The longer he hovers so bombastically in the public eye, the more unclouded it becomes: New Jersey’s Republican Governor Chris Christie is, operationally, just another aggravating, Northeastern “moderate”. Occasionally lurching to a sensible policy or two? Granted. But, just as often, impudently exasperating Constitutional conservatives; confirming he’s not even close to what a frazzled GOP — and more significantly a frazzled USA — need this hour.
Also increasingly obvious? His bluff, large-and-in-charge schtick is — to borrow a colorful slogan from south of the Garden State — “all hat and no cattle”; or, as Mike Proto has written, “far more sizzle than steak”. With depressing predictability, on vital issues the Newark-born hotshot folds like a NY Giants canvas chair, retreating to the fashionable, the politically correct, the professionally expedient.
Name it: “comprehensive immigration reform”, cap-n-trade, climate change flummery, second amendment rights, Obamacare, metastasizing Islamist influence, administration appointments. In these and so many other instances, Christie has dithered, equivocated and/or fallen glaringly short.
Most recently, he’s quashed any loitering doubts about his ideological flakiness with a dismaying decision to okay a bill banning “ex-gay therapy” for minors. That’s right: thanks to a feckless New Jersey legislature, abetted by Governor “Tough Guy”, moms and dads in that state worried about, say, their eleven year old Bobby who insists he’s actually “Roberta”, just lost a bunch of options. If they suspect their little guy is laboring under an emotional or mental disorder? Wrestling through a particularly nasty spell of adolescent, hormonal angst? They’re out of luck, if they want to give professional counseling a shot anywhere in Chris Christie’s domain. Even in our therapy-smitten society, “sexual orientation change efforts” (SOCE) now legally fall under child abuse in New Jersey.
How-cum? Christie credits the high-priests of erotic expertise. American Psychological Association wizards, in a taskforce study massaged by gay activists – hocus-pocus!! — have ruled thusly. So, parents are ruled out, no longer permitted to call the plays when it comes to the well-being of their most precious charges – courtesy of a putatively “pugnacious”, “independent” Republican superstar who, reportedly, has a hankering for an eventual stint in the Oval Office.
If Christie’s intentions are to get back into good odor with Tea-Party/social conservatives and GOP denizens who’ve grown deepeningly disaffected with him, this was a bizarre tack. Even by the shriveled standards of many homosexual-rights die-hards, the Guv’s latest heterodoxy is a crashingly fringe move. Trammeling parental rights? Blockading mom and dad’s input from the most intimate decisions about their kids’ mental health? Not exactly an all-consuming priority for the typical, non-Democratic voter. Christie’s shuttering of perfectly respectable, easily defensible SOCE therapy is either startlingly block-headed or venally political — or, likely, an alarming combination of both. And it’s especially disgraceful for a pol who roared into office largely on the strength of movement-conservatives.
Apparently, when it comes to barking at unionized public employees or snarling during a hurricane at irresponsible Garden Staters to “get the he** off the beach”, the Governor remains all hairy-chested goombah. But, stared down by a despotic Lavender Lobby armed with trendy, pseudo-scientific propaganda? Mr.”No-Nonsense” blinked, unable even to muster the crust to affirm the once axiomatic, universally-honored presumption that children’s sexual matters are primarily parental, not governmental, territory. Like the babbling and sycophantic Biff at the end of Back to the Future, the bully ultimately cracked when facing a motivated challenge. Trenton’s Tony Soprano melted into mezzo-soprano.
The literal text of this atrocious bill is plenty offensive, peremptorily decreeing homosexuality “not a disease, disorder, illness, deficiency or shortcoming”. Additionally, a jarringly insolent statement was attached emphasizing Christie’s belief that neither is it a sin.