Friday, January 10, 2014

Republican Jackass of the Week

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Did you catch his two-hour press conference yesterday? Gone was the pompous, snotty attitude and the sarcasm ("Yeah, I was in charge of the cones. I was the guy who set out the traffic cones to snarl traffic at the George Washington bridge").

This was the fourth month he had to deal with the controversy surrounding the unnecessary closure of most of the lanes of the bridge that connects New York City with Fort Lee, New Jersey, leading to gridlock in Fort Lee for four days -- inconveniencing hundreds of thousands of motorists, keeping thousands of kids from getting to school on time, and impeding life-saving emergency vehicles from reaching their destinations, with at least one death the result.

This happens to be the world's busiest bridge.

It also happens to directly affect the city of Fort Lee, in which the mayor refused to endorse Christie in his re-election bid.

Coincidence? Not after a flurry of emails were released on Wednesday.

 "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee," wrote Bridget Anne Kelly, Christie's deputy chief of staff to David Wildstein, Chrisie's appointee at the Port Authority.

"Got it." was the response.

Responding to the mess, Fort Lee's Mayor Sokolich sent emails to the Port Authority saying, "Help please; it's maddening."

Christie's closest aides wrote to each other: "Is it wrong that I am smiling?" followed by "I feel bad about the kids." Another aide wrote, "They are the children of the Buono voters [who couldn't get to school]." Barbara Buono was the state senator who ran against Christie in the last election.

And Wildstein, Christie's appointee at the Port Authority wrote, "It will be a tough November for that little Serbian," referring to Fort Lee Mayor Sokolich, who is actually Croatian.

Clearly, the lane closures were done on purpose. Christie originally claimed the four lanes that were merging into one toll booth were the result of a "traffic study." But the Port Authority testified there was no traffic study.

So yesterday, when New Jersey's governor walked out for his press conference, the attitude was gone and he knew he had to at least appear to be apologetic.

Now, he could have said one of two things:

(1) "I purposely demanded the closing of three lanes to retaliate against the Mayor of Fort Lee who refused to endorse my re-election, because I am a petty, spiteful, vindictive little man."


(2) "I didn't hear about those emails until yesterday and I had no idea whatsoever what was going on in my inner circle, with my top aides who I deal with in my office every single day."

Of course, he went with the second option, essentially admitting he is oblivious and ignorant of what decisions are made on his behalf, in his own office, with his closest staff.

Those who know Christie say he runs his office like a military camp, where practically no one even goes to the bathroom without permission. So how it could be remotely possible that he was oblivious to what his top staffers did for four days is a mystery.

This is criminal abuse of power that came right from the top. Yet Christie portrayed himself as the victim.

"I'm hurt and saddened," he said. "I have 65,000 people working for me every day. And I cannot know what each one of them is doing at every minute."

No, governor, we're not talking about just any of these 65,000 people. We're not talking about some snowplow operator in Hackensack. We're talking about 3 or 4 of your closest aides that you see every day in your office.

The bottom line is this: whether New Jersey Governor Chris Christie spitefully closed most lanes of the George Washington bridge for retribution, or whether he is so oblivious he has no idea what his top aides are doing right under his nose, he is not fit for the job.

And this guy thinks he's presidential material.  Give me a break.

Chris Christie, our Republican Jackass of the Week.

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