January 12, 2014


I guess it's time for me to weigh in on the Chris Christie scandal since everyone else has. It is juicy, and I can't believe the hours I've spent watching the updates. You’ve got to hand it to Dyke Maddow for breaking the story in the national media. Still, it’s absurd that on Thursday and Friday she covered no other news stories, devoting her entire hour’s broadcast to it. Seriously, were there no other news stories significant enough to cover over two days? Did MSNBC not think that anyone wanted to learn about the coal-extracting chemicals which polluted the drinking water in Charleston, West Virginia and the seven surrounding counties? Or the Obama administration's response to the recommendations of the committee which was formed to curtail the federal government’s NSA’s spying abuses? Or the threat to recently married same sex couples in Utah whose matrimony may now be in legal limbo? The issue for which Chris Christie is under fire happened for several days 6 months ago and concerns one bridge linking New York and New Jersey. Okay, it it is the busiest bridge in the land. But the real reason that this story’s given so much prominence is that it could discredit a likely GOP presidential candidate and MSNBC is the liberal station. (So they spend all their time bashing Republicans and never focusing on Democrats’ many shortcomings.) Regardless of how brilliant Rhodes scholar Rachel Maddow is, MSNBC's coverage is blowing this out of proportion just like it's rival station Fox News does Benghazi. MSNBC is now advancing a "Rachel Maddow theory,” which suggests that the New Jersey Gov. was retaliating not against Fort Lee mayor, but rather against the Democratic leader of the New Jersey Senate for helping to squash one of Christie's judicial nominees. Not a bad theory, but I can't believe some of the schlock masquerading as news that I've heard from other MSNBC broadcasters. For example: Bridget Ann Kelly is the Christie deputy executive who’s now been fired for sending the e-mail directing David Wildstein to initiate the traffic snarl.s Chris Matthews actually mentioned his own Irish heritage as a reason that he couldn't wait to hear Bridget's testimony, as if he had a hard time believing that there was such thing an Irish crook. Malarkey, my good fool!

Matthews went on to declare his love for Africa and threw the segment to his wife (???) who mentioned that tourism is an essential part of these dirt-poor countries. And by the way, they just happened to let it slip that she worked for the Marriott hotel chain. And while on the subject of newscasters saying inappropriate things, is anyone else sick of them making sports references? I have absolutely no idea what you're referring to ever. Besides, Anderson Cooper is gay news anchor but you don't see him quoting lines from Mommie Dearest or voguing on the air. You may see him doing that in bathhouses, but not on the national news. 

I'm no fan of any Republican, much less Chris Christie. But we do have to remember one thing: this scandal may not hurt his chances in a presidential run too awfully much. Democrats already despise him. But republican voters may not care that much that a bullying governor puts the hammer down on a progressive democratic district in his state. Not that many GOP political figures sprung to Christie's defense, although Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said that he didn't think bullying would play well amongst Southern voters. I'm not sure if Graham is referencing fine Southern manners or if he's just more sensitive since he is clearly transitioning into a woman in order to marry John McCain.

After his initial criticism, Lindsey did tweet that he felt Christie has held his own during the two hour press conference. I rarely agree with Miss Graham, but on the surface, it was a compelling performance in that press room. I also agree with the MSNBC anchor who noted that if you weren't familiar with the details of the case, your likely impression of Christie would be favorable. He did SEEM both ashamed and apologetic. But if you dig just a little deeper, you’d be forced to conclude that Christie’s explanation that he fired the employees  linked to this without even questioning them was absurd. If your own employees had mapped out a scheme this hateful, wouldn't you at least want to ask them "“Who were you taking orders from?”The only reason he wouldn't need to ask about their motives is that he knew exactly who they were taking orders from–from him!

I do hope they link the governor directly to this monkey business. The reason? I'm scared of him. Even though his policies didn’t poll well in NJ, Christie himself did. People like a politician who is direct. Or even one who seems direct. It’s the quality of a leader. Let's not forget that voters are often voting against something when voting for something. Clinton was a somewhat socially progressive, likable guy who ushered in a huge budget surplus despite having loose morals. In contrast, George W. Bush was a fundamentalist conservative whose “Don't mess with Texas" attitude appealed to rednecks. By the time the 2016 elections roll around, We will have had eight years of Obama, who could be described as a liberal, diplomatic, professorial, sometimes wishy-washy, elite statesman promising change that he didn't deliver most of. So the electorate may be in the mood for a straight talking, efficient, compelling man of action who gets the job done—even if that involves a few underhanded tactics. A man like Chris Christie. Frankly, I was amazed at how well the New Jersey Gov. handled himself in that press conference. He was doing damage control yet he almost seemed to be turning his hot seat into a spotlight to showcase his abilities. Many voters don't mind a bully, whose bull-headed positions may reflect their own insensitive view of politics. I grew up in Tennessee and while I had no interest in politics then, I couldn't help but notice the many times I’d hear “Kill ‘em all and sort ‘em out later” as a foreign policy mantra against Iran or anyone else who messed with us. I guess I just assumed that some of us had evolved by the time of the Iraq war, so I was rather shocked to see a bumper sticker in suburban Philadelphia circa 2005 proclaiming “Nuke their ass and take their gas!” Americans like to imagine that they’re Christian, but there are some evil mofo’s out there. Think about it. We absolutely love mafia-based entertainment in which illegal, below the belt tactics are the bulk of the plot. And who loves The Sopranos, The Godfather and any other film starring Al Pacino the most? Straight guys. For some reason, straight, working class white guys were the biggest voting block decides Republicans that Obama inexplicably never appealed to, even the policies he campaigned on would have helped their more than any Republican candidates would. So to conclude with a loathsome sports analogy, Christie maybe down for the count, but authorities will need to unearth A lot more evidence tying him directly to this scandal before you can count him out in 2016.