We've had a lot of talk about "Culture" lately. We've had would-be MS Tea Party Senate Candidate McCarthy argue that Hip Hop culture is driving up Gun Violence, in Canada. Gun Violence in Canada is still merely a fraction of that in the U.S., but let's not quibble. The premise here is that beyond the choices and actions of a particular individual in a particular situation, there can be a culture of permissiveness for violent and hateful actions that can act as an enabling factor in the eventual outcome.
So most today are looking at Chris Christie in the wake of the revelations that his deputy chief of staff was engaged not only in a petty act of partisan retribution against a political rival, but also a massive cover up of that action so effective that the Governor himself was left clueless and in the dark about the entire thing until the revealing emails hit the press while he was working out yesterday. Or maybe the day before, or something.
Yet what we already knew about Christie was that he was a bully. That tendency to bash his ideological opponents into powder was one of the main things that made Christie popular among the GOP in the first place, even though it may now appear to be the first hymnal in his epitaph.
When we look at this picture of Christie rallying at a Teacher with the temerity to challenge his policies - it's not just the raw rage of his own face that is the most striking.
Beyond what Christie knew and when he knew it, this is going to be his standing legacy, because he's shown time and time again - THIS is who he truly is.
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Teacher: How are your reforms going to help the middle-class when so many middle-class teachers have been laid of this year, and so many have been spending money out of their pockets for programs that were originally paid for by the school district. This Administration has done nothing but lambast us, and I feel this administration has alienated so many people with your rhetoric that we are "bilking the state" when I'm a tax payer, and because of the budget cuts you've implemented I'm going to have a hard time paying this year.
Christie: Well, a few things, first of all I have not lambasted the public school system. What I have lambasted..
[Teacher Rolls her Eyes and reacts with incredulity]
Christie: Oh listen, let's start with this, I stood here an very respectfully listened to you. If you want to put on a show and giggle every time I talk, well then I have no interest in answering your question. So if you'd like to ...
[Crowd applauds, Christie pauses for effect]
Christie: So If you'd like to conduct a respectful conversation, I'm happy to do it. But if you don't please go and sit down and I'll answer the next question.