Ruh roh: Don’t let the wingnut base see Christie heart President Obama
During Tuesday’s GOP presidential debate, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie called President Obama a “feckless weakling, ” and promised to initiate a novel form of seance detente to destroy ISIS/ISIL/Daesh:
…And so on ISIS, let’s be clear, the president needs to be a force that is trusted in the world. On this I agree with Marco. You know, this president is not trusted…
But I will tell you this, when I stand across from King Hussein of Jordan and I say to him, “You have a friend again sir, who will stand with you to fight this fight,” he’ll change his mind.
Yup, exactly what we need: an uber macho president who promises to provide military support to a Jordanian king who died 16 years ago. Hey, if Chris Christie has the power to close a bridges with a wink and a nod, surely the jingoistic jersey blowhard can consult with the dead.
Having watched fellow New Jersyian Donald Trump skyrocket in the polls with the same kind of in-your-face bluster that used to be Christie’s exclusive domain, he is going for broke, even if it means coming across as the same kind of misinformed asshole as The Donald. That means playing the fear card. Big time. As New York Times columnist Gale Collins wrote in her column Thursday:
Well, the big Republican presidential debate is over and the message is clear: Be afraid. Be very afraid.
“America has been betrayed,” began Chris Christie, setting the tone for the night, which might be described as bellicose paranoia. The betrayers were President Obama and Hilary Clinton. His example of the terror they have wrought was the Los Angeles school system, which closed Tuesday after an email threat from someone who described himself as a Muslim terrorist.
“Think about the mothers who will take those children tomorrow morning to the bus stop wondering whether their children will arrive back on that bus safe and sound,” Christie said darkly. “Think about the fathers of Los Angeles who tomorrow will head off to work and wonder about the safety of their wives and their children.”
This is probably not the time to point out that the governor of New Jersey seems to have a rather retro view of the roles of mothers, who are likely to be heading off to work themselves. But here’s the thing: The threat was a hoax. New York got the same message and kept classes going after officials determined that the writer was not only a phony, but a phony who had no clue how to sound like either a Muslim or a terrorist.
One example I heard: the email didn’t bother to capitalize the word “Allah.” Even a teenager trying to terrorize us all from from his basement redoubt should know better than that. I’d send Christie a case of Depend but I’m not sure they make them in his size.
Meanwhile, the Bridgegate scandal continues to generate negative publicity for Christie, with a federal judge on Wednesday calling his taxpayer funded legal whitewash investigation a “calculated strategy” of “opacity and gamesmanship.”
A federal judge on Wednesday harshly criticized the internal investigation that cleared Gov. Chris Christie of any wrongdoing in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal, saying it was a “calculated strategy” of “opacity and gamesmanship” rather than the thorough and transparent inquiry that the governor promised.
Mr. Christie commissioned the investigation in January 2014 after documents subpoenaed by legislators revealed that one of his senior aides had sent an email that called for “some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” the community that was gridlocked for four days by the lane closings in September 2013.
According to invoices released by the state late Friday, the law firm that Mr. Christie hired to do the investigation, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, billed New Jersey $8 million through the end of August for continuing defense of the governor.
But the independence of the investigation has come under question from the start. It was led by Randy Mastro, who like many of the governor’s close aides once worked for former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York, one of Mr. Christie’s biggest defenders in the lane-closing scandal. This week, a lawyer involved in the investigation, Debra Wong Yang, co-hosted a $2,700-per-person fund-raiser in Los Angeles for Mr. Christie’s Republican presidential campaign.
The firm’s report, released in March 2014, limited blame for the lane closings to the aide who sent the email, Bridget Anne Kelly, and two Christie confidants at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, both of whom resigned in late 2013.
Ms. Kelly and one of the Port Authority officials, Bill Baroni, were indicted in May on charges that they closed the lanes intentionally to punish a mayor who had declined to endorse Mr. Christie’s re-election campaign in 2013. (The other official, David Wildstein, pleaded guilty in exchange for cooperation with prosecutors.)
Now that’s chutzpah: Inconvenience your constituents in an exercise of petty political payback; throw your top aides under the bus when the scam is revealed; then get taxpayers to fork out $8 million to whitewash an internal investigation by your handpicked legal team that includes an “investigator” who is raising money for your presidential campaign.
Just the kind of sleazeball you want running the country.