The talking heads invoked the name of Nixon and finally asked the question: why the hell did Chris Christie do it? It doesn’t make sense when you are leading a race with double digits, your popularity is higher than any other public figure, and you are the darling of the press. But history shows that a number of leaders have done the same. The pattern is so familiar. Power-mad, invincible people, do stupid things.
Richard Nixon saw the Democrats as a sleazy vote-stealing machine. They screwed him once, and he was determined not to be out-foxed by a bunch of hypocrites in peace robes.
Ronald Reagan couldn’t remember Iran-Contra. Conveniently. The shining city on the hill never faced that one. Too many illusions would have crumbled.
Bill Clinton called them his demons. They possessed him when he was feeling low, under attack, under appreciated. His aching desire to be loved overcame his common sense. No illusions with Bubba. The little head wins most arguments.
Chris Christie, the muscle junky, blames his staff. Could be, but the pattern is awfully familiar. The alpha politician, adored by his inner circle, begins to feel that he can do no wrong. Polling shows his constituents adore him. His opponent for his job has no traction. The press starts to mention the P-word. The national stage looks better and better. This is his game. He plays it better than anyone. He can get away with anything. So he tries to do just that. Suddenly you are larger than life. And you do a stupid thing.
In the streets it’s called living large. Sure, Christie may be pure as the driven snow. The Bada Bing Governor, who has never hesitated to tell those who question him to drop dead, may have surrounded himself with so many goombahs just like himself, that the Christie machine just went off the rails.
Obama, you ask? The drone junky, his mea culpa will not be faced until long after he is out of office, when we finally confront the moral cost of this war on terror.