It's been the better part of a decade since the "birther" allegation went viral. It's been almost 3 years since the "fast and Furious" gun scandal peaked. It's been more than two years since the alleged "Solyndra scandal" unfolded. It has been more than a year since United States Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed in an attack on a United States consulate in Benghazi, Libya. It's been almost 7 months since the alleged "IRS scandal" unfolded. Even though these topics are far removed from the time when they were a primary part of the national discourse, it is not uncommon to see references to any of these things regularly sprinkled into political discourse, especially from individuals who oppose the current Administration.
For individuals who oppose the current Administration, all of these topics are seen as evidence. For some, they are evidence of incompetence. But, it appears that for many, these topics are indications of misuses of power; vindictive wielding of executive authority to target and attack political foes. In fact, the most recent alleged scandal - the IRS - saw multiple Congressional Republicans making direct accusations that the White House used the IRS to target political opponents for payback. Such Republicans who made claims of this sort were Darrell Issa, Ted Cruz, Dave Camp, and Hal Rogers.
Of course, after such allegations were made, information was uncovered indicating that "Liberal" groups were 'targeted' by the IRS too, and an investigation into the matter unraveled the allegations of political payback. Similar scenarios played out with Benghazi, Solyndra, Fast and Furious, and the ACA website. In all of these instances, not only was 'incompetence' alleged of the Administration, but intentional politically motivated malfeasance was too. And, in all of these instances, there's yet to be any evidence supporting the allegation of such a thing.
Thus, cue Chris Christie's team and the controversy of the lane shutdown on George Washington bridge in the fall of 2013. As most likely know by now, Christie-appointed Port Authority figure David Wildstein ordered a lane closing that created utter chaos for one particular town:
It was September and Christie was full steam into his re-election bid -- which he won two months later. Wildstein, who Christie appointed to a high position at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, ordered the closing of two of the three lanes of traffic leading to the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee. It held up motorists trying to make it into Manhattan and caused days of massive traffic jams in Fort Lee, where the Democratic mayor Mark Sokolich had declined to endorse Christie for re-election. SOURCE: CNN
Christie initially denied that any of his team was involved, but that denial was proven to be factually inaccurate when communication between Wildstein and Christie's top aide - Bridget Anne Kelly - was uncovered:
Then came Wednesday's revelation that a top Christie aide, Bridget Anne Kelly had e-mailed Wildstein before the closures, telling him, "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee." "Got it," Wildstein replied back. He e-mailed a comment that the parents of children stuck in school buses in the traffic jams were Democratic voters.
People who openly oppose the Obama Administration have tried to quell criticism of Christie by comparing the incident to the IRS dust-up. The argument goes "since some people believed Obama when he denied knowledge of the IRS situation, why would those people also not believe Christie when he denies knowledge of the lane closings?". Here's an example of that argument being made in real time.
In this attempt to draw equivalency, a key element is missed. In Christie's case, there is direct evidence of his team intentionally bringing maltreatment upon innocent people specifically for the purpose of getting back at a political opponent. In Christie's case, there's actual, verified evidence of Christie's team doing what Obama's team was regularly accused of doing.
And there lies a key difference in the 'build-up' to this scandal as well. Individuals who sought to attack the Obama Administration began making loud and vociferous public allegations before there was any actual evidence to support the allegations. There was a scandal manufactured before there was evidence of any scandal. And, when alleged 'evidence' was sporadically disclosed to the media, it came in edited snippets that left out information which directly contradicted the implications of the 'evidence'. This occurred with both the Benghazi allegation and the IRS allegation.
Thus, this Christie 'scandal' wasn't forced, nor was it created on a whim with a follow-up attempt to retroactively justify the original allegations. Rather, the evidence is actually leading the public narrative, and the evidence is already very damning. Christie may not have been involved - that's still undetermined. But, what has already been clearly determined is that Christie's top aide and a person Christie appointed to a special position in the Port Authority (someone who was also one of Christie's High School classmates) intentionally targeted political opponents of Christie's and engaged in maltreatment of them (and many others) for the purposes of political payback.
Make no mistake: this is the kind of evidence opponents of the Obama Administration have been dreaming of finding, except it isn't in regard to Obama.