|Blame one, ignore the other?|
I saw this article by liberal Paul Begala on CNN yesterday where he excoriates New Jersey governor Chris Christie for a political payback perpetrated by his office against the town of a Democratic mayor who refused to endorse Christie's 2013 bid for re-election (which Christie won handily). Begala claims that either Christie knew about the political payback and was behind it, or else he was a clueless dolt who isn't running his administration well.
It sort of sounds like what conservatives have been saying about Obama for years, on issue after issue. But there's a difference.
(CNN) -- Somewhere, Dick Nixon wants a royalty check.When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie channeled his inner Tricky Dick and declared, "I am not a bully," he did himself no favors.To be fair, Christie faced a dilemma: Either admit to creating a climate of bullying, intimidation and political payback that led to the George Washington Bridge scandal, or claim that his staff and appointees disrupted traffic on the world's busiest bridge as political punishment without his knowledge. In the business we call it a choice between being a crook or a schnook. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Gov. Schnook.I take the fifth, ex-Christie aide says DNC Chair: Christie not straight shooter Christie faces the music: The highlights Christie: Mayor wasn't on my radar A schnook, for those who don't speak Yiddish, is a dupe. A fool. A patsy. A schnook is a victim, and Chris Christie is not convincing playing the victim. He wants us to believe that Gov. Straight-Talk, Mister No-B.S., credulously believed a pack of lies from his close aides.He wants us to believe that, as a former federal prosecutor, he thought his one-hour "investigation" of this operation, which yielded no confessions, was all that he could have done to unearth the truth. The governor clearly hopes that his press conference, his apology and his firing of one whole person will put this issue to rest.
I've personally made the same argument about president Obama numerous times. For example, did he know that the IRS was targeting Tea Party groups and willfully direct or endorse such tactics, or was he so out of touch with his administration that he had no clue? Willful or dumb. That's the crook or shnook choice
To be fair, Begala did side with the Tea Party in that instance, but it was hard not to do so. Furthermore, Begala didn't go after Obama, he simply acknowledged that the Tea Party had a fair criticism of the system. Meanwhile Begala does consult for an Obama super PAC, and has not applied the same "crook or shnook" measurement to the president. Not doing so is two-faced duplicity.
I use Begala as an example. There are plenty of other liberal media pundits who are quite happy to go after Christie in a way they would never consider doing to Obama for the same sort of
There are other differences between conservatives and liberals on the issue of being two-faced. If Christie was either willful or dumb, conservatives will not turn a blind eye as liberals do with any liberal they think they can get away with it on. To be honest, despite what Democrats think, Christie is strong on name recognition with conservatives, but not devotion. His conservative supporters aren't exactly ardent, and he's not a commanding figure in the party the way Hillary Clinton is with the Democrats. If there is malfeasance, it likely will do some damage to his presidential bid in 2016. It would hurt his claim that he's a bi-partisan worker (which hurts his chances with 'moderate' conservatives). If there's a lack of knowledge then it might do damage with those that believe he's a good governor, which may do less deep damage overall, but to a wider array of voters.
But keep in mind liberals, that we conservatives aren't awestruck with Christie. Yes, we'd prefer him to Hillary Clinton, but that goes for a lot of other candidates too. You think he may be this juggernaut, and are therefore concentrating your firepower on him now. That may backfire for you.
Lastly, this scandal does not carry the same weight as Benghazi, which liberal pundits have deliberately buried as much as possible. 2016 is still a long way away and piling on this right now won't amount to a hill of beans in 2016. It's just not as big a scale issue as you want it to be. Especially if Christie ends up not being the nominee.