I'm no lawyer, but it seems to me these people ought to be brought up on charges.
Well, I guess this is one way to boost your national name recognition...
We will, of course, be hearing more and more about Chris Christie and the George Washington Bridge scandal for weeks to come. Credit to The Record for (apparently) breaking the story, and screwing up what was once considered Christie's inevitable march to the Republican presidential nomination.
But let's get one thing clear:
Yes, what Christie's staffers did was awful, and far from trivial. Closing traffic lanes for political retribution is not only petty and a serious abuse of power; it's dismissive of the many commuters who live in Jersey and were inconvenienced by a small, mean gesture. It's also incredibly dangerous: I don't think we can say for sure that no one was delayed in getting first-responder care due to this malicious and unthinking act. Thank the lord there wasn't a serious, widespread emergency in Fort Lee or the surrounding areas during this stupid stunt.
However: this is not the worst thing Chris Christie has done in four years of disservice to the citizens of New Jersey:
- Christie has recklessly put the state on a path toward a fiscal meltdown by selling his pension "reforms" -- which were, in reality, nothing more than breaking promises to public workers -- as a real budgetary solution. Wall Street doesn't believe his snake oil sales pitch, and neither should anyone else.
- Christie has given away an astonishing amount of tax gifts to corporations, but job growth here has been anemic, at best (can you live with that sentence, Politifact?).
- Christie has consistently underfunded schools, while his secretive Schools Development Authority has dragged its feet and allowed students in Trenton, Paterson, Newark and elsewhere to attend crumbling, disgusting schools.
- Christie has been at the forefront of privatizing government functions, evidenced by the scandal surrounding his privatization of prisons and his charter school expansion plans, which are bringing in operators who grew fat in other states.
- Christie has been a one-man environmental wrecking crew.
- Christie shamelessly used Sandy to build his own brand while alienating many of the storm's victims with his mediocre leadership.
- A personal one: Christie has waged a war on the teaching profession so shameful that I wonder if gifted young people will ever again consider a career in education within our state.
I could go on; add your own here if you'd like. Again, those traffic jams on the GWB were no joke.
But the sins of Chris Christie are not limited to Fort Lee. This is a man who has done real damage to this state; heaven help us if he ever gets into the White House. After all, it's well worth remembering where the man got his start.
America, consider yourself warned.