In Christie We Trust
Well, what do I think of the Gibson Dunn Report — the first extensive exhaustive comprehensive internal investigation of our Governor’s office that completely exonerates him of wrong doing in the Bridgegate Scandal?
I haven’t read the full report yet. It is my duty as a citizen to give the 344 page report with more than 3,000 pages of accompanying documents, culled from 250,000 pages reviewed, the thoughtful comprehensive analysis it deserves before rendering judgment.
Nevertheless, I’m sure if Arnold Toynbee were alive, he would have added a 13th book to his 12-volume “A Study of History,” which traces the development and decay of civilizations. The decline and fall of New Jersey as a model state during the second Christie administration would be right up there with the Egyptian, Andean, Mayan, Polynesian, Hindu, Hellenic, Persian, Arabic, Babylonic, Roman and other major world civilizations that already have bitten the dust.
What fascinates me is the skepticism that has greeted Gibson Dunn, which found no evidence of the governor’s being involved in the plotting or directing the Fort Lee GWB lane closures, since it was released last week to accolades from the Governor’s office.
Skepticism is an honorable and legitimate system of thought. Like so many good things, it dates back to the ancient Greeks. Pyrrho of Elis (365-275 BC) is said to be the founding father of the idea of questioning attitudes towards knowledge, facts or opinion/beliefs stated as facts or doubt regarding claims that are taken for granted elsewhere.
New Jersey is a hot bed of skepticism, especially when it comes to our governors, so many of whose promises have yet to be fulfilled. The doubting began with our first chief executive, William Franklin (Benjamin’s illegitimate son), who went to jail for his political beliefs. He was a Loyalist, the party out of power in 1776.
What is it about Gibson Dunn, which is said to be an unctuous, flattering, caring, concerned recital of events in those now historic four days in September by overpaid attorneys? The Governor, we are led to believe, had tears in his eyes when he learned of his subordinates’ betrayal.
What part of the report didn’t the skeptics like?
Could it be:
- That the investigation was done by the governor’s own law firm (Gibson Dunn & Crutcher)?
- That 12 of the firm’s top Sherlock Holmes conducted 70 interviews, seemingly everybody involved except you and me?
- That the names of those interviewed were never revealed. It is known, however, they didn’t include The Gang of Three (Kelly, Wildstein and Stepien), the alleged perpetrators, which some believe is a glaring omission.
- That the authors were paid $650 per hour, adding up to a legal bill estimated in the neighborhood of one million dollars. Some neighborhood, New Jersey taxpayers will agree. It could be even more
All of which makes some people smell a rat.
Even before his law firm was completely satisfied that it’s client, the governor, must have been out to lunch when the Fort Lee caper went down, Chris Christie has spent the last eight weeks on his “I am Clean Tour,” visiting pro-Christie municipalities, assuring concerned citizens that he didn’t need a whitewash to prove he is not guilty. The people could tell just looking at him.
Still I am amazed at the widespread distrust of the governor regarding this case.
Not that there isn’t good reason to question his veracity.
For instance, one of the glowing achievements of the Christie administration, widely mentioned in his presidential campaign of 2012, was his balancing the budget. It turns out, according to the Newark Star-Ledger, the shortfall for the state budget the next two years is up to $526 million — and growing.
He also gave himself a pat on the back for the passage of on-line gambling which was expected to bring in taxes of $118 million a year. The estimate turned out to be off by $100 million.
Not trusting my objectivity in judging his lead attorney Randy Mastro’s masterpiece of an internal investigation, I went to my personal blue ribbon jury, impaneled on an ad hoc basis to help me judge complex legal matters. Of the twelve law-abiding citizens — chosen at random from a pool of personal email listees who serve like volunteer firemen coming out only in emergencies — based on the evidence so far, only one found the alleged perp from Drumthwacket innocent of all charges, whatever they may be.
Juror #6, the lone dissenter, is a news junky who believes she gets a balanced point of view about the news by watching both Bill O’Reilly and Hannity on Fox News.
You just can’t trust an expensive whitewash report any more.
Okay, mister smart guy, what do you really think happened? Did the governor have a memory lapse? Was he preoccupied at the time deciding whether to have a corned beef or pastrami sandwich while shaking hands with voters at Tabachnik’s Deli in Teaneck? In short, was he privy to the lane closures at the GWB, thus adding Fort Lee to Concord and Lexington among the shots heard around the world?
As unlikely as it may seem, I believe it’s possible the governor did not actually communicate with the staff about giving that hunky, or whatever the Fort Lee’s mayor’s ethnic group, some agita for not playing ball with Team Christie. They didn’t need such direct communication.
The inner circle in Trenton is so in synch with Boss Christie they can read his mind. It is as if His Master’s Voice speaks to his people as he thinks. He communicates at a higher decibel level that only the staff could hear. Its like the way dogs can hear things others cant. The beauty part it doesn’t show up on electronic devices.
It’s a theory, ingenious and not without the realm of possibility. A committee of skeptics might get a grant to look into this line of inquiry some day.
I know all of this may sound like there he goes again, bending over backwards in support of His Innocence. But, hey, look, Chris Christie is still the best governor we have.
April 4, 2014