A “threat” against Christie from New Jersey teachers union?

posted at 11:30 am on April 9, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

The silliness over “threats” from political rhetoric may have peaked today, and this time it looks like conservatives are in danger of becoming shrieking hysterics.  The Bergen County teachers union offered a “prayer” in a memo that asked the Lord to call New Jersey Governor Chris Christie home to his reward.  Some will offer this as a tu quoque, but that’s as much of a joke as the prayer itself:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie isn’t laughing about a teachers union’s memo that hints of his death.

The memo is the latest salvo in a war of words between Christie and the union over wage and benefits concessions.

The Record of Bergen County obtained the Bergen County Education Association memo that includes a closing prayer:

“Dear Lord this year you have taken away my favorite actor, Patrick Swayze, my favorite actress, Farrah Fawcett, my favorite singer, Michael Jackson, and my favorite salesman, Billy Mays. I just wanted to let you know that Chris Christie is my favorite governor.”

Association president Joe Coppola says the “prayer” was a joke and was never meant to be made public.

Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak says there’s nothing professional about the group.

Puh-leeze.  It’s obviously a joke.  Heck, it’s even structured as one.  It may not be particularly funny, and it may be entirely tasteless.  But no one can read that and honestly argue that it amounts to a threat, or even a serious wish for Christie to meet an untimely death.

We seem to be losing our sense of humor through an escalating tit-for-tat political-correctness war.  Conservatives don’t need to contribute to that trend.  Wouldn’t it have been better for Christie to say that the teachers union seems to be opposed to prayer in schools but firmly supportive of it to protect their own backsides?

However, we certainly can question why a teachers union is highlighting an accused child molester as it’s “favorite singer.”  That sounds like a setup for a thousand punchlines to me.


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On the plus side, in future campaign ads, Christie can include this as a positive endorsement from the union.

lorien1973 on April 9, 2010 at 12:25 PM

Heh.

ladyingray on April 9, 2010 at 2:00 PM

Hey Ed, you deal with Minnesota, I’ll deal with Jersey. Nobody says this was a threat, but you’re a putz if you don’t think this is a serious wish.

Do me a favor and ask someone in Jersey the next time you try to wax intelligent on the NJEA. You have no idea what the hell you’re talking about.

russcote on April 9, 2010 at 2:03 PM

Ed, after the faux outrage from Copperheads (over, in several cases, faux threats — Congressman Lewis, I’m looking at you), they get no slack under any circumstances.

SDN on April 9, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Jokes referencing the first lady’s appearance…bannable.
Jokes wishing death on a political opponant…c’mon lighten up.

DrAllecon on April 9, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Damn, Ed, I guess nobody’s a conservative, a Republican or even right unless they do things your way or react in ways you approve.

Extrafishy on April 9, 2010 at 2:32 PM

Jokes referencing the first lady’s appearance…bannable accurate, yet funny.
Jokes wishing death on a political opponant…c’mon lighten up.

DrAllecon on April 9, 2010 at 2:29 PM

There is a double standard. We shouldn’t be enforcing it upon ourselves.

hillbillyjim on April 9, 2010 at 2:40 PM

Don’t you love how this post-partisan, post-racial presidency has worked out?

Remember all of that pap from the MSM and the ‘leading lights’ opining at NYT, WaPoo, etc. before January 20th, 2009?

Stooges, all.

hillbillyjim on April 9, 2010 at 2:47 PM

Barack Hussein is my favourite president !

…..

Hey ! Lighten up libs ! It was just a joke!!

cableguy615 on April 9, 2010 at 3:12 PM

I understand the teachers prayer. I pray daily for most liberals. I’ve been told that praying for a bus to hit them doesn’t really count though.

TugboatPhil on April 9, 2010 at 3:13 PM

Puh-leeze. It’s obviously a joke.

If it were someone on our side, it would have gone viral.

We seem to be losing our sense of humor through an escalating tit-for-tat political-correctness war.

It wasn’t us that through discourse out the window, along with common sense.

This is disappointing

Kini on April 9, 2010 at 3:33 PM

Shame on you Ed, you’re forgetting Saul’s rules – which are the ones that we are, unfortunately, playing by lately.

Make them live up to their own rules or standards – so there is no blythe dismissal for the usage, and yes, it is an indication of the desire for death to the Governor of NJ. Humor? Not a factor, and not and excuse.

Those are the rule left, and you don’t get to make up different ones, sorry. It’s how THEY want to roll, so let’s roll ‘em.

Oh, and it doesn’t matter where it started or who started it – that’s the beauty of ‘the rules of the left’ on such matters. Context is irrelevant, and ‘they did it first’ just don’t wash – for them either. Stepping on the foul line is a foul, no matter what color your jersey is.

The humor comes in the form of ridicule and mockery for such childish and pedantic behaviour – but NEVER as an excusal of the infraction.

10 yards on the play, loss of down. Re-start the clock. Play ball.

Wind Rider on April 9, 2010 at 3:35 PM

Good points all Wind Rider, but I still thought the joke was hilarious. Darn it! :-(

DaMav on April 9, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Ed Morrissey is making things up. Nowhere in the story to which he links is the word “threat” even used. Why did he put “threat” in quotes in the headline and talk about “threats” when he’s the one putting that word into the story?

orange on April 9, 2010 at 4:05 PM

Ed Morrissey is making things up. Nowhere in the story to which he links is the word “threat” even used. Why did he put “threat” in quotes in the headline and talk about “threats” when he’s the one putting that word into the story?

orange on April 9, 2010 at 4:05 PM

Thank you. That’s exactly right.

Here’s Ed’s response to me on Twitter:

Memo to Russ: I don’t know you, and don’t really need to check with you before I write anything.

Yeh maybe you should Ed.

Don’t get me wrong here, I am an Ed Morrissey fan and have been for years. He’s as good a soldier in this fight as we have.

But he screwed up royally this time. Who is he to tell the people of New Jersey that the NJEA doesn’t wish Christie was dead?

Trust me, while it’s certainly not a threat, they do.

russcote on April 9, 2010 at 4:12 PM

Sometimes I am truly shocked by Ed’s take on things.

This is disgusting and vile, and yes, coming from a union, I’d call it a “threat”, as well.

I’m glad Christie is talking about this. The Left cannot get a pass for things like this. Childish and threatening. Needs all the press Christie wants to let it have. It’s about time our side complains about things like this. We all know what the Leftist Machine would do were this situation reversed. And it works for them. Time we make it work for us.

Thank God we got our hands on that email: one more way to show the public what the Left truly is.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on April 9, 2010 at 4:42 PM

People are getting way too thin skinned on both sides of the aisle.

Terrye on April 9, 2010 at 4:52 PM

People are getting way too thin skinned on both sides of the aisle.

Terrye on April 9, 2010 at 4:52 PM

Nonsense. It’s just that we have finally started calling out them when they do it. Ed is not helping by minimizing the Union’s stated sentiment towards Gov. Christie.

I’m the furthest thing from thin skinned that you will ever find on this earth. Nothing offends me. This doesn’t offend me.

But to simply roll over and let them define it as a “joke” when it’s clearly not is shallow, lazy and, in my experience here, beneath Ed.

He should make the correction.

russcote on April 9, 2010 at 5:38 PM

Yes it was a joke. Yes it was harmless. No matter. Eviscerate them. go full on, 2012 nuclear alinski on crack. Spare no expense. Be relentless. Verbally and politically annihilate anything and everything they stand for.

At least, that’s my plan from here on out.

ReformedAndDangerous on April 9, 2010 at 6:27 PM

Yes it was a joke.

Dude, you obviously don’t live in New Jersey. While perhaps written to look like a joke, it is not a joke.

It’s not a threat…but it’s not a joke either.

Scroll through some of the comments here. Enjoy.

russcote on April 9, 2010 at 6:36 PM

Puh-leeze. It’s obviously a joke. Heck, it’s even structured as one. It may not be particularly funny, and it may be entirely tasteless. But no one can read that and honestly argue that it amounts to a threat, or even a serious wish for Christie to meet an untimely death.

Let’s see. If the Tea Party had written this prayer, and mentioned a Democrat, or even *gasp* a black Democrat, would the Tea Party get a pass?

We don’t need a non-partisan umpire Ed. It irritates your allies and doesn’t impress your enemies.

misterpeasea on April 9, 2010 at 7:19 PM

Ed,
I’ll have to go with the majority of commenters here on this one. I like and agree with most of your posts, but it looked, based on the cited article, that Christie’s office handled this responsibly. They said that there was “nothing professional about the group.”

I would tend to agree. Nothing about threats uttered, but as you said “tasteless.” I would say that qualifies as unprofessional.

ajsleepy on April 9, 2010 at 7:30 PM

russcote on April 9, 2010 at 6:36 PM

heh, being a student at a public college, I guess I really should have qualified that by saying its not more of a threat than the garbage these teachers spew out of their bitterness every day..

ReformedAndDangerous on April 9, 2010 at 7:44 PM

The simplest comeback for Christie is that “the good Lord will call me home when I’m done doing His work and not a moment before”. Period. Let the unions chew on that

AH_C on April 9, 2010 at 9:46 PM

Dude, you obviously don’t live in New Jersey. While perhaps written to look like a joke, it is not a joke.

russcote

Hey, Dude? I live in Jersey. Have all my life. I’m also a political animal. And I gotta tell ya, I laughed when I saw that. That gag’s been around since before the ‘net.

Having said that, Russ, the phrase you’re looking for is “veiled threat.” We know that that union’s leadership is descended from the old gang, when heads were busted in the service of the union. So, yeah, on one level it needs to be considered as serious.

I also agree that Christie did the right thing to go nuclear on the NJEA. He needs to make the voters see just what they are — and this certainly furthered that goal.

As an aside to Ed, let’s get real: here in Jersey, and probably just about anywhere else, if any Republican group had sprung that ‘joke’ on a Democrat governor, the left’s conveniently outrageous outrage would ring the rafters.

But Christie’s a tough SOB, and as a prosecutor, he plays hardball just as well as the other side. We need that here.

Paul_in_NJ on April 9, 2010 at 10:26 PM

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