New Jersey governor Chris Christie deserves to be defended.
The gravamen of the media's case against Christie on Bridgegate seems to be that he is a "bully" -- which I painstakingly gleaned from the fact that the governor is called a "bully" 1 million times a night on MSNBC and in hundreds of blog postings and New York Times reports.
Christie is not a bully. If anything, he's a pansy, a man terrified of the liberal media, of Wall Street, of Silicon Valley, of Obama, of Bruce Springsteen, of Mark Zuckerberg, of Chuck Schumer. It's a good bet he's afraid of his own shadow. (In fairness, his shadow is probably pretty big and scary.) About the only thing Christie doesn't seem afraid of is the buffet at Sizzler.
Even Christie's defenders call him a bully, but in an admiring way. Fox News' Bill O'Reilly recently said of the governor: "One reason Mitt Romney lost to President Obama was that Governor Romney is too much of a gentleman. He apparently did not have the 'fire in the belly' to deliver a knockout blow. But Christie does and is therefore a threat to the Democratic Party."
O'Reilly thinks Christie would have gotten in Obama's face? (I mean other than for a quick make-out session with Obama during Hurricane Sandy?)
By sheer coincidence, that was Christie's job at the 2012 Republican National Convention. As the keynote speaker, it was his assignment to "deliver a knockout blow" to Obama.
Let's see how he did.
In Christie's entire gaseous convention speech, he talked about New Jersey (ad nauseam), his parents, his kids, his upbringing, every tedious detail of his tedious life -- "I coached our sons Andrew and Patrick on the fields of Mendham, and ... I watched with pride as our daughters Sarah and Bridget marched with their soccer teams in the Labor Day parade."
Just before I dozed off, I seem to remember Christie sharing his seven-layer dip recipe.
The guy whose role it was to attack the president mentioned Obama exactly one time. Once. And even then, not by name.
Here is Christie the Lion-Hearted taking the fight to Obama: "You see, Mr. President, real leaders do not follow polls. Real leaders change polls."
And that's how Christie bravely threw down the gauntlet to Obama on Benghazi, on Obamacare, on skyrocketing unemployment, on crony capitalism, on astronomical government spending and so on. He said: "Real leaders do not follow polls."
Accusing a politician of following polls is the biggest cliche in politics after "He's dividing us!" In Obama's case, it isn't even true. Would that he followed polls! If he did, we never would have gotten Obamacare.
Of course, there wasn't much time for Christie to talk about Obama, because the main theme of his convention speech was: Chris Christie, Augustus Corpulus.
He said "I" 37 times and "me" eight times, breaking Kim Kardashian's old record for a single tweet. He only mentioned our actual nominee (Mitt Romney) seven times -- in order to tell us how we were all going to have to sacrifice and make hard choices, and Romney was just the man to tell America the bad news and make us all suffer.
I suppose Christie considered it more than sufficient to announce that he, personally, supported Romney: "If you're willing to fight with me for Mitt Romney, I will fight with you."
He -- Chris Christie! -- supported Romney. What more could voters want?
It was as if Christie had sent his speech to MSNBC for pre-approval.
And it's not just one godawful speech. Christie's daily checklist appears to consist of two items: (1) Suck up to liberals. (2) Ask waiter for more bread.
After a 30-minute conversation with Sen. Chuck Schumer last fall, Christie capitulated to the Democrats' need for 30 million more voters by directing his temporary Senate appointee to vote for the Schumer-Rubio amnesty bill. Schumer considered Christie so impotent that he immediately leaked the news that he had buffaloed Christie on amnesty in a single phone call.
The people amnesty helps are Democrats, who get multiple millions of new voters, and the soulless rich, who don't care about the country and don't care about the culture. They just want cheap labor.
Instead of standing up for the long-suffering middle class that is the backbone of the Republican Party -- much less the lower class lionized in so many Bruce Springsteen songs -- Christie sided with Silicon Valley billionaires and Wall Streeters on their servant problem, while also helping Democrats with their demographic problem.
A few months later, Christie doubled down on amnesty by granting in-state tuition to illegal aliens.
There isn't a wall high enough to stop illegal immigrants from sneaking across the border when the reward waiting on the other side is free health care, jobs, driver's licenses and college tuition subsidized by American taxpayers.
But at least Christie no longer has to lie awake at night wondering if Mark Zuckerberg will be his friend.
True, Christie yelled at a few public school teachers, but they richly deserved it.
Taking a page from John McCain, the main targets of Christie's wrath are his fellow Republicans. This has won him the respect of his most crucial constituency, liberal journalists, who have been precisely as loyal to him as they were to McCain.
If Christie looks guilty in Bridgegate, it's not because he's a "bully." It's because he believes lawbreaking is no big deal. Maybe he's hoping his BFF Obama will grant him amnesty.