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Thursday, September 29, 2011

I, Asshole

If NJ Governor Chris Christie ever decides to stop the Sarah Palin political cock-teasing and throw his Mickey Mouse cap in the ring, I have the perfect idea for his campaign song: Denis Leary's, "I'm an Asshole."

Christie's speech a couple of nights ago at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, reverently covered by Roger Ailes' propaganda arm for the GOP Fox News, set the Twitterverse in flames or convulsed it in laughter, depending on your political stripe. It was full of sound and subdued fury, signifying nothing but this message: "I am not running." Oh, that and Reagan smashing PATCO was a good thing.

It's real easy to think of Chris Christie as an unfunny version of Ralph Kramden with Tourette Syndrome. He's become, in the perennially-fixed Republican hub of the political universe, this general election cycle's Fred Thompson. Thompson, you may remember, made people like Chris Matthews swoon just imagining the smell of Aqua Velva wafting from his neck wattles. Thompson provided a wrinkled but glittering Hollywood backdrop to a field of Republican pretenders who were hardly more palatable then than they are now. He was like some still virile, grandfatherly type who lived next door, the Clint Eastwood character in Gran Torino that the bored, desperate housewives on the block wanted but couldn't have.

Then Fred finally lurched into their bedrooms and fell asleep during the act of love and the fantasy was over.

But it may be too much of an oversimplification to look at Christie as 2012's answer to Fred Thompson, a man who nearly pulled Lunesta from every pharmacy the night he announced his candidacy on the Jay Leno show. Christie, in a literally and figuratively larger than life way, is more dynamic to Republicans than Thompson ever was on or off the silver screen.

Christie, for some as yet maddeningly elusive reason, has the ability or talent to basically tell people to go fuck themselves and to then brag about it by having his staffers post the results on Youtube. For most politicians (and yes, I'm looking in your direction, George Allen), these videos would be deal-breakers. But Christie is the Teflon Governor and no insult that he deals to public schoolteachers, their union or anyone else that gives him attitude ever sticks to him.

Maybe it's his James Gandolfini arrogance, his ability to warm the cockles of the Republican heart everyone who wistfully thinks of Tony Soprano, America's most beloved mass murderer. Perhaps they live vicariously through Christie's ability to tell his critics to go to hell when they challenge his most absurd pronouncements.

Short of comedians, the world's other class of people who get paid handsomely to be laughed at, no one likes to be laughed at while they're speaking. Christie views it as a sign of disrespect but what seems to elude him is that perhaps his critics laugh at him while he's speaking because they simply can't help themselves.

After all, this is the same guy who took a helicopter to his son's baseball game then drove in a limousine for the 100 yards between the chopper and the diamond. This is a guy who hobnobbed with Mickey and Minnie while his state was buried in snow. This is a guy who called teacher's unions "thugs".

And Christie's very hypothetical appeal to the Republican base, if anything, underscores the dissatisfaction that Republican voters feel with the current crop of psychopaths, some of them holdovers from the last crop of psychopaths (Romney, Santorum, Paul).

And, to anyone with even semi-functional synapses, Republicans swooning over Christie while daydreaming that he may be a plus-sized Reagan is itself worth guffawing over.
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