If you haven’t seen the picture, here it is:
This is Governor Christie scolding a teacher on Saturday for questioning his education policies. A full accounting of the event can be found on Jersey Jazzman’s site. But as always with this governor, the picture really tells the story.
Here is a man who wants to be president, who wants to be a role model, and who wants to brook no opposition. He’s only succeeded at the latter. This is what we get when we elect former prosecutors to public office. Prosecutors, remember, are true believers who are always, always, always right. Even when they’re wrong. But they never are wrong, so the point is proven. Challenging them is a challenge to the natural order of things.
Remember when New Jersey missed out on some wonderful federal Race to the Top dollars because Christie nixed the application that included some concessions to the New Jersey Education Association? That couldn’t be Christie’s fault, even though it was, so he fired Education Commissioner Brett Schundler.
And when Christie’s budget numbers didn’t add up and the state economist, David Rosen, called him on it? And it turned out that Rosen was right? The governor never admitted he was wrong on the numbers because, well… Christie is never wrong.
So now we have an example of a teacher asking the governor why he’s against teachers, and his response is clearly venomous. Does he really think that teachers are supposed to like what he’s said and done over the past four years? Has he convinced himself that trying to tear down the NJEA, overtly accusing teachers of bringing pro-union sentiment into their classrooms, and saying that the public schools in New Jersey are failing would be popular among the education set? If this is his response to a teacher when his reelection is looking promising, just imagine his response in a national race when the press won’t let a story go just because the governor wants it to.
As for being a role model, Christie said in the first debate that he didn’t think his style was anything but telling people the truth and that New Jerseyans appreciated his candor. Now we know what that really means: I’m right, you’re wrong and I’m going to bully you into believing me. This man is no role model, and he never will be.
But there is a remedy to all of this. On Tuesday, vote for Barbara Buono. She knows how to speak to people, but more importantly, she knows how to listen to people. She will make us proud as our governor. And she will do right by families, workers, the environment and our long-term future.
Remember this on November 5.0