What happens when political retribution affects a public of millions and yet does not affect three hundred million others? Usually not much, unless you involve a heavy (really heavy) politician with a strong bent for bullying (who has shown a desire to be the one who fills the Taft bathtub in 2016) and include most of the American media. The popcorn popper is working overtime in the Blue Bronc home right now.
When I walk over a block to the shore and look northeast up the Chesapeake Bay about four miles away is the William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial Bay Bridge, better known as the Bay Bridge. It is the main link between the western side of Maryland, along with Washington, D.C. and Virginia and the Eastern Shore, along with Delaware, Virginia, New Jersey and New York. I can only imagine how pissed off I would be if it was shut down for days. I know how I and others feel when it is shut down for a few hours. Days of shut down would be nuts.
“All politics is local” A great phrase, something some politicians forget. If you are running, announced or not, for president, your “local” politics is the entire country. The physical impact of forcing a few hundred thousand drivers to sit and wait for hours is local. The image of the big governor tossing everybody he can find under the bus is national and disturbing. Although Nixon holds the record for all sorts of “dirty tricks” (fun phrase when used out of context) Christie is showing he has a few up his XXXXL sleeves. The political image of him sitting there will play every day he is still considered a candidate for the White House.
“Boss, we are going to screw up traffic along the east coast for a week to pay back that GDMF dem mayor for not kissing your huge butt.”
“Sounds good. Send a lesson to all those other MF that they belong to me, and will kiss my butt in the future or have their roads closed too!”
I cannot imagine, well almost not imagine, that conversation taking place. First is Christie appears to be smarter than that. However, he may have had a “God Syndrome” moment and lost his political and self-preservation bearings and said something like, “think of something to get the attention of the sniveling little sh#t dem mayor for not kissing my ample behind”. Little “d” Dem is how Republicans denigrate Dems, so it is appropriate in the Christie conversations.
There is no way that Christie could not have known about what impact shutting down that egress would have, especially after the first day. Why did he not ask the simple question “what the hell is going on with that bridge” after getting questions from all sorts of people in New Jersey and New York. He cannot be so far out of the loop as that.
The next part of this whole thing is what Rachel Maddow, smart and wonderful woman, presented Thursday evening . What if the shutdown had nothing to do with the Democratic mayor? What if it was a larger political payback? What if it was a state issue? And, perhaps there is more to the story.
This fits the action better. There are the usual “nah, no way” people trying to destroy the idea that Christie was trying to show how powerful he is by causing problems in the Ft Lee area. He may be absolutely honest about not desiring or having retribution for the mayor not kissing his butt, but he may be deeply involved in the payback for the judge.
How does this affect 2016? That is the question. Just as having the Bay Bridge closed will not affect San Francisco drivers and voters; it is a shovel into the depths of the man’s psyche. It is about the man and how he governs. Sitting here eating popcorn (I bought a new air popcorn popper yesterday – yum) watching, listening and reading as much as I can about Christie and his non-apology press marathon conference is giving me a lot of insight into the man I did not have a couple weeks ago. It gives me the talking points about him I will need going forward.
The side show is also about how certain members of the Republican Party are going after Christie, like wolves on a dying wolf. They are eating one of their own. The charge of RINO, is fascinating because it is so false. Sure he has done a bit of east coast republican governing, but he is still one of the far right Republicans. What he is, which is disturbing to me, a liberal (the term is acceptable once again) progressive Democrat, is some Republican that Dems vote for. A hug of Obama is nothing more than the big one sizing up dinner (too bony no doubt). That is a tactic more Republicans should try too.
I can understand his appeal to many people fed up with current politics, especially at the federal level. Take nothing from the other side. Tell the other side what is to happen then do it. Allow nobody to intimidate you (something a few Dems should try sometime) and if they do bully them. However, this is politics 1800’s New York and 1900’s Chicago style. Not modern America. This is the story that will affect the 2016 campaign. And, it is a powerful story.
George Washington Bridge
Of interest in the Christie marathon press conference is how it is a direct copy of the West Wing story about the Candidate Vinick (Alan Alda) holding a long, answer all questions, press conference, at the nuclear power plant that failed, during his campaign for president as a way of getting the story out of the way and no more questions from the press regarding his role in how the plant was approved and managed. (Season 7, episode 14 “Two Weeks Out” — “Talk until they drop” press conference). The difference is we see that Vinick only did what politicians do, apply goose grease to grease the skids of progress to get something done. His actions did not in any way cause the plant failure. Christie has yet to convince anyone that he was not involved in any way for disrupting the GW Bridge shut down.
– Blue Bronc is a Trail Mix Contributor