The latest chapter in the Chris Christie “Bridgegate” scandal is being given the full, dramatic reading treatment in the media this weekend, but the MSM lens has shifted, along with the characterization of the key players. Ever since the release of the internal investigation this week, the attack squad has been looking for some fresh traction, and by golly, they seem to think they’ve found it. Since the report placed the blame for the lane closures (er, sorry… realignments) squarely on Bridget Anne Kelly and David Wildstein – as it had been by the Governor’s office since the beginning of the investigation – the media machine needed to find a new way to arrange the pieces on the board.
No problem! Enter Bridget Kelly Version 2.0. In this edition, Kelly becomes the sympathetic figure who is being bullied by Chris Christie and his goons because … wait for it … she’s a woman. I wonder what Talking Points Memo could do with that? Take it away, boys.
Generally speaking when you throw someone under the bus and you want them to play along, you add as much padding to the process as possible. That doesn’t appear to be the Chris Chrisitie way. The main fallperson turns out to be former deputy chief of staff Bridget Kelly. And the “report” prepared by Christie’s lawyer not only places all the criminal liability on her (along with David Wildstein). It also goes out of its way to say that she is, to put it bluntly, emotionally unstable and loose.
The whole thing is vaguely reminiscent of David Brock’s notorious line that Anita Hill was “a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty.” (If that line is before your time, Brock long since recanted, repented and a bunch else.)
It’s really terrible, I tell you. And everyone is noticing.
Gov. Chris Christie, seeking to stanch the damage the scandal had caused to his political fortunes, fired her as his deputy chief of staff after that, calling her “stupid.” But the report commissioned by Mr. Christie and released Thursday doubles down on a strategy of portraying Ms. Kelly as duplicitous, weeping frequently and dependent on men for approval and stability.
Yes, even the Daily Beast jumped on the bandwagon bright and early, and they even broke out the Slut Shaming tag. But perhaps the most reliable predictor was the always reasonably toned Donna Brazille, most recently of CNN fame, weighing in on the issue. Donna can generally be relied on to play whatever tune Debbie Wasserman Schultz is singing in nearly perfect stereo whenever there’s a Republican to be bashed, and she took to Twitter in usual form.
What's on your menu? Women can’t help but notice how Christie and his cronies are throwing Bridget Anne Kelly under the bus. Do you agree?
— Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile) March 29, 2014
There’s that “under the bus” theme again which we saw above. It’s uncanny how they all come up with the same lines, isn’t it? Were I a more suspicious fellow I might begin thinking they planned it all out and distributed it in some sort of … memo … about… talking points.
But this leaves a rather inconvenient rock left to be turned over. Whether or not you continue to believe that Christie was involved in planning this and it’s all a massive coverup, everyone was previously in agreement that Kelly was one of the instrumental tools in pulling it off, right? I mean, weren’t you all in agreement that this bridge plan was a bad thing? I mean, people could have been killed, fergoshsakes! Surely you all remember that this was just terrible, and that Kelly sent out the now infamous “time for some traffic problems” e-mail, right? And she’s now the sympathetic figure in this passion play?
I know you desperately need to bring down Chris Christie, guys. And this is national level politics, so we all have to put on our Kevlar undies and be ready for fastballs. But you really need to comb through the memos that come out of these strategy meetings a little bit better.