Chris Christie Steals Somebody Else's Sister Souljah Moment

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 4 2011 6:40 PM

Chris Christie Steals Somebody Else's Sister Souljah Moment

More than a week leter, this video of Chris Christie attacking critics of a Muslim court nominee is still making rounds.

Advertisement

Christie was in a unique position to say this. In the short history of the sharia wars, New Jersey is Pearl Harbor. It was there that Judge Joseph Charles -- you'll notice he's not a Muslim -- sided against a woman in a domestic dispute, citing sharia law. The decision was overturned, but it's been the basis for every anti-sharia campaign since then. "If we fail, why, look at what (really briefly) happened in New Jersey!"

Only one politician gets to be the first to "go there." Now that Christie's given this speech, a window has closed for Tim Pawlenty or Mitt Romney or, not that it would matter as much, Jon Huntsman.* No one else can give a "Seriously? Sharia law? You people are nuts." speech. In the headline, I compare this to a "Sister Souljah" moment. The difference between this and that: It really isn't clear that doing what Christie did would help a Republican candidate.

*This isn't a reference to his poll standing, but to the impression that he's already the moderate sophisticate's candidate.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Jurisprudence

Scalia’s Liberal Streak

The conservative justice’s most brilliant—and surprisingly progressive—moments on the bench.

Colorado Is Ground Zero for the Fight Over Female Voters

There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

Culturebox

Theo’s Joint and Vanessa’s Whiskey

No sitcom did the “Very Special Episode” as well as The Cosby Show.

Television

The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Cliff Huxtable Explains the World: Five Lessons From TV’s Greatest Dad

Why Television Needs a New Cosby Show Right Now

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 18 2014 8:20 PM A Clever Attempt at Explaining Away a Vote Against the Farm Bill
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
  Life
The Slate Quiz
Sept. 18 2014 11:44 PM Play the Slate News Quiz With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 18 2014 8:07 PM Crying Rape False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 6:48 PM By 2100 the World's Population Could Be 11 Billion
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.