We, the collective John Q. Public, are so sodden with dishonesty that we take the deer-in-the-headlights stance when the unfamiliar truth comes at us. This is especially true with our politicians and anyone tied to them. Sadly, being lied to is so commonplace to us that we practically need therapy to change our ingrained paths of thinking.
The specific subject is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, and “bridge- gate.” The scandal arose when a New Jersey newspaper broke a story earlier this month that the George Washington Bridge, connecting New York and Jersey, sustained manufactured lane closures that caused massive traffic snarls for four days. The purpose of the unnecessary closures was retaliation for Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop not supporting Christie’s last gubernatorial run.
I must admit that when I first heard the rumblings about unnecessary stand-still traffic, I figured New Jersey commuters were suffering what Los Angeles does each and every time Barack Obama comes to L.A.’s rich and famous for more patronization and money.
Christie immediately held a press conference Jan. 9 that lasted one hour and 48 minutes, professing humiliation and embarrassment, and he announced he had fired Bridget Anne Kelly, his deputy chief of staff. Emails had been found linking Kelly to members of the Port Authority, jocularly discussing the retribution.
In addition to Christie taking the responsibility for his staff and what emanates from his office, he squarely said, “I’ve terminated her employment because she lied to me.”
He called stupid “stupid” and he called a lie a “lie.” In the opinion of many, including me, he seemed wholly disheartened and disappointed. He fessed up and is still taking the heat. He did not hide, nor did he send a bunch of underlings or sycophantic mouthpieces out to cover for him.
Irrespective of the aforementioned, it took just a nanosecond for many Democrats to smell blood in the water, and the investigations spun into high gear. It’s the old “How much does he know and when did he know it?”
Americans should not be opposed to an investigation, but let’s hope the media are fair about findings and non-findings. Wow, I nearly choked at the writing of that comment.
Christie sailed to re-election last November with 31 percent of the Democrats voting for him, and he has had an approval rating as high as 74 percent.
The Quinnipiac University poll released Jan. 9 reports 51 percent (still) believe Christie is “honest and trustworthy.” A more recent Monmouth University poll reports his job approval at 59 percent, versus 32 percent for New Jersey residents.
Evidence supports that Christie has been successful at governing for his constituents and working with Democrats. Let’s hope that all is not sullied by a few sourpusses.
One diver into the bloody waters is Mo Elleithee, spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, who said, “For nearly two hours today, Chris Christie stood up and repeatedly made himself out to be the victim. … But Chris Christie is not the victim. The people of New Jersey who trusted him are.”
Another is New Jersey Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, saying, “I’m looking for cooperation, but not capitulation. … From my vantage point, it’s been a little too much capitulation.”
Elleithee and Coleman choose deafness. Christie faced hard questions on camera without a teleprompter, showed leadership, prudently took responsibility, yet he’s accused of playing the victim and capitulating.
There’s plenty of print to support the conclusion that everyone is talking about Chris Christie running for president of the Untied States in 2016 – except Chris Christie. He says he’s working for New Jersey, yet “they” continue to hound him while identifying his to-be foe as Hilary Clinton.
Speaking of Hilary Clinton, Mo Elleithee was her senior spokesman and the traveling press secretary for Clinton’s last presidential campaign. That fits the bigger picture.
It’s wise always to allow room for surprise and disappointment. However, hopefully, Chris Christie will show us there actually is an elected politician who didn’t try to lie his way out of a scandal.
Otherwise, he will exit with even more humiliation and embarrassment as every one of them should but do not.
Betty Arenson has lived in the SCV since 1968 and describes herself as a conservative who’s concerned about progressives’ politics and their impacts on the country, her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She says she is unashamed to own a gun or a Bible, couldn’t care less about the color of the president’s skin, and demands that he uphold his oath to protect and follow the Constitution of the United States in its entirety. Her commentary publishes Fridays.