As Chris Christie's apology tour expanded to include his State of the State address today, the bridge scandal continues to spread. The news from today involves an alleged coordinator of the traffic jams, who Christie said he had not seen in "a long time" before the incident. The Wall Street Journal reports:
Gov. Chris Christie was with the official who arranged the closure of local lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge on Sept. 11, 2013 — the third day of the closures, and well after they had triggered outrage from local officials beset by heavy traffic.
This is a huge mistake on Christie's part. During his marathon press conference last week, Christie categorically denied meeting with the man. As a lawyer, he should know not to make unconditional statements like that if he knows there's any possibility of proof to the contrary emerging. I don't know if this is stupidity or pride on Christie's part, but whatever the root cause, it's not a good sign.
Meanwhile, Brit Hume knows the reason why Christie is being harangued by the media. According to Talking Points Memo, Hume said on a Fox News show that Christie is just too goddamned manly for this world:
"In this sort of feminized atmosphere in which we exist today, guys who are masculine and muscular like that in their private conduct, kind of old-fashioned tough guys, run some risks," Hume said..."Men today have learned the lesson the hard way that if you act like kind of an old-fashioned guy's guy, you're in constant danger of slipping out and saying something that's going to get you in trouble and make you look like a sexist or make you look like you seem thuggish or whatever," Hume said. "That's the atmosphere in which he operates. This guy is very much an old-fashioned masculine, muscular guy, and there are political risks associated with that. Maybe it shouldn’t be, but that’s how it is."
The right wing reaction to Christie's bridge scandal has been really weird. The teabaggers are using it as an excuse to harangue Christie, mainstream conservatives are occasionally writing tepid think-pieces in his defense, but a lot of the thought coming out about Christie from Republicans is fairly scattershot and weird, like Hume's "thinking" above. Nobody knows how to handle this scandal, and everyone's waiting around to see if it has long-term repercussions. In the meantime, the holding pattern is leaving room for some nutty thoughts to blossom.