Award-winning left-wing humorist and former National Lampoon editor, Steve Brykman, has infiltrated the Republican Party, working as a UX Designer & Strategist at Mitt Romney's Boston headquarters. For the hilarious inside story on one of the most insane, error-prone presidential campaigns in recent history, keep reading I'm with Mitt: Adventures in Amercia! Coming soon to a bookstore or eBook reader near you, assuming someone out there possesses the gumption to publish it.
Disclaimer: this blog will not be dictated by fact-checkers.
Let Christie Be
I'm not one to let the Republicans get away with much, as anyone knows who's read any part of this blog, but there's only one word to describe NPR's coverage of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's recent lap-band surgery -- unfair.
to whit: in the story the suggestion was made that Christie had undergone lap-band surgery for political reasons. However, not only is this uncool, it's not even an assumption the press has the privilege of making. Here's why:
First off, sure, being skinny might help one's political career. But you know what else helps one's political career? Not dying, that's what!
Consider for a moment what happens to those who undergo lap-band surgery. It's not a bed of roses. Among a myriad of potential complications, lap-band recipients can no longer eat as much as they were accustomed to. Physically, they just can't do it. They have to eat bird-like portions for the rest of their lives. So imagine that, Governor Christie has chosen to give up what was clearly once a great love in his life.
Second, if it seems somehow scandalous that he kept his surgery secret until now, please remember he did so because he's entitled to. It's called doctor-patient privilege and in this country it's a pretty sacred thing.
Third, if the Governor had cancer, would we fault him for choosing to undergo radiation and chemotherapy treatments? Of course not. Worst of all, by suggesting political success is more important then personal health, the NPR story performs the unfortunate disservice of minimizing the seriousness of morbid obesity. The real bummer is there's still enough stigma attached to the surgery to make Christie wait a few months before coming out with this info. But again, that's his prerogative.
There's only one reason Christie opted for the surgery -- because it was the right thing to do. Rather than chastise him with our gossipy fault-finding, we should all be applauding his bravery.
Because when somebody in a leadership role does something like this, and everybody in America finds out about it, that's a good thing. We want the Governor to become a role model. We want the morbidly obese to take care of themselves. And if Chris Christie can inspire them to go ahead and get the surgery, America wins. Everybody gets healthier, and our health-care costs go down. It's a win-win-win-win-win.
Look, I'm not going to hide it: I like Governor Christie. The man is a straight-shooter who speaks from the heart. Let's not forget how he responded to Fox News just hours after his state was decimated by Hurricane Sandy: "I don't give a damn about Election Day," he said, "It doesn't matter a lick to me at the moment. I've got bigger fish to fry... I've got a job to do here in New Jersey that's much bigger than Presidential politics and I could care less about any of that stuff. I have a job to do. I've got 2.4 million people out of power, I've got devastation on the shore, I've got floods in the Northern part of my state. If you think right now I give a damn about presidential politics, then you don't know me."
So if the guy says he's doing this so he can be there for his kids, who are we to say he's lying?
In short, there is zero downside to Christie's decision, save the assumption of personal risk associated with the procedure, and the fact the Gov will have to mini-size his meals from now on.
So come on NPR, you're a whole lot classier than that. Let's shape up, shall we?
Stay tuned for the next ultra-nerdy installment of Steve Brykman's 'I'm with Mitt: Adventures in Amercia!' Coming soon!