I find myself in the uncomfortable position of seeming to be the only Republican coming to the defense of Gov. Christie, except Rudy Giuliani. At the risk of being named an unindicted co-conspirator, here are a few further thoughts on the high drama that is engulfing the great state of New Jersey.
Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Christie?
My progressive friends this past week have been watching excepts of the historic “Chris Faces the Music” press conference last week (Jan. 8, 2014), re-run as often as the commercials interrupt the news, clip by clip, like the Zapruder Tapes. It was as if they were expecting that every time the governor denied knowing anything about the GWB lane closures, his nose would grow longer, the so-called Pinocchio Effect in jurisprudence. By Day Six of the scandal that may be lowering the nation’s respect for the purity of politics in the Garden State, usually open-minded liberal friends were looking forward to a nightly fix of some even further incriminating evidence.
I can appreciate where they are coming from. As everybody knows, a man is guilty until proven innocent, a basic tenet of cable news network coverage.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying he’s not guilty.
My private opinion —off the record, and the author is requesting anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the public on the subject — is that it is unfathomable that a man who is well known to run a tight ship did not know what is going on under his nose. It would be as unlikely as Gov. Corzine not knowing that the State trooper was driving over the speed limit to get his honor to some social event before the crash. Or Gov. McGreevy didn’t know he was appointing some alleged under-qualified boy friend to a state job.
It’s just that I am an old fashioned fogy enough to wait for all the true facts to be gathered, presumably the object of the two legislative committees that are flooding the air with subpoenas, like acid rain over the Turnpike at Exit 12. In the meanwhile, I have been fascinated by the passion some of the cable news networks have brought to their coverage, even before the usual suspects have been rounded up by subpoena.
MSNBC — which prides itself on being the alternative to the unfair, unbalanced journalism of Fox News — has been the leader in treating the case as adjucated, having found the governor guilty as uncharged, impeached, and on his way to serving time in Rahway’s “Scared Straight” educational prison program.
Last Saturday afternoon (Jan. 11, 2014), the network spent five hours interviewing people who hate Christie. Five hours! It now seems that anybody with an axe to grind, no matter how unconfirmed, anecdotal, or outlandish, has found a platform to hate Christie.
Now I can understand the governor has a lot of enemies. In his two terms as a Federal prosecutor, he put dozens of Democratic mayors, councilmen, and other trusted public servants in prison for taking bribes from developers and other entrepreneurs. I wonder how much money is going to be flowing back from the Cayman Islands to finance the campaign to find the governor as guilty as possible.
The lawyered up legislative committees in Trenton will be going through the statutes to see if he broke any law, impeding the movement of hay wagons on public roads in the 1850’s. They will blame flying saucers on him before it’s all over.
Not since Bernardo Gui, the Inquisitor of Toulouse against the Albigenses between 1307 and 1323 will we be seeing such intensive fact-finding sessions.
The way it worked, if my history is correct: prosecutors asked some one to confess. They kept asking while the alleged went through the usual thumbscrews and wrack, while bones and backs were broken, and eyes gouged and other traditional forms of questioning. Inquisitor Gui kept at it until the alleged confessed. Then they first would burn him at the stake. That would make great television today.
Is the governor guilty will be a regular feature on TV news, like the weather and sports, until 2016, I predict?
I can also understand why the Democrats at the national level are so eager not to give the governor the presumption of innocence, even if they have to find him guilty of not paying a ticket for jay walking.
They fear Christie.
What are they afraid of? Well, he’s very popular with voters in both parties: 60% voted for him in New Jersey (where 25% are Republican). He could not only carry Republican red states, but Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa. It could be a sweep like Reagan.
Christie – the GOP candidate in 2016? Are they kidding?
When they already have those stalwarts Michelle Bachmann, the fruitcake, Herman (999) Cane; Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, and Newt Gingrich in their running shoes. Plus Rand Paul, who is out there where the busses don’t run. Not to mention Sen. Ted Cruz, the one who has to wear an aluminum foil cap on his head. The GOP is suicidal enough to pick anyone of those other than that leftist, Christie.
It was a Democrat who first said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.’ Actually, that’s quite a lot in politics today.
Jan. 17, 2014