I have deliberately kept my opinions to myself the last couple of days about the Chris Christie circus in New Jersey over the lane closures on a busy bridge in Fort Lee. The lane closures, which caused quite a traffic jam, was apparently political payback aimed at the Democrat mayor of that city. Mr. Christie took 107 minutes on Thursday to explain that he knew nothing about the lane closures and was very peeved at members of his administration who did, firing Bridget Ann Kelly, a close aid to the rotund Governor since 2010. My opinion about this dog and pony show is more about reaction from those on the Right than it is about what Governor Christie knew and when he knew it.
Beyond the scandal created either by Mr. Christie's political vengefulness or his lack of judgment with regards to those with which he has populated his administration, is the reaction by some on the Right that borders on defense, or suggests that he should be defended by his fellow Republicants. Even the elder statesman of conservatism, Rush Limbaugh, suggested that more of a defense of Christie should take place within his own party. Others in talk radio have verbally tripped over themselves to extol what they say are the characteristics of great leadership exhibited by Governor Christie in Thursday's press conference.
The repeating theme on much of talk radio yesterday and Thursday was to exculpate Chris Christie of any blame or wrongdoing by immediately enumerating every one of the many Obama scandals from his tenure in the White House. This is analogous to excusing a man for stealing a car simply because another man embezzled a million dollars from the corporation for which he worked. One of the core conservative principles is advocating for righteousness and truth, regardless of the party affiliation of the wrongdoer.
I am not saying that closing a couple lanes of a major bridge in a city run by a political opponent, causing a snarling traffic jam, is on par with allowing four Americans to die at the hands of terrorists in Benghazi, Libya. Nor is it as serious as using the Internal Revenue Service to suppress votes of your political opponent in an election year. Nor any other Obama scandal one wishes to use in comparison. But everyone can agree that the lane closures were wrong. Mr. Christie did nothing to repair the damage to his reputation and character, showing little honor by sacrificing Bridget Ann Kelly to the gods of the Leftist media, while he sheltered himself behind empty platitudes and righteous indignation.
Governor Christie has never impressed me as anything but a bullying opportunist, lacking in core convictions other than keeping himself supplied with political power and cheeseburgers. And those who call themselves conservatives, and also wish to defend Mr. Christie, should examine their own convictions and values. For the two positions, in my opinion, are mutually exclusive and cannot peacefully coexist in anyone who counts themselves among principled conservatives.