Some things about government are eternal.
The latest New Jersey scandal a-brewing has it that Hoboken’s mayor was informed her city was to be denied federal aid following Hurricane Sandy unless she went along with a real estate project favored by Governor Chris Christie.
Shocking, but hardly . . . unheard of. Back in the 1930s, Franklin Delano Roosevelt distributed disproportionate “stimulus” funds to swing states for one reason: re-election.
Corruption is ancient.
Christie’s staff seems, well, merely a bit more honest than usual. For modern America. Take the “Bridgegate” scandal: Trying to “hurt” a mayor by shutting down bridge lanes to his city, thus severely inconveniencing the mayor’s constituents? This sort of pettiness in policitics is common, with one difference: Most players disguise the pettiness.
So how does the continuing scandal of misgovernment usually get hidden? Dishonesty? Evasion?
Or, just ideology?
In several cities throughout the United States — Portland, Oregon, in particular — top metropolitan bureaucrats have deliberately developed policies that make automobile traffic more congested. Why? To encourage ridership in public transportation, which is considered (for ideological reasons) somehow better. Thus billions are spent on infrastructure supporting light rail, which take lanes away from car drivers, and move fewer people at greater inconvenience.
So why is that policy not itself a scandal?
The intent of Chris Christie’s aides was, obviously, base and petty and wrong. And actionable.
The ideology driving today’s anti-automobile agenda, on the other hand, is said to be noble and altruistic. Even though the harms to the public in terms of hours lost in frustrating commutes far exceeds the recent New Jersey scandal.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.