New Jersey Governor Chris Christie seemed like the last of a dying breed: a moderate Republican who thought for himself, put destructive partisan politics aside and did what was best for his state and all of its people.
He angered many in his party when he shook hands with, and hugged, President Obama, even gushing at how quickly and efficiently the President reacted in sending aid to New Jersey after "Superstorm Sandy" blew through the Northeast.
President Barack Obama "has kept every promise he's made" about helping the state recover, Christie stated. That same day, President Obama's housing secretary approved $1.83
billion in federal money to help the state rebuild and recover from the
storm. "Everything the president promised me they'd do, they've done. I don't
have any complaint this morning on the issue of disaster relief."
That was then; this is now.
Last week, Christie vetoed a bill that would have given New Jersey a two week window of early voting in upcoming elections. Regressive republicans all over the country have, for the past couple of years, not only refused to increase early voting time, but have actually cut days and hours, resulting in long lines where Americans have to wait for many hours before exercising their right to vote. This voter suppression technique was used mostly in areas where there are high percentages of black, Hispanic, middle class, and retired voters. In other words, in mostly Democratic areas.
The voter suppression trick didn't work. President Obama was re-elected in a second electoral landslide, winning 332 electoral votes to Weak Willard Romney's 206. And despite attempts to preclude minorities from voting, turnout in these areas actually increased from previous years. Gee, it's as if everyone was able to see through the dirty tricks the Regressives were trying to pull, and became even more determined to vote, no matter what it took.
What was the feeble excuse Christie used for this tactic? Cost. He said early voting would have cost the state an extra $25 million this year, and about $2 million each year thereafter.
That would have required increasing the state's $32.9 billion budget by less than one-tenth of 1% this year and less than a hundredth of 1% every year thereafter.
So the guy who seemed oh-so-reasonable and bipartisan when he needed truckloads of money for his state, is now pandering to the far rightwing nutjobs in his party, because he knows what all Regressives know: if you can't win them over with your ideas, block their access to the polls.