Skip to main content

It's hard to feel sympathy for a bully who's been shown up to be one. When the New Yorker does a cover with little boy Chris Christie in the foreground, playing with a ball across lanes on the backed up GW Bridge, you know something's up.

Chris Christie has high ambitions--to be the great white hope, a "centrist" Republican who wins the Presidency. With his landslide re-election, he seemed well placed: he could appeal to independents and Democrats, too.

But, like Nixon's Watergate, his miss-step was born of hubris: he wanted to "run up the numbers," i.e. win by the largest margin possible. He was doing it by bribing (legally, of course) and threatening, in order to gain endorsements of regionally prominent Democrats, or to discourage the kind of insubordination exhibited by Democratic legislators. While the target of the Fort Lee bridge pile up, most media claim, was Fort Lee's mayor, there was also the tangled issue of re-nominating State Supreme Court Justices, in which the majority leader of the  NJ Senate, a Democrat from Fort Lee, was at loggerheads with the Governor; Christie publicly referred to the Democratic Senate majority as "animals."

Either Governor Christie knew nothing about the Fort Lee operation to mete out vengeance, meaning he was an inattentive chief executive, who should never have been governor in the first place, or he inspired it (more likely) by a nod and a wink, and attempts to maintain what the CIA calls "deniability."

In either case, crimes were committed, as in Watergate; in this case they involve using public facilities for private purposes, and causing ancillary damage while doing so. It's entirely possible that prosecution will follow.

Even if Christie had no inkling of the plan at Fort Lee, his top-level administrators, and appointees like David "the-same-answer" take-the-Fifth Wildstein, thought that such massive dirty tricks were legitimate. His administration was, at very least, inspired by Christie to retaliate against his perceived enemies by wielding government to harass and frustrate. Perhaps it's his bully-boy persona that inspired his close aides to stage Bridgegate. Is this what a national Christie administration could look like? He could be worse than Nixon, complete with an enemies list and a yen to "get" his opponents. Christie already had a rep for retaliating against people who blocked him. BridgeGate could confirm it.

Christie was the most plausible candidate of the .01%, so he may still be a viable candidate: he could raise enough money to try to wash the Bridgegate stain away, but maybe that's not possible--unless our authoritarian elites remain willing to back him.

Why would they? So far, the only alternatives to surface are right-wing nuts: Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, neither of whom would be trusted by Wall Street. Look for other Republican "moderates" to test the waters. Somebody has to represent the corporate elite, and Democrats are at best unreliable.


Will Chris Christie overcome Bridgegate

3%1 votes
14%4 votes
10%3 votes
71%20 votes

| 28 votes | Vote | Results

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site