By far the biggest news over the past 24 hours has been that of Chris Christie and emails tying one of his closest aides to the ordering of lane closures on the heavily trafficked George Washington Bridge as a form of political payback against a Democratic mayor that refused to endorse Chrsitie.
There has been a lot of justified outrage over this, from both the left and right. Screwing with traffic is serious business. It not only affects commerce, but also affects peoples lives and even their saftey. Reports indicate that the delays caused by the lane closures caused a delay in the life squad responding to a 91 year old patient, who ultimately died. So now we have a scandal that can even be tied to death.
I was first glad to see that the right took off the partisan blinders in condemning Christie, regardless of if he was involved or not. After all, this is a very serious scandal and one that must be answered. But not everyone on the right is doing so. Take right wing blogger Dan Riehl, blogging at Breitbart. Following the news that New Jersey State Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, a Democrat, said she could see criminal charges stemming from this, Riehl has decided to take this as a reason why bi-partisanship is a very bad thing:
Yet, it was only yesterday Christie was heralding his state’s passage of the DREAM Act as a supreme act of bi-partisanship.
Today, not only can you say goodbye to that high-minded notion, given today’s events Christie looks incredibly foolish, if not like just another disingenuous panderer.
In fact, Christie has been beating the drum of inter-party cooperation and bi-partisanship not only in NJ, but also as what’s required in Washington, D.C. as the entire rationale for any potential national candidacy. I and others have been saying that he’s not only wrong, it’s incredibly naive to argue for more cooperation in Washington because that mindset only grows Washington at a time when it’s incredibly unpopular. It’s a terrible rationale for any potential 2016 GOP nominee.
Here we are a little over a week into the new year and we already got a candidate for one of the dumbest blog posts on the entire internet. Commerce was disrupted. People were made late to work, and may have even possible lost jobs. A 91 year old woman is dead. And why? For a little political payback. To any normal American this would seem about as criminal as it can get, but to Riehl it’s an example of why working with the other side is bad.
To say making this sort of connection is a stretch is an understatement. Christie has been able to work with Democrats in his state to achieve consensus that the majority of his residents support. The only people who would be against that is the most partisan of all people, the small majorities in our society that feel its their way or the highway. Our country is already highly polarized, but to people like Riehl that isn’t enough. Perhaps its because Riehl is so far to the right that any notion of liberal or even moderate achievements is acceptable. Or perhaps its because Riehl is a site owner, struggling to survive in this new economy and depends upon other like minded people to read his partisan tabloid trash in order to keep the lights on.
Whatever the reason, if what Riehl is saying is to be considered valid, then the biggest victims in Christie’s bi-partisanship is the Democrats. They were the ones duped into believing Christie was about unity, while his administration was engaged in one of the biggest forms of division through intimidation our nation has seen in a generation.