Traffic debacle puts ‘scandal’ on display


The Chris Christie-George Washington Bridge traffic jam debacle is significant. It’s not significant because it fuels the Democrats and liberal media with more political ammunition or because it dampens the governor’s chances of winning a 2016 presidential bid. It’s significant because it sets forth before Congress and the public a classic template of what a ”real” scandal should look like.

Take for example the so-called Benghazi scandal. We all grieve the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and no matter what your sentiments are in regards to the president, the New York Times article titled ”No Al-Qaeda Role in the 2012 Killings” supports Susan’s and Hillary’s initial testimonies. To make the argument that the deaths could have been prevented is unfair. Former President Bush could have prevented the 9/11 Trade Center attack had he acted on prior knowledge. The point is this: In spite of intense investigations, no evidence has surfaced yet that even remotely suggests that the president and his staff were engaged in wrongdoing. It’s not easy to manufacture a scandal.

In reference to the so-called IRS scandal, the Akron Beacon Journal published an interesting article by Jeff Tripp of Bath Township in May of 2013. The title was ”Undeserved Tax Exemption.” Jeff wrote, ”by applying for tax status, they (Tea Party) target themselves for review and it is the responsibility of the IRS to ascertain their status.” As of yet, FBI probes haven’t turned up anything substantial; yet, the conservative media still continue calling the IRS controversy a scandal.

Real scandals have scandalous substance. They just don’t happen. They seed in the upper echelon of power. They breathe. They brew. They take on a life of their own. When uncovered and exposed, they fester and die.

Warren G. Harding’s administration was so bedridden by scandal that upon his death (pneumonia), his wife destroyed all his business records. Richard Nixon resigned from the presidency rather than face impeachment charges for his role in the infamous Watergate break-in.

And unveiling center stage before the nation presently is the traffic jam scandal, which was aimed at punishing Democratic Mayor Mark Sokolich of Fort Lee, N.J., for not endorsing Gov. Christie during his re-election campaign. Four top people have lost their jobs and 20 subpoenas have been issued as the governor himself has hired a defense lawyer.

It’s ironic that the debacle would surface at the onset of 2014 as the extremist faction of the Republican Party has vowed to repeal Obamacare and continue its obstructionist strategies. It is embarrassing that the debacle’s scandalous substance would unravel before the nation and world. Everybody can see how the bridge, IRS and Benghazi scandals rank in comparison. Finally, this scandal will certainly affect the political atmosphere in 2016.

Alfred Spencer