Until Hurricane Sandy struck, the Keynote Speaker of the 2012 Republican National Convention, New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie, never had a nice thing to say about President Obama or, for that matter, any Democrat on Earth, as far as we know.
Then came Hurricane Sandy. The entire New Jersey coastline was devastated, cities were destroyed, power was out, public services could not be delivered, fires were blazing and here was first-term Governor Christie. We tried to picture what might have been going through his mind. Perhaps he remembered the way that the Federal Government and a Federal Emergency Management Agency, hobbled by his very own anti-big-government party, George W. Bush’s GOP, failed to launch an effective recovery effort following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. We tried to picture Governor Christie’s dismay at the notion beginning to dawn that this time it was his state — his responsibility which was being tested and not far away Louisiana. He might even have remembered Michael “Heckuva Job, Brownie” Brown and shuddered at the thought that today’s FEMA might be equally ineffective.
And then, out of the blue, in the middle of the night, President Barack Hussein Obama, the same man that Christie and his entire party has singled-out for special treatment, called the Governor. Imagine Governor Christie’s intense feeling of relief when he heard the President’s unconditional words of support, followed at 2AM with a call from FEMA itself.
No, this will not turn Chris Christie into a Progressive, but it might serve as a lesson to us all, especially to those of us who care more for amassing personal wealth and power than for the vision of a just society crafted by our founding fathers — government need not be the enemy.
Art-itorial by Barbara Broido. Visit Barbara’s Doodle Blog for more of her art, design work and socio-political commentary.