What Did N.J. Gov. Christie Really Mean by "Going Down Tonight"?

What Women Really Think
Jan. 11 2012 10:23 AM

What Did N.J. Gov. Christie Really Mean by "Going Down Tonight"?

136581691
EXETER, NH - JANUARY 08: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (C) speaks as republican presidential candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (L) and U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) (R-NH) look on during a rally at Exeter High School on January 8, 2012 in Exeter, New Hampshire. With days to go before the New Hampshire primary, Mitt Romney is making a final campaign swing through the state. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

I can see how Rachael and Ann Althouse disagree with me on what, exactly, N.J. Gov. Chris Christie meant when he told some female hecklers “something’s going down tonight, sweetheart.” As many have pointed out, “something’s going down” can mean “something’s happening.”

But I don’t buy this interpretation of events for some simple reason: What was happening “tonight”? The debate was over; the primary was still two days away. If he wasn’t making an oral sex joke, then his “zinger”—which was such a hit with his audience!—makes  no sense.

Advertisement

Moreover, absolving Christie of the oral sex joke ignores his deeply condescending use of “sweetheart” as a pejorative. I suppose Christie supporters are ignoring that part because it’s indefensible.

Torie Bosch is the editor of Future Tense, a project of Slate, the New America Foundation, and Arizona State that looks at the implications of new technologies. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
  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.