In describing Chris Christie’s fall from grace, many journalists have asserted that those of us who have sensed Christie’s incompetence and dubious ethical conduct from Day One are basking in the glow of schadenfreude. Not me.
I take no joy in Christie’s trials and tribulations. To me, he’s just another George W Bush political hack who got lucky and leveraged electoral victories first against an unpopular and charismatically-challenged incumbent and later against a challenger who was abandoned by her own party.
I take no joy in the fact that his presidential ambitions have gone down the toilet. The Republicans will end up nominating someone else in 2016, most likely someone even worse than Christie, and that is bad for the Republicans and bad for America.
I take no joy in the fact that aside from his personal failings, the damage that he’s done to New Jersey will take more years to undo than the eight (or possibly fewer) years that he will have occupied the Governor’s office. We’ve lost the momentum in rebuilding our infrastructure, are behind the rest of the nation in restoring some modicum of equity to the middle class, our business climate rankings have plummeted, and no progress has been made on an equitable tax system. Our environment has suffered under Christie, making future remediation more difficult and expensive.
I take no joy in the fact that this so-called corruption buster has become the epitome of the stereotypical New Jersey corrupt political boss. I take no joy that my beloved state continues to be the butt of jokes for late-night comedians.
I take no joy in the fact that our electoral system and our electorate is flawed, opting for “style” over substance, favors over ethics, and the continued influence of big money over the best interests of the average citizen.
Chris Christie will never be President. If he is unable to complete his term as Governor, his future will not be bleak. He’ll become a high-paid talking head on Fox “News”, or a high-paid lobbyist, or a high-paid investment advisor on Wall Street.
So there’s no joy in my mind about the unfolding downfall of an egotistical fraud. Let’s close this sordid chapter in New Jersey history and use it as a lesson to improve things as we move forward.