Karl Rove: Christie’s handling of this Bridgegate thing could give him “street cred” with tea partiers

posted at 11:21 am on January 13, 2014 by Allahpundit

“Mr. Rove has grown so controversial among some conservatives,” the NYT wrote recently, citing GOP sources, “that candidates worry that donors will not contribute to a super PAC if it is connected to [Rove's group American] Crossroads.” You trust a guy in that position, whose personal brand is now sufficiently toxic among righties that it can alter fundraising battle plans, to have a sharp read into the thinking of tea partiers, don’t you?

On the other hand, he’s not totally wrong. I noticed over the weekend how conservative media, including columnists, are starting to pay attention to the amount of coverage Bridgegate got in its first flush versus the coverage Obama’s IRS scandal received initially. No less a tea partier than Palin, while noting that what Christie’s team did is “atrocious,” was quick to add that his sins pale next to O’s. That’s the key to damage control for him on the right: Play up every available contrast with Obama, from the gravity of Obama’s misdeeds to the partisan skew in media coverage to the quick action he took to punish the guilty staffers versus Obama’s reluctance to fire anyone. He’s past the point of earning any “street cred” with conservatives but pointing out their common enemies on the left will naturally make some people on the right more reluctant to use Bridgegate against him.

Problem is, he can’t follow that strategy yet. It’s still too early, and the scandal too shady, for Christie to shift into victim mode now. Case in point:

New documents related to a traffic jam planned by a member of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) staff show for the first time how furiously Christie’s lieutenants inside the Port Authority worked to orchestrate a coverup after traffic mayhem engulfed Fort Lee last year.

Inside the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Christie’s top appointees neglected furious complaints from Fort Lee’s police chief as well as from angry rush-hour commuters. One woman called asking why the agency was “playing God with people’s jobs.”

The Republican governor’s appointees instructed subordinates to stonewall reporters who were asking questions. They even ordered up an actual “traffic study” to chronicle the impact and examine whether closing the lanes permanently might improve traffic flow. The study’s conclusion: “TBD.”

Jersey Democrats are threatening to subpoena Bridget Kelly, the Christie staffer fired for sending the “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” e-mail. Christie’s own timeline of when he first heard about those traffic problems has changed, although whether that’s an incriminating inconsistency or just a memory lapse remains to be seen. And now, as Ed noted earlier, the feds are sniffing around whether he misused funds appropriated for Sandy relief by giving the tourism ad bid to a contractor that featured him and his family in their spots. Maybe all of that will evaporate, leaving Christie free to argue that he was the target of a media witch hunt that President Bambi never had to endure. But even if it does, most tea partiers would, I think, react by making the point Mollie Hemingway made the other day: Namely, however trivial Christie’s scandal is vis-a-vis O’s, it reflects the same tendency by underlings to damage a political opponent by hurting his constituents that we saw from O with the IRS scandal and the national park closures during the shutdown. The scale of the scandals is different and media partisanship is what it is, but if you want something new and fresh in 2016, why choose a guy whose administration proved that it’s not above Chicago-style hardball retaliation and whose 2016 platform will be less about limiting the reach of government than about making it work “better”?


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When you finally showed that at least some of those supposedly conservative voters cast their ballots their Democrats, I immediately renounced them.

After I re-re-re showed you.

3) Been n [sic] obnoxious idiot.

I certainly can be obnoxious, but if you want to see the best combination of obnoxiousness and idiocy, look in the mirror.

So you were outgunned on every level, top to rock-bottom. Check.

You’re pretty obviously one of those guys who puts party above country.

If, for instance, there was a Democrat like Zell Miller running against Chris Christie, (Who, now that you asked me, I absolutely loathe) I would pull the lever for Miller without hesitation and then work to keep the lesser angels of his nature in check. By doing that I would be choosing the easier fight, the 10% fight rather than the 40% fight. When you stay home in the face of someone like Obama you are choosing the 100% fight, or with Hillary the 90% fight. When you opt not to fight at all you are putting everything above country, including your own convenience. I can’t celebrate that with you.
This post is about to drop off the bottom and be lost to archives, you can go hide in shame now. I’ll just add another notch to my keyboard. :-D

V7_Sport on January 17, 2014 at 1:24 AM

After I re-re-re showed you.

I had to pull the proof out of you with towing cables and a pair of pliers. But once I saw the proof you provided, I immediately dropped my defense of those particular posters.

So you were outgunned on every level, top to rock-bottom. Check.

You’re your own biggest fan and booster. Too bad no one else shares such a high view of your abilities.

When you opt not to fight at all you are putting everything above country, including your own convenience. I can’t celebrate that with you.

Voting is not fighting. And declining to vote in specific circumstances isn’t giving up.

When you vote for what you believe is a bad choice – be it Barack Obama, Zell Miller, or George W. Bush – you implicate yourself in all those bad decisions that happen under that man’s leadership.

You don’t get a patriotic pass just because you suspect things would have been worse if you hadn’t supported the “less bad choice.” You can’t win an argument by saying, “Sure, Bush sucks. Sure, he ran the economy into the ground and left us with two unwinnable wars because he focused more on nation-building than national security. Sure, he nearly destroyed his party and left most people in the country with a bad taste in their mouths. Sure, Obama followed in his wake. But at least Bush was slightly better than the alternatives.”

Even if you believe this line, you won’t convince anyone who isn’t deeply partisan like you into believing it. And so independents will judge you and your political choices as mere partisanship, and they will judge your future choices as less attractive to them because they will no longer trust your judgement.

When I voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004, I voted for him because I believed the country would be better off after four years of his leadership. I didn’t think Bush would be a great president or even a good president, but I also didn’t think he would be a bad president. (I was less sure of this in 2004, but I still voted for him.) I didn’t believe I was supporting the “less bad choice.” Bush was an uninspiring choice for president, but not a bad choice.

In retrospect, it’s clear I was wrong. It’s clear those conservatives who didn’t support Bush saw him more accurately than I did. But at least my intentions were in the right place.

But what you’re telling everyone in this thread, including me, is that it doesn’t matter whether we thought Bush would be good or bad for the country. Even if we could’ve judged that Bush would be a complete failure as president, we still should’ve supported him if we believed the alternative would be slightly worse. So no matter how bad I thought Bush would be as president, I was doing my country a service by supporting him so long as I also believed he was going to be slightly less of a disaster than Gore or Kerry.

Patriots shouldn’t be obligated to support an option they believe is bad for the country just because the other major choice on the ballot is even worse. Patriots should look at those two bad options and see that the political system needs major reform and better options in the future, and they should work to that end. Deliberately supporting bad leadership is inexcusable in a man who loves his country.

Pincher Martin on January 17, 2014 at 2:23 AM

I had to pull the proof out of you with towing cables and a pair of pliers. But once I saw the proof you provided, I immediately dropped my defense of those particular posters.

That an apology?

You’re your own biggest fan and booster. Too bad no one else shares such a high view of your abilities.

You lost because you are inadequate. You are just going to have to find a way to live with that.

Voting is not fighting.

No, it’s giving you a chance to fight on. Basically that was the entire point of the program.

And declining to vote in specific circumstances isn’t giving up.

Yes, it is. Its surrendering because you are too lazy to continue the fight.

When you vote for what you believe is a bad choice – be it Barack Obama, Zell Miller, or George W. Bush – you implicate yourself in all those bad decisions that happen under that man’s leadership.

That’s just crazy. It doesn’t logically follow, it’s complete bull s#it.

You don’t get a patriotic pass just because you suspect things would have been worse if you hadn’t supported the “less bad choice.”

No, for the zillionth time you vote for the best you can get and then work to hold them accountable. That you are trying to separate the first from the last is just lame at this point, you have acknowledged the point in it’s entirety before and you still can’t break the argument. Being deliberately obtuse isn’t an argument winner; it makes you look like a moron.

But at least Bush was slightly better than the alternatives.”

He was, what did you do to make him better? Or Schwarzenegger for that matter? Nothing other than the Herriot Meyers thing. Voting isn’t the end of your obligation as a citizen.

Even if you believe this line, you won’t convince anyone who isn’t deeply partisan like you into believing it.

Ummm, no, Someone who isn’t being a petulant child who is deliberately missing the point because they are butthurt over being called out for their insecure bandwagon hopping, Someone who’s reason isn’t clouded by overcompensation and a big chip on their shoulder, Someone who can reason and allow themselves to see the obvious, they might be swayed. But that kind of person probably wouldn’t have fallen for this BS in the first place.

When I voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004, I voted for him because I believed the country would be better off after four years of his leadership.

BDS. He was sub par, get over it.

But what you’re telling everyone in this thread, including me, is that it doesn’t matter whether we thought Bush would be good or bad for the country. Even if we could’ve judged that Bush would be a complete failure as president, we still should’ve supported him if we believed the alternative would be slightly worse.

You should have voted for him and then worked to minimize the bad influence that he had (as you did with the Meyers nomination) and maximize the good. He DID have the biggest attack on US soil since 1814 to deal with. It’s kind of sad that he doesn’t get any slack cut for that,.

So no matter how bad I thought Bush would be as president, I was doing my country a service by supporting him so long as I also believed he was going to be slightly less of a disaster than Gore or Kerry.

You still forgot the work part. And really, Where would we have been had president Gore signed international treaties limiting our CO2 emissions? Do you think the USA could ever recover economically with paying even more for energy?

Patriots shouldn’t be obligated to support an option they believe is bad for the country just because the other major choice on the ballot is even worse

Welcome to life. Patriots roll up their sleeves and get to work to make a bad situation better.

Patriots should look at those two bad options and see that the political system needs major reform

So get on it. Staying home on election day isn’t doing that. Losing elections to socialists isn’t going to do anything for conservative principals.

V7_Sport on January 17, 2014 at 5:10 AM

That an apology?

Nope. Just an acknowledgment that you were ultimately right about those posters even while you were wrong about everything else.

No, it’s giving you a chance to fight on. Basically that was the entire point of the program.

You don’t “fight on” with a vote for poor leadership. You shoot yourself in the kneecaps. Your support for bad candidates puts you in a worse position than if you had studied the context better and kept your hands clean of what you knew and admitted was bad leadership for the country.

Yes, it is. Its surrendering because you are too lazy to continue the fight.

Did you work up a sweat going to the ballot booth, you double-digit-IQ moron? Well, perhaps you did, but certainly no one else will.

When I don’t vote for a candidate, I still cast a ballot to vote for other candidates and propositions. I still vote. So you work no more than I do when you throw your support behind a bad candidate. You just furrow your brow a little bit more when scratching out your votes with a stone age tool.

That’s just crazy. It doesn’t logically follow, it’s complete bull s#it.

Of course it logically follows. You just don’t like where the logic takes you because it goes against the grain of how your inbred family taught you to beat your head against a wall.

You also haven’t given me one example of how you worked to improve an elected candidate’s positions who you voted for. I did. You’re apparently one of those guys who likes to talk about working and fighting even as you’re laying down to take a nap.

No, for the zillionth time you vote for the best you can get and then work to hold them accountable.

And as I already told you, that only works up to a point. If you have a candidate who has two or three positions you really dislike, then, yes, it makes sense to support his candidacy and then work to protect yourself from what he might do on those two or three positions.

But if you have a candidate who has more than half-a-dozen positions you dislike, you’re fooling yourself about your potential impact after the election is over. This is especially true of presidents, who have a great deal of arbitrary power in the form of executive discretion. You will either spend your entire time fighting the man you helped elect (and when has that happened?) or you should plan on losing on a great many of those issues you care about. Neither prospect is worth it.

He was, what did you do to make him better?… Nothing other than the Herriot Meyers thing.

Getting Samuel Alito on the high court rather than Harriet Miers was a big deal. (And for our troubles, the president and first lady suggested Miers’ conservative critics were sexist.)

I also mentioned pushing back against Bush’s Iraq policy. I began doing that in January of 2004, but I just couldn’t convince enough conservatives that we were better off focusing on preventing North Korea and Iran from going nuclear (you know, the other two nations in the Axis of Evil) rather than nation-building in Iraq and Afghanistan. For several years I fought bitterly with other conservatives trying to get them to see the futility of their approach, but to no avail.

I also fought against Bush’s comprehensive immigration reform, his Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, and NCLB. We got one of out three. Not a good percentage. I also pointed out that the real estate bubble was unsustainable and fueling Bush’s economy. I didn’t get much traction there, either.

In the end, it simply wasn’t worth it. Bush is the GOP’s Jimmy Carter, and my experience with that administration showed me the futility of trying to work within the system when it’s leaning hard against me. For one thing, too many conservatives are like you; they smartly salute and do what they’re told. That’s good in a soldier or Marine, but not in a citizen.

Ummm, no, Someone who isn’t being a petulant child who is deliberately missing the point because they are butthurt over being called out for their insecure bandwagon hopping, Someone who’s reason isn’t clouded by overcompensation and a big chip on their shoulder, Someone who can reason and allow themselves to see the obvious, they might be swayed. But that kind of person probably wouldn’t have fallen for this BS in the first place.

You can’t even sway people here at a conservative site, you moron. What luck are you going to have with independents? No one is going to listen to someone who claims to have the right political ideas when he proudly supports the “less bad choice.” People like you are the reason identification with the GOP is declining.

If you showed some modesty that was more in line with your obvious lack of intelligence you would win more converts to the cause.

He DID have the biggest attack on US soil since 1814 to deal with. It’s kind of sad that he doesn’t get any slack cut for that,


He was given enormous slack for it. Ninety percent of the country supported him in the wake of the attacks. He was then given every allowance to decide what was in the best interests of the country’s national security. He decided to go into Afghanistan light. The American people said fine. He decided to invade Iraq. The American people, including a large number of Democrats, said fine.

But he lost the country when his war leadership failed. And his leadership failed not because of the Democrats or the American public but because of his own decisions. He has no one else but himself to blame.

And really, Where would we have been had president Gore signed international treaties limiting our CO2 emissions? Do you think the USA could ever recover economically with paying even more for energy?

Wasn’t going to happen. Any international treaty require the approval of two-thirds of the U.S. Senate and that number of senators was never going to support the Kyoto Protocol.

Of course Gore would have used his executive power to come to some international agreement, but it wouldn’t have much force and would get immediately overturned when a conservative entered the White House. The Democrats would also get blamed for any adverse economic consequences coming from Gore’s actions.

Pincher Martin on January 17, 2014 at 6:53 AM

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