Christie’s powerful when he shouldn’t be
Via Think Progress comes Alyssa Rosenberg’s comments on one lesson from the news of Chris Christie’s politics in NJ:
What happened to people who were affected by the traffic closure was ridiculous. But a willingness to inflict ridiculous consequences on innocent people is actually a rather serious thing to do. People who want Chris Christie to suffer the consequences of the tone he appears to have set in New Jersey would do well to remember that. Lampooning him as fat (a subject on which Linda Holmes has a great number of eloquent things to say) or childish both falls into the same sort of tactics Christie himself uses, and misses the point that Christie’s vindictiveness and hectoring style has made him extremely successful. That doesn’t mean we can’t mine humor out of the bridge scandal, and anything else might follow. But that humor needs to be in service of the idea that Christie’s powerful when he shouldn’t be, rather than assuming that everyone shares the idea that he’s laughable.
And she points to Springsteen’s new parody using ‘Born to Run’ under the fold.
“People who want Chris Christie to suffer the consequences of the tone he appears to have set in New Jersey would do well to remember that.” The that being the ridiculous consequences suffered by those stuck in the traffic fiasco caused by the closures. Assuming for the moment that Christie is proved to have been a primary instigator of the “closings”, how does one measure the ridiculousness of what ever consequence may ensue? The consequences for those stuck in the jam were varied. The consequences for using political power routinely and inappropriately are vague. But the consequences for the misuse of governmental authority are likely delineated in the law. Let the punishment fit the crime, but keep in mind that the crime is not simply discomforting a great many people. The crime is the illegal misuse of governmental authority.
“But that humor needs to be in service of the idea that Christie’s powerful when he shouldn’t be,”
That’s a difficult statement to understand. Christie is as powerful as the laws of NJ allow its Governor to be. His power is not limited to his legal status as Governor, but extends beyond to the limits of the scope of his appointments authority. Maybe the voters of NJ should have had more insight. Maybe they should have voted in some alternative manner. Christie was smart enough to hold has tongue for the most part through the first term of his office. He was even smart enough to look bi-partisan when NJ had a great need for federal support after Sandy struck. So long as he is elected to office its the voters who decided what power he should have. They may now know that they made a poor choice.
The real frightening aspect is to look at the alternates in the field of Republican candidates for the 2016 Presidential election. Christie, in spite of his disgusting inclinations to bully and reject alternative points of view is a moderate compared to the other scum to be offered to the voters by the Republican Party. Hopefully the Dems can come up with a better choice and the voters don’t lose sight of their own best economic interests.