4 Facts About Chris Christie and Bridgeghazigate!

story thus far
: Back in September, lanes on the George
Washington Bridge, which links New York City with New Jersey, were
closed for no apparent reason. It turns out that the lanes were
closed on the orders of staffers for Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.),
who did it to punish the mayor of Ft. Lee for not supporting their
boss in his easy bid for re-election.

The mind boggles for all sorts of reasons, none more obvious
than this: How in the hell does freezing traffic for hours and
miles for schoolchildren, truckers, and commuters punish a
? Among many other things, this revenge plan makes no
fucking sense at all. As a proud New Jersey native, I’ve gotta say
that this is something you’d expect from idiot Long Islanders, not
whip-smart Garden Staters.

Here are four things to remember about Bridgeghazigate.

1. This is a big frickin’ deal, but ultimately only for
the NYC metro crowd.
If you’re familiar with the greater
NYC metro area, you know what chronic traffic fatigue does to a
person. It makes them ornery, annoyed, and one missed light away
from snapping into a rage worthy of Tony Soprano. The idea that
anyone anywhere would do anything to make traffic worse is
virtually inconceivable. Having said that, even for most of New
Jersey, much less the rest of the country, could give a rat’s ass.
I mean, everyone hates New Yorkers and the Jersey folk dependent
for work and meaning on the Big Apple. I guarantee you that people
below, say, Interstate 195, which bisects the state between Trenton
and Belmar, mostly laughed at the traffic jam. Whadda they
expect, living near NY?

2. It shows that Gov. Christie is surrounded by total
As of this moment, there’s no evidence showing
that Chris Christie had direct or even subsequent knowledge of what
the hell was going on. Still, that he would be working with people
capable of such ill-conceived plans reflects extremely poorly on
him. Given his press conference yesterday – itself a deeply
depressing spectacle that showed the governor to be a self-absorbed
baby – there’s no wiggle room going forward: If it comes out that
he knew about Bridgeghazigate and/or signed off on it, he might be
moving into a bachelor pad with reviled former New Jersey Gov. Jim

3. This will have next to no effect on Christie’s
run for the GOP nomination.

Assuming that nothing more surfaces about Christie’s
involvement, this episode will have absolutely zero impact on
whether Christie ultimately wins the Republican nomination for
president in 2016. This is the classic case of a mountain being
made out of a molehill and no one will give a good goddamn about
this by the end of the month, much less 2016. It may weaken
Christie’s hand as governor a bit, but that’s about it. And for
god’s sake, it did drown out much of the fallout of former Defense
Secretary Bob Gate’s scathing indictment of Barack Obama and
Hillary Clinton. That’s a far more important story, both now and in
terms of the future.

4. Christie’s record in New Jersey will be the real
issue – and the real problem – in his run for the GOP
 Christie has proposed and signed off on
budgets that have increased spending every year he’s been in office
budgets start FY2011
; see page 71). He is a classic
big-spending Republican who absolutely loves to
shower tax breaks
on favored corporate citizens, even when the
projects they are pursuing have
failed any sort of market test
. If he’s ultimately weak on the
sort of fiscal rectitude that the GOP faithful will be looking for
in a president, he’s also weak-kneed on social issues in a way that
will frustrate both social cons and moderates. He refused to come
out in favor of (or against!) marriage equality, instead pushing
for a statewide vote on the matter. He’s bad on medical marijuana
(see video below) and, as a former prosecutor, he’s even worse on
recreational pot. When it comes to foreign policy, he’s essentially
a cipher who seems willing to play along with a hawkish status quo.
Again, that may win him some primary votes among GOP voters but
that will also cost him dearly among the growing
non-interventionists in the party of Lincoln and not go over
terribly well with a general electorate that will be even more
war-weary two years from now.

Watch “‘Don’t Let My Daughter Die, Governor!’: Chris
Christie vs. Medical Marijuana”:

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/10/4-facts-about-chris-christie-and-bridgeg

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