Caveat Emperor

The end was contained in the beginning. 
― George Orwell, 1984

If you are at all interested in the high drama currently playing out around the Governor of New Jersey – and you should be – this extraordinary piece by Alec MacGillis in The New Republic is absolutely essential reading.

You see, New Jersey is different from your state and mine. Its entire political system – from small-town mayor to county executive to state and federal offices – is a finely tuned instrument of graft which is at the service of the governor and his cronies.

Chris Christie’s entire career – from twice-failed candidate for local office to ambulance-chasing lawyer to US Attorney to governor to prohibitive favorite as GOP nominee in 2016 – has reflected his journey from kneeling at the feet of New Jersey’s power brokers to becoming the ultimate political boss.

The 2013 elections in New Jersey only become understandable when viewed through the lens of this article. Christie’s only qualification for the US Attorney’s job was his profligate fundraising for George W. Bush. The only reason he was actually confirmed for that powerful office is that then Senator Bob Torricelli knew he was in the crosshairs of an investigation, and needed a well-positioned ally. Once installed as US Attorney, Christie had no shortage of corrupt politicos to prosecute. He mostly went after the Dems, but hit enough Republicans to give his ethical crusades a “bipartisan” flavor. The Democrats he left standing became vastly more powerful, loyal to Christie – and he to them. That explains how Christie won re-election by 22 points while Trenton did not gain a single Republican seat. And why the “Democratic” machine in Jersey barely even noticed that Barbara Buono was its candidate for governor.

Christie’s genius is that he has played this game for so long and so effectively, all the while convincing the press and the voters that he is really a crusader against corruption, the savior of New Jersey. In Chris-Christie-Time-Magazine-224x300reality, Chris Christie isn’t Tony Soprano. No, Chris Christie eats the Sopranos for lunch.

And the arrogant abuse of power that we have come to know as #bridgegate really is only the beginning. Or the beginning of the end for Mr Christie. I haven’t seen a piece of investigative journalism like this in a long time, and I urge you to read it. Because whatever becomes of the investigations surrounding Bridgegate and the misappropriation of Sandy relief aid, I believe Alec MacGillis has already answered the most important question: Why won’t Chris Christie be the nation’s 45th president?

The New Republic: Chris Christie’s Rise and Fall


  1. Okay, I will admit I spend a reasonable amount of energy avoiding Christie news.

    I get that this is a very important story, and needs to be dug out of the mud. But I also hate that he is the center of the news cycle because he does not deserve this much attention. I imagine him eating up every good and bad thing said about him (much like Palin) and growing growing growing into a media monster. Someone who would rather be famous than good, or smart, or ethical, or anything else. That is what he seems like to me. Godzilla watch out!

    Thanks Steve. I love looking into your brain. I like you. Would you ever consider running for office? A donation towards your campaign is in my checkbook at this moment.

    See you soon! hugs, ty


    1. I hear you, babycakes. And I, too, long for the days when Uncle Walter would tuck us in at night with his reassuring “That’s the way it is.” But… if the media (from Katie Couric to SNL) hadn’t gone all search-and-destroy with Sister Sarah in the fall of 2008, then the imbecilla from Wasilla could very well be the sitting Vice President of the United States of America – and a real contender for the top job in 2016.

      That is why this Chris Christie clusterfuck – as annoying as it is – is so much more than a story about a morbidly obese bully with an underactive pituitary and an overactive ego. It is the story of an unqualified, unscrupulous man whose entire career has been one of deception, fraud and quid pro quo deals. He is the product of the most corrupt – by far! – state political system in the country. And until the “bridgegate” story shattered the illusion, Christie was on the fast track to becoming the GOP nominee in 2016.

      The media circus may be annoying, but we should be grateful that it sometimes functions as a collision-avoidance system when world-ending candidates get too close to the levers of power. Speaking of which: I am not seeking, and will not accept, the nomination of any party for any office. But thanks for your vote of confidence! 🙂


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