A bridge over troubled water for establishment Republicans
by Kevin Foley
January 16, 2014 11:55 PM | 1605 views | 9 9 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend | print
There seems to be a fixation within the Republican Party to pay back Democrats for the Watergate scandal.

First they went after President Bill Clinton, but their years-long investigation into a real estate deal finally uncovered only a tawdry liaison over which the president lied under oath.

Republican efforts to impeach Clinton then backfired when House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s own marital indiscretions were exposed. It was Gingrich, not Clinton who eventually stepped down.

Frustrated they couldn’t nail Clinton, Republicans targeted Barack Obama with a vengeance.

They thought they had him after the tragic attack on a diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya. Then it was a revelation that the IRS was reviewing the tax exempt applications of tea party groups. Finally the National Security Agency’s over-reaching made news.

Despite baseless accusations from conservative politicians and pundits implicating Obama in all three, none were scandals, let alone crimes.

If Republicans want to know what a real scandal and perhaps a crime look like, they should keep an eye on New Jersey.

The Republican establishment, tired of the tea party and religious extremists costing the party elections, wants Gov. Chris Christie to be their 2016 presidential candidate.

The bombastic Christie is billed as a moderate. Super storm Sandy cemented his reputation for dogged leadership in the face of a devastating natural disaster. He cut through bureaucratic red tape and crossed party lines to ensure the people of New Jersey left ruined by the storm would recover.

When President Obama arrived in the fall of 2012 to inspect the ravaged Jersey Shore with Christie, we caught a fleeting glimpse of politicians cooperating to serve those who elected them.

To prove his bipartisan appeal and further impress Republican poobahs and campaign donors, Christie sought to win re-election with a huge cross-section of Garden State voters. He even asked Democrats to support him.

Christie was swept into a second term with a resounding 60 percent of the vote. His support included large numbers of women, African-Americans and Hispanics, constituencies extremists drove away in 2012 and voters the GOP establishment desperately needs if it expects Christie to win in 2016.

Then “Bridgegate” exploded.

Christie’s minions reportedly conspired to close down all but one lane onto the George Washington Bridge from the small town of Fort Lee, resulting in a monumental four-day traffic jam last September.

I used to live near Fort Lee. To give you an idea of what this would be like, imagine Gov. Nathan Deal arbitrarily ordering southbound I-75 squeezed down to one lane between Delk Road and Windy Hill during the morning rush hour.

What’s known is Christie’s staff engineered the lane closings because the mayor of Fort Lee, a Democrat, did not endorse Christie. The traffic jam-ups were payback.

“I am heartbroken that someone I permitted to be in that circle of trust for the past five years betrayed that trust,” lamented Christie.

Having watched his televised performances, it’s not difficult to imagine Christie had a hand in this disgraceful affair.

He frequently comes off as a loudmouthed bully, humiliating reporters who ask questions he doesn’t like, or belligerently shouting down constituents who have the temerity to ask why he sends his children to private schools and not the state’s public schools.

As I say, I lived in Jersey. Some people there have an aggressive, unpleasant edge and Christie exemplifies this nasty underside with his snarling, sarcastic style.

Would Christie resort to punishing those who don’t get in line? We’ll have to wait and see what the subpoenas produce. Meantime, anxious Republican establishment leaders are cautioning us not to rush to judgment.

If only they would afford President Obama the same courtesy.

Kevin Foley is an author, writer and public relations executive who lives in Kennesaw.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
Guido Sarducci
January 22, 2014
Foley, you have a way of stopping just short of lying, yet putting implications in your words that leave people with incorrect meaning.

The way tyou worded the sentence about Clinton and gingrich was clear,ly dfesigned ot leave the impression Clinton exonerated and Gingrich left office over an illicit relationshsip.

Neither is true and you know it.

As to my moving along, when you stop twisting facts to fit your agenda, I might consider it. Until such time, consider me a burr under your saddle. Oh, and as for my "depth" tyou donl;t have the foggiest notion how deep I can go.

Calling Gingrich a sex fiedn, while defending Clinton is really laughable. You really are a clown.

Have a nice day.
Kevin Foley
January 23, 2014
@ Sarducci (whoever you are) - I'm still waiting for the "ample supply."
Red Westside
January 30, 2014
Gingrich acknowledged cheating on his wife while leading the impeachment proceedings against President Clinton for allegations of perjury involving the Paula Jones sexual harassment civil case and the president's affair with Monica Lewinsky. If Newt was being honest, he would have disclosed his own behavior. He only owned up to it so that it wouldn't be an issue when he ran for president in 2008. I hope he runs again in 2016.
Guido Sarducci
January 21, 2014
Okay, Foley, I don't normally engage in debates with unarmed people sucha s you, but in this case, I'll make an exception.

You state that Republican efforts to impeach Clinton backfired. That is totally incorrect. Clinton was, in fact, impeached. He was convicted on two offenses. Or, are you one of those low information types who think impeachment means removal from office?

Gingrich resigned because he no lonegr had the votes to retain the speakership. It had nothing to do with his illict affair. However, when Gingrich was confronted about his affair, he had the integrity to admit it instead of lying about it as Clinton did.

As to Nixon, he at least had the integrity to resign rather than tear the government apart fighting the charges against him.

Too bad you can't say as much for Clinton.

These are facts, easily found by googling "Watergate", "Clinton's Impeachment" and "Gingrich's Resignation."
Kevin Foley
January 22, 2014
@ Sarducci (whoever you are) - Where, anywhere, did I say Clinton wasn't convicted?

Gingrich's extramarital affair WAS exposed. Period, full stop. "It was Gingrich, not Clinton, who eventually stepped down."

Bill Clinton is one of the most popular former presidents in American history and was instrumental in helping Obama win a second term. You'll be seeing a lot of him in 2016.

Newt Gingrich, the faux intellectual sex fiend, has some TV show on some cable network.

You're out of your depth here. Move along.
Mike h
January 18, 2014
Thank you Bob for your detailed list of "false stats".

Did you take time to read Mr. Foley's column?

It is always long on facts and devoid of baseless accusations.

He is also a pretty good writer

Reading his columns and blogs will make you a better writer.
Guido Sarducci
January 20, 2014
Mike h. Of course everyone is entitled to be wrong and your comments indicate that you are taking full advantage of that entitlement.

As to a list if "baseless accusations", just start with the first sentence and work your way through.

you will find an ample supply.

Calling things "non-issues", such as Clinton lying under oath, or the Benghazi tragedy, does not make it so. Time you did a little fact checking on your own and quit swallowing the liberal Kool Aid.
Bob Johnson
January 17, 2014
Kevin when are you and your liberal brothers going to have the guts to admit to any of Obama's failures? You keep making up false stats and repeating the same old lies.
Kevin Foley
January 21, 2014
@ Sarducci - My policy on columns is to only respond to charges of getting facts wrong. You say there's an "ample supply" so please present anything I have gotten wrong in this column and support with facts.
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