New Jersey paper: Why, Chris Christie's nothing but a big ol' bully

I’ve gotten two e-mails today from a reader begging me to post this as an outlet for Palin fans to dump all over the big guy. Remember when he goofed on her on Jimmy Fallon’s show? Here’s your chance, Palinistas. It’s payback time.

When Christie finished, Chaudruc motioned for the microphone. This was, after all, a “conversation.” Christie shooed him away and a trooper herded Chaudruc off stage.

The clip appears on YouTube under the title “Christie rips apart rude questioner,” a headline written, no doubt, by a Christie disciple.

By bullying a citizen, hogging the microphone and condescendingly dismissing him, Christie was the rude one. But it’s nothing new.

Christie has turned state politics into one never-ending yo’ mama joke. It doesn’t matter who you are — school superintendent, teacher, student, U.S. senator, state Assembly leader, former education commissioner or just a regular guy trying to have a conversation: If you disagree with him, Christie will try to humiliate you publicly.

It’s mighty entertaining, but I confess, the sheer contrivance of it is starting to wear on me. We get it: Christie’s an alpha dog willing to utter the unpleasant truths that lesser pols don’t dare to say. When he told off that reporter last year, it was magical; when he went after that schoolteacher who was whining about pay cuts, it was glorious. But there’s a new confrontational “moment” seemingly every three days now, which is starting to make them feel less spontaneous and more performed. Pretty soon he’ll be belching in union executives’ faces and then high-fiving his staff. Which, admittedly, would be hilarious, but still — we’re nearing the point of diminishing returns, I think.

Two clips for you, the first of the encounter described above and the second … the softer side of Chris Christie. Such is the love for CC that we got a good half-dozen tips about that one today, believe it or not. Exit question that’s been on my mind lately: Why does Christie get a pass on stuff that other Republicans would be pilloried for? He endorsed Castle in Delaware, he backed a path to citizenship for illegals, he lectured about the Ground Zero mosque, and — the cardinal sin — he mocked Palin. If Romney or Huckabee had done all that, they’d be finished; as it is, Christie finished second to Palin in our Hot Air presidential straw poll. My theory is that he’s like Reagan in a crucial respect — namely, he’s a warrior when it comes to the core conservative concern of his era, which buys him a lot of leeway on other important yet lesser issues. Reagan could get away with raising taxes and approving a mass amnesty of illegals because he was superb on the Cold War; that was the fight that had to be won above all others, and he was the guy who could do it. We couldn’t afford to spare him by taking him down over a satellite issue. Same with Christie right now vis-a-vis fiscal solvency. For the moment, he’s perceived as being the deficit hawk of hawks, with the requisite personal resolve to do some real damage to our entitlement Death Star. (Paul Ryan doubtless has the same resolve but lacks the pugnaciousness that reassures fiscal cons.) So if he wants to back Castle over O’Donnell, eh. It’s dismissed as a personal quirk, irritating yet non-fatal. If anyone else had done it, look out.