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A week into the Bridgegate scandal, one thing can be proven not just beyond reasonable doubt, but beyond ALL doubt.  Even it can't be proven that Chris Christie was involved in the lane closures and/or the cover-up, he fostered the environment that made this outrageous and criminal stunt possible.  The more I've chewed on this, I've come to believe that even at this early stage, it is enough to call for Christie to resign.

Think about it, folks.  These amateur mafiosi had to have known that shutting the lanes down would not only cause a massive traffic jam, but put people's safety at risk.  We already know about one incident that nearly turned into a catastrophe--a search for a missing four-year-old took longer than it should have because it was hard to spare officers from directing traffic.  And yet, they were willing to do it in the name of screwing people who had the gall to vote for Barbara Buono.  There is no way in the world they would have even dreamed of pulling this stunt if there wasn't an environment that made this behavior acceptable.  That, to my mind, is why this affair would be an outrage even if it didn't take place on a bridge where the alert level has been off the scale since 9-11.  And that's why it would be an outrage even if it didn't take place so close to the anniversary of 9-11.  

Let's assume that Christie is telling the truth, and that he really didn't know anyone from his staff was in on this until he read about it on his iPad.  If that's true, then he tacitly admitted that he was disengaged in a way that a governor simply cannot be.  And Christie has even less excuse than most of his gubernatorial counterparts.  New Jersey's governor is probably the most powerful governor in the continental United States.  He and the lieutenant governor are the only statewide elected officials.  Nearly all of the major state officers are appointed by him, subject to confirmation by the Senate.  The state constitution concentrates the bulk of day-to-day administration in his hands.  That's why so many people aren't buying Christie's version of events--given his authority over state government, how could he not have known?  They're missing the corollary to that talking point--even if he didn't know, he should have made it his business to know.  

As Democrats and progressives, our first loyalty is to the integrity of the political process.  Part of maintaining that integrity is fostering an environment that gives people confidence in their government.  Regardless of how further this scandal develops, we know beyond all doubt that the environment in Christie's administration is so depraved that his staffers were willing to keep ambulances from getting through.  Any governor who would tolerate such an environment, regardless of party, is morally unfit for office.  Period, full stop.  And for that reason, if Chris Christie has anything left in him, he will resign.

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