Chris Christie was photographed with David Wildstein on September 11 of 2013, during the lane closure. A few days ago, Christie claimed:
“I have had no contact with David Wildstein in a long time, a long time, well before the election,” which was held Nov. 5, Mr. Christie said last week. “You know, I could probably count on one hand the number of conversations I’ve had with David since he worked at the Port Authority. I did not interact with David.”
As I’ve said before, the lane closure story is bigger politically than the national media thinks. The misuse of Sandy funds is probably nowhere near as important.
The official establishment punditry line about Bridgegate will be “local politics is messy”. And indeed, people understand that there’s a lot of graft in local politics, probably especially in the northeast. Greasing palms and letting your own palm be greased is one thing, though, and being a dick to thousands of motorists is quite another.
The gap between elite media’s embrace of blatant assholery (everybody needs to feel the pain, etc.) and the voting public’s distaste for it is very wide. In some ways, this gap may be the most important story in contemporary politics. Yes, being an asshole towards mythical strapping young bucks and welfare queens has been good politics for the GOP over the past 40 years, but that’s racism, not a universal unconditional love of dickishness.
And yes, the right and its stooges at Washington Post et al. have done a good job of duping the public about the wonders of austerity, what with the number of Jesus dollars we owe in debt and the incontrovertible truth that when I tighten my belt, gubmint should tighten its too. I’d argue they’ve done it not by convincing people that budget cuts are awesome but by convincing them that austerity will be good for the economy. The public isn’t so much laissez faire as laissez les bon temps rouler.
what really is killing the Republican party is that deep down, they are just complete assholes.
Yes, Republicans and much of establishment media think there’s not much downside to being an asshole, that, at best, it’s wise Burkean tough love and at worst it’s boys will be boys. They’re wrong.
Reagan managed to come across as a genial guy. So did Bush in 2000.