Type in the word, “bloviate,” on Google and near the top comes a flood of references to “bloviating ignoramus,” the phrase used on national TV by columnist George Will to describe Donald Trump last May. It may be Will’s best ever contribution to the public weal, and giving due to its source, I deem to apply it to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the speech he gave at the Republican National Convention Tuesday.
To “bloviate,” according to Webster’s, is “to talk at length especially in an inflated or empty way.”
Will’s attribution of that word to Trump was delightful if only because it was one Republican assailing another, akin to columnist David Brooks’ shocking attack on Mitt Romney in print this week.
Poor Anne Romney’s generous appeal to “love” in her Tuesday night speech: No sooner had she exited the stage, her stiff husband in tow, than Christie stomped onto the stage like one of those vikings in the Capital One commercials to trample on her best lines.
Forget love, Christie bellowed, who would have looked better if he’d been wearing one of those horned viking helmets, “I demand ‘respect!'” It was the essence of an angry, hateful speech that would have been more alarming had it not been so, well, “bloviated.”
Christie is the face, the keynote, the future of the GOP that has gone careening over the ultra-right wing cliff. He elbowed his way between the soft Ann and Mitt Romney to steal the flag and the lunch of the party with his hardline bile.
Christie’s thuggish “Sopranos” ego did its best to draw attention to itself, not mentioning Romney, the GOP presidential nominee, for the first 14 minutes of his speech and only seven times overall. This was an unfiltered glimpse at the self-centered “big slob” inner life of the typical right-winger who feels the whole purpose of politics is to secure as many of the goods for himself as possible, and by any means.
This is the mean spirit that has stopped at nothing this year to restrict the ability of poorer Americans to even vote, enacting laws in 19 states to that effect. (A graphic used by Rachel Maddow this week showed that the impact of the laws has been entirely partisan, dramatically suppressing new registrations of Democrats while Republican registrations steam ahead undeterred).
But the angriest part of Christie’s rant was for those criminal institutions known as unions, which under a right-wing America, would be outlawed.
Ann Romney’s speech dripped with the irony of her making a speech about eating tuna fish and struggling, while wearing an expensive, blood red Oscar de la Renta designer dress and with millions hidden away in Swiss and other overseas accounts.
With this display on the one hand, the “enforcer” Christie then appeared to bash the aspirations of anyone who may depend on the collective bargaining power of organized labor to manage a livable wage for themselves and their families.
Between Ryan’s wholesale attack on Medicare and Christie’s attack on organized labor comes the full panorama of what the GOP has come to represent.
It stands for real opportunity for no one except the super-rich and those deluded enough to aspire for their stature at the expense of everyone else.
The raw, unfiltered, savage right-winger snarls and howls for everything and is willing like Gollum in the “Lord of the Rings,” to do anything to hoard as much as possible, hissing at the the likes of the elderly and teachers as threats.
It is instructive of what the super-rich, the scions of the “military and industrial complex” as a former Republican President Eisenhower called it, fear most: effective social safety net programs and organized labor, the two institutions with the most power, or potential power, to step in their way and deter their unbridled lust ever for more.
The right wingers now in control of the GOP want to roll the nation back before Roosevelt’s New Deal and Social Security, back to the Gilded Age before any child labor, workplace safety and environmental laws existed.