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Friday, January 10, 2014


I suppose that we should have a bit of a chat about Chris Christie and his bridge scandal.

First: From what I saw, he did quite well during his press conference. If no further revelations emerge, his political ambitions probably won't suffer. Mind you, I would not be surprised to learn that Christie knew all along about this shoddy, childish exercise in political vengeance. But my attitude derives from a cynical view of human nature, not from any specific piece of evidence -- and evidence is what counts.

Second: I cannot freaking believe that his staffer Bridget Kelley would actually have written an email stating that it is "time for traffic problems in Fort Lee." Who would be stupid enough to put a thing like that in writing? We haven't seen anything so idiotic since the Enron folks actually tape-recorded themselves throwing a conspiracy party.

Third: The right-wing response has been fascinating.

Many hard-core conservatives -- angered by the governor's "stunt" during Hurricane Sandy and by his bipartisan demeanor -- seem to be slathering for Christie's blood. See, for example, this piece by the National Review.  You should also see some of the characteristically psychotic commentary appended to various Breitbart stories. Example:
No, Christie is a SOCIALIST just like Hillary, there is no difference and that is why if a bunch of senile selfish old nitwits who are delegates in the RNC put up vote in Christie as the Republican nominee there will be a mass exodus of conservatives.
The tub who tongue kissed barry right before the election using the obamao playbook of throwing people under the bus. Establishment rethuglicans will put him up for President and if elected he will punish his opponents, conservatives, non-muslims and whites, and reward his pals, dhimmicrats, socialists, leftist scum. It seems like he is from chi t ca go.
It goes on and on like that. Must be awfully hard to type with a sledgehammer.

This Breitbarter says that the Christie scandal provides an opening to Jeb Bush. The Brietbarters don't like that idea, because they think that Jeb is just another RINO. (Incidentally, that page reproduces an interesting tweet: "Re whispers that Christie dust-up is good for Jeb Bush in donors' eyes: He's in Uruguay with Swiss bankers right now." Is that true? Yes.)

Another Breitbarter thinks that the mantle will fall not to Bush but to -- get this -- Scott Walker. This same piece goes on to sound a note which has echoed throughout the right-wing political sphere:
One of the reasons Obama never fires anyone during his scandals is that it would prevent him from sending minions out to insist the story is not a big deal.
Gee, I thought the standard dig at Obama was always that he was too willing to toss people under that proverbial bus. What changed? I mean, weren't anti-Obama writers the ones who made the phrase "under the bus" such an inescapable part of American political parlance? (Even Sledgehammer Dude, quoted above, decried "the obamao playbook of throwing people under the bus." Apparently, Sledgehammer Dude didn't get the memo regarding the propaganda line he was to adopt this day. Ixnay on the us-bay, Dude!)

At any rate, it's clear that many Democrats and teabagger Republicans are aching to see Christie derailed. It can be a lot of fun to watch these unspoken coalitions play out.

By the way: If you consult the right side of the blogosphere for the conservative take on the bridge mess, you'll find many references to -- of all things -- Benghazi. Here's an example, from a Hugh Hewitt interview transcript:
HH: Well, that does connect us up to Benghazi, but I don’t think it’s been established, yet, Mark, that she would have lived but for the G.W. closure.
And here...
Apparently, horrible traffic caused by closing a bridge for political reasons is far worse than Americans dying in Benghazi from dithering...
Then there's this headline in Newsbusters, and a similar headline on Michelle Malkin's blog:
Accountability update: More heads have rolled over ‘Bridgegate’ than the IRS scandal, Benghazi and botched Obamacare rollout combined
Here's Accuracy in Media:
Will Christie’s “Bridgegate” Become Another Benghazigate?
“Bridgegate,” as it is being dubbed, is drawing intense scrutiny from the media crowd that refuses to this day to acknowledge that the actions of the Obama administration—before, during and after—the attack on the Temporary Diplomatic Mission and CIA Annex in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, is a major scandal that would have brought down any Republican president by now.
(That claim is pretty hilarious when you recall all the crap that Bush pulled. The Downing Street Memo alone would have destroyed any Democratic president.)

There are many further examples one could cite, but the point is made. These days, a Republican is an automaton who, when asked any question on any topic, will reply: "Benghazi!"

Should the next Thor movie be set on Earth or on Asgard? "Benghazi!" Who do you like in the Super Bowl? "Benghazi!" Who played the lead in Run For Your Life? "Benghazi!" What's your favorite ointment? "Benghazi!" Can you tell me the name of the mental derangement from which you so clearly suffer? "Benghazi!"
Benghazi. Benghazi. Like a slow cerebral brain drip it erodes the last vestiges of thought particles from the conservative repeaters mind.

The correct response is, 22 vets commit SUICIDE in the U.S. EVERYDAY. Now please explain how Benghazi is more important than that.

As for what Christie's office apparently did, they put the voters of Christie's political opponent in distress for revenge, that could very well be a federal hobbs act violation, extortion under the color of right.
The Right will always run with But but but OBAMA!?! and will continue to do so for 20 years, this won't hurt Christie, in fact amongst the hard core 27% tea party types this will aid him because they view acts like this as proper and necessary against evil liberals, east coasters and DemocRATS.

Also, Christie is the Koch's guy. Money never sleeps, they will ensure their think tanks and paid pundits go all out for Christie.

So, I expect more this was a masterful Statesman performance by Christie to continue as long as Rachel Maddow is hammering away at Christie.
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