One of these days, I’ll lavish our politicians with well-deserved good press. Unfortunately today is not that day.
Chris Christie will be gone in 187 days. Once departed, the notion of who’s really moderate in Trenton will radically change. And that new bell curve is gonna ring-ding-ding. For some more loudly that others. You can count on it.
Holly Schepisi has a habit of voting dogmatically only to turn around and (defensively) boast how moderate she is all over social media. She did it after voting against gay marriage and yet again over her vote against Planned Parenthood. Actually worse that voting no, she abstained. Because that’s what politicians do when they want to have their cake and eat it too.
“It’s solely a political issue,” said Schepisi told NJ.com after (not) voting . “It’s solely to attack the Republican women in the Legislature. And everything that is wrong with politics.”
So here we have a partisan politician who balks at something partisan or political. Excuse me while I bang my head against my desk 6-8 times, yeah!? We all know that any vote related to a woman’s choice is going to be extra political. That wasn’t new last week when this bill came up, despite Schepisi’s breathless protestation to the contrary.
“Honorable” mention in this mess goes to Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver who was attending a Caribbean wedding and missed the vote altogether. Must be nice to have a job that gives you paid time off when you’re needed most, yeah? Oliver’s absence gave her female GOP colleagues cover to become restive, and ultimately not vote.
Democratic Assemblyman Joe Egan also abstained and I’m only sorry I can’t tell him he’s a coward in person. If this bill gave Egan heartburn, he should have the guts to vote no,
But the real villain in the Planned Parenthood funding saga is Chris Christie who never met a reproductive choice bill he didn’t veto. For the entire duration of Christie’s tenure, NJ was held hostage by those republicans desperate TO CONTROL THE OUTCOME OF EVERY PREGNANCY IN NEW JERSEY. Voting NO or abstaining on Planned Parenthood bills only emboldens politicians to tell the rest of us when we’re allowed to have a family.
Last week the GOP Assembly caucus had a golden opportunity to finally show back bone and override one of Lord Christie’s selfish vetoes. And they blew it. Again. Because apparently they just don’t realize how unflattering their fealty to Christie looks to the rest of us.
BEST APOLOGY EVER
A lousy day on Twitter beats a great day in the clink. Just ask Bridgegate mastermind David Wildstein who dodged jail time last week. Wildstein also joined Twitter just in time to issue an apology for closing the busiest bridge in the world to further Chris Christie’s political ambitions. Reaction was mixed.
NJ political operative Derel Stroud was underwhelmed.
“Wildstein said what he had to say in court,” Stroud told InsiderNJ. “While I believe most of it was sincere, he stopped short of telling the truth; that Chris Christie was behind it all. He may be forgiven by some folks, but this won’t be forgotten, and unfortunately, his loyalty for a guy who has continuously showed he could care less about anyone but himself, will forever follow him.”
Conservative blogger Matt Rooney wasn’t having it.
“Amazing,” Rooney tweeted. “After a lot of time and treasure, the architect won’t see jail time and the sacrificial lambs will likely get off on appeal #WasteOfTime!”
Bill Brennan is a long-time political activist and former gubernatorial candidate.
“Wildstein was rewarded for protecting Christie from Federal charges,” Brennan told InsiderNJ. “The entire prosecution was a charade designed to create the illusion that justice was being served. US Attorney Paul Fishman gave the middleman a free pass for dealing downward. Bill Stepien, David Samson and Chris Christie were protected. ”
You might add the late Jamie Fox to that list too.
“Our system of justice is profoundly broken, it was used to protect the guilty,” Brennan added.
It’s obvious why Wildstein’s excuse left many cold, but I’m pretty impressed. As far as political apologies so, it’s about the best we’re gonna get. I should know: I spent 28 days in rehab where you learn to properly fix the awful stuff you’ve done. Four things comprise a proper apology: 1) an expression of shame, regret, and remorse, 2) an acknowledgment how this impacted others in a negative way, 3) a commitment to never repeat your transgression and finally 4) a contemplation of how the transgressor would feel if the rolls were reversed.
Wildstein’s mea culpa was heavy on the first three. But he neglects the roll reversal part. Here’s the missing part we needed to see:
“When I try to imagine how my actions affected others, I’m absolutely mortified. It’s painful to imagine how I’d feel had I been the victim and not the perpretrator of this heist. So to the students whose first, second, third, and forth days of school I ruined, I’m sorry. And especially to the widow who waited in vain for an ambulance to fetch her dying husband, there are no words to express the shame my actions make me feel. Serving the public is a privilege and I blew it big time.”
Something to that effect.
NJ Senator Loretta Weinberg represents Ft. Lee – the BridgeGate epicenter – in the state legislature.
“It is the ‘official end’ to the story,” Sen. Weinberg told InsiderNJ. “But we don’t actually have the full story yet!”
And we many never really know that full story either. Wildstein’s carefully crafted apology might be the closest thing we get towards any kinds of closure on this sad saga.
Unless of courses someone writes a book.
(Looking at you, Bill Baroni!)
Jay Lassiter is an iconoclast, tech savvy media artiste, street warrior for LGBT liberty and marijuana reform, and an un-intimidated presence if the halls of Trenton power as he aggressively pursues liberal causes. He’s often at brunch and always on twitter @Jay_Lass.