Why “bridgegate” is so bad

New Jersey’s “bridgegate” scandal (in which the state government intentionally snarled traffic as political payback) has certainly captured the media’s imagination. The big three networks dedicated over 34 minutes of airtime to it in a single day, which is 17 times as much as they dedicated to the IRS scandal over the past half year.

And with good cause; the allegation is very serious indeed.  Chris Christie stands accused . . . of behaving like a Democrat.

Dealing out political retribution has been the Democrat playbook going all the way back to Martin Van Buren, who — with Andrew Jackson — founded the modern Democratic party. (Jackson himself was more direct. When he was particularly incensed with someone, he would shoot him.)

Today’s Democratic party is rife with this sort of thing. The closest analogue is Seattle’s Democratic mayor closing city streets, out of an explicit desire to inconvenience drivers.

But a better example of callous political retribution was Barack Obama’s shutdown theater last year. During the government shutdown, the Obama administration directed the government to “make life as difficult as possible“. And so they did:

None of these (save one) were mandated by the shutdown; they actually cost the government money to perpetrate. (The exception, cancer treatment for children, Republicans sought to fund, but the Democrats refused.)

The most recent example to come to light is how the White House took extraordinary steps to ensure that the budget sequester hurt rural schools. (Via Instapundit.) In this instance, the Agriculture Department had already determined that the sequester would have no effect on funds already disbursed the previous year. However, the White House overruled that determination, and ordered them to claw back the money they had already spent.

It’s wrong for anyone to behave like this, and we do expect better from Republicans. Christie ought to be in hot water over it. But all the furor from the Democrats and their media allies over this is very much the pot calling the kettle black.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s