4 Facts About Chris Christie and Bridgeghazigate!

Our story thus far: Back in September, lanes on the George Washington Bridge, which links New York City with New Jersey, were closed for no apparent reason. It turns out that the lanes were closed on the orders of staffers for Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.), who did it to punish the mayor of Ft. Lee for not supporting their boss in his easy bid for re-election.

The mind boggles for all sorts of reasons, none more obvious than this: How in the hell does freezing traffic for hours and miles for schoolchildren, truckers, and commuters punish a mayor? Among many other things, this revenge plan makes no fucking sense at all. As a proud New Jersey native, I've gotta say that this is something you'd expect from idiot Long Islanders, not whip-smart Garden Staters.

Here are four things to remember about Bridgeghazigate.

1. This is a big frickin' deal, but ultimately only for the NYC metro crowd. If you're familiar with the greater NYC metro area, you know what chronic traffic fatigue does to a person. It makes them ornery, annoyed, and one missed light away from snapping into a rage worthy of Tony Soprano. The idea that anyone anywhere would do anything to make traffic worse is virtually inconceivable. Having said that, even for most of New Jersey, much less the rest of the country, could give a rat's ass. I mean, everyone hates New Yorkers and the Jersey folk dependent for work and meaning on the Big Apple. I guarantee you that people below, say, Interstate 195, which bisects the state between Trenton and Belmar, mostly laughed at the traffic jam. Whadda they expect, living near NY?

2. It shows that Gov. Christie is surrounded by total idiots. As of this moment, there's no evidence showing that Chris Christie had direct or even subsequent knowledge of what the hell was going on. Still, that he would be working with people capable of such ill-conceived plans reflects extremely poorly on him. Given his press conference yesterday - itself a deeply depressing spectacle that showed the governor to be a self-absorbed baby - there's no wiggle room going forward: If it comes out that he knew about Bridgeghazigate and/or signed off on it, he might be moving into a bachelor pad with reviled former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey.

3. This will have next to no effect on Christie's run for the GOP nomination. 

Assuming that nothing more surfaces about Christie's involvement, this episode will have absolutely zero impact on whether Christie ultimately wins the Republican nomination for president in 2016. This is the classic case of a mountain being made out of a molehill and no one will give a good goddamn about this by the end of the month, much less 2016. It may weaken Christie's hand as governor a bit, but that's about it. And for god's sake, it did drown out much of the fallout of former Defense Secretary Bob Gate's scathing indictment of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. That's a far more important story, both now and in terms of the future.

4. Christie's record in New Jersey will be the real issue - and the real problem - in his run for the GOP nomination. Christie has proposed and signed off on budgets that have increased spending every year he's been in office (his budgets start FY2011; see page 71). He is a classic big-spending Republican who absolutely loves to shower tax breaks on favored corporate citizens, even when the projects they are pursuing have failed any sort of market test. If he's ultimately weak on the sort of fiscal rectitude that the GOP faithful will be looking for in a president, he's also weak-kneed on social issues in a way that will frustrate both social cons and moderates. He refused to come out in favor of (or against!) marriage equality, instead pushing for a statewide vote on the matter. He's bad on medical marijuana (see video below) and, as a former prosecutor, he's even worse on recreational pot. When it comes to foreign policy, he's essentially a cipher who seems willing to play along with a hawkish status quo. Again, that may win him some primary votes among GOP voters but that will also cost him dearly among the growing non-interventionists in the party of Lincoln and not go over terribly well with a general electorate that will be even more war-weary two years from now.

Watch "'Don't Let My Daughter Die, Governor!': Chris Christie vs. Medical Marijuana":

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  • The Knarf Yenrab||

    proud New Jersey native

    Not every day that you see a black swan.

  • ||

    Bridgeghazigate

    WTF?!?!

    Its Bridgegazizillagate...we had a vote on this.

  • Dweebston||

    A vote? What did we tell you about voting?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Molehill? No, I don't agree. If he was responsible for it, he's impeachable. If it happened under his watch and was committed by senior staffers, he's not someone anyone is going to feel comfortable with in the White House.

    Where I do agree is that if he can't be directly connected to the scandal, he might be able to get out of it if a large number of Republicans already didn't like him.

    He's toast. Then again, I never thought he'd win the nomination in the first place.

  • Pelosi's Rabbit||

    I agree. He's not going to have the advantage of a media carrying water for him.

  • Tony||

    Awwwwwwwww

  • tarran||

    As of this moment, there's no evidence showing that Chris Christie had direct or even subsequent knowledge of what the hell was going on.

    These guys were so brazen because they probably did it before.

    I Chris Christie hadn't signed off on it, the staff must have been certain he would approve; implying that he had approved of similar dick moves in the past.

    And given that the chaos was on the news, and he wasn't grandstanding about it, the notion that he didn't know is risible. Perhaps comrade Stalin didn't know about the famine int he Ukraine either!

    And, I am pretty certain it will kill him in the primaries... most or the Republicans I know here in MA are fucking fed up with the lawlessness of the Obama admin, and are livid that Christie is cut from the same mold.

    My guess is that he will be ending his campaign before he even gets to Super Tuesday. He has a very good chance of dying in New Hampshire.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's not impossible he could be forced to resign over this. If that happens, he's not even going to be able to run for the White House.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    He could fill out the paperwork. Not that it would matter.

  • KPres||

    "most or the Republicans I know here in MA are fucking fed up with the lawlessness of the Obama admin, and are livid that Christie is cut from the same mold."

    What is that, like 8 people? And who else are they going to pick, a Texan like Ted Cruz?

    I don't think it effects him. He owns the Northeast by default, and nobody outside there cares that a bunch of New Yorkers got stuck in traffic (they probably take pleasure in it, actually).

  • prolefeed||

    I don't think it effects him. He owns the Northeast by default

    Hardly. The Northeast from Maryland on up has been owned by Democrats since the 2000 election, when NH was the only Red state, and every state in the NE has gone Team Blue since.

    Maybe Christie could put NJ in play in the NE, but that's about it.

  • wwhorton||

    Whoa, there, buddy. I'm a Marylander for my sins; we're the mid-Atlantic. Maryland's the Northeast like Idaho is the Pacific Northwest. We're in the same block as Virginia, New Jersey (god help us), Delaware, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and very, very occasionally New York and North Carolina.

  • RandomJackass||

    Nick - you're being generous on point #1. People below Route 78 (which cuts across Newark) probably didn't give a crap either. The hillbillies all the way down by 195 probably couldn't even find North Jersey on a map if you showed it to them. They don't even speak the same friggin language.

  • ||

    Would anyone outside of Bergen County have cared, really? Maybe Hudson/Essex/Passaic if the jam affected the tunnel crossings.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    Include Morris and Somerset in that list.

    And, Fuck you to all the Jersey haters.

    While Jersey shares many of the shitty qualities of other blue states, it is in large part a beautiful place with some pretty awesome people.

    I'm a native of St. Paul, MN but have lived and mostly enjoyed Jersey for 10 years.

  • wwhorton||

    I think when most people think of New Jersey, they think of the NYC metro and Jersey Shore. I know I'm guilty of that. People have told me stories about the majority of New Jersey being nice, terrible accent-free, and even rural, although I've never witnessed it firsthand.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    I think he's fat.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's just TV.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Yeah, the camera adds like 10 pounds.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Figure he's what, 180, maybe?

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    175

  • Agammamon||

    Unfortunately, he's only 5 foot tall.

  • Entropy Void||

    Sir Mix-a-lot approves.

  • Michael Price||

  • SIV||

  • Pro Libertate||

    What, was Rand Paul disappeared or something?

  • SIV||

    He's off burning witches with Palin and Cruz.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Well, if a few witches have to be burned to rein in our government, so be it.

  • Agammamon||

    The MSM isn't going to give anymore time to a good candidate for the GOP than they absolutely have to. Unless Rand is screwing up they won't cover him because he's not a 'legitimate' candidate. Instead they'll cover Trump - because, yeah, he's got a chance.

  • Byte Me||

    I will settle for no less than a Paul/Amash ticket.

  • Jayburd||

    Sheesh, it was the jacket talking.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    ...this episode will have absolutely zero impact on whether Christie ultimately wins the Republican nomination for president in 2016.

    WRONG. After eight years of an administration that bullied and worked hard to marginalize opposing viewpoints, not many will be happy to jump back into another one. At least not unless there are many other attractive qualities in the candidate. And there aren't here.

    Anyway, he's not making it through the primaries. In the video era, people want palatable candidate. And GOP voters want someone who didn't embrace Obama days before the last presidential election.

  • ||

    And let's face it, the American populace doesn't like fat people. Look at poor Louie Anderson's career.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I was trying to be delicate when I said palatable. Although my BMI never rose above 21, I am very sensitive to the sensibilities of you fatties.

  • The Last American Hero||

    ...and yet the Stupid Party will still nominate him in 2016.

  • SIV||

    They'll be committing suicide if they do.

  • Pro Libertate||

    That wasn't going to happen before the scandal. I'm surprised that people don't get how many GOP voters don't like this guy already. No way.

  • prolefeed||

    I saw exactly one Christie bumper sticker on a recent 11,000 mile road trip through about 40 states and none since, including driving from Philly thru Jersey to NY. That's gotta be tens of thousands of cars I saw.

    One. Bumper. Sticker.

  • SIV||

    Election's not for almost 3 years.

  • SIV||

    If Christie is the nominee I bet he'd lose solid red Southern states in the general. He wouldn't carry Jersey either.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Privatize the bridge.

  • JWatts||

    "This is the classic case of a mountain being made out of a molehill and no one will give a good goddamn about this by the end of the month, much less 2016."

    I tend to agree that this isn't really that big a news story.

    However, the media loves Obama and generally they don't like Republicans. This story tarnishes a Republican and it draws attention away from the Obamacare disaster. So I expect it to be heavily aired for a long time.

    "In less than 24 hours, the big three networks have devoted 17 times more coverage to a traffic scandal involving Chris Christie than they've allowed in the last six months to Barack Obama's Internal Revenue Service controversy. Since the story broke on Wednesday that aides to the New Jersey governor punished a local mayor's lack of endorsement with a massive traffic jam, ABC, CBS and NBC have responded with 34 minutes and 28 seconds of coverage. Since July 1, these same networks managed a scant two minutes and eight seconds for the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups."

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/s.....st-six-mon

    It wouldn't surprise me if the source exaggerates the ratio, but none-the-less, the IRS scandal is truly appalling and the current story is essentially a local scandal. However, I expect to see journalists bringing this story up repeatedly in the 6 weeks prior to the 2014 elections.

  • ||

    Well, they were just waiting for some Republican to do something stupid, or have something stupid they did come out. It's a damn good way to cover for Obama, and they never have to wait long.

  • andarm16||

    "However, the media loves Obama and generally they don't like Republicans. This story tarnishes a Republican and it draws attention away from the Obamacare disaster. So I expect it to be heavily aired for a long time."

    The Serious Media / Establishment Republicans need Christie or a Christie like substitute. They need to have a Rockefeller Republican to paint as the golden boy of the Republican Primary to counter any grassroots agitation. This will get a bit of play, and then it will go away, at least till the general election.

  • Number 7||

    4 facts?

    1 is opinion, 3 is speculation and and 4 is not even about the bridge closing.

  • gaoxiaen||

    I heard that the bridge had to close a few lanes because Christie was walking across it and it took him a month.

  • SusanM||

    This is giving me flashbacks to the "Ron Paul Report". Think about it a politician who's at the center of a controversy. There's no definitive proof he actually did anything. He denies it and blames it on others but that only brings up the questions of why he would have those others around him and what else they've been up to - and why isn't he keeping a close eye on that stuff.

  • setTHEline||

    Except Christie is an establishment darling, so why would the MSM be trying to burn him this early in the game?

  • SusanM||

    He lost the socons by giving up on SSM, I think. Ans saying something nice about Obama probably hurt him too.

    Christie may be "establishment" but he's in the ghetto end of it. He's still a blue-collar Jersey machine politico and not really part of the right-wing intelligentsia. They may have thought him a good token VP pick but nothing else.

  • Paul Pot||

    Criminal conspiracy.
    Prosecution essential.

  • Vesparado||

    1,3 and 4 sound more like opinions than facts ...

  • RishJoMo||

    The only thing Christie cares about is where the next platter of cheeseburgers is coming from!

    www.AnonGlobal.tk

  • Michael Hihn||

    How can Christie POSSIBLY be any worse on social issues than Rand and Ron Paul, Ted Cruz and other leaders of the so-called libertarian era ...

  • SIV||

    He is worse on "social issues".

  • Michael Hihn||

    Do your homework.

  • Paul.||

    The idea that anyone anywhere would do anything to make traffic worse is virtually inconceivable.

    Welcome to the progressive, enlightened western states where transportation officials in concert with busybody politicians have been doing just that for a couple of decades, and publicly declaring it.

    "The goal, really, is to frustrate drivers out of their cars and into public transportation," sayeth the western urban planners who created HOV lanes they knew few would use with the explicit goal to gunk up traffic in the remaining few lanes, all with the ultimate purpose in... nudging us towards light rail and/or buses when we finally, inevitably got sick of sitting in traffic.

  • 4tehsnowflakes||

    Down with Christie and abuse of power and all, but the dig at McGreevy is mean-spirited and seems gratuitous. McGreevy is still a public figure and not our kind of politician either, but the "bachelor" crack seems off.

  • CGeary44||

    I gotta think it will impact his prospects for the nomination. Were the GOP to pick him, and THEN a smoking gun emerges, it's election over, because then's he's not only a petty bully but a bald-faced liar to boot. And if I were more of a black helicopters kind of guy, I would suspect that any media-type who found such a smoking gun would just LOVE to hold it until the day after the convention.

  • On The Road To Mandalay||

    The possibility that this arrogant tub of lard could become President of the United States of America is proof positive that evolution is not a process of improvement for the species. God help us if this A Hole gets in the White House. My God!!!

  • nikalseyn||

    "this revenge plan makes no fucking sense at all."

    What's with the need for profanity in an article which purports to be serious? Kinda stupid, I think---and unprofessional.

  • BLEEDINELL||

    Christie just got Herman Cained.

  • XM||

    The daughter of the sick woman who supposedly died because the bridge closure (ambulance was stuck in the bridge) said she was pretty dead at home. The mayor who was targeted is also accepting Christie's story for now.

    Someone's trying to sue him because he got into work late, but he'll probably settle out of court.

    Gillespe is perceptive, if nothing else. The shutdown and sequestration drama lasted like a month. No one in the west side of the nation really cared about monument closures. This will be old news by the end of the month, or by Valentine's day.

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