The New York Times, with obvious admiration, accuses Governor Chris Christie of openly using the power and prestige of his office to advance his political career to ensure long-term tenure in office. And no one objects. Reporting on President Obama’s visit to the Jersey Shore with Governor Chris Christie, The Times tells us:
For his part, Mr. Christie has fashioned a potent political brand as a no-nonsense leader, whose clarity in a crisis can transcend the tired niceties and rivalries of the partisan game. The president has served as a ready foil and, more to the point, a provider of the kinds of tangible goods — money, resources and a friend in the bully pulpit — that can be political gold after a disaster, particularly in the blue-leaning state.
Politically speaking, Mr. Christie needed to walk a careful line. If he seeks the Republican nomination for president in 2016 and appears to be too friendly with the president, his Republican rivals could use it against him. But that chumminess could be an asset when it comes to winning over swing voters, if he becomes the nominee.
Mr. Christie has also been criticized in his state for appearing with his family in a television advertisement that was paid for with storm recovery money. The commercial is intended to promote the shore, but Democrats have argued that it is little more than a thinly veiled re-election ad for the governor.
For the moment, the trick for both men was to appear as if they do not care about the politics.
In other words, they’re both really really good at faking things, a.k.a. knowingly and admittedly bending and massaging the truth with impunity for the sole, stated purpose of keeping power. And of course that sounds familiar, because it’s the mark of, a prerequisite to becoming, a highly-successful modern politician.
So, what’s remarkable? What’s objectionable? Who even cares? No one, that’s who cares. And, there you have the question and answer to “what’s wrong with our nation’s polity?” That Governor Christie’s opponents and supporters alike praise his abuse of power as ‘just good politics’ is prima facie evidence that the American experiment in self-government is failing [has "perished from the earth"?]. Only a clean sweep on the scale of a [peaceful?] civil revolution will restore our government “of the people, by the people, for the people” – a government of a nation “conceived in Liberty“ - a government that reveres and respects individual liberties over perpetuating its own power.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.