Last week, I posted a diary called “Imagine”, in which I let my imagination take me to a world where Governor Christie was a moderate Republican instead of a presidential candidate bowing to the worst that the GOP has to offer. Driving home from Trenton today, I imagined something else. I thought about how the Special Committee investigating the George Washington Bridge closure could have been more valuable to the citizens of New Jersey had the Republicans wanted to get to the bottom of the incident instead of making this a totally partisan game.
I’m not naïve. I know Trenton is the center of political gamesmanship and that every one of our legislators is a political animal. Every action, every vote, every question they pose is filtered through a political lens. But if politics is their only criterion, they don’t deserve to wear the moniker “public servant.”
Today, I witnessed the worst exhibition of non-value-added partisan politics in the actions of Senator Kevin O’Toole as he read his opening statement during the session called to issue the interim report of the Bridgegate legislative committee. Speaking with venom that would make Rush Limbaugh cringe, O’Toole aimed his rant directly at co-chair Wisniewski with personal attacks on his motives and actions, even comparing Wisnewski’s to Kim Jung Il. PolitickerNJ’s Chase Brush called it a 10-minute tirade, and committee member Assemblyman Louis Greenwald called it “unprofessional.” Greenwald was being kind.
More, including the Democratic response, below the fold.
Imagine how much better off we would be if the Republicans decided to help understand what happened during several days in September a year ago. At best, someone did something stupid in closing those lanes. At worst, someone performed criminal actions that put the safety of the public at risk. Apparently, O’Toole and his colleagues are not interested in getting to the truth. Their sole response has been to play partisan politics. Some of us want to understand what happened. Senator O’Toole: “I hope someday you’ll join us.”
Photo: Senator O’Toole and Assemblywoman Handlin, both of whom voted against the facts in the interim report.