Magazine December 31, 2016, Issue

Letters

Prosecutor, Heal Thyself

An item in the Week in the December 5 issue begins: “If there’s anything more New Jersey than having a corrupt political figure create artificial traffic troubles to torment a political rival for no obvious end than sadistic enjoyment, we do not know what it is.” One thing that’s more New Jersey was the near-universal response in the state when it was first reported that Chris Christie’s “traffic survey” had slowed traffic at the George Washington Bridge’s Fort Lee exit to a crawl: “How can they tell?” The surrounding area is notorious for having New Jersey’s worst traffic, and that’s a distinction that we Garden State residents do not take lightly (in fact, Fort Lee’s traffic was recently rated worst in the U.S. by a trucking-industry group). Adding congestion to Fort Lee is like carrying coals to Newcastle, or toxic waste to Linden.

Or corruption to Trenton. Another thing we take seriously in New Jersey is our crooked politicians, and here, sad to say, Chris Christie barely even makes the list. Jailing New Jersey politicians has become a wearisome ritual, like grounding your 17-year-old for staying out past curfew, and many of them were put away by Christie himself, in his days as a U.S. Attorney. He presumably knows where the bodies are buried, and how to run a payoff scheme — which makes the Fort Lee affair even more puzzling, because Jon Corzine, Jim McGreevy, Bob Torricelli, and Bob Menendez all got something for their misdeeds, but Christie’s scheme paid off in neither love nor money. That’s the second thing everyone in New Jersey asked about Chris Christie and Bridgegate: “What was in it for him?” Or as Thomas More might have said: “It profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world . . . but for Fort Lee?”

Charles Grayson

Elizabeth, N.J.

Ping-Pong Politics

David French’s “Trumpocalypse” (December 19) is about as measured an assessment of President-elect Trump as I have seen, and I hope that our friends on the left take note — for their own sake. A hysterical reaction to Barack Obama made many conservatives susceptible to an extreme candidate on their side, a hysterical reaction to Donald Trump threatens to do the same to the Left, and no good can come from a politics that oscillates between extremes.

Jerrod Payton

Greensboro, N.C.

The Well-Given Damn

Far be it from me to make such a claim, but I think William F. Buckley Jr. would have found a special pleasure in Daniel Foster’s “A Course on Cursing” (December 19). Sometimes, a bad word is just necessary, as WFB seemed to understand. After all, he didn’t write simply, “Cancel your own subscription.”

Kimball Loyd

Dallas, Tex.

NR Editors includes members of the editorial staff of the National Review magazine and website.

In This Issue

Articles

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Prosecutor, Heal Thyself An item in the Week in the December 5 issue begins: “If there’s anything more New Jersey than having a corrupt political figure create artificial traffic troubles to ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ We haven’t seen liberals this interested in Russians and fake news since Walter Duranty. ‐ Trump picked ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as his nominee for secretary of state. As the ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

AUTUMN SONG after Chassignet Little flower, you live in constant danger: Likely to be crushed under foot or torn by wind, Sun-scorched or gobbled by a goat. These October days streaked with regrets and tears Are ...
Happy Warrior

Hillary Gone Wild

“Bigfoot. Chupacabra. The Loch Ness monster. All rarely seen. All shrouded in mystery. Tonight, we’re headed to the woods of Westchester County to search for the most elusive legend of ...

Most Popular

Elections

Kamala Harris’s Abortion Absolutism

Abortion policy is just one of several areas in which California senator Kamala Harris, Joe Biden’s running mate, has sworn to abuse executive power to assert her preferences if Congress won’t legislate as she’d like. Her authoritarian instincts were frightening when she was running for president herself, ... Read More
Elections

Kamala Harris’s Abortion Absolutism

Abortion policy is just one of several areas in which California senator Kamala Harris, Joe Biden’s running mate, has sworn to abuse executive power to assert her preferences if Congress won’t legislate as she’d like. Her authoritarian instincts were frightening when she was running for president herself, ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Biden Apex

For Joe Biden, life is looking pretty sweet right now. After stumbling badly in the first three Democratic-primary contests, he mounted arguably the fastest and most surprising comeback in U.S. political history. He’s ahead in both national and swing-state polling against Trump. Most of the media are offering ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Biden Apex

For Joe Biden, life is looking pretty sweet right now. After stumbling badly in the first three Democratic-primary contests, he mounted arguably the fastest and most surprising comeback in U.S. political history. He’s ahead in both national and swing-state polling against Trump. Most of the media are offering ... Read More
Elections

Republicans and Race, Redux

In 2020, the Republican Party has a bad reputation on race, not entirely undeserved, and the thing to understand about the upcoming elections is this: As a matter of pure cynical political calculation, the Republican Party’s problem isn’t that its bad reputation on race costs it the support among black voters ... Read More
Elections

Republicans and Race, Redux

In 2020, the Republican Party has a bad reputation on race, not entirely undeserved, and the thing to understand about the upcoming elections is this: As a matter of pure cynical political calculation, the Republican Party’s problem isn’t that its bad reputation on race costs it the support among black voters ... Read More