Chris Christie ‘Bridges’ the Gap Between Politicians and Thugs?

Or is it all just politics as usual?

Chris Christie

Chris Christie has been in the news a lot lately. The media and public are having a field day dragging Christie through the mud over a scandal involving the George Washington Bridge. If the rumors swirling around about Chris Christie and the bridge lanes closure are true, that means Christie bridges the gap between politicians and thugs. That gap has always been rather small to begin with, but now Christie seems as if he might be channeling the late Philadelphia mayor Frank Rizzo, who also sparked plenty of corruption accusations when he was in office.

There is some confusion on social media over “what the big deal is” about the bridge closure. In a nutshell, the allegation is that one of Christie’s staff members sent another staffer an email that said “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” This email, it is alleged, was sent for the purpose of political revenge. Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich may have angered Christie and his staff when Sokolich refused to endorse Christie for re-election. The bridge had two lanes closed and that resulted in enormous traffic headaches for an extended period. Commuters were unable to reach Manhattan in a reasonable time frame, and had to wait for hours trying to navigate the one open lane of traffic.

The initial email was sent by Christie staff member Bridget Anne Kelly, who has now been fired, to staffer David Wildstein. She received an email back from Wildenstein, who, since this scandal broke, has been pleading the fifth at every turn. That email contained two fateful words: “got it.” He then sent another email joking that little children who had been held up in buses trying to get to school were the offspring of people who vote Democrat.

Never ones for missing an opportunity to tear down their opponents, Democrats seized the opportunity to immediately paint Christie as a revenge-seeking lawbreaker who bridges the gap between politicians and thugs.

Christie, for his part, has denied any knowledge of the plans, holding a press conference to say his staffers had engaged in “abject stupidity.” He apologized to the public and then went to see Mayor Sokolich to apologize to him in person as well.

Complicating matters is an alleged “traffic study” which was supposed to be taking place during the time the lane closures occurred. It is unclear who ordered the study and if the lane closures were actually part of it or not. So far, no “smoking gun” documents have turned up that could prove Christie knew about the plans to close the lanes of the bridge, but at present, CNN says it is reviewing thousands of pages of papers related to the case.

The FBI and other law enforcement officials are now on the scene, trying to figure out if any laws were broken, especially on Christie’s part, during the debacle. Could it be that Chris Christie bridges the gap between politicians and thugs? Or could this petty revenge strategy have been just politics as usual? Perhaps there is some even more benign explanation for the bridge closure, but one thing that can be counted on is that Dems are having a field day feasting on the spoils of the scandal.

An Editorial By: Rebecca Savastio

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Chicago Tribune

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