I was talking to a friend yesterday who commented how, if anything Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) said at his press conference -- that he knew absolutely nothing about the traffic scandal until the day before -- wasn't true, he's in massive trouble. I replied that there's another way of looking at this. Let's say the governor wasn't involved with the traffic "pay back." Let's say too that officials and members of his staff not only did all this on their own, but didn't say anything to him ever, even when he had meetings to get to the bottom of it, even when his lawyer questioned people. Let's say he's absolutely totally blameless, and what he said was 100% true -- that those under him created this huge disaster and lied to him for half a year.
Now, let's create a totally different perspective.
Let's say there was some huge disastrous scandal caused by appointees of Barack Obama. Some people died. And his deputy chief of staff helped create it for purely spiteful reasons against Republicans. And when Mr. Obama asked his staff about it, no one told him anything. And when his personal lawyer investigated, he was lied to, as well. And for six months, Mr. Obama never asked for emails to get to the bottom of it, and for six months President Obama was lied to by his own staff and own officials.
Now, let's say that was all true, and let's even say that people believed it was all true.
What do you think Republicans would say? What do you think the headlines would be on "Fox News"? What do you think would be the only story that they'd be talking about on "Fox News" 24/7?
I suspect -- and remember, this is under the Best Case Scenario, a scenario where everyone, and most especially even Republicans, believed in Mr. Obama's absolute, total innocence -- I suspect that on the far right there nonetheless would be outrage, uproar, cries of incompetence, irresponsibility, malfeasance, calls for investigations, calls for impeachment, not-so-subtle suggestions of how Black people are gullible and stupid, blunt reminders of how Barack Obama was and remains inexperienced, and how this was the ultimate proof of how he was unfit for office. And they would not be patiently waiting to let an investigation to run its course, before these cries erupted..
I do not believe I am exaggerating.
And again, this is under the Best Case Scenario. That he was totally blameless, honest in his disavowals of knowledge, and everyone believed him.
Is Chris Christie in trouble, even under the Best Case Scenario? Not as much as trouble if he were Barack Obama, that's for sure. But then, it's hard to imagine and accept the Best Case Scenario here. Starting with -- well, Day One.
If you were the Deputy Chief of Staff of the governor, would you set in motion a plan to close the busiest bridge in the world out of purely political spite all on your own without maybe perhaps possibly just double-checking with someone above you first...?
I don't know what happened, if Chris Christie was involved or ever even knew anything at all. I do, however, have a strong suspicion that everyone is not going to believe he was 100% out of the loop and knew nothing for an entire half a year.
Yet he's still a lucky man.
He's lucky that all this happened to him and he isn't Barack Obama.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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