Never Trumper Tom Nichols often touts his “expertise” on various matters, although it’s unclear as to what specifically he’s an “expert” on. But I’ve been assured that he’s an expert among experts, and in fact is an expert ON experts, so just keep that in mind as you read the rest of this story.
As we’ve previously reported, Republican Edward Durr, who per the Associated Press has defeated longtime New Jersey State Senate President Steve Sweeney in a surprise victory that literally no one saw coming, is continuing to make waves in the Garden State.
Not only did he receive a congratulatory call from former President Donald Trump, but he’s also caught the attention (and ire) of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D), who last Friday called Durr “dangerous” for the state while lavishing praise on Sweeney for his “leadership,” the latter of which is obviously not felt by a majority of voters in New Jersey’s 3rd District.
In response, an unintimidated Durr cut Murphy down to size, pointing out that “Murphy is not what America is all about, he’s the dangerous guy who killed 10,000 nursing home residents and destroyed the lives of countless hardworking New Jerseyans.” A fair – and inarguable point – if there ever was one.
But even though “to the victor goes the spoils” or however the old saying goes, Durr’s smug critics remain undeterred, which brings us to Tom Nichols and a piece he wrote over the weekend, which appeared in The Atlantic. In it, Nichols who – again, remember, is an “expert” in some things – stated in so many words that while Durr’s story was neat, that we needed people in government who actually knew a thing or two about politics:
The plucky ordinary fellow taking down the mossy old Trenton pol has been catnip for many of my former comrades on the right, including many I greatly respect. But they seem to be acting on the belief that the local voter is always right and the long-serving politician is always wrong.
Or, at least, that the local voter is always right if the challenger is a Republican. This is not a narrative, I should add, that any conservatives seem willing (as far as I know) to apply to upstarts such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Few Republicans applauded the temerity and grit of a young state legislator named Barack Obama, whom they argued was just a pushy gate-jumper.
So many strawmen there, so little time. And isn’t it interesting that the “upstarts” the “conservative” Nichols defends are radical leftists including one (Obama) who was not remotely an “upstart” thanks in large part to a powerful Illinois kingmaker and Obama’s close political alliance with admitted domestic terrorist Bill Ayers and related associates?
But I digress.
Back to what to Durr and what Nichols said about him, you likely won’t be surprised to find out that Durr has responded accordingly to the jab by giving the appropriate response considering the troubled state of New Jersey politics:
“How much worse could I make it?”
— Alex Wilkes (@AlexandraWilkes) November 10, 2021
I’m close to proposing this guy be given the “thug life” distinction, but we need to hold off maybe just a little while longer to confirm. By the way, the rest of that “Save Jersey” interview can be watched/heard here, for anyone interested.
But back to Nichols, though he’s an expert at stuff apparently he’s not an expert on why a guy like Durr appeals to ordinary New Jerseyans. My colleague Nick Arama, a former New Jerseyan, perhaps said it best:
“Unlike Joe Biden, [Durr] admits he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. He doesn’t pretend to know everything or be everything. But he does want to be a voice for the people so they know someone is actually listening. How honest and refreshing is this?”
And to counter another Nichols point, it’s not that Republicans automatically defend Average Joes and Janes who win elections over career politicians, though admittedly we’ve all railed against the latter a time or two in our lifetimes. It’s that the surprise winners in some of these instances deserved it considering what the career politician has done (or not done) for their constituents over the time they’ve served in office.
It doesn’t take an “expert” to be able to figure that out, or so I’ve been told – by “experts” who might not be as “expert” as expertising as Tom Nichols.
On a related note, make sure to check out this interview Durr did with NBC10 – Philadelphia. I gotta say I’m truly impressed with the lavender button down and suspenders look, complete with mobster-like sunglasses that (if he’s like me) were probably purchased at the local convenience store. SO New Jersey that you can’t help but feel unworthy: