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Ron Radosh

New Jersey’s Crisis and the Liberals

April 14th, 2010 - 4:07 pm

When one speaks to liberals, it becomes apparent that they live in a world in which reality does not exist. Take, for a good example, the serious fiscal crisis in New Jersey. Jacob Laskin writes about it in  City Journal and explains its severity. One of the things that most irks liberal residents of the state is that Governor Chris Christie has dared to stand up to the teachers’ union and, given their recalcitrance to make any serious effort at compromise, has decided to cut some teacher’s jobs as well as those who work in the schools, such as lunchroom personnel and others.

The editors of The Wall Street Journal explained the tough decision in an editorial statement written by Bill McGurn. The liberals and the teachers’ union do not buy it. They cry out that “the children will be hurt”; Christie is clearly seen by liberals as the equivalent of a child murderer, who will deprive the poor of a necessary education. They refuse to even consider his modest solution — acceptance of a one year wage freeze and an agreement to contribute a modest 1 per cent of their salary — about $730 a year — to their inclusive health insurance which presently costs them nothing.

On “Morning Joe” yesterday, Christie appeared live, and respectfully and without rancor recounted how the state teachers’ union simply refuses to budge or even acknowledge the crisis in their midst. Instead, as was widely reported, one of its members posted a blog that ended with a wish that the governor be killed. Joe Coppola, the head of the Bergen County union chapter, wrote the following to his members:

“Dear Lord, this year you have taken away my favorite actor, Patrick Swayze, my favorite actress, Farrah Fawcett, my favorite singer, Michael Jackson, and my favorite salesman, Billy Mays… . I just wanted to let you know that Chris Christie is my favorite governor.”

Christie informed his viewers that when the state union president came to his office to apologize, he told her that if she was serious, the union should fire Coppola. She turned and walked out of his office.  What a nice bunch of people. At the Daily Beast, John Avlon reported that Coppola’s message was just the first of many.  Avlon writes:

“Here’s an instant classic from Camden County Vocational and Technical High School biology teacher Marlene Brubaker, as uncovered by PolitickerNJ’s Wally Edge: “‘KingKrisKristy is copying from another famous dictator: Pol Pot, who got rid of teachers and intellectuals and turned the population against them. NJ has its own Khmer Rouge, it’s your Legislature.’ The KKK formulation of ‘KingKrisKristy’ was no accident, as a subsequent post by Brubaker made clear: ‘Your legislature is full of KKK’s yes-men. They bow to his will. They all need to be kicked out of office. I always called NJ the ‘Nazi state’ I used to be joking.’”

Trolling around the pages, I found the Nazi comparisons continued. Here’s one from Shirlane Kirschbaum Yannuzzi: ‘Just as Hitler blamed the Jews for the economic situation, Christie is blaming us.’

And because dehumanizing your opponents is a time-honored tradition of mobocracy, here is Tom Guarisco’s considered opinion: ‘If Christe shit was a bug…. I would step on him 100 times… He’s too fat to be stepped… So i guess i would torture him with RAID……’”

One has to wonder. What would any of these teachers think if one of their students presented these kinds of statements as essays for their own classes? Perhaps the level of their comments reflects on the actual state of the kind of education being offered by those who teach in Jersey’s public schools. If this is the case, I wonder why Christie is resisting doing more than asking them to accept a one-year wage freeze.

One has to pause to remind the New Jersey liberals that Christie managed to win in a campaign against Jon Corzine, the multi-millionaire Democratic liberal former governor, despite the fact he spent a great deal of his own fortune on his campaign. And so in a liberal state, the conservative Christie won a majority of the state’s voters, who seemed to understand what so many of the liberals simply cannot comprehend: that the state of New Jersey is on the verge of going the way of California, and that if the collapse is to be averted, drastic measures have to be taken. The conservative New Jersey blogger Matt Rooney writes, “Dire circumstances and public opinion have Democrats over a barrel. The uncomfortable truth is that many Democrats do know better.”

If they really do, as Rooney thinks is the case, they are successfully hiding it. I think that in fact, they believe the figures and analysis offered are not accurate, and are false data put up by right-wing Republicans to scare the public. Just take a look at any issue of New Jersey Policy Perspective to see what I mean. These people simply live in a different world, in which all issues will be settled and social equality achieved by huge increases in the minimum wage, taxes on the “rich,” and higher pay for teachers who have to give nothing up to gain a raise.

In  tomorrow’s blog, I will continue with discussing how best to reach the public with solid conservative ideas — which is what the good folks at National Affairs are actually doing.

For those who live in the New York City area, an important forum is taking place at St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street, in Brooklyn from 6:30-8:00 pm, including complimentary food and drinks.  Called “Independent Voices on the Middle East,” it features Lee Smith, author of The Strong Horse: Power Politics and the Clash of Arab Civilization; Ibn Warraq, author of Virgins? What Virgins? And other Essays; Paul Berman, author of The Flight of the Intellectuals; and Judith Miller, Adjunct Fellow at the Manhattan Institute. It is moderated by Fred Siegel, contributing editor of The City Journal.

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