What’s most amazing to me about American politics is how, in many cases, there is absolutely no price to be paid for any misdeeds. Pat Buchanan spews racist rhetoric and even writes admiringly of Hitler, yet he has a regular gig on MSBNC, the same people who peddled the lies that killed health care reform in 1994 are peddling similar lies to kill health care reform now. And, most amazingly, even after the release of a lot of damning information about the US Attorney scandal, one of the attorneys who appears to have played ball with Rove is poised to become the governor of New Jersey:
So put it all together 1) Pressure on US Attorneys across the country to cook up bogus investigations of Democrats to help salvage the 2006 election, 2) Christie particularly vulnerable to such pressure since not only would firing be a political career-ender but he’d need help from GOP pols to mount his campaign for governor, 3) documentary evidence shows that Christie was on and off the firing list over the course of 2006, though there is no direct evidence he knew this at the time, 4), Rove and Christie having a series of conversations during this period about Christie’s desire to run for governor, 5) Christie’s office leaks perfectly timed stories about a corruption investigation of Menendez, one that independent observers found iffy at the time and eventually produced no prosecutions.
It is certainly possible that it’s all an unfortunate set of coincidences that unfairly makes Christie look bad in retrospect, knowing what we know now about Rove and Co’s effort to use federal prosecutors to game the 2006 election. But the circumstantial evidence strongly points to the conclusion that he was one of those US Attorneys who ‘did the right thing’ to help hold on to his job. And his unwillingness to discuss the issue just makes it seem all the more so.
Innocent until proven guilty and all that, but in a world where a president was impeached for getting a blowjob, shouldn’t Christie at least have to answer questions about this? I realize the answer, effectively, is “no”. But I don’t understand why. It’s very hard for me to understand which kinds of possible misdeeds result in disgrace and which kinds have no impact. And it’s pretty damn disheartening to think that David Iglesias probably has no political future (if he ever wanted one) because he actually stood up to Rove, while Christie is pretty likely to become governor of New Jersey for apparently caving into Rove. No bad deed goes unrewarded.