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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