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Time for Some _______ In ______

January 11, 2014
Imagine him with your Internet history.

Imagine him with your Internet history.

The recent disclosures about the September “traffic study” at the George Washington Bridge have provoked comparisons between Chris Christie and Richard Nixon–and rightfully so. Of course, it hasn’t been shown that Christie knew or directed about his aide’s revenge-motivated order to inflict chaos on Fort Lee, though it seems vanishingly unlikely that that he didn’t. Nonetheless, considering the order came from his deputy chief of staff, we can say at the very least that Christie created an atmosphere in his administration that condoned political revenge via government mechanisms, even if it meant grievous harm to the public. His political history in New Jersey supports that impression.

In the light cast by Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA and the extent of its domestic spying, this scandal (I’d say #Bridgeghazi but that would be giving far too much credence to that fake scandal) serves as an important reminder that some people, including those we elect to our highest offices, are conniving and conscienceless. Although, for some, the idea of the NSA repeatedly exceeding the orders of a secret court created specifically to police their surveillance and generally operating outside of the law doesn’t seem too scary when Obama is president (though presumably not those believed in the IRS scandal) and it supposedly keeps us safe, we should remember that there will someday be a president (though probably not Christie) who is much more comfortable using the power of the state to achieve nefarious personal and political ends. When that happens, we’d all be much happier with a national security apparatus that is properly overseen by an effective court system that ensures it follows the Constitution and properly enacted . One can imagine what Christie’s next target would be.

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