Glad you asked, governor.
There is nothing new under the sun about retaliatory pettiness. It’s common enough in politics, in the workplace and elsewhere.
Reporters who cover government officials for any length of time can bend your ear with titillating accounts of politicos and their testiness. They all have their peccadilloes, their small-minded grudges and peeves, their subjects that may not be mentioned.
It can be easy to conclude that we are governed by coddled and temperamental ignoramuses who won’t lift a finger for the common good unless there’s something in it for them. The phenomenon has spawned its own literary genre. Books such as “Double Down,” Mark Halperin and John Heilemann’s insider tattle on the 2012 presidential campaigns, are always dependable sellers. It’s fun to read about until you realize where the line gets crossed.
Governing has consequences. It’s not just about you, governor, and your career, ambitions and style. It’s about people who need their government to work — people who, if their government doesn’t hold its duties in sacred trust, could die in an ambulance in a traffic jam.
So did Christie’s brash persona breed the disregard for the general public necessary to carry out the dirty tricks in Fort Lee? Or is he the wounded naif he claims to be? Neither explanation redounds to his credit, nor indicates his worthiness to serve in a higher office.
Mary Sanchez is a columnist for The Kansas City Star. Readers may write to her at email@example.com.
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