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Palin, Gingrich, Christie: Three-Way Bully Fight! | The Nation

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Leslie Savan

Politics, media and the politics of media.

Palin, Gingrich, Christie: Three-Way Bully Fight!

I love it: some of the Republican Party’s all-time bully boys and girls are on the verge of forming a circular firing squad. First, Chris Christie (the gov who shouts “None of your business!” to perfectly polite New Jersey citizens) called Newt Gingrich (the debater who fancies himself the wizard of the mob) “an embarrassment to the party.” Then, Sarah Palin (the woman who kicks sand in the face of community organizers) rushes to Newt’s corner, saying Christie’s got his “panties in a wad.”

Nobody, but nobody on the right talks that way about the New Jersey gov. It’s almost as rare as righties (such as Palin, Newt and Christie himself) taking aim at Rush Limbaugh.

Is Christie going to stand for this? Or is he going to tell the former half-term Alaska governor to come say that in Trenton and face the repercussions “Jersey style”? “Yesterday, given the chance,” writes PolitickerNJ, “Christie said he didn’t want to touch Palin’s remarks.”

Like a lot of bullies (and politicians at large), he’d rather slip out a side door. As he’s also doing on the issue of gay marriage. Rather than stick to his threat to veto Democratic legislation legalizing gay marriage, Christie has proposed letting the voters decide. That way he could assure conservatives that he still opposes gay marriage, but by avoiding a veto, he also avoids alienating the bulk of New Jersey voters, who now favor gay marriage, 52-42, and who he needs to win re-election in 2013.

State Senate President Steve Sweeney, who believes Christie is really gunning to run as Romney’s veep, says, “To say that a matter of civil rights should be subject to a political campaign is not only a cowardly abdication of leadership, but a slap in the face to those whose rights are being trampled.”

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