A Machine for Crushing Christie’s Enemies

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s aides deliberately induced a
big traffic jam as revenge against a mayor who wouldn’t endorse
him. Christie
denies
┬áthat he was aware they were doing this. Let’s
suppose, just for the sake of argument, that Christie’s telling the
truth. Does that get the governor — and would-be president — off
the hook?

Not necessarily. Marc Ambinder
explains why
, leading off with the portrait of Christie in the
recent book
Double Down
:

You come at the Gov, you ain't gonna miss.Double Down‘s Christie was
megalomaniacal, self-possessed, and obsessed with reciprocity: You
do well by him, and he’ll do well by you. You fundraise without his
permission in New Jersey, and he’ll cut the donors off. Loyalty
trumped all. If Christie perceived you as disloyal, you were out of
his inner circle. That’s in passive voice because Christie would
leave it to his lieutenants to enforce this code of honor….

The fact that Christie’s deputy chief of staff believed it was
morally permissible to cause pain to innocents [by snarling traffic
on the George Washington Bridge] in order to retaliate against a
perceived slight, without seeking his permission, and then refused
to own up to it, tells us something about the culture that Christie
creates around him. She assumed the boss would be okay with what
she did. And so did many other Christie advisers, including his
campaign manager. And since Christie denied having anything to do
with the bridge study, he apparently has fostered a culture where
it’s okay to lie to the boss in order to protect him.

So which do you prefer? The kind of ruthless, Nixonian maniac
who’s willing to screw enormous numbers of people to get revenge on
someone he perceives as disloyal? Or the kind of ruthless, Nixonian
maniac who builds a machine that can do that without ever getting
him personally involved?

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/09/a-machine-for-crushing-christies-enemies
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