I so badly wanted to use the word “corpuscular” to describe Chris Christie, but the dictionary says it means, “Any cell or similar minute body that is suspended in a fluid.” And while BridgeGate does have Christie suspended in very deep doodoo of his very own making , he’s no minute body, and that wasn’t really what I was after at all.
No, I was looking for something to cynically imply, “Has his own gravitational field,” but as I’ve clearly failed to amuse at the expense of the Governor’s gargantuan girth, I will instead reach for a term that better describes matters at hand:
Rarely has self-inflicted anguish and despair come to someone as deeply deserving as Chris Christie, who — in spite of all the bonus points he won for his apparent compassion, care, and competency during Hurricane Sandy — is, at heart, a big bully. And, according to those feverishly digging up and analyzing his past, that’s nothing new.
“What goes around comes around” and similar bon mots also apply, but the guilty pleasure of watching his own misdeeds trip up the golem of New Jersey tops my list of emotions.
Bullies in positions of power are capable of inflicting inordinate amounts of suffering; their demise means that others, who deserve better, will suffer less. It’s bad enough that the poor people of New Jersey have to put up with his antics (although, in fairness, they did just re-elect the man — talk about a collective case of Stockholm syndrome), but it would be entirely intolerable to have a petty, vindictive schmuck waddling around the White House. His monumental faux pas may have prevented that. “Keep it local!” in this case would be a plea for damage control, not organic backyard gardening.
While friends and foes alike were pleasantly surprised to see Christie take on and convincingly play the part of conservative-with-a-conscience as the Jersey shoreline was being flushed down the tubes in the fall of 2012, it apparently was little more than play acting. Perhaps he figured it would look good with moderates as he prepared his bid for the GOP presidential ticket in 2016, or maybe the role of self-appointed savior just came naturally to a man with an ego that matches his sizable waistline. Heck, perhaps — for a brief interlude — Christie actually gave a shit about other people. Weirder things have been known to happen.
It’s clear, however, that he’s long since recovered from the brief spell of humanitarian concern and compassion that afflicted him in the fall of 2012, and he has taken up his old ways with a vengeance. From toddlers to cancer patients, the tri-state papers have been full of stories lately of innocent victims of Christie’s vindictive antics in Fort Lee. Today’s headlines are all about him “lawyering up” (such a tasty turn of phrase, that) — a clear sign that it is slowly dawning on Christie that his nastiness, denials, pseudo-apologies, and feigned ignorance may be about to bite him in the ass something awful.
When Christie visited Dartmouth for the 2011 GOP primary debates (that’s when I got the picture of him, above) he came across as arguably one of the most competent and compelling candidates. But, in all honesty, that said a lot more about the rest of the field (Huckabee, Romney, Paul, etc. — all batshit crazy neo-cons brandishing their Bibles and preaching harsh austerity measures for the 99 percent) than it did about Governor Christie. And in much the same way, Christie’s recent actions say so much more about him than do his weasel words of contrition and feigned indignation.
It’s hard to see how he can spin this to his advantage — nobody, after all, apart from the most sociopathic elements of the right wing echo chamber, can fairly condone the damage he inflicted on the people of New Jersey with his petty vindictive act.
So, is he still going to try for 2016? His timing certainly couldn’t be worse: if he were seriously considering a run, then he should be lining up million dollar donors and securing endorsements from his right wing buddies right about now. Instead, he’s busy decimating his staff as scapegoats and preparing his “I did not have sexual relations with those traffic cones” defense of the indefensible ahead of the hearings that now loom large on his political horizon.
That’s got to suck for Chris Christie. But for the rest of us, the next many months of political theater in Trenton promises to be extremely entertaining indeed.