CARLTON FLETCHER: Christie 'scandal' is politics as usual

OPINION: New Jersey governor just doing what politicians do

Carlton Fletcher

Carlton Fletcher

Ain’t that America?

John Mellencamp

I got this email the other day: “I bet you’re just loving the way the liberal media is jumping all over Chris Christie.”

I quickly formulated a response, although full disclosure dictates that I admit I formulated said response in my head only … my actual response was “Delete.” Had I been so inclined, though, my response would have been “Huh?” Because, frankly, I didn’t know the New Jersey governor was under attack, by the media or otherwise. I do, however, point with pride to the fact that I knew Christie was the governor of New Jersey.

Sorry, I really don’t concern myself overly these days with the goings-on of politicians, be they Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or Lipton Tea lover. I gave up caring about political party affiliation a long time ago when it finally dawned on me that all politicians work equally hard for their interests, “work” being a relative term and “interest” always fronted by the word “self.”

But since this emailer took the time to fling a little of his righteous indignation my way, I felt obligated to at least see what the heck the liberal media was doing to poor Chris Christie.

The reports I read — sorry, I don’t get my “news” from Rush Limbaugh or John Stewart — were a bit fuzzy, frankly. But what I gathered is that high-ranking members of Gov. Christie’s staff and state officials who are among his supporters apparently played a role in having two (I read some reports that indicated three) lanes of traffic halted on the George Washington Bridge — a breach of federal law — for a bogus “traffic survey.” The apparent actual reason for the shutdown? So it would cause traffic problems in nearby Fort Lee, N.J., whose mayor, Democrat Mark Sokolich, had the temerity to support Christie’s Democratic opponent in the state’s 2013 gubernatorial election, which, by the way, the big man won easily. (Does anyone else see Tricky Dick Nixon parallels here?)

Maybe there was more to it than that, but I did not feel inclined to do a whole lot more digging on such an idiotic story. Had Christie not been among the presumed frontruners for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, this would probably have been one of those bottom of Page 8 briefs, along with the stories about the couple throwing a White Trash Wedding at an Arkansas trailer park and the man discovering a rutabaga that resembles Wiz Khalifa, except, of course, in New Jersey.

At its essence, the story is that high-ranking officials in a high-profile politician’s administration did something that was at the very least unethical and could have potentially put people’s lives in danger. Ummm … wow. That’s about as surprising as one of those “Dog Chases Cat” headlines that were long-ago staples of the wonderful weekly newspapers that once sprung up in every little community with a population of 247 or more.

So, no, I could not care any less that Chris Christie is being written and talked about by the media, liberal or otherwise. He may indeed be our next president, but right now he’s just another politician doing what politicians do: screwing people over just because they can.

What worries me more is that, like so many other Americans these days, I’ve become so disillusioned by the caliber of people who hold elected office in 21st-century America, I’d be more surprised to learn that one of them actually did what he or she was put in office to do. That’s more startling than any shenanigans Chris Christie or Hillary Clinton or Bobby Jindal will ever get into.

And, as Cashman and West sang in “American City Suite” way back in 1972, “… No one’s surprised here, And maybe that’s the saddest part of all.”