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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Christie's problems - further thoughts vs Obama

Christie is accused of - horrors! - being political! And using his power to punish political rivals - not that some mayor of Fort Lee, NJ, is any kind of real rival. Note that I am not defending Christie, but he is a politician, and it is fairly traditional in human history to use one's political power in such ways. It's not good - but it's not really unexpected. Would that our politicians were all decent, ethical people.

Yet, compare what he did to the way Obama has used the IRS. We are talking about the virtually all-powerful money collecting arm of the US government, on which depends the financial solvency of the nation and the collection of TRILLIONS of dollars.

The IRS has systematically targeted political rivals and organizations that are at odds with the Obama administration.

This has gone one for YEARS, lots of Obama's political rivals have suffered, it involves politics at the highest levels and political punishments of the most insidious kind.

Christie's state officials closed a lane of the George Washington Bridge.

Let me tell you, I commuted from NJ to NY for virtually the entire Clinton administration and for part of Obama's. Whenever either of those guys was in NY, traffic got snarled. Every time. It didn't matter where in NY they were or if they used the Hudson River crossings or even when.

Also, NJ representives in Washington are "auditing" the Christie administration and their use of federal money after hurricane Sandy. The timing is noteworthy. Is not Democrat Representative Frank Pallone engaging in activities that could be called political punishment? Don't kid yourself - they moan about how terrible Christie is for punishing political rivals and engange in that very activity themselves in retaliation. Maybe it's justice in a certain sense - but I would say it's kind of like playground justice and not anything becoming our civil "leaders."

Oh, and let's not forget that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, former Obama Chief of Staff, banned any new Chick-Fil-A stores from opening in his fifedom. That's not a political reprisal?

This is all modern ethics in action. It's not bioethics per se. But it reflects the state of our society's capacity for ethical thinking.

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