Out of the madness in a world gone crazy, stepped Ed Buck – straight from central casting as an American citizen standing up for the right to question our candidates. Buck showed up on The Ed Show to take a stand against Republican bully Governor Chris Christie who tried to intimidate him into not asking a question during a Meg Whitman forum in California.
Buck is a retired multi-millionaire looking for someone to vote for in this election. He attended Whitman’s rally wanting to ask Whitman a question (she’s another Republican who is avoiding all questions from media and constituents – this should be a warning), but she wasn’t taking any questions and this upset Buck. Buck simply wanted to engage in the American process of democracy, which of course, ticked off Republican Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie. We have no idea why a Governor from New Jersey was running interference at a forum for candidate for California Governor.
Buck merely wanted to tell Meg Whitman that he stood with Warren Buffet, and that he doesn’t need a tax cut; he wants his taxes to go to investments in infrastructure. He got bullied instead. But guess what? He showed up on the Ed Show and turned that around, calling Whitman and Christie out on their cowardly behavior. If you want to see how to stand up to a cowardly Republican, watch this.
BUCK: I’m a retired, multimillionaire, former republican, who was looking for a — for someone to vote for in this election. And you can be sure it’s not going to be Meg Whitman as a result of what Chris Christie did.
ED SCHULTZ: Mr. Buck, what was your reaction when Mr. Christie, the governor of New Jersey, told you that you were the problem in this country? People that stand up and paraphrasing now, that’s pretty much what he said to you, isn’t it?
BUCK: Well, yeah you know, it’s very hypocritical of a man who wants to espouse this whole free speech, and that to say that we need to have a dialogue, but not have it with me. As soon as he doesn’t agree with my speech here, cuts me off. As long as I’m saying apple pie and waving the American flag, he’s okay with that. but if I begin to ask a critical question, Chris Christie becomes a school yard bully.
So it’s come to this now; in an effort to avoid transparency, Republicans refuse to answer any questions (lest they have to explain how they’re going to make those “spending cuts” — i.e., privatize social security, kill veterans benefits and get rid of Medicare). And if a citizen dares to ask a question, they will be bullied by one of the henchmen sitting watch over the silent candidate. Why have a forum at all? Why don’t these Republicans just make a talking doll of themselves and pass it out?
Sadly, we can thank John McCain for this new low, as he ushered it in during the 2008 campaign when he told the media Sarah Palin would no longer subject herself to questions until the media showed her “deference”. That was the turning point that birthed these Republican cowards who refuse to do any media and think they are above answering questions from the people. It doesn’t get any more unAmerican than refusing to engage in the democratic process. These folks are acting like they are divinely entitled to the throne instead of running for election by the people.
The AP and AOL reported on this story and their source was a New Jersey media outlet. Now why would a New Jersey outlet have the best insight into a forum in Hollywood, California? Oh, and by the way, these outlets called Buck a “heckler” and said Christie got on his face — but this is written as a compliment. Since when are elected officials supposed to run interference for candidates who refuse to answer questions and why can’t Republicans seem to behave like civilized human beings? Since when it is applauded when an elected official uses his bully pulpit to denigrate a citizen asking a question? Why is Christie inserting himself into a California race, anyway?
Here’s what Christie said:
CHRISTIE: (standing on dias above Buck pointing his finger in Buck’s face) Hey, listen. You know what. You want to yell? Yell at me. It’s people raising their voices, yelling and screaming like you, who are dividing this country. We’re here to get this country back.
Is Meg Whitman a delicate flower who has to be protected by the male Republican bully? Boy, these Mama Grizzlies sure are an odd bunch. And who exactly is Christie taking the country back from and why does that process involve not engaging in debate or answering questions? Sounds like they want to take the country away from Americans and hand it to some sort of corporatacracy wrapped in the flag. I’m just spit ballin’ here because of Meg’s history.
And here’s what the Newark outlet The Star-Ledger reports Whitman said afterward:
“Talking to reporters after the event, Whitman said she figured Buck was planted in the audience by her opponents. It’s not surprising to me … I think that’s what we’ve come to expect,” she said. “I think what’s really true is as Californians and Americans we need to restore some civil discourse.”
Right out of Palin’s playbook; any questions she doesn’t like are deemed political opponents and then she says people want “civil discourse”, but she refuses to engage in any kind of discourse except one way talking points and jingles that do not add up to real solutions.
Here’s a hint: Maybe, Meg, if you actually took questions, people wouldn’t be so upset. It is part of the job description, after all.
These tactics are being employed to avoid debate. They are not part of any legitimate debate or ideology. This is not a matter of differing political platforms – this is an attempt to duck and dodge accountability, even before the candidate is elected. It’s insanity and should not be tolerated by any citizen regardless of party.
But back to Buck. Buck wants to pay more taxes. He framed paying taxes as part of a patriotic duty to reinvest in this country; something every reasonable person should not have a problem understanding. His demeanor framed the debate so as to bring to mind those old-fashioned values I remember from my Grandparents of noblesse oblige. Buck is one of those real Americans I keep hearing about from the Right, but have yet to run into at a Tea Party rally unless stinginess is the new American.
Ed Buck managed to do in three minutes what the entire Democratic Party has not been able to do effectively, and that is make the case for letting the Bush tax cuts for the rich expire.
He’s sick and tired of the Tea Republican bullying, their cowardly refusal to engage in the democratic process, and their lack of respect for citizens’ freedom of speech (unless that speech serves the Republican Tea Party). And he knows just how to stand up to them.
Ed Buck, the Democratic Party could use someone like you.
Image courtesy of Image Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.