Before I begin, let me be clear: I do not approve of what Chris Christie’s aides did, and if Christie knew about the unnecessary lane restrictions on the George Washington Bridge, he is guilty of abusing his office; that is, using the public office, that the voters trusted him with, for personal gain. In adddition, I think that from the perspective of political strategy, ‘black ops’ capers such as this are too clever by a half: way too much downside (cratered presidential run) for only a limited upside (the punishment of an obscure mayor nobody outside his own town has even heard of).
Having got my disclaimers out of the way, I nevertheless think Christie is being given a bum deal by the media. Look at what the Mainstream Media does not consider a big deal: During the last US government shutdown, it was widely known that the Obama administration had unnecessarily shut down access to public monuments in order to make the government shutdown as painful as possible. Even though no money at all was saved by fencing off Mount Rushmore or the World War II Memorial in Washington, the MSM was silent. As this is an equivalent situation to Christie’s traffic woes, consistency demands that if Christie must suffer for his traffic jam, Obama should suffer exactly the same way.
An even worse abuse of public trust by the Obama administration was when it ordered the IRS to target its political opponents en mass. This behaviour not only calls into question the 2012 federal election results, but also calls into question the independence and impartiality of the IRS (both critical qualities when the government requires widespread voluntary compliance to collect most of its taxes).
Another example that dwarfs bridge-gate in terms of moral turpitude is Fast and Furious, where Eric Holder’s ATF forced gun dealers to sell weapons to Mexican drug cartels, guns that have been used to kill hundreds of Mexicans and at least two federal agents. If Christie were forced from office for bridge-gate, Holder should be thrown in jail for Fast and Furious. But to date, the MSM has been mostly silent.
A further example of the MSM’s double standard is its reticence in the Benghazi affair. There are credible rumours that the ambassador and the three other casualties at the Benghazi consulate were left to wither on the vine because a military rescue force was vetoed by either the State Department or the White House. If this is what in fact had happened, then Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions should be thrown onto the dung-heap of history, long before Chris Christie is similarly cast aside.
One of Ann Coulter’s best observations is that the left is so much more effective than the right because it fights for its champions when they get into trouble and we don’t. They circle the wagons while we throw our black sheep to the wolves. While it may be too much to defend Chris Christie (if he in fact did order those lane restrictions), it is nevertheless incumbent on conservatives to insist that public officials with a D behind their name be held up to the same standards – and to be meted out a punishment proportionate to their crimes.