Stick a Fork in Him: Why Chris Christie’s Bridge Scandal Will Be His Downfall

1555844_10152151517442489_1093161050_nPerhaps you’ve heard, there’s a bit of a growing bridge scandal in New Jersey concerning Governor Chris Christie.  Something like this might normally make a few national headlines and then quickly die down — except Christie is a current favorite to be the GOP presidential candidate in 2016.

Jon Stewart had plenty of fun mocking the bridge scandal on last night’s Daily Show, but a certain message was clear during his 8 minute segment — this weakens Christie’s presidential chances.  While he had plenty of fun with the whole thing and did a good job pointing out how absurd and pathetic it’s been, I believe this situation is much more serious than just a few jokes.

After all, did you hear about the 91-year-old woman who died after EMT’s took much longer than normal to get to her, due to the traffic on the bridge that was closed down by this political retaliation?  Now, are they saying her death was directly caused by the delay in response time?  No.  But you can’t tell me she didn’t stand a better chance had they been able to arrive more quickly.

Then did anyone read these disgusting messages?  A top aide to Christie emailed a high school friend of the governor who worked at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (who runs the bridge) saying, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”

Later text messages mocked students being late to school due to buses being stuck in traffic, with one message saying, “They are the children of Buono voters” — an obvious jab at the assumption that their parents would vote for Barbara Buono (Christie’s challenger for governor) therefore who cares if they were late for school.

But of course, Governor Christie knew nothing about this.  Which is totally “believable.”  After all, just read his official statement:

“I am outraged and deeply saddened to learn that not only was I misled by a member of my staff, but this completely inappropriate and unsanctioned conduct was made without my knowledge.  One thing is clear: This type of behavior is unacceptable, and I will not tolerate it because the people of New Jersey deserve better. This behavior is not representative of me or my administration in any way, and people will be held responsible for their actions.”

So let me get this straight.  A top aide took it upon themselves, without any instruction from Christie, to retaliate against a mayor who refused to endorse the governor — and involved a high school friend of Christie’s at that — but Chris Christie had no knowledge of any of this?

Who in the world believes that?  There’s no possible way this all went down without Christie having any knowledge of it.  Do you really think a top aide to the governor, and a friend from high school, would go behind his back (risking his 2016 presidential chances) completely on their own?

Let me break this down.  They were so loyal to Christie that they were upset by a mayor not endorsing him for governor, so they took it upon themselves (without instruction from Christie himself) to retaliate against this particular mayor?  Oh, and by doing so could have possibly weakened his chances at winning the 2016 GOP nomination.

See where I’m going with this?  If they were that loyal to Christie, there’s no way they did this without his blessing.  And there’s absolutely nothing in it for them to carry out this act by themselves.  In fact, it’s a “nothing to gain but everything to lose” situation.

So either Christie is lying (which I believe he is) or he’s showing large signs of incompetence.  And for the record, his latest statement contained not a single apology for any of this.

He’s an arrogant ass — to the core — which is exactly why I fully believe he was behind this.  I think the mayor refused to endorse him and that hurt his massive ego, so he ordered a trusted staffer to retaliate in some way.  But he made it clear that anything they decided to do would be done so independently so it couldn’t be traced back to him.

Which, as the facts seem to be playing out, seems to be exactly what happened.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to use a little common sense and piece together an arrogant New Jersey governor, suffering from having his ego hurt a bit, ordering a retaliation against the mayor who refused to endorse him — but making sure it was done in such a way that it couldn’t be traced back to him if it were ever exposed.

Will we ever know the full story?  Probably not.  But anyone with even the slightest bit of common sense can look at this situation and tell what most likely happened.

The bottom line is, even if there isn’t a smoking gun email or voice recording of Christie himself ordering this, the damage has already been done.  The stupidity and downright callousness of his administration leads directly back to Christie himself.  It’s one thing to hold a grudge against politicians who you deem have done you wrong — it’s something totally different to make thousands of people suffer (possibly playing a role in killing at least one person) just to retaliate for not getting an endorsement.  And then to play the victim and not even apologize for what happened?  At this point, it’d take a miracle for Christie to save face.

In other words, stick a fork in his 2016 presidential chances — he’s done.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • JamieHaman

    Right up to the last line, I agree. In this country however, there are plenty of chickens who will vote for Colonel Saunders. For proof I submit: look how many people voted for Romney.
    Here is hoping you are right Allen Clifton, and I’m wrong.

  • sherry06053

    At least he didn’t invade a foreign country, or fly over thousands of people stuck on their roofs after a flood, or shut down a country because they aren’t getting their way or prevent women from getting birth control and then blame them for getting pregnant. I am no fan of any Republican, but many of them have done way worse than this stunt – if he actually was behind it. I don’t trust him and I wouldn’t vote for him, but their whole message is wrong – a prank is just immature and not devastating.

    • Michael Siever

      Strawman. Bush was President at the time those atrocities took place, and had presidential powers to make the first of those things happen, and Boehner Cantor et al. are in Congress to make their things happen. Christie technically has less power than either of those positions, and he still had a scandal of this proportion happen to him. There’s no way he’ll ever move on to a national office now, since he would lose in New Jersey in the 2016 GOP presidential primary.

      • sherry06053

        Good, but I am not going to like any option. They scare me.

    • Jo Clark

      You know, I get your point, really I do, but would you be saying that if the worst had happened and say, perhaps, that 4-year old girl hadn’t been found at all or had been found dead? How about if we had four or five dead Ft. Lee citizens because EMS couldn’t reach them, instead of just one? That’s what being responsible is about, being aware of the repercussions of your actions, and it appears that this entire petty, vindictive plot was put into motion without the slightest regard for what could go wrong and who might be hurt.

      • sherry06053

        You’re right, and I agree, but what I am mostly saying is that Katrina and the invasion of Iraq were really big deals and the media should have reported them as such. What happened to investigative reporting? Instead, they take the little, petty, ridiculous incidents that are handed to them, blow them into international scandals and pick them apart. I live in CT and Newtown was a big deal here. Obama tried to make the country just a little bit better and the right would have none of it – and their animosity is because he’s black. Same with the jobs bill and immigration. These are issues that affect a lot of people and the Republicans fight everything. Can’t we all just grow up, agree that Obama is the president and won the election and try some of his strategies? Instead of fighting each other and playing dangerous pranks, how about if we tackle some issues and get some stuff done…

  • Pipercat

    He will eventually have to accept responsibility (whether he instigated this or not) for this. That will hurt. If he doesn’t, it will hurt worse.

    • Jim Bean

      True. He’s a Republican. It isn’t like he has immunity from being held accountable like … say … I don’t know …… corrupt Democfat Obama administration officials in the IRS, NSA, DOJ, and WH.

      • IQdaRadical Thinker

        Either produce your proof, or shut it.

        You make claims, yet have nothing to back it up…you are either a liar or a fool, so which is it?

      • 2Smart2bGOP

        He is a troll, and as such, best ignored. They will be out en force between now and November, and they’re only objective is to distract and disrupt. They will never have anything substantive to contribute, nor will they have any evidence to back up their lies. Deny them the attention that they so desperately desire.

      • Jim Bean

        You’re definition of a ‘troll’ is ‘anyone who expresses an opinion I don’t agree with.’

      • Pipercat

        False equivalency, since no immunity was ever implied. Oh, that NSA thing, it was called PRISM and before that it was called Total Information Awareness. It’s roots at DARPA go as far back as the late 60s. Try a little harder next time when you formulate your logical fallacies, you’re only embarrassing yourself
        .

      • Jim Bean

        I didn’t vote for Obama. Any perception that it is I who have something to be embarrassed of is purely a product of your over-eager imagination. And while immunity may not have been implied, it sure is abundantly obvious.

      • Pat

        If it’s so obvious where is your proof? You still haven’t given us any proof. If there was proof, trust me, the Koch Brothers and buddies, would have paid someone plenty to have found it. There is no proof, and you know it.

      • Jim Bean

        Does the announcement that Obama has appointed one of his big campaign donors to investigate his IRS/Tea Party scandal sway you at all?

      • Pat

        Nope, not one little bit.

      • Pipercat

        Nice try. Is it even possible for you to create a notion or argument that: A) Isn’t fallacious and/or B) Isn’t a 180 degree pivot? and/or C) doesn’t involve projection?

  • Suzie

    The abuse of power from his staff is absolutely reprehensible. If Christie knew exactly what was going on and is now lying about it, he certainly isn’t fit to be the President of the United States. Is there such a thing as a completely honest politician in this country? I guess not. Sad.

  • MLR

    If you watched CNN last night, by the tone of Don Lemon’s voice not only would you think that Gov Christie is not done with a fork but they actually had the nerve to suggest Democrats are “hoping” this is a big deal because Christie is ahead of Clinton in the polls. They even put up the poll numbers on the screen. I was seriously disgusted because instead of focusing on the seriousness of this bridge closure, Lemon is busy trying to demonize Democrats. Oh but according to Lemon the problems of the ACA website were comparable to the “crack” problems of Mayor Ford. Then he has the nerve to ask his guests if he’s being unfair to the president. Well I think Stephen Colbert answered that question.

  • moe/larry & curly keys

    if Christie was a democrat FOX ( shitbag) “news” would be all over this for A YEAR or MORE——————- any of U small dicked crybaby regressive white trash republican scumbags care to dispute this>??? FOX will NOT cover this except topically— they are mortified that the ONLY ‘legit’ chance to compete with Hillary in 2016 is now gone the way of Anthony weiner: in fact worse as weiner just did inter-personal stuff; this affected others to such extremes that lawsuits may blossom. Thank U gov CHRISTIE!!! now the low IQ tea party trash has to hope clowns such as Rubio and paul and cruz can garner any logical policies to bring them to SOME relevance,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,HEY HANNITY: HEY HUCKABEE,,,,,HEY GRETA,,,,,HET MICHELLE “no tits and hates life” MALKIN!!!! anything to comment on here??? U f*cking losers

    • Jim Bean

      You do liberals proud. You don’t hold back. You tell it like they see it. You tell it like it is.

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        when us FOX “news” lambasting Christie for this?? ( answer) NEVER

      • Jim Bean

        Fox News is running continuous coverage on this issue. The idea that it is any “news’ agency’s role to do some ‘lambasting’ is a product of your exceptionally fertile imagination. (Edit; The idea that it is any ‘news’ agency’s role to do some ‘lambasting’ BEFORE THE EVIDENCE IS DEVELOPED is a product of your exceptionally fertile imagination.)

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        then explain to me the “phrase” U would use in how FOX “news” only attacks obamas presidency!! Benghazi? we are still waiting for any REAL evidence of a coverup— fast and furious? yes: we are still waiting. KENYA? MUSLIM? wow– that “evidence” bore some really sweet fruit for crybaby white trash regressives didn’t it??
        funny how gerrymandering of voting districts ( that’s worked well) and the corruption in rick perrys administration seems to not be commented upon,,, yet bill O the clown cries about TEXTING??????????

      • Jim Bean

        When you first learned about the Senator Mark Udall/Obamacare enrollment number scandal, what news agency were you viewing/reading/listening to?

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        that’s a scandal?????? sounds like shitty politics as usual

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        and I do notice how U ( tea party esque) avoided my question

      • Michael L. Hoenig

        You wouldn’t know a scandal if it yanked your head out of your ass, bit you on the nose, then shoved your head back up your ass.

      • B.S.

        I am really beginning to think that you “get off” on these Forward Progressive sites because you so like the conflict and drama you are hoping to instigate. Get a life you sad little man.

      • Jim Bean

        I come to them to debate controversial topics and to exchange ideas with those most likely to disagree with my ideas. A discussion among people who are all in agreement with each other is not a debate – its a chorus. Why do you come?

      • B.S.

        I read this website to be informed of the truth. I surely can’t count on Fox News or the main stream media to tell me the truth. I am a truth-seeker, and you seem to be a typical right wing big mouth know-it-all, spewing untruths much of the time.

      • Jim Bean

        What have I said the wasn’t true?

      • B.S.

        I don’t have all day to list all the lies here. You repeat the same bullshit they yammer about on that channel for the intellectually challenged, (like you), Fox (for those who are dumber than a box of rocks) News. Everyone knows they lie all day long. Their target audience believes all of it because they know their target audience is nothing but loser, idiotic morons who think they are morally superior to everyone.

      • Jim Bean

        I’m sure you recognized the ‘truth’ though, when Maddow accused the Koch’s of being behind Florida’s efforts to drug test welfare recipients (an idea I don’t support, btw). “Truth” for a liberals is ‘anything that supports what I want to believe.’ and a “lie” is ‘anything that conflicts with what I want to believe.’

      • B.S.

        Rachel Maddow will always come back and state if she is wrong about something. You need to replace the word “conservatives” for “liberals” in your last sentence, and then you have it right.

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        our flaccid governor here in fla has a HUGE financial stake in the largest florida drug testing company,so of COURSE he readily signed THAT bill !!!!

      • Michael L. Hoenig

        Why don’t you email her and directly accuse her of lying?

        I guarantee you’ll be laughed out of town (metaphorically speaking) because she, unlike your Fox attention-whores, will stand behind EVERYTHING she reports. Shamelessly, and with a clear conscience.

      • Michael L. Hoenig

        Everything after…hmmm…let me see…

        Ah! Of course: Everything after you metaphorically opened your mouth.

    • moe/larry & curly keys

      avoid flatchested overweight regressive skankbags such as thee–of course

  • republicans are evil

    ALL REPUBLICANS ARE CROOKED AND EVIL! imagine all the shit that doesnt get out. I hate them all, and in my opinion republicans should be considered traitors and enemys of the state.

  • Michael Siever

    He apologized for his staff being idiots, and that’s pretty much it. It’s time for people to wake up and realize that Chris Christie is nobody’s friend. At the 2012 RNC Convention in Tampa, he came up and spoke about himself, rather than the party as a whole on what they need to do to win elections in the future. In the end, he will even lose his moderate supporters. Not even liberal Republicans or conservative Blue Dog Democrats will like him after this scandal.

  • Edward Krebbs

    And even if Christie didn’t personally know about it, did his confrontational style create an environment which gave his staffers the green light ? Kind of like, “Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest ?”

  • Edward Krebbs

    Get this, the Limbaugh, Beck, Faux News, echo chamber’s spin on this. Anyone surprised that the response is to blame / attack Obama ? Specifically saying that Christie took quick and decisive action, like what Obama should do. Of course, they didn’t ask if Christie has had time to determine the facts or if he just fired a convenient scapegoat without having all the facts.

    • Michael L. Hoenig

      He’s cleaning out all the scapegoats; he already knows the facts, and they all incriminate Gov. Krispy Kreme.

  • rossbro

    Keep him sweating. Maybe he’ll lose a couple pounds.

  • Jim Bean

    Other Leftish declarations: Phil Robertson is finished. Chick-Fil-A is finished. Limbaugh is finished. Zimmerman is guilty. OWS is the most consequential civil uprising since the civil war. Hurricane seasons will get worse. Benghazi was a spontaneous riot. Scott Walker will be recalled. John Morse and Angela Giron will NOT be recalled.

    • moe/larry & curly keys

      hmmmm,,,,,,,,,,, Zimmerman was NOT GUILTY? he was found “not guilty” as was OJ; so suck an egg on this one. Benghazi now seems to actually have been more of a BS uprising than was reported ( and over reported for a year) by the FOX “news” charletans. Limbaugh and beck have been losing market share as has FOX “news” political opinion shows ( and also losing valued advertizers) beck was canned; Limbaugh not quoted nearly a much on FOX as even they recognize his idiocy.
      OWS and tea party share atrophying,,,,, tea party more organized ( SEE: KOCH bros) but both dying out. tea party death fun 2 watch,,,,,as a dying cat. Obama will lose 2012 election,,,, aca will be repealed….no one watches msnbc ( the numbers increasing as FOX numbers receding) herman cain and sarah palin and michelle Bachmann and rick santorum are strong presidential “candidates” who THE AMERICAN PEOPLE share those ‘conservative’ ( what exactly ARE they attempting to “CONSERVE”??) values ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,the deficit — and spending– are escalating under Obama,,,, the shrinking unemployment numbers don’t matter ( they DID when they were going UP)
      please continue; GOVNA

      • Jim Bean

        Five years into Obama’s reign of terror, I realize that its lost on some people that the traditional role of a news organization is watch the government with a critical eye – not be cheerleaders for them. Being number one is still number one. And the shrinking unemployment numbers are on the same trajectory with the shrinking number of people actually employed and the shrinking number of new jobs being created.

      • Pat

        Oh wow, good comeback, Jim Bean ……………………………………..NOT!

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        funny how when the LARGE unemployment numbers were against obama U crybabies clamored incessantly, now they are receding and U spin It to fit YOUR dubious narrative. FOX “news” anyone?
        FUNNY how FOX “news:” didn’t castigate bush for the ( at the time) ongoing demise and destruction of our finances,,,, Hmmmmmmm

      • Jim Bean

        Its only the figure that is receding. Unemployment continues to grow – people cease to be counted because give up looking for work and quit collecting benefits or they run out of benefits. (I’m surprised you didn’t know that.)

      • Michael L. Hoenig

        You mean the numbers aren’t going down because of all the NEW JOBS being created by the mega-wealthy?

        Four years after my UI ran out, I’m *still* looking for one of those jobs that has only one candidate (me) — all I can find are the ones that already have *three* candidates in line.

        You’re SO right about me dropping out of the “looking for work” people…and by “right” I mean “right-wingnut”

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        im aware of that stat– but U again avoided MY topic of how crybaby white trash such as you and the religious regressives spin numbers ONLY to fit their narration
        ……………..where are the JOBS from the “job creators”???? they have– for over a decade now– the tax breaks ( see: handouts) they crave

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        oh,,,and U again avoided what I asked in my above tirade,………..FOX “NEWS” strategy!

      • Michael L. Hoenig

        Oh, *that* was a good one! I blew hot tea through my nose when I read “reign of terror”

        Damn…you’re good, Beano!

  • dagobarbz

    I believe we shall see more of this negligent, callous behavior from GOP candidates as the bar continues to plummet hellward. And if we, the people, DO NOT MAKE AN EXAMPLE OF THIS CASE, we will be giving tacit approval that using us as political pawns is somehow okay.
    And yuk yuk, the children of “enemy voters” will be late for school. And hurrr durr, someone’s mother died because of a medical emergency impacted by this idiocy.

    Seriously, I think this is the true face of the Republican Party these days. This is not a slap at the GOP, it is the result of observation. I have been watching these people become more heartless, less empathetic, more willing to use our lives as markers in their political game. (I’m not a Democrat, nor am I endorsing them. But they do keep a better lid on that noxious behavior. We may BE teeming hordes, but you should never treat us that way.)

    Whoever they select now, I hope it is a step up from Governor Cartman.

  • Michael L. Hoenig

    Rachel Maddow’s theory goes WAY beyond something as simple as Fort Lee’s Mayor refusing to endorse Governor Fats…

    But in any case, shutting down something as critical to the public as the George Washington Bridge becomes a federal felony. The bridge, after all, is a Public utility.

    Retaliation against whomever is not as important a case as the delays to first responders and the intentional inconveniencing of the public at large.

    Governor Krispy Kreme *will* be taken down.

  • Caldron Buckner

    Either he knew, which makes him complicit and a liar, or he didn’t, which makes him incompetent. Either way, pass the fork.