It’s pretty clear to me at this point, that Chris Christie won’t be the Governor of New Jersey by the time summer comes along. At this point, my only question is; will he be frog marched out of office, or will he resign?
I was never convinced that bridgegate was going to be his downfall. As soon as the mayor of Hoboken came out and told us that she was basically being blackmailed over a land deal in order to get her city some relief funds, I knew it was over. I didn’t know if Christie was sloppy enough to leave a trail leading back to him in regard to the bridge closure, but I found it inconceivable that he would be making crony land development deals with those federal relief funds, without leaving a large trail of digital evidence.
The more outrageous of the two situations is clearly the shutting down of the George Washington Bridge. It was spiteful, petty, and reckless, but most importantly, it wasn’t profitable for anybody. There’s actually nothing unusual about the corrupt appropriation of those relief funds. This is how things are done, not only in America, but all around the world. Naomi Klein wrote a book called The Shock Doctrine (a must read for everyone) that goes into great detail about this. There is nothing new under the sun about leveraging (and creating) disasters to make wealthy land developers wealthier. This happens all the time, and seldom gets any scrutiny. But Chris Christie has shown us the one and only way that a legislator doesn’t get away with the shock doctrine; by having a shitty personality. You can be corrupt, you just can’t do it while being a complete dick.
I went to New Orleans every year for the four years after Katrina. Here’s what I saw;
Year 1 – rich neighborhoods were pristine. Poor neighborhoods consisted of block after block of giant piles of rubble that looked like match sticks, with FEMA trailers parked out front. No construction on the levies.
Year 2 – rich neighborhoods were pristine. Poor neighborhoods consisted of block after block of giant piles of rubble that looked like match sticks, with FEMA trailers parked out front. Some construction on just over half of the levies I checked out.
Year 3 – rich neighborhoods were pristine. Poor neighborhoods consisted of some giant piles of rubble that looked like match sticks, with FEMA trailers parked out front. Some of the piles of rubble had been cleared away for new developments. Most of the levies I drove past had completed their construction.
Year 4 – rich neighborhoods were pristine. Poor neighborhoods consisted of some giant piles of rubble that looked like match sticks, with FEMA trailers parked out front. New developments in the poor neighborhoods appeared to be "luxury" housing. Levies I drove past had completed their construction.
New Jersey is exactly on the same track with what I saw in New Orleans. Nothing different or unusual to see there. This is going to undo a governor, not because of the unfair treatment of the poor, or the crony capitalism, but because that governor is an ass.
If Chris Christie had a better personality, this would all be par for the course. The poor get fucked: ✓. The rich get richer: ✓. Christie gets enough money from the cronies he made richer to run for president: ✓. But unfortunately for him, bridgegate is the thing that’s going to highlight the shitty personality, that will ultimately make the crony capitalism unacceptable. It’s not okay to be a dick in this world, unless someone is making a profit from your dickishness. Christie fucked up with the pro bono dickishness on the bridge. And no capitalist in the world likes pro bono work.
Mark my words, Christie is going down because of his gratuitous dickishness that failed to make anyone any money. I’m just hoping that his crappy personality ultimately sheds light on the shock doctrine.