Sunday, January 12, 2014

Chris Christie and A-Rod - Playing the Victim

It is the week of the victim.

Chris Christie and Alex Rodriguez, almost in unison crying foul. For Christie, it was his pleading assertion that his underlings failed him, betraying his confidence in their capacity to separate right from wrong and unfairly bringing into question their leader's integrity and intentions.

For Rodriguez, it was a contention that an abusive system with all its cards stacked against him, led to his undoing and suspension from the game he could dominate with unparalleled greatness.

Two kings, informing the public that they were being challenged not for their faults but for the crimes committed by those who should be protecting their person, their legacy, their kingdom. "Et tu, Brute?" played out in stereo.

Are either of these characters worthy of our sympathy or compassion? Christie has certainly set a relentless tone throughout his time in office, a bombastic, petty, seemingly cruel and quick to anger monarch with at least one eye firmly set on higher ground. He has given no indication to those in his control that actions like those taken in September in Fort Lee would have met with the czar's condemnation.

Rodriguez has spent two decades attempting to craft a persona worthy of our love. But for those who have followed closely, it has all seemed far too staged and in the moments when he revealed his true self, there has been much less to admire. The repeated denials of drug use in the past, followed by reluctant admission have forever damned him in this arena. The fact that about a dozen other players caught in the same web as A-Rod acknowledged their wrongs and accepted the punishment meted out to them, only makes his present cries seem all the more bootless.

Yes, there is no smoking gun against Christie, at least not yet. And yes, baseball and its owners deserve more than a little rebuke for turning a blind eye for so long to the epidemic before them and for their often questionable tactics in pursuing their all too clear vendetta against Rodriguez.

But, in the end, these are two actors far too dirty to be loved or forgiven their trespasses. They built up a body of evidence against themselves throughout the years, and no amount of attempting to change the perspective or the focus can undo all that. For in the final analysis it is Christie and Rodriguez alone who have shaped their fates.


Anonymous said...

about Chris Christie.

At the very least, he is guilty of not following up sufficiently with his subordinates and friends who were public accused, immediately after the fact, of serious wrongdoing. It’s not just that he trusted them and was lied to. He failed to act appropriate action to investigate the allegations independently. Not just an incompetent supervisor. It’s malfeasance in office. It’s a fact. Strike one.

There is also little doubt – and the evidence should be very easy to find since these idiots used e-mail - that he did material things over his career to order and encourage “dirty tricks” and worse against his political opponents, real and imagined. This kind of action does not come from nowhere, right? Why was it so natural for his office to tell his high-school friend to block the bridge? Was this really the first time? This is not just cultivating an attitude; there is almost certainly material evidence of actions and behaviors that will emerge in due course. So, we have at least a couple more foul balls. Strike two. He’d better not get a foul tip that ends up in the catcher’s glove.

And strike three will come, you can count on it. Christie is just a little behind A-Rod in the timeline, that’s all. I guess that’s your point. But it’s a syndrome with bullies and narcissists. Which both of them are. Would that we had Sam Ervin and his amazing eyebrows (which Margie and witnessed first hand soon after coming to Washington in 1973) and his investigators. And Christie will be found to richly deserve the same fate as befell Ervin’s prey. Don’t even think twice about it.


Anonymous said...

This is great.


Anonymous said...

if only the Times would give you your own column already....


Anonymous said...

Really good.


Anonymous said...

Ditto, really great, good. Absolute frauds.

Robert said...

As usual, great reading but aren't you a bit premature in implyng that Christie was complicit?
I watched his entire news conference and actually believed his lack of knowledge. I thought that he handled the situation as well as could be expected. He was forthright, assumed responsibility and decisive in firing his aides. Would you suggest that I'm just naive?
Bye bye Arod, hello Tanaka...hopefully. So as Lou and About would say, "who's on third?"