Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

A good take on Gov. Christie

with 8 comments

A comment to a NY Times story:

hoconnor, richmond, va 2 hours ago

As someone who taught anti-bullying programs in elementary schools. I will say that Mr. Christie’s performance yesterday was right out of a “How to Be a Successful Bully” manual.

Bullies like Christie have predictable patterns: intimidate, demean victims through physical, social, or emotional means; then, when exposed, play the victim, feel sorry for yourself, pretend to take responsibility but actually blame others (in Christie’s case, fire people); and finally, pretend to be self-reflective.

Christie and his supporters need to brace themselves for the countless examples that are sure to emerge of Christie bullying people. Every move he makes will now be viewed through the narrative that Chris Christe is a bully. Christie brought this on himself, so only the gullible will feel sorry for Mr. Christie.

And unfortunately for the people around Christie, bullying is very hard to correct. The core of bulling is pathological narcissism, which was on ample display yesterday in Trenton, New Jersey.

A couple of points: It’s not important that Gov. Christie is a Republican: bullying behavior transcends (and crosses) party lines. A Democratic bully (e.g., one-time Mayor Daley of Chicago) is just as bad—unfortunately, he never had the public exposure that Gov. Christie is getting.

The second point: Suppose Gov. Christie and his hand-picked team did achieve the Presidency. Can you imagine how he would use the NSA? (No need to wonder. Look at another well-known bully, J. Edgar Hoover.)

Written by LeisureGuy

10 January 2014 at 11:52 am

Posted in Daily life, Politics

8 Responses

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  1. Christie is the same Christie no matter what they say.

    jmsabbagh

    10 January 2014 at 12:19 pm

  2. I don’t think anyone disputes that Christie is Christie. The discussion seems to be mainly about what Christie is, and the consensus is that he is a bully whose close associates were (or became) bullies as well: a pack of bullies, if you will.

    LeisureGuy

    10 January 2014 at 12:27 pm

  3. True, but how would a nice guy fare trying to run one of the most corrupt of the 50 states?

    Zach

    11 January 2014 at 8:52 am

  4. “Nice guy” = person of integrity? I don’t know. It’s possible that such a person could be seen as a threat to all those who are corrupt, who would band together and destroy him or her, but it’s also possible that with a good team, a person of integrity could make a significant difference. OTOH, if the people of NJ are satisfied with corruption, it will be hard to change. Still, I think some people in Fort Lee might be fed up.

    LeisureGuy

    11 January 2014 at 9:00 am

  5. Band together and destroy is what I think would happen; so, you have to be a bully, but not publicly. Like an Eliot Spitzer.

    Zach

    11 January 2014 at 9:20 am

  6. Eliot Spitzer is not exactly a model of integrity, and I’m not sure that the willingness to treat people badly is really required. But you do need the backing of a strong team that is not intimidated by bullying (another reason for the leader not to be a bully). Rather than being a bully, being fearless seems a critical factor: a refusal to be bullied.

    LeisureGuy

    11 January 2014 at 10:22 am

  7. No, but before the public scandal, we all thought he was; and the people that actually knew him, they’d tell you that he was a self described ‘f-ing steamroller’ who would “roll over anyone who got in his way” (direct threats made to NY assemblyman, not to mention the comments he made to the Goldman Sachs types or Tom DiNapoli.

    Zach

    11 January 2014 at 12:58 pm

  8. Understood. But I do think it is possible be effective without being a bully. Exhibiting disrespect toward others, being aggressive toward those who are weaker, being quick to anger and abuse people: those are not really necessary for effective performance. Or so I believe. Indeed, such people quite often become ineffective because they cannot keep a good team: people who can leave do, and what’s left are often not the cream of the crop. Lyndon Johnson may have been even more effective had he been able to avoid the bullying. (He could also turn on the charm, of course.)

    LeisureGuy

    11 January 2014 at 1:08 pm


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