Sunday, February 2, 2014

Chris Christie is losing it

You might have noticed that I haven't been posting anything about the Chris Christie bridge scandal (well, OK, this cartoon, maybe - but that's more about the Republican Party in general).

The thing is, I felt it was more a local matter in New Jersey, despite Christie's presidential aspirations, which was also getting plenty of attention already. Plus, it's more about old-fashioned corruption than right-wing lunacy (not that that's any better, but it's not my usual focus).

Then the Christie people released this email, defending the governor and blasting David Wildstein, his latest accuser and a Christie insider, as follows:
He was publicly accused by his high school social studies teacher of deceptive behavior.

OK, now this has moved into lunacy, don't you think?

Here's how TPM puts it:
It's genuinely shocking that a sitting governor and presidential aspirant finds himself or his key defenders writing a sentence like this: "He was publicly accused by his high school social studies teacher of deceptive behavior."

I mean, is that a joke? Or, he's someone who "made moves that were not productive"?

Seriously, who wrote this?

What's funny is that many people who know the guy have no trouble saying Wildstein in a brilliantly sleazy guy, someone with a taste for dirty politics and would, as the letter finally says, do and say anything to save David Wildstein. So even as a scorched earth attack it's a pretty hapless effort. It shouldn't be hard to find damning things to say about this guy.

In the cited articles, you see some of the inherent difficulties of the situation. Sleazy liar is Gov's "eyes, ears inside The Port Authority"!

That helps.

I don't know anything about this scandal, except for what I read online. I wouldn't trust any of these people any farther than I could throw them, so I'm not going to prejudge the outcome of the investigation.

But just the fact that Chris Christie has surrounded himself with people like this really says a lot about him, whether he knew about the bridge closure or not. If these are his supporters - no, not just his supporters, but his trusted lieutenants - what does that say about him?

And now, when fighting back against one of them, Christie accuses the guy of being criticized by his high school social studies teacher? Did he not play well with others in kindergarten, either?

This is turning into a complete farce, isn't it?


Anonymous said...

I've been watching this avidly since Rachel Maddow started following the story. I'm currently in NZ and I'm still checking up on it :-) (M1nks)

WCG said...

New Zealand? Vacation or business? Either way, that sounds great, M1nks, especially this time of year. It's bitterly cold here in Nebraska today, the wind is howling, and I'm just about to go out to shovel snow.

Thanks for the comment. Yeah, this has been getting a lot of press. However it turns out, I suspect that Chris Christie's presidential ambitions are toast. But then, I never thought the GOP base would go for him, anyway.

I guess we'll see, huh?

Anonymous said...

Vacation - I go every year to get away from the cold and the gray. This year I timed it especially well; it started raining the day I left, kept it up for the 3 weeks I was away and stopped the morning I touched down. It’s still not cold though, I know I have acclimatised a bit over the years I’ve been here but not that much. It’s freakishly warm.

And I certainly agree with you about him not having much of a shot of being president. In my eyes as well he would have been far too much of a RINO for the far right. I can’t see the Republicans managing to put forward an electable presidential candidate anymore. Anyone crazy enough to make it through the primaries would be rejected by the rest of the population. Quite the mess the Repubs have gotten themselves into.

It’s been quite fun watching this scandal and all of the rest of them over the last few months in a sick sort of a way. What a mess politics seems to be over there – corruption piled onto corruption. It’s really very depressing if I think about it too much...

WCG said...

Yup. The right-wing settled for John McCain in 2008, and he lost. (Note that Sen. McCain was recently censured by his state Republican Party organization for being too liberal.) Then they settled for Mitt Romney, and he lost.

So I'm expecting them to go full lunatic in 2016. I really don't see how they'll agree on another establishment Republican next time. Heck, they're already battling Republican incumbents in primary battles this year (for the U.S. Senate, mainly).

Politics is messy, true. But it won't be so depressing if you think of it as our alternative to civil war.

That's especially fitting here in America, because race has a huge impact on our politics. After all, the Republican Party took the South from the Democrats by deliberately wooing white racists, and race permeates nearly every discussion here - implicitly, if not explicitly.

For example, Ronald Reagan had enormous success in attracting white, working-class Democrats by making them look at economic issues in terms of race (i.e. convincing them that Democrats were giving their tax money to black welfare recipients, thus getting their support for tax cuts which primarily benefited the wealthy).

We already fought one civil war over race-based slavery, but the struggle continues. We've progressed a lot in America, but we're a long way from being a color-blind society. Republicans can't be too blatant about using racism these days, because most people don't want to think that they're racist,... but they still respond to racist messages.

I don't want to imply that Republican leaders are all racist, because I doubt that. But they're willing to use whatever works. That was the whole point of their 'Southern strategy.' When Democrats decided to do the right thing and support civil rights, they gleefully took advantage of that for their own political advantage.

For the most part, it's just political ambition for them. But this is the side they've chosen. You probably wouldn't be a Republican if racism really bothered you, and given that the modern GOP is a direct result of wooing racists, they're kind of stuck with it (unless they'd also rather do the right thing, instead of what is political advantageous).

It's a long, slow, difficult struggle. But it's not depressing, not if you recognize that we're winning. And we are winning. But it's not going to be easy.

Anonymous said...

I meant the corruption was depressing rather than the current GOP mess. All of the scandals and the water pollution and fracking and everything else.

Watching the GOP implode is still rather entertaining. I am rather hoping that they will elect a crazy(er) next cycle as well. After that candidate gets well and truly thumped it will be screamingly funny seeing all the 'Well he (because it will certainly be a he) wasn't conservative enough!' feedback.

WCG said...

Unfortunately, implosion or not, they're likely to stomp the Democrats this year, and may well take the Senate, as well as the House.

There are many reasons for that, as astonishing as I find them. And the problem with hoping for a real crazy in 2016 is that he might win.

Of course, if any Republican wins, it will be a disaster for our country, because he'll have to keep the GOP base happy. So maybe it wouldn't matter much how crazy he was, himself.