High­way hypocrisy

The Washington Times Weekly - - Culture, Etc. -

“In the wake of New Jer­sey Gov. Jon Corzine’s re­cent car ac­ci­dent, much has been made of the gov­er­nor’s de­ci­sion not to wear a seat belt.

“One of the gov­er­nor’s own aides sug­gested the gov­er­nor be is­sued a ci­ta­tion, even as he lay in a hospi­tal bed in crit­i­cal con­di­tion. And a res­i­dent of New Jer­sey filed a for­mal com­plaint against Corzine.

“While I’m not per­son­ally fond of manda­tory seat-belt laws (I don’t think it’s the gov­ern­ment’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to pro­tect us from our­selves), there is cer­tainly some hypocrisy in­volved in his pre­sid­ing over a state that re­quires the use of seat belts while the gov­er­nor him­self re­fuses to wear one. [. . .]

“Gov. Corzine apol­o­gized for his ‘poor ex­am­ple’ in fail­ing to buckle up, but didn’t apol­o­gize for the ac­tual cause of the ac­ci­dent — con­vey­ing the idea that he, the gov­er­nor, is too im­por­tant to obey traf­fic laws.

“We now know that Corzine and his driver were bar­rel­ing down a busy high­way at more than 90 miles per hour, flash­ing their lights, shunt­ing com­moner mo­torists to the side of the road. [. . .] It’s for­tu­nate Corzine’s driver didn’t kill some­one.

“And what ex­actly was so im­por­tant that Corzine had to put the lives and safety of his fel­low cit­i­zens at risk? He was on his way to a rec­on­cil­i­a­tion meet­ing be­tween shock jock Don Imus and the Rut­gers women’s bas­ket­ball team. Es­sen­tially a photo-op.

“It’s telling that Corzine is con­trite for putting his own life at risk, but not for jeop­ar­diz­ing the lives of ev­ery­one else on the road.”

Radley Balko, writ­ing on “Politi­cians’ Hubris Takes to the Open Road,” May 17 in Rea­son On­line at www.rea­son.com

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