Thursday, January 9, 2014

Bully Pulpit

There have been stories floating around for years about Chris Christie bullying those he works with to get his way. While he is certainly a unique figure in the spotlight of American politics, and seems to be his own man in many ways, a new report threatens to discredit Christie in his home state and nationwide.

The report is regarding a large number of emails, text messages, and other documents that were released regarding an investigation into lane closures on the George Washington Bridge back in September. While officials for the New York and New Jersey Port Authority insisted at the time that the lane closures were part of a traffic study, the new documents reveal that the closures were planned, and apparently designed to target the mayor of Fort Lee, NJ.

The reason for the retaliation appears to be that the mayor did not endorese Mr. Christie in his reelection campaign. While Christie maintains that he knew nothing about this, a number of his top aides and advisors were clearly involved, and made no secret of their intentions or rationale.

Now, bully politics has been around forever. It's nothing new. But that doesn't make it right. These lane closures backed up traffic for hours, compromised at least four emergency situations, including the search for a missing child. That kind of thing, simply for political payback, is beyond ridiculous. It's dangerous, immature, immoral, and wrong.

I hope that Christie apologizes for his people, even if he had nothing to do with this (which, to me, seems unlikely). I don't know how the nation at large will respond to this, or how this will affect his standing in the GOP.

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