A series of newly obtained emails and text messages shows that Gov. Chris Christie’s office was closely involved with lane closings on the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge in September, and that officials closed the lanes in what appeared to be retribution against the mayor whose town was gridlocked as a result.
Mr. Christie has insisted that his staff and his campaign office had nothing to do with the local lane closings, and said that they were done as part of a traffic study.
The mayor of Fort Lee, Mark Sokolich, is a Democrat and did not endorse Mr. Christie. In the emails and texts released Wednesday, Mr. Christie’s staff and appointees were gleeful when the abrupt lane closings gridlocked the town for four days, beginning with the first day of school and including the anniversary of Sept. 11. Mr. Sokolich, who had not been informed of the closings, texted the governor’s top appointee at the Port Authority asking for “help” because the lane closings were making children on buses late to school.
“Is it wrong that I am smiling?” Mr. Wildstein texted Ms. Kelly.
“No,” she texted back.
“I feel badly about the kids,” he texted.
“They are the children of Buono voters,” she said, referring to Mr. Christie’s Democratic opponent, Barbara Buono, who was trailing consistently in the polls and lost by a wide margin.Political scientists centuries from now, when lecturing the mutant cockroaches who've just arrived on the moon from the smoking embers of Earth, will point to this as one of the most perfect expressions of Republican thought the early 21st century produced. Who gives a damn about children if their parents are probably going to vote against you?
As Lemieux says, there was no political upside to this at all. It was done purely to make life more difficult for people who happen to live in a city whose Mayor pissed Christie off (for the hideous crime of being a Democrat who wouldn't endorse a Republican). This is SOP across the GOP these days, of course; hurt innocent people because Democrats don't want you to, then justify the damage by demonising your victims. From denying free money (free fucking money!) to pay for poor people's medical bills to insisting on expensive regular drug tests for anyone claiming benefits, the priorities of the Republican party have collapsed in on themselves to form a singularity of sheer adolescent vandalism. The goal is no longer to win. It is simply to hurt your enemy. And if one can do that by making vast swathes of the population miserable, well then that's OK, because those are your enemies too! Otherwise, why would you be hurting them?
Still, at least no-one was hurt this time.
Emergency responders were delayed in attending to four medical situations – including one in which a 91-year-old woman lay unconscious – due to traffic gridlock caused by unannounced closures of access lanes to the George Washington Bridge, according to the head of the borough’s EMS department.
The woman later died, borough records show.Ah.
(Yes, as the full article states, no-one yet has any evidence Christie actually orchestrated this. He may simply have been lying to protect his giggling, sociopathic staff, rather than himself. You'll forgive me if this possibility does not exactly make me swoon.)