A sarcastic prediction that Christie won’t survive scandal


Robert Kuttner offers a reading of the POLITICAL TEA LEAVES:

Let me go out on a limb here. Chris Christie will not run for president, and he is very likely not to serve out his term as governor of New Jersey.

The reason is very simple. Given everything we know about Christie’s style of governing, it is inconceivable that he did not know what his underlings were up to.

His story that he was somehow like the piano player in the whorehouse just does not stand up. Even in New Jersey.

This is a man who is an obsessive micro-manager, as well as a vindictive bully. Does any serious person think that he would tolerate senior people who would pull a caper like blockading the George Washington Bridge without keeping the boss informed? Such a person would never have been hired.

Does any serious person believe that his staff did would keep the governor in the dark about any ploy involving big-time political retribution and public-relations risks? Does any serious person think that Christie’s attitude after the bridge blockade made headline news was indifference, except for the purpose of what was known in the Nixon era as “plausible deniability?”

Because there is no proof of his hands-on involvement — yet — much of the press and nearly all of the Republican Party has been content to play along with Christie’s game of The Staff Did It. The criticism has been directed at his failure to keep tabs on rogue employees.

Based on Christie’s entire prior pattern of conduct, if we assume that he either instigated the lane closures himself or was kept fully informed of the scheme, then Christie doubled down with an even bigger risk when he solemnly denied knowledge or involvement. If he knew all along, Christie compounded a major blunder with an outright lie.

It’s a high-stakes game. But if Christie went to great pains to keep his fingerprints off the entire affair, why do we think that his cover story won’t stick?

Mainly because there is no honor among thieves. If you assume that this is one big cover-up, then several people who lost well paying jobs and who have been willing to take the fall for their boss must have been given big incentives to stick to the story. Some friend of a friend of a friend, after a decent interval, must have committed to a well-compensated job or consulting gig, or something else to purchase their silence.

The only problem is that several civil and criminal investigations are underway, armed with subpoena power. It’s hard to believe that a cover-up with benefits would not unravel. Prosecutors can squeeze small fry with all manner of threats. In a scheme such as this one, the odds are overwhelming that sooner or later investigators will find some underling who decides that he’d rather rat out the boss than go to jail.

Of course, it’s still possible that Christie will survive, and that everyone will stick to the story that the governor knew nothing and was not even curious after the fact. It’s possible that Christie will go on to win the Republican nomination for president.

It’s also possible that the missing traffic study will turn up and that global climate change is God’s revenge against homosexuals.

If Christie survives this — if he is not impeached, or forced to resign, or otherwise disgraced — then American democracy is even more damaged than it appears.




  1. thehereandnow1

    Thank goodness liberals like yourself Pat are putting such tremendous time and energy into this issue. We should all feel happy and blessed (according to Robert by a non-existent higher power) that the major news outlets are devoting all their time and effort to this. This is a game changer. It is so much more important than say an attack by terrorists on a U.S. embassy which was claimed by the leaders of this country to be solely based on a 9 minute YouTube video. And the 1 person that died which is being claimed that the traffic tie-up on the bridge was the contributing factor is way more important than the U.S. ambassador who was murdered and whose body was paraded through the streets, or the Navy SEALS also murdered that evening. And it is much, much more important to devote all time and resources investigating and making assumptions as what the governor knew or did not know (the Democrat heading the investigation in New Jersey has already said Christie is lying before he even began investigating) than it is investigating a commander-in-chief who was made aware of the embassy attack as it was happening and did absolutely nothing about it, not even bothering to stick around as the crisis was happening.

    Thank goodness the mainstream news media in this country has their priorities straight. Hopefully they can come up with some fake claims quick so they can go back to their usual routines of drooling over anything Kardashian, wonder who Miley’s twerking on next, and being blind cheerleaders to a leader who has no idea how to lead and is doing a crappy job.

  2. hereandnow: As usual, you don’t know what you’re talking about, which is probably why you don”t have the guts to use your real name.

    When have the nightly newscasts on the major networks ever made much of a fuss about the Kardashians or Miley Cyrus?

  3. hereandnow: I think the intellectual high point of the 128 comments you’ve submitted here was when you declared that “the Theory of Evolution is flawed” and confused “survival of the fittest” with human strength and fitness.

    That nonsense made it clear to me that you’re not a very bright guy. It seems that you’ll buy into any pile of crap you glean from the right-wing noise machine.

    Again, it’s no wonder that you hide behind an alias.

  4. Whoa, whoa, whoa, thehereandnow1! Are you trying to silence the Pat or the media on the Christie scandal? How dare you attack someone for saying something you don’t want to hear! That kind of abhorrent behavior is reserved for liberals only! You clearly hate freedom and have no respect for free speech!

    Still waiting on some evidence from you, by the way. Any evidence at all. For anything you claim.

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