According to Wildstein, Chris Christie is fibbing in claiming that he did not know about the bridge lane closing:
and it's complicated, how I feel about this. On the basic level- was it okay to victimize thousands of innocent citizens in order to make a political point to a political rival? Obviously not. in fact, the basic stupidity of all this is just head-scratching amazing. None of his staff said this is just crazy, WTF?
But on the other hand, Chris Christie was the only potential Republican candidate for 2016 who was NOT conservative on social issues. If he ends up crippled by this mess, we are looking at a bunch of Santorums, know what I mean? maybe that makes Clinton our next President, because I don't see independent voters going for any of that crew.
there is also the issue of political patronage and political retaliation. say what you will about Obama, he has not used those tools as heavily as some Presidents. Lyndon Johnson, wow, that was a guy who could twist arms. But really, Presidents can't do as much of that as they used to. If you do a "Quid pro Quo", then somebody is going to spill the beans and get you into big trouble. if on the other hand, you issue threats of retribution, hell the guy is going to be really mad at you and even more likely to spill the beans and go public on you. With the ridiculously gerrymandered districts of Congress providing safe seats for most legislators, how can you get any of them to vote for anything that does not offer them immediate benefits? well, you can't.
So in conclusion, like most things there is a flip side to the coin- even though the Christie thing is really head-scratching crazy.