Chris Christie's Acid Test

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on May 13, 2010

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For the longest time, Americans have been saying that they want a politician like this:

As the United States watches a debt crisis in Greece like a fiscal oil spill, waiting to see where it will spread first and when it will make landfall on our shores, Christie is tackling the nation’s worst state deficit — $10.7 billion of a $29.3 billion budget. In doing so, Christie has become the politician so many Americans crave, one willing to lose his job. Indeed, Christie is doing something unheard of: governing as a Republican in a blue state, just as he campaigned, making good on promises, acting like his last election is behind him.

The question, of course, is whether Christie will be rewarded for being straight with the American public. If people vote against him because he is a Republican, that is one thing–ideological differences are not going to go away anytime soon, after all–but if they vote against him because they decide that they can’t handle the truth, then any and all incentives for politicians to be honest with the public regarding their intentions, and straightforward in carrying out their campaign promises, will utterly and completely dissipate.

And in the aftermath, we will get the politics of cynicism that we richly deserve.

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