Friday, January 27, 2012

What’s Up with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie? – He is Campaigning Hard to be Romney’s VP Yet . . .

He Does Things Like Appoint an Asian American and an Openly Gay Person to the State’s Highest Court

Like everyone else, The Dismal Political Economist likes to categorize public figures into the “good guys” and the “bad guys”, with nothing in between.  In most cases this is easy.  Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are bad guys, really they are, no socially redeeming characteristics.  Paul Krugman the brilliant economist whose Blog is the best ever is one of the good guys. Mario Monti, Italy’s new Prime Minister may be one of the good guys (more on that later).

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie should be one of the bad guys.  He is a bully.  He is dismissive and condescending to those with whom he disagrees.  He uses his office to settle personal grudges.  He balances the state budget by cutting education. He would destroy public employee unions if he could. But Mr. Christie also appointed a Muslim to the New Jersey Court and staunchly defended that appointment against the bigotry that prevails in the Conservative community against Muslims.

And now Gov. Christie has gone even further, appointing an Asian American and an openly gay person who is also an African American to the state Supreme Court.

One nominee, Phillip H. Kwon, a Korean immigrant who lives in Bergen County, worked under Mr. Christie when Mr. Christie was the United States attorney for New Jersey, and now works in his administration as first assistant attorney general. The other nominee, Bruce A. Harris, was elected mayor of Chatham in November and is a lawyer with Greenberg Traurig, a prominent national firm. Besides being the first openly gay justice on the state’s highest court, Mr. Harris would be its only black one, and just the third in its history.

And not only that, Mr. Christie seems to have enjoyed doing this, like non-discrimination  is something he actually believes in.

“This signals just how far we all have come,” Mr. Christie said in announcing the nominations at the State House in Trenton.

So while all of us applaud Mr. Christie’s determination to actually act on American values, rather than just giving lip service to them, he should be made aware that it is becoming more difficult to classify him in a category of “good” or “bad”.  Hopefully he will understand and do something about it.

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