The biggest political news of the moment is the emails released revealing that Chris Christie’s top aids prompted that shutdown of the George Washington Bridge in New Jersey last September as political payback for the Democrat mayor of the adjacent town failing to endorse Christie for New Jersey governor. Christie laughed off accusations at the time, but he’s not laughing now.
Instead he’s having a press conference this morning to try to convince us all that he knew nothing about these shennanigans by his top aids and he is outraged by the revelations. If his presidential hopes survive this mess he’s an even better politician than I have thought, though these skills diminished in my eyes when he chose to have a separate election for the governorship costing New Jersey some 20 plus millions of dollars. He gave some high sounding b. s. reason but there is little doubt that the separate election’s true value was to make his margin of victory all the more impressive to a national audience. This from a governor who constantly avows he does what is best for New Jersey. Certainly those misspent millions contradict that claim.
And despite that huge victory, his aides still decided to teach the recalcitrant mayor of Fort Lee, N. J. a lesson, this despite endangering some people’s lives due to the traffic jam, not to mention disrupting the lives of many others. How ugly is that?
If your news watching is restricted to planet FOX, this may still be news to you because they barely covered it yesterday. The fact that their news director Roger Ailes was a big backer of Christie for president last time around just might have something to do with that omission in fairness and balance.
I noticed they brought up the subject this morning, but it was like an appetizer prior to the bigger meal covering the never ending congressional investigations by Republicans of Benghazi, the IRS and of course Obamacare. I give Chris Wallace some points on being fair and balanced on his weekend panel show, but I see little balance elsewhere on that planet.
Not that MSNBC , an entirely different planet, is all that balanced, either, but they at least don’t make it their motto, which makes Fox a more deserving target for derision.
As far as politicians go, I have actually liked Christie, though if he ever tried to bully me as he is wont to do it could change my mind. In a post last January I picked him as the most likely Republican presidential candidate even though I distained the ridiculously early attention to the subject. At least I said my piece and have shut up about it until now. By the way, I think my implying Rand Paul was a putz as a presidential candidate has held up well.
I am not gleeful about this revelation, like let’s say Rachel Madow or Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC, for whom this seemed a second Christmas. I was believing Christie was both better and smarter than this situation implies. Christie’s knowledge of the payback plan has not yet been proven, and I don’t want to be like Darrell Issa (R.) with his investigations in the House whereby he begins his inquiries first asserting guilt and then setting about trying to prove it.
However, as has been pointed out by various commentators left and right, Christie is between the proverbial rock and a hard place. If he convinces us he did not know about this heavy handed retribution, his image of being a hands-on governor takes a huge hit. And, of course, if it is proven he did know about those actions, well sayonara White House and perhaps even the governor’s mansion as well. The sharp politician able to work across party lines would suddenly look like the stereotypical Jersey thug, a real life production of “the emperor has no clothes”.
I would actually like to see Christie somehow triumph over this, though I don’t see how he can. Perhaps I just like being right and now doubt I was right about this guy.
I want to stop before I see the press conference and become tempted to go on and on and ………………………………………………………………………..