Politics

11.04.12

Murdoch and Christie

When I lived in the Naked City, I read the New York Post every day, and it didn't take long to learn that the Post functions in Republican politics, in New York and to some extent nationally, much as Pravda must have functioned in the old CCCP. Which is to say, you could tell who in GOP circles was up and down and in out and smiled and frowned upon by the kind of coverage the Post was giving them.

On the local scene, this extended to Democrats as well, when necessary. The comic nadir of this tendency was reached in 1992, when the Post for a few brief months gave favorable coverage to Al Sharpton. The paper had hated Sharpton since he'd arrived on the public scene. His behavior in 1992 was no different from his behavior previously.

But what did change? Sharpton was running for US Senate in the Democratic primary, and he had no chance of winning but he was launching broadsides against all the Democrats who did have a chance of winning--that is, of defeating Rupert's all-time favorite politician, Al D'Amato. So for about three or four very funny months, Sharpton could do little wrong in the pages of the Post.

Which brings us to today's Post editorial about Chris Christie. Many of you may know that Murdoch tweeted the other day: "Now Christie, while thanking O, must re- declare for Romney, or take blame for next four dire years." Today, his servants at the Post pick up the argument:

But Christie does need to go one step further and reassure his party — and not just his party — that he hasn’t turned coat.

He needs to bring Romney into the discussion by reminding voters — some of whom may have been swayed by media partisans who eagerly spun Obama’s Jersey trip as a quasi-endorsement — just who his candidate is.

To shine some of his star power, in other words, on Mitt Romney.

Yes, Christie has forcefully avoided politicking post-Sandy — as he noted when asked about his praise for Obama.

And he was right to do so.

But true bipartisanship includes the need to make clear his belief that the incumbent’s vigorous response to the disaster would have been more than matched by Mitt Romney had he been president.

Bipartisanship can’t just work in one direction — as partisans usually demand.

Voters got a reminder of that Friday when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid derided as “laughable” Romney’s “fantasy that Senate Democrats will work with him.”

We’re not talking about bringing Romney in for a tour of Jersey’s devastation — just a brief, but clear, reminder of where Chris Christie stands.

If he doesn’t do that, the Republican Party will never forgive him.

Of course what they really mean in that last bit is we'll never forgive him, and we'll use the pages of our newspaper to make every effort to see to it that Republicans never forgive him.

I do hope Christie doesn't capitulate on this point. The country needs some Republicans who'll stand up to these blowhards and prove that one can do so without the sky falling in. The whole culture of the GOP is very Soviet, and it must be changed if this country is going to make any progress.