There is a growing groundswell of sentiment here in New Jersey to impeach or recall Governor Chris Christie.
Our new governor has proven his arrogance and lack of concern for the people of the state. His approach to balance the state budget on the backs of those who can least afford it, while at the same time refusing to raise taxes for those earning over $400,000, is unconscionable. As I discussed in an earlier post, his approach is not only bad for the people of New Jersey, but also bad for the future of New Jersey’s businesses.
Christie was elected not for his platform, but due to the inevitable anti-Corzine sentiment based on the impact of the Bush recession on the state and national economy. It is an incontrovertible fact that the Reagan/Bush/Christie “trickle-down” approach to managing our government services is a recipe for disaster.
Yet, the man was fairly elected to his office and as much as I hate what he has done and how he is doing it, unless he commits a crime, he should not be impeached or recalled.
One of the things that separates Republicans from Democrats is that Democrats abide by the results of elections, while time and again Republicans act as sore losers and do whatever they can to subvert the electoral process.
Of course, the most egregious example of this Republican election nullification was in 2000 when the conservative-dominated Supreme Court unbelievably stopped the Florida recount and appointed George W. Bush president. But that’s not the only example of Republican-backed election shenanigans. Back in 2003, when Bush’s pal Ken Lay and his Enron Corporation screwed Californians with their energy price hikes, Democratic Governor Gray Davis was recalled and replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger. The acts that led to the protracted nightmare of the Bill Clinton impeachment hardly reached the status of “high crimes and misdemeanors” as prescribed by the Constitution, yet the Republicans spent over $50 million of taxpayer money pursuing this witch hunt. Even today, the “birthers” are relentlessly trying to undermine the 2008 landslide election of our first African-American president.
OK, you say – what about Richard Nixon? He was a Republican. But remember that the impeachment proceedings back in 1974 were for a real crime, and they gained traction when Republicans joined Democrats in calling for Nixon to resign. (Back then, many Republican legislators were honest.)
So while Republicans have no compunction to subvert the electoral process, Democrats believe in, and support, the results of elections. There was no serious effort to impeach George W. Bush, despite his disregard for the Constitution and due process.
The right approach to deal with Governor Christie’s erroneous and harmful ways is to remember that our government has checks and balances. It is vitally important that the State Legislature put their imprint on the New Jersey budget. Impeaching or recalling Christie would only put his inexperienced hand-picked Lieutenant Governor, Kim Guadagno, in the State House. Instead, now is the time to call, write, and cajole your State legislator to do what is right for New Jersey. Yes, we need to make difficult decisions on budget cuts. A vendetta against unions is not the right approach. We need to solve this difficult problem with fairness and “shared sacrifice” (including by the wealthy), and with compassion for our children and disadvantaged. Our governor is immune to this message – let’s make sure our legislators understand it. Call them today. And in 2013, let’s get a real leader in Drumthwacket.