Christie is the New Palin
In Alaska, there have lately been many comparisons of Governor Chris Christie to Alaska ex-half-governor Sarah Palin.
To wit: a close circle of micromanaged advisors from whom utter loyalty is demanded; an open abhorrence of the press when they pull outrageous stunts like asking questions; a certain tone deaf quality and tendency to double down when bad behavior is called out; wielding the power of the office in full force political payback; and a complete lack of hesitation to throw anyone and everyone under the bus to save one’s own very thin skin. And come on – the Bridges and Candidacies to Nowhere jokes write themselves.
But today, watching the newest wall-to-wall coverage of Chris Christie in the news, the similarities were almost eerie. They were so eerie, in fact, that I felt compelled to put on my spelunking gear and go on a little expedition back into the Mudflats archives. I had to go rappelling to some very dark corners indeed, but I managed to locate the pile of information I was looking for – and it was still steaming.
Remember Troopergate? Sorry to assault your grey matter in such a way, but it has to be done to make the point.
For those of you whose brains have used various defense mechanisms to block it out, here are the Cliff notes.
- Palin fired her Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, because he wouldn’t bow to pressure by Todd Palin and members of the governor’s staff to fire her ne’er-do-well ex-brother in law State Trooper Mike Wooten who had just gone through a messy divorce with her sister.
- This happened right before John McCain decided to go rogue and stick it to the country by nominating an incompetent, unprepared, screeching pit bull from the Russian borderlands to be his VP.
- At the time, many of us thought that Troopergate would be a deal breaker, and that Palin would never get the nomination once her petty middle school style of governance was being reported in the papers for all to see. Silly us.
A bipartisan committee of the Alaska Legislature decided to investigate Monegan’s firing, and Palin was ultimately found guilty of abusing her power as governor. Palin responded to this legislative finding of guilt by telling the press this:
(She was found guilty. Remember this. GUIL-TY.)
“Well, I’m very very pleased to be cleared of any legal wrongdoing … any hint of any kind of unethical activity there. Very pleased to be cleared of any of that.”
If you’re confused, it’s because you should be.
But here’s the part where she apparently wrote the play book for another Republican governor who would some day be facing a gubernatorial scandal of his own on the other side of the country. On the very same matter, Troopergate, Palin filed an ethics complaint against herself. She did this in order to trigger an investigation of herself by the Personnel Board, a panel of gubernatorial appointees who picked an investigator to ask Palin a bunch of questions and decide whether she was guilty or not, and to do it more quickly than the legislative investigation.
Here’s a little snippet from a Mudflats post dated September 10, 2008.
Palin has become very fond of the preemptive strike. Once again, in a less than shocking pre-emptive power play, Governor Palin’s Personnel Board has concluded Palin’s investigation of herself. That’s right, she decided to just jump right in there and investigate herself, because the bipartisan Legislative investigation just couldn’t be impartial. Like her.
So, drumroll please… Palin has declared herself INNOCENT! She’s done nothing wrong! Boy, that was a nail-biter.
And now eight years later, Governor Chris Christie has pulled the same stunt.
In the wake of the scandal known as
TrooperBridgeGate, Governor Palin Christie has commissioned an investigation of himself. There was all kinds of research and rigorous interviews of Chris Christie. He was interviewed with such intensity and fervor that it wasn’t even necessary to interview his aide Bridget Kelly, who wrote the e-mail saying, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” Or David Wildstein, a high school classmate hired by a Christie appointee to a swanky job with undefined responsibilities at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Or Bill Stepien, Christie’s campaign manager who engaged in email correspondence with Wildstein about the political fallout from the lane closures. What do those three know, anyway? The only one who really knows what Chris Christie knows is Chris Christie.
And now, Christie’s investigation has determined that Christie had no involvement in creating the politically motivated traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge last September. Just like he’s been saying all along.
HE’S INNOCENT, you haters! Take that Democrats, and lamestream media. You sure have egg on your face now! At least all that taxpayer money that funded Christie’s probe of self went to a good cause. VINDICATION!
“Our findings today are a vindication of Gov. Christie,” lawyer Randy Mastro, who headed the investigation, said at a news conference Thursday.
But of course this investigation isn’t good enough for SOME people. The beleaguered governor must still clear two more probes – one from the state Legislature and one from federal prosecutors.
For some reason, the findings of Christie’s investigation of Christie were met with some skepticism by those who are conducting the other investigation of the scandal which, no doubt, will be completely biased and involve interviews with those unreliable players who are not Chris Christie.
“It reads more like a novel than a work of fact. It’s very difficult to tell the truth when you don’t hear from all sides.” said Assemblyman John Wisniewski, chairman of the legislative panel investigating the incident.
But really, as far as you (a 2016 voter) are concerned, there’s no need to pay attention any more. Hasn’t the man been through enough? He spent a good long time today at a press conference fending off reporters, and refusing to answer their stupid questions that were “beneath the office.” It must be exhausting. So give the man a break. He has done all that he can do. He’s said he’s innocent like DOZENS of times now. You bullies just go about your business and leave him alone.
And if, perchance, this whole politics thing doesn’t work out for him because of the hateful haters, there’s always Fox News commentary, and a reality show about New Jersey. I mean… if you’re going to continue robbing tips from the playbook of the master.