Obama Should Apologize for the New Jersey Bridge Scandal
January 11th, 2014
CNN, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, the NY Times, and USA Today all have multiple headlines, and all at least have one large and prominent story, near the top of their pages regarding Chris Christie's New Jersey bridge scandal. Guess how Fox News is handling it? Not hard to predict: way, way down near the bottom of the page: Obama's apology? The link leads to a video of a Fox talking head showing Christie apologizing and the mayor of Fort Lee accepting the apology—and therefore, the scandal is over. But Obama? He never made multiple, formal apologies for Fast & Furious, Solyndra, etc. etc.—so that's the real scandal the media should be focusing on. The Wall Street Journal—also owned by Murdoch—took an almost identical approach, focusing on Obama's IRS “scandal,” and how he never showed contrition for that. Not that closing the bridge lanes was an earth-shattering event. It was not insignificant, either; it may have had serious impact on some emergency responses to medical crises, and may even have led to a death. But why is the story deserving of such great attention on non-Murdoch media? For the same reason why we should have paid attention to stories about drug abuse, desertion, and the drunk driving charges regarding George W. Bush back in 2000: it would have alerted us to the character and behavior patterns of a presidential candidate who could potentially be disastrous for the nation. Conservatives have worked hard to try to make it seem like there was actual abuse by Obama or anyone near him in the IRS brouhaha; it turned out that there was no such thing. However, Christie's bridge scandal is an excellent example of how Christie is far more likely to abuse power in exactly that manner. Which brings up another interesting point about the abuse of power:
“It’s not obvious what laws may have been broken,” says Stuart Green, law professor at Rutgers School of Law-Newark in New Jersey. “I mean, there was undoubtedly an abuse of power, but in the federal context, there’s no general prohibition on abuse of power.”Maybe there should be. Unfortunately, as with a lot of other good ideas, it is one that conservatives would instantly begin to abuse, wielding it as a political weapon to spark fishing-expedition investigations, begin witch hunts, and generally harass their political opponents. Which is what conservatives tend to do. They're definitely Slytherins to the liberals' Hufflepuffs, intent on the acquisition of power and completely comfortable with use any means to achieve it.