So now we have “Bridgegate.” Here are the facts—well, some of them, anyway. The George Washington Bridge, a key connector between Manhattan and New Jersey, and one of the busiest bridges in the country, had a number of its lanes closed a while back, thereby creating a massive traffic jam. The lane closures apparently were politically inspired, payback from some people who work for New Jersey governor Chris Christie for a Democrat mayor’s refusal to endorse Christie’s reelection bid.
When e-mails came to light showing that the “traffic study” that closed the lanes was a sham, and that staffers for Christie joked about the closures and the delays, righteous indignation arose. Was Christie behind this? Did he direct this action? Has he abused power? What did he know and when did he know it?
Let me be very clear about this: all political shenanigans like this deserve whatever punishment is merited. Let me also state, for the record, that Christie, who is seen by some prognosticators as the leader of the pack seeking the Republican nomination for president in 2016, is not my first choice . . . or second . . . or third . . . well, I really don’t want him to be the nominee. I’m disturbed by his lack of solid principles, by his sellout of Mitt Romney just before election day when he became practically the best buddy of President Obama as he sought federal aid in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, and by his signing into law a bill that prohibits counseling to lead people out of homosexuality. I am no fan. Therefore, nothing I may say in his defense is due to any desire on my part that he will be our next president.
There are two ways politicians deal with scandals or rumors of scandals. One way is to evade and avoid responsibility and say one’s administration had nothing to do with it; the other way is to investigate thoroughly and let the chips fall as they may. Christie, once the accusation became public, held a press conference and answered all questions from reporters. He stayed at the podium for quite a long time. He fired his chief of staff for involvement in the action, as well as one of his key political advisers. Others also have stepped down from their posts. In other words, he took responsibility for those under him.
In the past few years, we’ve seen a different stance from the White House as scandals have swirled. Some of the cartoonists couldn’t help but notice the contrast:
One can imagine what a conversation between Christie and Obama might include right now:
Perhaps if Christie had Obama’s advisers, he would have tried a different tack:
Within 24 hours of the Christie press conference, Eric Holder’s Department of Justice began a full investigation. We’re still waiting for a full investigation of all the Obama scandals. Gee, I wonder if there’s some political payback here? Maybe a wonderful opportunity to take down a potential Hillary opponent?
Oh, by the way, the DOJ did just choose an investigator into the IRS scandal—you know, the one where the IRS targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status? It turns out they chose Barbara Bosserman to head the investigation. Who is she? A Democrat activist who gave nearly $7000 to Obama’s presidential campaigns. Out of all the career lawyers in the DOJ, she is chosen? Is anyone going to investigate this? Does anyone think the mainstream media cares?
Yes, business as usual, both in government and in the media.