Saturday, January 11, 2014

"I Am Not a Bully" and "I Am Not a Crook" But Is Christie Lying?

One step at a time, please.

We already know Gov. Chris Christie is basically a liar.  He claims he's not a bully but he is.  When someone has to go on TV and tell the nation that he is not a crook, as Nixon famously did, or that he is not a bully, as Gov. Chris Christie just did, then chances are that the guy is a crook or a bully as the case may be.

In 2009 when Christie lumbered onto center stage as a GOP candidate for governor of Democratic New Jersey, he acted like a bully right on television in front of everybody, yelling at various women voters when he didn't like their questions? Given his girth, he should have been doubly careful not to come across as a bully.  Being a big bully is worse than being just a bully.

So that's settled.  He has acted like a bully.  Therefore he is a bully though he dissembles about it.  We now know that the political bullying by closing the George Washington Bridge is in character for him.

The question remains:  Is he lying about not knowing that his staff closed down the George Washington Bridge as political payback against a Democratic New Jersey mayor?

Of course he is.

There is no way he couldn't have known unless he was seriously stoned the entire week the shutdown happened.  I worked near the top of Gov. Jerry Brown's first administration.  I saw a governor governing up close.  California is a lot bigger state than New Jersey, but Jerry Brown would have known if his staff was closing roads as political payback.  How can any governor not know?

Let me assure you that there is ALWAYS someone ready to go to a governor (or any boss) and rat out miscreants in the organization.  Honey, that's the way up the ladder.  That's the way the ratter-outer proves loyalty to the boss and gets lots of brownie points.   Was no one loyal enough to Christie to let him know what was going on?  That would really be yet another sad comment on him!

Suppose his office had no loyal ratters, unlikely though that is.  Even then how can the head of a state, big or small, have around him people who are stupid enough to pull such a stunt but simultaneously be clever enough to hide from the governor their involvement even though they are dumb enough to put the whole thing into emails.  People can't be outrageously stupid one minute and then deucedly clever the next.  They also can't have an impulse to hide something from their boss and yet be blaring it in emails.  Let me assure you that in government  -  and most human affairs  -  this sort of mishmash just doesn't happen.

Of course they might have been so brazen with their emails in the belief that their boss was too stupid to ever catch on to the whole thing.  If his top staff thinks so ill of him, that does not speak well for Christie.  But isn't he saying the same thing?  He insists he doesn't know what was going on in his own office. That makes him one dumb dude.

He also insists he was lied to by his trusted upper staff.  Really?  Who picked these duplicitous, disloyal and stupid people to work for him?

In short, Christie's story doesn't wash.  He's either one dumb dude or he's lying.  What really is bad is that he thinks we are dumb enough to believe him.  As the mother of six children and a lifelong politico, lawyer and college professor, I sure know when someone is spinning a lie.

I'll bet you do too.  But if you do believe Christie, there's another bridge in the New York area that I'd like to sell to you.

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