Chris Christie Wrote A New Book You Don’t Need To Read
Former New Jersey Governor and traffic obstructionist Chris Christie has a new book coming out that should pair well with another failed presidential run. It's called Republican Rescue: Saving the Party from Truth Deniers, Conspiracy Theorists, and the Dangerous Policies of Joe Biden. Guess he threw President Biden in there with the QAnon caucus so Fox News might consider booking him.
Publisher Threshold Editions — a conservative imprint of Simon & Schuster — describes the book as both “timely and urgent." Christie reportedly "feels compelled to weigh in on the past four years, but especially the past few months, and explain how these falsehoods, and the grievance politics they support, cost his party the House, the Senate and the White House in two years, for the first time since Herbert Hoover."
It's telling that Republicans like Christie compare Donald Trump to Herbert Hoover only after suffering major electoral defeats. They never made the obvious connection when Trump was actually in office. As president, Hoover pursued the so-called “lily-white strategy" — an overtly anti-Black movement within the GOP designed to win over white Southern conservatives within the Democratic party. Hoover alienated Black voters so completely they began their defection from the GOP with the 1932 election.
Republicans who go on about “saving" their party from the likes of Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert make it sound so easy, you wonder why it hasn't happened already. First, they'll stand up to and defeat the GOP's extremist, wackadoodle MAGA wing, which is not so much a wing but the whole damn bird. Then they'll beat Joe Biden and the Democrats with some honest, tax-evading supply-side economic policy without a hint of race-baiting. But that's not even how Ronald Reagan won; remember the “welfare queens"?
Christie is not an ideal standard-bearer for a MAGA resistance, considering he was the first mainstream Republican to wave the white flag and endorse Donald Trump. He looked so miserable while selling his soul that he later had to confirm Trump wasn't holding him hostage and he was acting under his own free will. He doesn't deserve a medal of valor because he half-assed his endorsement.
My comments tonight on @ABC about the conduct of @realDonaldTrump and the events today on Capitol Hill. https://t.co/L1iD06XYtr— Governor Christie (@Governor Christie)1609989916.0
Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner reportedly blocked Christie from the vice presidency. Nonetheless, and despite Trump humiliating Christie at every available opportunity, Christie has remained mostly supportive of the one-term loser. Oh sure, Christie nobly accepted the reality that Trump lost the 2020 election, and he even directly blamed Trump for the January 6 Capitol attack Trump personally instigated. But he later gave Trump's presidency an “A." Christie must offer a lot of extra credit in his Remedial Presidency course if Trump was able to make up for “violat[ing]his oath and betray[ing] the American people," as Christie claimed immediately after the attack.
Here's what Christie told Sean Hannity in May:
"Oh, listen, overall I give the president an A," he said. "The fact of the matter is that there were some things that happened specifically at the end of the presidency that I think had some things that clouded his accomplishments, and that's why we as a party need to emphasize the issues you just talked about."
Trump, in Christie's own words, lied consistently to Americans about the 2020 election. He also sat on his thumbs and watched with glee as his personal mob breached the Capitol. That's not even a gentleman's "C," but Christie was willing to overlook literal treason and give him an "A" because Trump advanced the conservative agenda. Of course, Marjorie Taylor Greene is just as capable of picking unqualified rightwing hack judges out of the Federalist Society Sharper Image Catalog as Trump is, so we guess that's how low the bar is.
Christie's book supposedly offers a "frank insider's account of [the 2020 election] and the tragic descent of some members of the Republican Party into cowardice and madness, as well as no-nonsense solutions for how to recover the party's image and integrity, and how to beat back the ultra-liberal policies of Joe Biden's Democrats." This is all bullshit. Like so many establishment Republicans, Christie is more than willing to support extremists if it means defeating Democrats and gaining power. They repeatedly take the path of moral cowardice and think they can wash the stink off later. That's the true madness in the Republican Party.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."