Christie’s Phony Triangulation

My very favorite piece of unintentional comedy today (among many nominees) is a Tal Kopan piece at Politico channeling Chris Christie’s macho posturing about how he’d solve the government shutdown problem if he were president. Christie, as you undoubtedly are aware, is a tough executive who doesn’t care who he honks off in his fearless exercise of his responsibilities to serve the people. So he explains how he’d knock heads to get the impasse resolved:

“No matter where the partisanship is, the failure is in people not bringing people together to get it done. My approach would be, as the executive, is to call in the leaders of the Congress, the legislature, whatever you’re dealing with and say that we’re not leaving this room until we fix this problem. Because I’m the boss, I’m in charge,” Christie said hours before the government shut down on Monday night after Congress failed to reach a deal on funding.

What a tough guy.

The thing is, Mr. Boss, that if Barack Obama takes a hands-off, nobody’s-to-blame, everybody-needs-to-compromise position, he’s repudiating his own position, which he has consistently communicated publicly and privately to everyone involved. How are you going to play The Boss when you’re triangulating against yourself?

But beyond that, Christie’s being grossly disingenuous with his own phony triangulation between the two parties, since the idea that Obamacare is legitimately on the table as part of a CR fight is the core of the GOP’s argument. So a forced negotiation that includes Obamacare is in itself a big GOP victory.

So Christie’s being about as tough as John Boehner.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.