In Defense of Chris Christie
For the few of you that haven’t heard, Chris Christie is in some deep trouble. Apparently, he’s accused of retaliating against the mayor of Fort Lee who didn’t endorse him in the last election by having caused a traffic jam in his town back in September. But while many respectable news sources have immediately blamed the Governor, asserting that he knew about this scandal all along, I think they are rushing to point the finger. As Chris Christie is a levelheaded man of respect, who would never be so brash or arrogant, I refuse to believe that he had anything to do with this mess!
Let’s look at the facts, which fail to suggest any connection between Christie and the decision to close the ramps to the George Washington Bridge. Sure, the decision was made by his Deputy Chief of Staff, but it’s not like it was his real Chief of Staff who did it! Blaming him for what the Deputy Chief of Staff did, or trying to say that he should have known what she was up to, is ridiculous. Everyone knows the Deputy Chief of Staff is lower on the totem pole than an intern! And, of course, just because she decided to have the bridge closed, doesn’t mean that the Port Authority that manages the bridge had to do it. I mean, it takes two to tango. And sure, just because the guy in charge of the New Jersey side of the Port Authority just happened to be an old high school friend of Mr. Christie doesn’t mean anything either. What reason would he have to protect someone he’s known most of his life and actually appointed him to his job?
See, these claims are ridiculous!
Here’s another point. Christie centered his two gubernatorial races on his history as a U.S. Attorney and the chief federal law enforcement officer in New Jersey, where his main priority was battling political corruption. If there was the slightest bit of corruption going on in his own office, as his opponents have asserted, then surely he would be able to detect it and stop it right away! Unless of course, he really did know about everything the whole time and was merely testing residents of New Jersey to see if they would catch on. Otherwise, his whole career leading up to his governorship would be an entire joke! But this dignified man would never joke about something as serious as this.
Even more, what would Christie even have to gain by punishing the Democratic mayor of a town of only 35,000 people? I think these allegations would be more likely to be true if it was a Republican who refused to endorse him. After all, with Christie’s considerable lead over his opponent, his reelection was pretty much guaranteed. So why on earth would he and his staff need to make threats to get this guy’s endorsement and actually follow through on them when he didn’t obey? You’d have to be a bunch of serious egotistical maniacs to overlook the very concept of democracy and use scare tactics to get someone to support your political ideals. Why that only happens in communist countries, and we all know how Christie and his Republican brethren would never do anything un-American like that.
Finally, let’s examine Christie’s reasoning for why those ramps to the bridge were closed – it was merely due to some traffic study. While he must have known that closing access lanes to the world’s busiest bridge would cause a lot more traffic than usual, it’s clear that the study was designed to go more in-depth – like how such lane closures would impact school buses taking kids to their first day of school or how much longer it would take emergency vehicles to respond when the whole town is besieged by traffic. Most importantly, this so-called traffic study shines some light on a previously unstudied issue: how a poor decision in Trenton will effect the political career of one of the country’s most prolific and popular governors.