, I’m resisting the urge to comment on the way he’s looking at that Superbowl trophy.

    1. Exactly. I imagine few people dare to say “Eat me” to the Gov.

  5. Doing the math, if Christie went to every home game over two seasons, that’s what, 16 games?

    Comes to a nice round $5,000 per game.

    The scandal should be that a public official spent $5,000 of other people’s money entertaining his friends at each and every football game, not that a fat man spent $5,000 of other people’s money entertaining his friends at each and every football game.

    1. The stadium is used by two teams, so 32 games over two seasons.

      1. OK, that’s $2,500/game. Not $1,500. Using the $82K number, it would take more than 54 games to spend that much per game.

        I haz a confuse.

    2. That would be principled. We all know that who the person is matters more than what the person did. I’m sure there are governors with a D next to their name that spent a lot more than that on entertaining their friends and cronies. Cuomo comes to mind immediately.

  6. This article was racist and fatphobic
    also you didn’t include a single trigger warning!

    /sarc

    1. Don’t forget: trigger warnings, themselves, can be corupulentaphobic, classist, misogynist or racist

      1. … not to mention some readers who might be “trigger-warning-phobic” themselves!

  7. a chorus of “Bush did it too,” as if we were all locked in and obligated to keep repeating every mistake anyone’s ever made and keep doing the same stupid things, all in the interest of fairness.

    Hmmm…I wonder if the authors here are as tired of Shriek as the rest of us?

    1. I don’t have a side (except resentment toward the state), but I couldn’t help but notice the quantity of “left” and “liberal” references, then that remark was just plain hypocritical, since he was basically pulling an “Obama does it more.” How about freedom friendly people (it that’s the case) stop pointing at one side altogether, especially if it makes us all look like right-wingers. In some context, “Koch-suckers” starts to look valid.

  8. $1500 per game? That’s not for snacks, that’s for hookers and blow.

    -jcr

    1. He’s way too fat to be a coke-head.

      1. You clearly don’t remember the Mayor of Toronto…

        1. True.

          1. But not too corpulent to be enthralled by an adult entertainer.

  9. An article a couple of years ago compared the $1.4B to maintain the White House with the $50M (vague memory) a year to maintain the British royal family, who arguably generate far more in tourist spending than the US President at far less expense.

    1. Your average royal is probably a lot more humble than any politician here or there.

      1. I’ve had the impression that, aisde from Charles thinking anyone cares about his architectural tastes, they know how quickly their popularity and budgets would vanish if they were to do anything beside cutting ribbons and having weddings and babies.

  10. liberals tend to defend presidential travel and living expenses as par for the course

    Only for Democrats.

  11. Remember when some pundit confronted Paul Ryan in a restaurant over the $300 bottle of wine he ordered (and paid for out of his own pocket)?

    That is completely unacceptable but the White House totally needs three calligraphers.

    1. Two of them might call in sick on the same day, you know.

      1. … thus possibly risking an international incident…

  12. Why shouldn’t we have a little fat-shaming though? Social norms have a legitimate role to play in promoting good behavior.

    I mean, I don’t think people should be insulted on twitter by hundreds of anti-fat activists, but it’s probably a good thing that society sends people the message that it’s bad to be fat, so try to eat healthier. How is this different than having a social norm that says that it’s shameful to take welfare? We should have that too.

    1. Well, welfare harms others, so there’s that.

    2. Shouldn’t we have a little cunt-shamming? It’s all for the greater good of society to keep everyone in their proper place.

      1. little cunt-shamming?

        Is this where we dress up and pretend to be cunts?

        1. Well done, you had me fooled.

        2. I am so ashammed.

          1. Sham-wow!

    3. How is this different than having a social norm that says that it’s shameful to take welfare?

      Umm…

      it’s probably a good thing that society sends people the message that it’s bad to be fat, so try to eat healthier.

      It is not “bad to be fat”. Being fat carries has no moral bearing. It is probably personally undesirable to be unhealthy, which being fat usually (pretty much always) is; your doctor can attend to that. It also hurts your chances with potential sexual partners; they too, can send that message, implicitly or explicitly. There is no need for “society” to get on the case, nor, after decades of experience, do we have much reason to believe it actually helps.

      1. You are confusing society with government. People telling other people not to be fat is society; the government telling you not to be fat is something else entirely.

        1. To clarify: your doctor and your sex partner telling you to stop being fat is society. In other words, you are arguing out both sides of your mouth, so I presumed you meant that society = government.

          1. You presumed incorrectly. My use of airquotes was deliberate.

            1. *scarequotes

            2. Then you are contradicting yourself.

              1. No, I’m not. Doctors and (potential) sex partners are in the part of society that is close to you personally. In context, we are speaking of ill-defined, amorphous, impersonal “society” that trashes people they don’t know (Christie). That is why I used the scarequotes, and that is why I’m not contradicting myself. I could, however, have been more explicit.

                1. Christie is a public figure. He chooses to expose himself to a much wider slice of society than the average person. Any “trashing” he may receive is part and parcel of how society functions, and there’s no reason he should be any more immune to it than anyone else.

          2. To clarify: your doctor and your sex partner telling you to stop being fat is society

            Wrong. You pay a doctor for medical advice.

            As for sex partner, partner is the magic word.

            The idea that strangers have any right to bitch about your waistline is total bullshit.

            1. The idea that strangers have any right to bitch about your waistline is total bullshit.

              Did the First Amendment get repealed? I’ve got every right to bitch about whatever I want. It might be unwise for me to do so, and you’ve got every right to whine, argue, ignore, or whatever other nonviolent action catches your fancy in response, but it’s still my right. The idea that you should be immune from criticism by strangers is laughable.

            2. “Wrong. You pay a doctor for medical advice.”

              Some of us pay our sex partners. And sometimes they even provide us unwanted advice.

        2. Please point to the spot where I did so.

          1. Then you are arguing out of both sides of your mouth. Your doctor, your sex partner, the advertisement on TV, that’s all “society”.

      2. Sure, but why not have a social norm that promotes people doing things that are in their own self-interest?

        It’s a fuck-ton better than having social norms that tell people they are morally obligated to eat organic or use recycled toilet paper. At least not being fat has scientifically proven health benefits.

        Whether having a social norm against fatness “works” ought to be an emphirical question. One could look at obseity rates across cultures of similar economic development and seee if there’s a negative correlation with fat-shaming.

        1. Sure, but why not have a social norm that promotes people doing things that are in their own self-interest?

          (a) You already admit you don’t know it is such a norm.

          (b) I believe people (myself included) should do a better job keeping out of each others’ vices, whether those be alcohol, tobacco, drugs, sex, food, or whatever. If you do not share that belief, that’s fine. Likewise, if you share that belief but think an exception should be made, that’s fine — but that’s where I’m coming from.

          1. Indulging in vices affects your behavior. Right or wrong, if you choose to associate with other people, they will point these things out. If you don’t like it, then control yourself better.

        2. Let’s do this with idiot shaming too. Everyone should be smart, we all know they’ll be better off if they are. So calling people out for being idiots really ought to get things moving in the right direction.

    4. Why shouldn’t people be free to shame whoever the fuck they want for whatever the fuck they want. I say shame away.

      By the way, Hazel. I think you could stand to lose a few pounds.

      1. I don’t think it’s anyone’s goddamn business other than the doctor or sex partner mentioned above. Because look how often “social norms” become “government regulations”.

        1. Absolutely, but that shouldn’t mean that I can’t call a fatty a fatty.

        2. The idea that social norms will cease to exist somehow amazes me. Every society (as in, group of a few or more people) ever to have existed has had norms. If the problem is that norms get enforced by government, then address that. But you will not change the fact that people have standards of behavior (and they are often hypocritical about them).

  13. Anyone else born BT notice that Reason’s posts are sounding more and more like we’ve warped back to the 90s?

    1. “Anyone else born BT notice that Reason’s posts are sounding more and more like we’ve warped back to the 90s?”

      QFT

      Sounds like “Reagan wuz God” era BS. I’m not going to make it easy for the left to paint me a “right-winger” or the right to paint me a “hippie libral.” Sadly, this guy seems to be planted firmly in that paradigm.

  14. “the first family’s yearly health-care costs are $7 million”

    What are the co-pays, like $500,000?

    1. Holy crap. For $7mm/year, I could have a fully operational multi-specialty clinic on call 24/7 solely for what, 5 people (including Grandmum).

      Call it a million a year in rent for the clinic itself, six (6) primary care docs very handsomely paid at a fully loaded cost of $300K each, plus, call it a cardiologist at $400K, a neurologist at $400K, a gerontologist for Grandmum at another $300K, a grotesquely inflated budget for labs and imaging of $100K, hell, thrown in a couple of nurse pracs for $150K apiece and a dietitian for $100K, all solely for the First Family.

      and I’m barely to $4.5mm. I literally cannot imagine how you can spend $7mm on health care for a bunch of healthy people. And I’m in the business of overcharging for health care.

      1. Let me at the IT costs for a half hour, I’ll get you close.

  15. Since the article says he produced no receipts, I’m assuming he didn’t actually spend these amounts at the games and just felt like writing himself checks.

    He’s a fucking thief. It’s incredibly obvious.

    If the state of New Jersey allows state employees to claim expense reimbursement for sums of this kind without receipts, it’s no wonder the place is a shithole.

    1. If the state of New Jersey allows state employees to claim expense reimbursement for sums of this kind without receipts, it’s no wonder the place is a shithole.

      Regionalism!1!11!

    2. He doesn’t need to be reimbursed; he has a special debit card for it. So, no checks either.

  16. The idea of a government official having an expense account with such liberal rules of use on top of a decent salary ought to be preposterous.

    No shit. Does that fucker pay for anything out of his own pocket?

  17. One thing I learned recently: furries are always fair game.

  18. the article says he produced no receipts, I’m assuming he didn’t actually spend these amounts at the games

    Next, I suppose you’ll tell me the IRS isn’t going to just take my word for it when I claim business expenses without documentation.

  19. A fat man with political views not shared by the tolerant left spending lots of money on snacks?

    Except for same-sex marriage, what views does this fat fuck not share with the tolerant left.

    1. what views does this fat fuck not share with the tolerant left.

      Which TEAM should be in charge?

      Really, these days, the only difference of opinion that matters.

  20. Why are citizens paying for politicians entertainment – or for that matter – meals while on vacation? I get that the president needs security and have no objection to floating that, but good grief, can’t he pay for his own freaking dinner when on vacation…

  21. He robs taxpayers to fund his eating vice, and supports using violence against other people for things he doesn’t agree with.

    I doubt he would like being fat to be illegal, and get hit over the head and dragged to a fat camp where he is forced to give up his food addiction.

  22. Did anyone else notice that the linked article doesn’t mention his weight at all? Accusations of fat shaming at an article that doesn’t mention weight, and comparing a dinner that Obama paid for out of his salary versus an abuse of an expense account?
    At least try a little.

    1. Good catch. It also called him left wing several times, as though the article was written by a right-winger. I won’t speak for everyone who considers himself freedom friendly, but my attitude about liberty is that it’s “no-wing,” and I try to avoid making myself look like I have a “side” in statism.

      1. Hmm…hope Reason isn’t being taken over by right-wing statists. I expect better.

        “Ed Krayewski is an associate editor at Reason.com. Before joining Reason, he was an associate producer at Fox Business, a media producer for Fox News and Fox Business, and an assistant producer at NBC News.”

  23. When a fat guy wants to control what I put into my body, I’ve got a pretty big problem with that, and all bets are off.

  24. That should be ‘the peoples teat’ when talking about government relative to the source of money.
    And the Obama’s are costing us more than $3.8 million a day above and beyond his salary?

  25. People are much more accountable and frugal about their spending when it is money that they have had to earn it themselves.

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