“Christie The Disrupter” Faces Tough Crowd At Seton Hall Commencement

Gov. Chris Christie was booed and heckled at the Izod Center yesterday during the commencement ceremony for Seton Hall University, the Star Ledger reports. Christie spoke about being The Disrupter, a name he earned from this a New York Times article. A new poll says Christie’s approval numbers have gone down, with nearly half of voters now disapproving of his performance. Then there’s the whole presidential race business. What say you?

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  1. If Obama supposedly was dealt a bad hand i can only imagine what CC’s hand would be considered. Past govs and the legislature ran this state into the ground for the past two decades at least he’s talking candidly about the problems and attempting to stop the bleeding. The real issue is that the state legislature needs to be completely booted out office in the coming election. People just don’t pay enough attention to what they do and their power. They do a lousy job. In NJ there is little difference between R’s and D’s, they just help each other milk the teat of the tax payer.

    7.5% of the population already has it in for him, union members.

  2. Yeah why on earth would union members have any beef with Christie? Has he ever even mentioned them publicly?

  3. Seton Hall is so tacky.

    As another prof expressed to me, it’s like you invited a friend to dinner and they brought someone you don’t like- you should still be gracious.

    Like when any college boos the President, just plain tacky. (Or that idiot CUNY Board member with Tony Kushner.)

    Sure, express yourself, but c’mon, it’s graduation, not everyone can get Jon Stewart.

  4. Yes you should still be an adult and gracious if you disapprove of the commencement speaker. Christie is the governor and a Seton Hall alum. It makes sense to ask him to speak. People should be able to sit and be respectful for 15 minutes.

    pete I take it you are not a teacher or public worker of any kind.

  5. First of all, who takes college graduation seriously enough to take the time to boo someone? 90% of us were blasted at our graduation. What happened to the youth of today? Where’s the fun?

    Even Lt. Gov Kim Guadano got booed at Willy Pats graduation. I didn’t they even knew who the President was at that school.

    I am certainly no fan of Obama but there is no way I would show disrespect towards him in his presence. Its just bad manners and makes your university look bad.

    I was on the campus when The Great President Ronald Reagan spoke at the Seton Hall graduation in 1983 and I can’t recall anything like booing taking place.

  6. Although maybe, considering his own public behavior, the booing students were merely taking their cues from the governor. It’s not as if he demonstrates class very often. Quite the contrary usually.

  7. paulmdoro:
    Not a public employee. I will not get a retirement just for showing up, I am actually paid for performance. I can not claim discrimination or expect affirmative action to promote me in front of more deserving peers. I do not belong to a teachers union that has the Bd of Ed. as an adversary & then claim I am just doing it for the kids.

  8. So by your logic paul, anyone who shows fine public behavior is worthy of respectful treatment? Like, who that French IMF jerk, or Schwarzenegger? Both were fine public folks.

    (And other than being blunt and challenging folks directly, tell me the bad public behavior Christie has showed. And please don’t give me the he called kids “drug mules” example.)

    So say what you want about Christie, (so far) we only know him to be like a lot of guys in Baristaville: a loud, opinionated, devoted husband and father.

    To this, I’m sure Bill Clinton would be cheered at this fine Catholic university. Sure he made mistakes, but it BILL!!!!!

  9. I never said that, but thanks for trying to put words in my mouth. And I don’t know the governor personally, so I have no idea what kind of husband and father he is. You two are close? Obviously we disagree about Christie’s public behavior. I believe many of his public comments are petty, puerile, vindictive, mean-spirited, and unbecoming of a governor.

    pete, obviously you have never been a teacher. But teachers and their union make for easy targets, so fire away.

  10. paulmdoro:
    I do not know if being a teacher is a good or bad job. I do know that if it is too hard or too underpaid, go do something else instead of whining.Apparantly the Union plank forbids any form of judging who is or is not a good teacher. This means any body who is good leaves out of frustration with the impossibility of improving the system & those who underperform rise to the top & stay forever.

  11. A lot of teachers do find other jobs rather than “whine” about teaching. I’m one of them. It is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. Most people, especially those who bash teachers but have never taught, wouldn’t last a day. Merit pay is the dumbest thing ever proposed in the history of education reform. The union should oppose it. A student’s home life determines their academic performance more than any other factor, by far. So let’s punish teachers over something they have no control over? Idiotic. Teachers understand this very well. Those bashing teachers and their union, not so much.

  12. paulmdoro:
    Maybe the union should present your asertion, that minorities & the poor or disadvantaged are underperformers & spending more money is a waste due to their parents consistant bad choices. Kind of puts the Kibosh on paying for teachers to have a job for life.

  13. Is that what I said pete? Or did you maybe make that up? And do you also hate the unions that represent police officers and firefighters?

  14. paulmdoro is right on the money with his assertion that homelife plays a much more critical role than teachers/schools.

    And that most would not last a day teaching.

    He’s way off track though about Christie.

    I guess 2 out of 3 ain’t bad… (“I want you, I need you, but there ain’t no way I’m ever gonna love you…”)

  15. profwilliam, if you agree with me about the difficulty of teaching and the influence of a student’s home life on their academic performance, logic would dictate that you disagree with Christie’s push for merit pay.

  16. @pete:

    Your opinion on unions is yours and I respect that, but I have to ask: instead of criticizing unions for protecting workers against discrimination and protecting wages, why not save your energy and try to acquire those same protections in your own line of work?

    I’ll concede that there is much to disagree with when it comes to the practices of unions, especially in public education. But I’ll never understand why people seem to think it’s a better idea to take workers’ protections away, rather than work toward better working conditions for everyone.

  17. That’s a good point tapshoes. And I don’t think unions are perfect either. But I can’t help but notice that the people who never tire of bashing a teacher’s union never make similar statements about police and fire unions even though they perform the exact same function: fighting for their members.

  18. “If Obama SUPPOSEDLY was dealt a bad hand”

    ROFLMAO, herb.

    “Supposedly”? You must have been out of the country in October 2008. And did you send us a postcard? Nope !

  19. I don’t need logic here, I agree with you on merit pay too. But Meatloaf didn’t sing 3 out of 4 ain’t bad, did he?

    And life is always easier if you can find a song that speaks to a moment in time.

  20. Well said paulmdoro

    Point one: the best schools just as the weakest are staffed by union members. How is it then that union membership isn’t effecting schools with high achievement levels? Logically there must be more to this story.

    Point two: learning is cumulative. Merit pay is generally discussed for one teacher at a time or based on a standardized assessment administered at one level which completely ignores the students previous learning opportunities and experiences. Simply not educationally sound.

    Christy like most folks doesn’t get it, well meaning as he may be.

  21. Maybe the Governor will reflect on his own rude, boorish behavior. Maybe the next time he will think before saying “someone should take a bat to that women…” or calling our US senator “that old man..” or yelling at someone he disagrees with.

    Maybe, but not likely.

  22. I’m one liberal who is okay with this governor –
    I’m pretty sure he’s a pragmatist at heart.

    Although he does love the spotlight and attention – that makes him kind of a Trump – Light.
    (Although that final adjective needs some adjustment)

  23. Well, Spiro, have you seen this?

    I always thought Christie was a smart bully, sometimes didn’t mind him so much, but that’s pretty pathetic. I, of course, care about this more than most but still, c’mon!

  24. The Republican governor, however, refused to say whether he believes in creationism. “That’s not of your business, that’s my personal view — none of your business…”

    Wrong answer.

  25. DagT, I like your point 1 and 2, you wise, sassy lass, you.

    So Christie is either a Huckabee in a fat man’s suit disguise (unlikely) or is pandering to the religious right. And really, it’s none of our business whether he believes the Earth is 6,000 years old? Does he think the world will end on Sunday? Good Lord, perhaps he’s gotten a bit muddled here and thinks he’s the Governor of Kansas or something. But I really think he just doesn’t want to upset the base for his future Presidential run, whenever that may be.

  26. Walleroo, I have to respectfully disagree with you. Christie’s response to that question is probably the only thing I’ve ever supported him on. Religious beliefs are private, and do not belong in public political discourse. When they become part of a political dialogue, we’re all in trouble.

  27. Allow me to step in, Kit, but this is not a question of religious beliefs. This is a question as to whether one accepts the overwhelming mountain of evidence that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old and that life has evolved from simpler organisms or that all the radiometric data is wrong and the fossils were just placed there to fool us.

    I often agree with you but not on this point at all.

  28. Strictly speaking, Kit, you’re right. Christie can believe in creationism or not, and it’s no one’s business. But when, as guv, he condones the teaching of religion–ie, creationism–in science class, it’s no longer a private matter.

  29. I disagree with you, too, walleroo. I want to know whether an elected official believes in creationism, especially one who makes decisions about public school education.

  30. Nasty business this creationism stuff. It’s beyond me that anyone believes it with all the scientific evidence available. I was disappointed in the big guy when I first read his comments but then wondered if he was just validating local districts’ ability to supplement curriculum beyond the state’s requirements. Because this topic is in the news it wouldn’t surprise me if questions regarding this topic surfaced in a science class.

  31. Oh, Dag, don’t make excuses for him! I find it pretty hypocritical that Christie, who is presenting himself as a champion for education reform, is fine and dandy with creationism in a biology class. Sure, it comes up–it’s almost impossible for it not to–but it should always lead to a discussion that it’s not science because it concerns the supernatural world, not the natural one. Creationism can help communicate to students the nature of science and the necessity of evidence but that’s about it and I don’t think that is what Christie was trying to say. As a nation, it’s embarrassing that so few people accept evolution and we’re almost last on the list compared to the western world–we beat out Turkey. It’s a real problem. So, all this tough guy reform and he’s okay with teaching that dinosaurs walked with humans and uranium dating is wrong? Hard to respect that POV no matter the reason.

  32. Don’t forget, he is a politician first & foremost….put some coin in his slot and out will pop a fortune cookie adage, just don’t forget to add the…..”in bed” to complete the latest wise old saying.

  33. I’d like to propose that all debate here about the propriety of teaching creationism hang fire until May 22. Provided there will be one, of course.

  34. Thanks for the link, Tudlow.
    I wonder what Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s view of creationism is.
    If he’s on board with it, maybe the Governor and the Reverend can campaign together.

  35. cathar, I heard that this Saturday is just judgement day, where the “good” people will be zapped up to heaven. Then Armageddon isn’t really going to happen until October for all of us bad people. True?

    I tend to disagree with Christie on all topics, but I do have to say that if (and that’s a big if) his point was that the decision to teach creationism in addition to evolution belongs at the local level I have to admit that I agree with that, although I can’t believe that it would even be a question at all in this day and age.

    I do agree with Tudlow though that I’d like to know how he stands on this topic, because to me it is a clear indication of how someone will approach other aspects of the job (basically with logic or without).

  36. The only way creationism should be discussed in a science class is so the teacher has an opportunity to tell the kids that it is horsesh*t and has no place being taught in a science class.

  37. Regardless of whether the governor of a state believes in creationism or the tooth fairy or whether he think the state has any business whatsoever telling local districts what to teach, he should use his bully pulpit to make it clear that creationism is not science. It’s as simple as that. So that’s really where he erred. He should have said, “My religious beliefs are my own, and the state has no business telling local districts what to teach, so we’ll leave it up to them, but creationism has no place in a science class.”

  38. But apparently he’s got presidential aspirations and so is pandering to his prospective base, which apparently consists of ignorant morons.


  39. Creationism is hooey, not science and has absolutely no place in a science class. Keep it in a comparative religions class if you must. Our kids are not going to excel in the sciences if they can’t even keep up with basic biology.

  40. Your statement is true enough, ‘gurl, but it goes way beyond the question of excelling in the sciences. Like having the dim stirrings of consciousness of the frickin’ world around you. Like being able to carry on a half-intelligent conversation. Like being able to begin to think. Oy, don’t get me started.

  41. That a leader like Christie–the governor of a major state in the most powerful country in the history of the world–can make an statement like that just fills me with despair. And anger. He’s either an idiot or a deeply cynical politician. I can’t decide which is worse. Maybe we should take a poll.

  42. Walleroo, I agree with almost all of your quote: “He should have said, ‘My religious beliefs are my own, and the state has no business telling local districts what to teach, so we’ll leave it up to them, but creationism has no place in a science class.'”

    The only part I disagree with is the very first part. While creationism is indicative of religious beliefs, it is also indicative of how open-minded or logical a person is to accepting differing views, especially when those views have MOUNDS of evidence behind them. If he was to say that he did not believe in evolution, that would tell me that he is close-minded and blindly following faith and a theory that can be proven false countless times.

    Not that I needed more evidence as to why I don’t agree with the guy…

  43. wow. Walleroo is outraged about something! Congratulations!

    Christie is obviously straddling a position for political reasons. It’s exactly the same kind of thing as when a liberal politician says abortion is “personally distasteful” but should be between a doctor and patient.

  44. Christie’s attacks on the unions do not reflect the opinions of the majority of New Jersey voters. If you have kids, you choose an area to move into based on the quality of the school district and that means good teachers… and good teachers deserve good pay and benefits.
    These attacks are Republican policy and are being launched nationally ( Wisconsin, etc, etc )
    as a way to break ALL unions. This Governor is far from being a great thinker and these are not original thoughts on his part, In fact, I have yet to see anything from him that is not merely parroting the party line and their talking points. I had high hopes for him, despite his party affiliation. If someone does a good job, they deserve the credit for it. This Governor is NOT that person.

  45. For the life of me, I can’t fathom the teaching of creationism as a concept on an equal footing to science. It’s like giving equal time to the “flat earth society.” Christian fundamentalism does exist, and presents itself as such an effective and convenient straw man for the advancement of liberal causes, as such it garners such disproportionate media attention. As long as we have majority rule in this country, our civil liberties are safe. It has only been since every crackpot faction and splinter group has been deemed worthy of recognition and to have their beliefs foisted upon us that we’ve even had to pay attention to these issues. Kit’s view above that religious views should be respected and remain private represents the high ground. Christie gave what he thought was a tactful political answer, but his audience was at a well regarded Catholic university in New Jersey, not a revival meeting of snake handlers in a tent in Alabama. Catholics, of which I am one, can be remain true to their faith without compromising their critical thinking abilities. It’s safe to say the governor is probably not a creationist.

  46. Tudlow I wasn’t defending him just pointing out that districts can supplement curriculum. I agree with deadeye regarding the “tactful political answer”. Don’t like it but I understand.

    Walleroo I’m as disturbed by the teaching of creationism in public schools as I am about “under God” which was added to the pledge in my youth and “in God we trust” on our money. Same line of thinking IMO.

  47. Well said Deadeye and Dag. Much ado about nothing. He just refused to take the bait from the reporter.

  48. It’s exactly the same kind of thing as when a liberal politician says abortion is “personally distasteful” but should be between a doctor and patient.

    No, ROC, those are completely different levels of pandering. To say that abortion is distasteful is to state an obvious truth that only a weirdo would disagree with. To suggest that creationism belong on an equal footing with science–or even to miss a chance, as the leader of a great state, to denounce the notion that creationism should even be uttered in the same classroom as science–is to deny rationality itself, the very foundation of Western civilization.

    I don’t think that’s overstating it.

  49. He sure is hot and bothered, that walleroo.

    Your beef is with what he didn’t say. He didn’t take the opportunity to end his conservative career. It is precisely the same as a Democratic politician dodging the abortion debate. You will never hear them say “abortion is wrong and immoral” even if they believe it to be true. They’ll “miss that chance” as it were.

    I’m not sure how the “very foundation of Western civilization” can be denied by “suggest[ing] that creationism belong[s] on an equal footing with science” when, in New Jersey that has not ever happened anywhere in New Jersey. But I’ll leave that to you.

    So democrats dodge a real issue – abortion with 32,000 per year in New Jersey. And the Governor dodges a non-issue – ZERO schools destroying Walleroo’s civilization.

  50. p.s.

    if the “issue” ever becomes, you know, un-hypothetical, then I think he should comment on a real situation as Governor. Until then, he’s wise to ignore questions of non-issues only aimed at damaging his electoral chances.

  51. Why are you, DagT and deadeye (my two favorite conservatives on this site, no lie), making excuses for Christie on this issue? If I was a Republican, I would be embarrassed, angry even, that someone like Christie is too much of a chickensh*t to show that he is a rational human being that accepts evolution because he fears the Christian right. And Dag, that’s a pretty bizarre way to “give permission” to teach outside of the curriculum, which is something teachers do all the time.

    deadeye, one thing that I like about you is that you will often consider what someone of a different political camp says. You’re a bully and all, but I think underneath the mean guy act, you’re a nice guy and your humor wins points for me at least. So, listen up, you are very mistaken if you think the teaching of evolution is not an issue in NJ. Evolution in the classroom has been an issue since the Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925 and if you ask biology teachers in this country and yes this state whether teaching the cornerstone of biology is problematic in the classroom, you will hear a resounding yes. See this graph: https://bit.ly/3sddIc
    NJ has its fair share of evangelicals that don’t accept evolution and there is a powerful force in this country that tirelessly tries to undermine the theory of evolution by natural selection in every state every day. It really is a battle.

    So, like I said, either Christie is a creationist (highly unlikely) or he is not the take no prisoners guy that stands up for what he believes in. This should not be a controversial issue that he can’t take a stand on. And you’re okay with this relativism? That’s disappointing.

    I like outraged walleroo and I think the furry marsupial has a fine cause here to be outraged about. I totally (((((heart))))) the cute little guy on this thread.

    And deadeye, thank God Catholics don’t take issue with evolution although the Pope came pretty close to it on Easter. If the Catholic church ever took an about-face on the issue, hello Episcopal church.

  52. Tud, you said: “Christie is too much of a chickensh*t to show that he is a rational human being that accepts evolution because he fears the Christian right.”

    So those religious folks- liberals and others that believe in creationism, (yet may yield to science), but BELIEVE- they’re chickensh*t too?

    You cannot possibly hold that those who are of faith, and believe in biblical teachings are chickensh*t?

    To be clear, the prof stays out of religious discussions because in matters of faith, it’s best not to paint others in broad strokes, which is easy to do when discussing religion.

    You though, used that big ‘ol brush. (Which I found way out of character for you. Oh, well, I guess you really can’t “know” someone by their musings on an anonymous internet blog.)

    Carry on!!

  53. “If I was a Republican, I would be embarrassed, angry even, that someone like Christie is too much of a chickensh*t to show that he is a rational human being that accepts evolution because he fears the Christian right.”

    Perhaps he’s using Obama’s model on the gay marriage issue so carefully engineered during the last election?

    When it’s the other guy he’s “chickensh*t” and when he’s your guy he “deftly negotiates the issue with nuance”.

  54. p.s.

    interestingly (and once again) the gay marriage issue is actually occurring with actual victims…

  55. Hey Tudlow, Interesting link. You can’t help but notice that Catholic countries like Italy and Poland are more broadly accepting of evolution than we seem to be. There has to be noise in those statistics though. The whole evangelical/creationist issue is, in my opinion, anti-intellectual and a solid reason for keeping religious dogma out of the classroom. I’m not one of those anti-holiday zealots though.

    My take on Christie’s response was that it gave a hint as to his potential future political plans. That is, I think that he may have been addressing the sensibilities of a broader audience, if you get my drift…

  56. (Thanks for the clarification ROC. btw mrs. prof read and enjoyed your comments about David. She’s now a fan of yours. I told her you were evil and believed in evil things, but she didn’t buy it. Oh well.)

  57. To be fair, let’s not just trash the church on the creationism issue.
    Years ago I had the rare pleasure of reading the Lubavitch newsletter, with a feature article by Rebbe Schneerson himself, wherein he insists that God put dinosaur bones in the earth solely to test our faith.
    Looks like the Palin / Bachmann ticket could carry Crown Heights in a landslide.

  58. Wow, prof, did you kind of almost compliment me? Made my day, really.

    Let me clarify: it is irrational to believe in creationism. Perhaps a person is rational in many other ways. And perhaps a person is a kind human being that makes the world a better place. But to willfully ignore the mountain of evidence and believe that a dinosaur fossil is 3,000 years old as opposed to 65 million years old, that humans came from Adam and Eve, is irrational. I don’t call students irrational but I don’t shy away from teaching the evidence, either. I understand that this issue creates inner conflict and stress for people that take a literal interpretation of the Bible but the truth is the truth and it’s irrational to believe otherwise.

  59. hey ROC, i agree with you!!

    i think Obama is chicken on gay marriage, just like Christie is chicken on creationism…

    …oh, wait, that IS what you are saying, isn’t it?

  60. sure jcunningham, they’re both chicken as well as not politically suicidal. I hasten to add however that Obama had to face and deny the complaints of real people affected by the marriage issue and the Creationism issue does not exists whatsoever in New Jersey public schools.

  61. Wasn’t Menachim Schneerson considered to be the Mosiach (sp)? I remember all of those ubiquitous mikvah tank RV’s in midtown years ago proclaiming something like that. Then he died. So, guess not..People believe all kinds of things…

  62. Thanks, GG, I think you’re pretty cool, too.

    And yes, deadeye, I agree, but doesn’t it bother you that there is a huge anti-intellectual movement among the Republican party? The whole denial of the evidence in climate science is another example but please, let’s not go down that road today, I’ve had enough sparring for the time being with that ROC guy that posts here all the time. I’m a gentle soul except when I’m a b*tch. Anyways, this anti-intellectualism among conservatives drove my husband insane and he actually crossed the line the last two elections.

  63. Channel surfing last night, I saw Sarah Palin reading off of a teleprompter on FOX. I don’t get it. Her appeal fascinates me. Sean Hannity was the moderator. He’s figured out a way to milk his conservative persona for every nickel it’s worth. I clearly don’t understand the electorate. None of the current crop of GOP contenders can win. My guess is that Christie will be drafted, despite his protestations to the contrary. Oh, and Tudlow. before we spar on climate science, spend some time in China. You would be appalled.

  64. China Schmina, someday I suppose. At this point, I’d rather take the kids to the beach. I need a vacay.

    I come from the land of Palin lovers. Actually graduated with a kid that went to Liberty University. It’s a strange thing but I kind of get it in a way…but I don’t like it.

  65. Tudlow I agree with all you’ve said about creationism. That chart was more telling than Christy’s lack of taking a position. But I don’t get what you mean about “giving permission” to add to or teach beyond the curriculum. My only point was that local districts can develop additions to state mandates and I think that’s what Christy may have been using to avoid taking a stand.

    Deadeye I’ve been to China. The haze in the air there is like nothing I’ve seen before.

  66. the fact that there is even a debate here is ridiculous. religion does belong in school, EXCLUSIVELY IN HISTORY BOOKS. It should be taught as an antiquated ideology that our ancestors subscribed to. It should be taught that it caused nothing but wars, confusion, and created division among the peoples of the world. It should be likened to a divisive manipulative poison that in some parts of the world threatens the fabric of today’s global society. no reason to tread lightly here, the world is a healthier place without IT.

  67. Sure, stayhyphy, I agree. But tell that to Bibi – he’ll start WW3 before he lets the Jews give up their God Given Homeland.
    And then, on the other side, we have the Jihadists, world wide.
    Did I forgot to mention pro-life militants right here in the good old USA? I’d invest in bulletproof glass if I was an abortion provider in Georgia or Texas.

    Religion is alive and well, and as sickly as ever.

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