The news media feeding frenzy over Chris Christie’s traffic jam scandal continues, with the news that a special prosecutor is being handed the investigation being treated with solemn nods and predictions of sinister revelations to come. This is all fine and good: the possibility that any elected government leader would intentionally cause pain for the citizens it is pledged to serve is too offensive to the concept of duty to be allowed to linger in doubt. When a New Jersey Democratic legislator opined that the governor should face impeachment if it is shown that he ordered the despicable traffic sabotage, I heartily agreed, and I count myself as a Christie admirer. The poll results so far regarding this incident, especially in New Jersey, are troubling: by Ann Athouse’s calculations, 7% of those polled believed that Christie was behind the outrage and lied about it, and don’t mind a bit. Where are the ethical standards of such individuals? What’s wrong with those people?
Whatever it is, it is apparently the same thing that is wrong with Democrats, progressives, African-Americans and the news media, who don’t seem bothered at all that equally insidious, or worse, governmental abuses have been, may have been or are being engineered by President Obama and/or his lackeys, and there appears to be no accountability for it, or even adequate bipartisan criticism. How can this be? What am I missing?
- A House Natural Resources Committee investigation has found that President Obama’s Office of Management and Budget ordered that sequestration cuts be applied retroactively to funding for rural schools over the opposition of the Agriculture Department. “A Less Secure Future for Rural Schools: An Investigation into the Obama Administration’s Questionable Application of the Sequester to the Secure Rural Schools Program” details how last February the USDA had determined 2013 sequestration wouldn’t apply to 2012 funds that had already been distributed in the program. The White House stepped in and overruled the USDA. This follows the strong indications that the government shutdown was also managed to cause as much pain and suffering to innocent members of the public as possible. Is this as disgusting as inconveniencing New Jersey commuters to punish an independent-minded mayor? On one level, no, because pure vengeance cannot be excused as anything but thuggery. Nonetheless, this is still the act of a government making things worse for citizens…and children!—when it doesn’t have to, purely for political leverage. That’s disgusting enough. I’m nauseated by it—why isn’t everyone? Specifically, why aren’t the President’s die-hard supporters? Do they really admire such tactics? Do they really think this is how their leaders should behave?
- The I.R.S. scandal has identical “Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?” vibes as “Bridgegate”—lower level loyalists taking subtle or not so subtle clues from a powerful leader as permission to break laws or behave wrongfully. One incident caused a bad traffic jam, the other may have changed the results of a national election. Why only one special prosecutor? Why aren’t Senate Democrats demanding that an administration suspected of such epic abuse of power face an independent investigation? Instead, the head of the supposed Justice Department probe into the I.R.S. sabotage of conservative groups, Barbara Bosserman, is a donor to Obama campaigns and the Democratic National Committee. This is an in-your-face whitewash, and yet the press is barely reporting it.Now the FBI has announced that there was no actual illegal activity involved in the I.R.S. scandal without bothering to interview any of the organizations or individuals who may have been harmed by it. Is that really satisfactory for the Left? It really doesn’t care whether the tax-collecting arm of the government is politicized, as long as its favored politicians and policies are the beneficiaries? Are they truly that corrupt, that un-American, that ruthless?
I guess it’s me. I’m a dinosaur. I still harbor a belief that core ethical principles and belief in trustworthy leadership must transcend partisan preferences and loyalties when it really matters. I still think that when the foundation of our democracy is threatened and leaders of either party defy decency and their pledges of allegiance to the Constitution that there just have to be sufficient numbers of journalists who still have pride in the traditional role of their profession in keeping us free that they will be able to put their powerful political biases aside and do their jobs. I still dream that at least a few high-ranking members of a political party have the courage and integrity to raise public objections when others in their party betray their duties as public officials.
It’s not happening. There are more safeguards on the integrity and trustworthiness of political leadership in New Jersey than in the United States of America. Clearly, I’m missing something.