One of the more interesting takes from the Chris Christie bridge story is that a number of his supporters actually like it — despite his assurances otherwise, including his press conference pronouncement “I am not a bully” — that Mr. Christie has a reputation as a bully. They think that it’s a way to get things done, and they have a lot of examples in their corner to back it up: Rush Limbaugh comes to mind. So does George W. Bush and his enabler/handler Dick Cheney.
To be an effective bully, it helps to have some backup, usually some bootlickers who either agree with them in spirit or who go along in order to avoid being the next target. “Right, boss; we’ll show those pansy-ass libtards who’s in charge, right boss?”
One of the better examples of this lick-spittle enabling was seen this last weekend on Fox News Sunday where Britt Hume defended Mr. Christie for not only being a tough guy, but for standing up against the “feminization” of the news media.
During a panel discussion on the Fox News show Media Buzz, host Howard Kurtz asked if Christie’s “bully image” was hurting him after his administration was accused for closing part of the busiest bridge in the world to hurt his political opponents.
“I have to say that in this sort of feminized atmosphere in which we exist today, guys who are masculine and muscular like that in their private conduct and are kind of old-fashioned tough guys run some risks,” Hume opined.
“Feminized!” Fox News contributor Lauren Ashburn gasped.
“Atmosphere,” Hume nodded. “By which I mean that men today have learned the lesson the hard way that if you act like kind of an old-fashioned guy’s guy, you’re in constant danger of slipping out and saying something that’s going to get you in trouble and make you look like a sexist or make you look like you seem thuggish or whatever. That’s the atmosphere in which we operate.”
“This guy is very much an old-fashioned masculine, muscular guy,” he added. “And there are political risks associated with that. Maybe it shouldn’t be, but that’s how it is.”
I’m going to let the softball of whether or not Mr. Christie is “muscular” go by and focus more on the statement that calling out people for being bullies has somehow “feminized” the “atmosphere.” It’s as if being a decent human being to other people and getting along with them without threatening to beat the shit out of them was some kind of assault on Mr. Christie’s — and by transference, Mr. Hume’s — manhood. Or to put it more bluntly, being polite and accommodating is a threat to your penis.
It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out when Hillary Clinton takes the stage.