If this Chris Christie article doesn’t stoke your rage at the state of 2014 American politics, nothing will. I’m not talking about the revelations about the Governor – it’s not exactly a shock that an obese blustering bully self-medicates with rank corruption disguised as crime fighting, in addition to food and name calling. It’s the other story – the one about the widespread, bipartisan mission of modern American pols to shake serious cash out of the tax coffers for friends and money raisers.
The most secure business model in America is to sell things or services to the government. You don’t have to be honest, competent or good. But, you do have to be connected, most helpfully if you’re connected because you raised a boat of dough for a campaign. Early in the century, Christie ran for office several times, producing only defeat and enemies. So, he became a bundler, raising $350,000 for Bush. His prize was a coveted appointment as US Attorney – a federal prosecutor – even though he had zero criminal law experience. True, he prosecuted low level criminals and some relatively powerless pols, posing as a crime fighter. But, he also cozied up to the power brokers in both parties by erasing charges against them, stopping investigations and calling dishonest people honest and clean. The smartest thing Christie did was kill investigations against the state party boss, George Norcross, a Democrat, which made the boss a fan, cleared any serious electoral challengers and made Christie look like he had legit cross aisle appeal. But, thank God for hubris, because without it, Christie could have ridden his limping, burdened horse to the White House.
Government should buy products and services from the most qualified suppliers, not just from the ones who wrote a check. That’s why we need to get the check writers – and the check raisers – out of politics. We need to grab the wheel from the rich and the corporate. We have to amend the Constitution. Stay tuned.