Christie Deserves Praise for Responsible Approach
This week saw an event in the news that is unfortunately rare. A high level politician taking responsibility for reprehensible government actions under his authority.
A few days ago, e-mails came to light showing that top staffers of New Jersey governor Chris Christie, intentionally shut down lanes of traffic leading to the George Washington Bridge from New Jersey to New York.
This actions was taken for petty political reasons, the staffers wanted to “punish” a local democrat mayor who had not endorsed republican Christie for governor.
The result was an even bigger traffic snarl than usual. It may have even had fatal effect. An ambulance was unable to respond in a timely fashion to an elderly women’s medical emergency. The women later died.
We had a similar incident recently in my local community. County and city officials were at odds over the local ambulance service. At some point, the county ambulance service decided that they would suspend a local mutual aid agreement. The mutual aid agreement provides that during an emergency, the closest responders will be notified, regardless of whether it is a city or county resident or responder.
Shortly after this decision a woman called 911 dispatch for an ambulance when she found her husband unconscious in their home.. She was a city resident and the local fire station paramedics were stationed only three blocks away. The county did not call the fire department and the ambulance took nearly 30 minutes to arrive.
Desperate for assistance, the woman finally called the fire department directly, but her husband passed away. Just as in New Jersey, we will never know whether the man would have survived or not. But it is certain that citizens should expect better of their government.
Governor Christie responded by holding a press conference and immediately firing the staffers responsible. This story has been swirling around in New Jersey for some time, but Christie maintained that he did not know his staff was responsible until the incriminating emails surfaced this week.
There will be a lot of discussion about what Christie did or did not know, especially since he is considered a frontrunner for the 2016 GOP Republican nomination. Many are questioning his judgment in hiring such staffers, or speculating that he know all along.
Regardless or whether he should have taken action sooner, Gov. Christie should be praised for his actions. Christie is not my first choice for the GOP nomination, but we should praise politicians when they publicly do the right thing.
Christie took full responsibility for the scandal and held his staffers accountable. It is a stark contrast to the usual business in Washington D.C. where it seems no one is responsible for anything bad and everyone is responsible for the rare successes.
President Obama seems responsible for none of his staffers’ poor decisions. Despite massive failures of the Obamacare rollout, abuses of the IRS, or the debacle of Behghazi, responsible Obama staff and cabinet members always recieve praise and promotion.
The President could learn a lesson from Gen. Eisenhowser, who prior to the D-Day invasion, wrote two letters explaining his decision. One of the letters was in case the invasion failed, in which he took full responsibility for the failure and lives lost.
The President does not seem to ever take this aproach however. Perhaps it is because he knows the press will downplay his mistakes, unlike Gov Christies’. Or perhaps, despite what we think of his administration’s actions, he approves.