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by
Bryan Preston

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January 9, 2014 - 6:53 am
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The purpose of this post is not to defend Chris Christie. Whether he was involved in the GWB closing or not will come out in due course, and he will pay a price either way — either for orchestrating the vindictive partial closing of the bridge, or for setting a tone that led to the same.

Substantively, James Taranto has nailed why the closing is such a massive problem for Christie.

Christie’s reputation as a straight talker has made for a flattering contrast with the smooth-talking Barack Obama. Obama’s deceptions, most notably his fraudulent claims about ObamaCare, have seriously damaged public trust in Washington. Christie’s supposed candor made him look as if he might be the man to restore it.

Worse, the Christie administration’s evident abuse of the Port Authority is reminiscent of the Obama administration’s abuse of the Internal Revenue Service. Neither the governor nor the president has been shown to be directly involved, but each must bear a measure of responsibility for his subordinates’ actions. One of Obama’s worst traits is his unvarnished contempt for his political opponents. The new revelations from Trenton suggest that Christie’s administration, if not the man himself, has a similar quality.

Its sheer pettiness is what distinguishes the GWB scandal from the ObamaCare and IRS ones. The ObamaCare fraud was in the service of an ambitious ideological agenda, and as we have argued, the 2012 election was close enough that it is possible the IRS’s suppression of opposition was necessary to secure the president a second term. Christie, by contrast, is not much of an ideologue and was cruising to an easy re-election.

In the latter regard, the bridge shenanigans look more like the Watergate burglary–a gratuitous misuse of power.

Indeed. And the IRS scandal remains largely unexplored by the mainstream media. The left’s pundits dismiss it as not a scandal at all, a position they obviously would not take if the IRS had systematically targeted their allies instead of the Tea Party.

Supposing that Christie ordered the partial closing as an act of retribution, it must rank among the most over-the-top abuses of power for the sake of one’s personal political fortunes in a long time. It could cost him his job. But he is not alone in abusing or trying to abuse his power to score political points. One of the lessons to come from all this may be that as long as a politician is open about his vindictiveness and doesn’t pretend to be anything but a hardened partisan, he can expect to survive nearly any scandal. It also doesn’t hurt to pick one’s targets along lines the media will approve of, and to be a Democrat. In some cases, the abuse will never become a true scandal at all, even though it should.

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Top Rated Comments   
Christie had a reputation - among Democrats - for straight talk. But that bar is set so low that even Christie could jump over it. The Democrats already have a presidential candidate, so no help from there. Republicans know him to be a backstabbing two-timer, so there won't be much defense from that side. And Republicans Who Are Actually Democrats - Christie's natural constituency - will switch allegiances on a dime. It's funny how, when you have no real beliefs, you wind up with no real defenders.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
The GWB episode is as petty as the closing of the WWII memorial during the shutdown.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, if the king mutters something about ridding him of turbulent clerks and you take it upon yourself to go rid the king of the turbulent clerk, you really shouldn't tell the king you've done it. And you really, really, really shouldn't talk with your pals about it and especially you shouldn't say anything about it in an email.

It is a good rule for any Republican or staffer to a Republican to never ever put any discussion of personnel or policy in an email. It is a good guide to never put anything in an email, tweet, or social media post that you don't want to read on the front page of the paper that hates you most.

Republicans need to understand, especially Republicans in states with unionized public employees like NJ, is that those computer weenies down in the bowels of your buildings are union/Democrat. They've been instructed by their union steward or union rep to look over the shoulders of elected and appointed officials and those close to them. On a government network, it is really easy to have folders set up for everyone you're interested in observing and have a copy of everything they write and a log or even screen prints of every site they visit. I've done it. The real fun is when you haul somebody in and make the accusation, which they of course deny. Then you pull out all the copies and logs and fire them for lying.

I'll guarantee you that the reason the Democrats and media made such an issue of Sarah Palin's emails was that there was good stuff in them, they had them already, but couldn't use them because it would be obvious that they'd stolen them. I always acted on the assumption that anything I wrote on the State network would be in the hands of the head of our largest union before it was in the hands of the intended recipient.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (14)
All Comments   (14)
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44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
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44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Amazing. Fast & Furious, Benghazi, IRS, et al and the Press can't get off their fat behinds to investigate, much less condemn, but in less than a day a politically motivated bridge closing involving a Republican threat to the left is turned into a 5 ring media circus. How much clearer evidence is needed that the Press is but a propaganda machine of the Democrats. If asked even ten years ago I would've never guessed that Pravda or the Guardian provides a less distorted view of America than our own Press today.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Christie had a reputation - among Democrats - for straight talk. But that bar is set so low that even Christie could jump over it. The Democrats already have a presidential candidate, so no help from there. Republicans know him to be a backstabbing two-timer, so there won't be much defense from that side. And Republicans Who Are Actually Democrats - Christie's natural constituency - will switch allegiances on a dime. It's funny how, when you have no real beliefs, you wind up with no real defenders.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have to disagree with Taranto, abuse of power doesn't get better or worse depending on how petty it is. Bubba Clinton and Hildabeast his wife should have been ejected from the White House because of Filegate and Travelgate - which they ADMITTED TO, as well as to blackmailing Monica, which they never quite admitted to and even Monica tried to hide, but the little blue dress proved to anyone even half-concious. Abuse of power for ANY reason is sufficient reason to be removed from office (and imprisoned), and the whole society suffers when this does not happen.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Absolutely correct. When abuse of power is not punished we only get more of it, increasing daily, exponentially.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
The GWB episode is as petty as the closing of the WWII memorial during the shutdown.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
The stupid defense has served our president well on many occasions, but everyone assumes he is a beneficiary of Affirmative Action, an advantage Christie doesn't have.

Republicans and our Democrat/Marxists hold Republicans to higher standards, and a stupid defense won't withstand public scrutiny for a man who is neither stupid or a Democrat/Marxist.

Stupidity or being naive can make some situations extremely difficult: http://skooksjournal.com/?p=666
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
So I'm watching CrCr at 11:50am EST, where I think he is doing as well a response as can be done (and I am no fan), and I am wondering if he has been given the very advice that I would give to any politician in this position. It is THE way to get beyond it, and it is very simple.....

What should CC do right this instant? Simple. DO NOT LEAVE THAT PODIUM!! Press still has questions at 2pm? Be there and answer. 5pm? BE there. 9pm? Be there. 4:30am Saturday? Be there. DO NOT LEAVE.....

.. UNTIL the Net's have bailed, the political junkies are looking for a B-ball game, and the press in the room is asking about the Super Bowl and American Idol. And for the latter, CC....... BE THERE! And answer them. Until THEY get so bored and hungry that they start packing their crap into boxes and leaving. No matter how long it takes. No matter how long. Barring terror attack or East Coast earthquake, there is nothing, zip zero nada, more important for the governor of New Jersey to be doing right now than standing there for twelve straight hours. Thirteen. Fourteen. Whatever.

Do that, and he will pull the teeth from it, big time. It's almost the utterly obvious way to do it. Hope he does, because the Dems have been praying to whatever gargoyles they have for some sort of distraction like this
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Gov. Rick Perry requested federal aid, as disaster relief falls under one of the legitimate uses of the federal government."

No, Bryan, it does not. I know that we have such laws on the books, but there is nothing in the Constitution to give them any authority.

45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, if the king mutters something about ridding him of turbulent clerks and you take it upon yourself to go rid the king of the turbulent clerk, you really shouldn't tell the king you've done it. And you really, really, really shouldn't talk with your pals about it and especially you shouldn't say anything about it in an email.

It is a good rule for any Republican or staffer to a Republican to never ever put any discussion of personnel or policy in an email. It is a good guide to never put anything in an email, tweet, or social media post that you don't want to read on the front page of the paper that hates you most.

Republicans need to understand, especially Republicans in states with unionized public employees like NJ, is that those computer weenies down in the bowels of your buildings are union/Democrat. They've been instructed by their union steward or union rep to look over the shoulders of elected and appointed officials and those close to them. On a government network, it is really easy to have folders set up for everyone you're interested in observing and have a copy of everything they write and a log or even screen prints of every site they visit. I've done it. The real fun is when you haul somebody in and make the accusation, which they of course deny. Then you pull out all the copies and logs and fire them for lying.

I'll guarantee you that the reason the Democrats and media made such an issue of Sarah Palin's emails was that there was good stuff in them, they had them already, but couldn't use them because it would be obvious that they'd stolen them. I always acted on the assumption that anything I wrote on the State network would be in the hands of the head of our largest union before it was in the hands of the intended recipient.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Really? Then where was the "good stuff" in Palin's emails? They hired extra people and went through them with a fine toothed comb....why couldn't they produce the "good stuff?" Ridiculous.

Otherwise, your point is valid, but that statement makes no sense and calls the others into question.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
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