The short version: Embattled New Jersey governor Chris Christie withdrew his stalled-since-2012 nomination of Republican David F. Bauman to the NJ Supreme Court, and instead submitted Democrat Walter F. Timpone’s name. Senate Democrats have graciously indicated that they will accept this nomination, so that’s that, huh? More telling is this bit from the Wall Street Journal: “Mr. Christie signaled Monday that he had wearied of the battle with Senate Democrats. If Mr. Timpone is confirmed, “it will be a relief for me,” the governor said.” So much for fighting things out if it takes all summer.
But don’t cry for Chris Christie – not that I expect that many people reading this are inclined to, anyway – because the man brought it upon himself. He hitched himself to a candidate who the majority of the party cordially (or not so cordially) dislikes; worse for him, Christie then allowed himself to be repeatedly humiliated in public by that candidate, apparently solely for humiliation’s sake. When you align yourself with a person who can only feel big when everybody else around him is made to feel small, you have to expect these little bumps in the road.
You also have to expect elevated levels of contempt, too. After all: if you won’t respect yourself, why should anybody else respect you, either? Particularly when we’re talking about Democratic politicians, who have turned arrogant contempt into an art form. Those guys are just going to love the rest of Christie’s term, because he’s weak and they know it. More importantly, he knows that they know it, too. And so ends what was once a career full of promise…
PS: I live in Maryland, where we also have a Republican governor running the state and opposed by a Democratic legislature that isn’t going anywhere any time soon. And yet, Larry Hogan is not getting pushed around the same way that Christie is. Sure, some of that is due to the fact that Hogan is a popular first-term governor. And part of it is because Hogan doesn’t pick fights the way that Christie did. But a good bit of it is due to the fact that Hogan also doesn’t tolerate tomfoolery. I would suggest that Chris Christie follow Larry Hogan’s good example, except that time travel is a myth.