Not On My Bridge You Don’t

Blue Bronc

Blue Bronc

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.

christie_bridge_scandal“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.

maxresdefaultThere 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.

Christie-bridge-scandalHow 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

75 thoughts on “Not On My Bridge You Don’t

  1. There’s a lot of difference between Vinick’s goose grease and Christie’s Moxie.

    If Nixon had managed to say “I am not a crook” without having perspiration sluicing down his 5 o’clock shadow, he might have skated.

    This is New Jersey, already. And even though the play’s been running for five months, Christie is still in control of the final scene.

  2. Did you count the number of times he said “I” or “Me” during the press conference? He needs all that skin to keep the ego from escaping.

  3. The Legend of Christie the King

    Chapter III

    The King saw that the Mayor would not abandon his neutrality, and was sorely vexed. The royal teeth ground, and the royal fists pounded the royal desk. The courtiers sweated and wrung their hands in dread of the King’s wrath, for without royal direction, they knew not how to remedy their master’s ill temper.

    At last His Majesty cried out, “Will no one rid me of this turbulent pratt ? ”

    “Well, now,” the courtiers rejoiced,”we have something to work with.”

    “Aye,” muttered two stout retainers. “Let us ride to Castle Lee, and there hold the bridge against against the Mayor and his people.”

  4. Great piece BB

    I saw one poll that said 63% of the people polled do not believe him.

    I was at a dinner party last night and 100% of the people did not believe him

    Most of the same group thinks Snowden is a traitor I was surprised.

  5. I did forget to add something about the people most irritated about the bridge clogging. The media. I have to imagine many of the media live in NJ and commute to work in Manhattan. They were late to work, they were very upset once they learned that the entire pain was caused for political payback. The best tip for politicians has always been “never get in to an argument with someone who buys ink by the barrel.” Or in this case, has more electrons.

  6. Katherine Graham Cracker,

    I think it is how the media operates in the US. The media is for the most part in the business of regurgitating what they are told. The more powerful, such as the WH, get better regurgitating. The NY Times is the outlier right now. The editorial staff probably decided that the WH was not in a position to cut them out of any information regarding Snowden. The Washington Post is in the middle. They have the goodies, but can lose a seat in the WH briefing room. The NYT is holding a better hand and can tell the WH to do something with it’s threats.

    The case of Christie shows how much he has ticked off the media and how little power he has right now. There are strong political forces involved too. Since most of the American media is based in New York City they may have been waiting for the tent to fall off Christies shoulders to reveal that he really is a nasty bully. Now they can show the world and disrupt a budding presidential campaign.

  7. “And under Christicare if you like your bridge you can keep it; or not depending on how I feel that morning.” ;-)

  8. People here are annoyed because Willie L Brown got the state legislature to rename the Bay Bridge the Willie L Brown Bridge.ack

    Brown (the smartest crooked pol ever) has to raise the money to change the signs.

    If he managed to do that I will have to drive to another bridge to cross the bay

  9. Great post, BB. Christie has created a culture of sophomoric and vindictive players. I doubt he can recover. He has jumped the whale. For me, it is all about the comic value of Christie. People say he is out of shape, but he shoveled shit at the media for over two hours, non-stop. And I noticed during the bridge shut down, he took the bariatric bypass. Yep, he is a funny man, but taking over a federal highway, blocking interstate travel, having state cops blame the democratic mayor, hurting the little people, just not what a governor should be doing. Where was he? He deliberately never addressed the issue. He knew, but he will not get caught. It was political bullying and that is what Christie does best. But, for me, it is about his comic value.

  10. The national snoozemedia only cover this story because they’ve spun this idle and rather silly tale that christ christie is a viable candidate for the republican nomination.

  11. OK, so we have a situation in New Jersey, and easily traceable emails implicate aides to governor Christie. Here is the timeline, from The Star Ledger.
    http://tinyurl.com/k9ud8y3
    Actions taken by NJ underlings do not warrant condemning Christie. Why is it so naive to believe him? And he’s a strong-willed pol, but is he a real bully, a fat joke in a suit? No.
    Also, as an example how people are expanding the lie-circle, Christie never had bariatric surgery, he had a lap-band installed. Two entirely different procedures that are easily Googled and explained.
    After all those years of Bush43 and his lies and his horriffic wars, especially the genocidal war he unleashed on the people of Iraq, I had lost all respect for all Republican politicians. Christie’s boldness and honesty allowed me to see that maybe there are some decent folks in that totally putrid party, as I saw it before Christie. I believe him, I applaud his actions in firing the real culprits. Now , hey, let’s fuhgeddabboudditt, alright? Capeesh?

  12. but even whales tell the truth once in awhile.

    i agree with dexter. what we might have here are a bunch of folk who want the honor of being considered important enough to be on the gov’s enemies list.

  13. If Christie can prove he was out of the loop like Reagan and Bush1, he can emerge bloodied but unbowed….. the fact is though, that either way this chocolate soldier is getting a world class lesson in hubris and humility. I suspect The Bully is history. Politically viable or not. That’s a good thing.

  14. Now that is the biggest laugh, Christie is honest. He slammed the reality show Jersey Shore, yet his inner circle acted like a bunch of Snookies. Why I think Christie isn’t honest? He ONLY came out with the news conference AFTER some in the NJ legislature won’t let that investigation deadline pass. Weeks before in an interview with Jake Tapper, Christie slammed Obama about honesty. Foreshadowing? Christie is a phat phony.

    I would never vote for the guy. And he has a full term as governor ahead of him. He needed the humbling and he didn’t get it. It will be interesting to see his new inner circle. And the old inner circle will be taken care of, financially, in some way. He bragged about his staff during that interview with Jake Tapper.

  15. Sunday Serendipity.

    A wonderfully contemporary sounding song from about 1100 AD.

    Power of Eternity you who ordered all things in your heart, through your Word all things are created just as you willed, and your very Word calls forth flesh in the shape which was drawn from Adam. Power of Eternity Power of Eternity.

    Grace and Peace be with you all this beautiful day. ;-)

  16. We all know the New Jersey Turnpike isn’t the Appalachian Trail. NJ isn’t SC. I doubt if the voters are as duped as Christie was by his staff.

  17. Blonde Wino,

    Like many apology sessions by preachers, coaches and politicians, it feels like something is still missing from the story. In this instance it feels like a lot is missing. I want to know how he could be so bloody ignorant of failure within his state. As a bully politician, definitely not one of Teddy Roosevelt class, he knows that he is responsible to his citizens -- Storm Sandy proved he knows how to respond properly for the cameras.

    Where was this guy for his bridge response? That is a very important missing item, one which needs an answer. A better answer than his staff hid the world from him.

  18. BW,

    Glad you enjoyed. I am alone this morning except for the presence of a solitary candle burning in my front window. The flame perfectly still and unadorned. Somehow it just seemed right. ;-)

  19. BB…..good question…….what was his hands on response to a gargantuan traffic foul-up in his state………
    And if none, why none?

  20. Dex,

    Your take on Christi is much the same way I feel about Hillary re. Benghazi. I believe her. I just don’t happen to believe Christi. Too many instances of political retribution on his watch. In point of fact he has made rather a name for himself in that regard around New Jersey amongst Republicans and Democrats alike.

    Christi is either a culprit or a dupe, I suspect his honesty or lack there of will be corroborated or not by one Bridget Ann Kelly, who has remained unusually silent up to this point. God forbid that her memory is as good a John Dean’s.

    Either way he has been salivating for a chance to play in the big leagues. Welcome to the show Governor.

  21. DexterJohnson,
    according to this rather nice layout by cbs of the gov’s lap dance, bw is right to classify it as bariatric:
    Chris Christie’s weight loss surgery: What is a Lap-band?

    bronc, did the bridge shutdown occur during the gastric shutdown operation and/or during post op recovery while under medication? not that that excuses anything, just might explain the lapse in judgment or memory.

    or is it just joizy?
    from latimes
    Chris Christie bridge scandal looks to many like Jersey as usual

    “New Jersey politics is a full-contact sport,” Dworkin said. “That doesn’t mean it’s corrupt. It just means people are aggressive.”

    Bob Ingle, a political columnist for Gannett newspapers in Trenton, said he noticed the difference right away when he moved from Sacramento. “There’s an aggression in the culture here,” he said. “There’s also a higher tolerance for people involved in corrupt activities in public life.”

    When Ingle co-wrote a history of New Jersey corruption called “The Soprano State,” he said his challenge was that many real-life stories were almost too weird to be true.

    “The publisher made me go back in and put in: ‘We’re not making this stuff up,’” said Ingle. “There is just something about New Jersey that’s hard to put your finger on. You just see some incredible things.”

  22. Politics is not for the squeamish. Sometimes brass knuckle tactics are what’s needed to get things done. But without a bit of humility and common sense… brass knuckles can be taken too far.

    Christie not knowing what his staff was doing stretches credulity, IMO.

    Still…. I wish some Dems had half of Christie’s balls.

  23. Christie is another waster. Typical republican’t, take the money from the little people, the small business, salt of America…austerity for the masses. But, his staff pissed away a lot of money for their tactics. Waste.

    And for the republican’ts — to hell with your makers and takers. You are breakers! Breaking the very covenants with the American humans…shredding the safety net while taking the money right our of our pockets and into off shore, secret bank accounts.

  24. I stand by my naming of Christie the Guv who ate NJ. And that GW bridge is hard to digest. The guy cares nothing about humans. Poor dems are so starved for real leadership, they gravitate to the bully. But, I like the tough pussies of the dem and independent parties. I now see why Obama did not fire Sebelius. Dems operate differently in crisis. Can’ts are still shooting from the hip. I will always like the cool head of Obama or HRC better than a pushy bully.

  25. Yeah… but….
    Obama should be grateful that LBJ was one ornery arm twisting son of a bitch.

    The civil rights bill wasn’t passed because of cool heads or tinkerbells.

  26. You are so correct, RR. LBJ was one tough cat and a lover, too. But, I like loving cats over pit bulls — especially the ones with lipstick.

  27. And every time I think of LBJ and dogs? I remember his picking his dog up by the dog’s ears! That visual has stayed with me for a lifetime.

  28. Hauntingly beautiful music, Jace. Can’t say that I would like it 24x7 but, then, I’m not built to be cloistered :shock:

  29. woooohooo 49ers
    we are drinking bloody marys and if I’m not too drunk I’ll be flipping a spanish tortilla omelet
    otherwise scrambled eggs for brunch

    Never have the words “big fat liar” been more appropriate. I think he knew all along and is doing something to make sure the fired people land on their feet so they won’t blab

  30. well, unless he became addicted to his post-op meds, my theory about the lap band constricting more organs than just his tummy won’t fly since the op was many moons before the bridge ban.
    from a may huffpo

    Ten days after that, on Feb. 16, Christie had the surgery. He said the operation lasted 40 minutes and he was home the same afternoon. He was back at work on Feb. 19 for a full day of events.

    bw and rr, hopefully we’ll be spared the operation scar photo op on this one. ewwww.

  31. historical tidbit:

    After his September 1965 gall bladder surgery, Lyndon Baines Johnson is infamous for showing “spontaneously” showing his scar to the press. For this act, history remembers him as a hayseed with a lack of social graces.

    The truth is quite different! It has never been published.

    according to above, seems he was squashing rumors of cancer.
    wonder what the rumor about the dogs was?

  32. jace,

    wow. thanks so much for that. loved it.
    would love to hear the story behind when and where he ever rode a fence wire mentioned during that memorable request for a larger stride in his pants.

  33. LBJ’s kid, Luci, fell in love with another youngster, Pat Nugent. Pat joined the Air Force and ended-up as munitions specialist at CamRanh Bay VN.

    Talking with people who worked with him, he was a hard working young man with a good attitude. The only way that you could tell that he was something special is when a pickup truck would race up and someone would shout for Nugent to get in, the President was on the phone.

  34. Why do folks laugh at teapublicans?

    Because they make it sooo easy.

    They go on and on about the evils of government invading our private lives, but in the end it is really just a matter of lip service.

  35. patd,

    Don’t remember many rumours regarding dogs and LBJ. He did get in trouble with a few of us for picking his dogs up by the ears.

  36. He knew nothing about it. At the time he too busy developing New Jerseys foreign policy.

  37. :| Well, I know a fella who had 3/4 of his stomach removed surgically, I know a few people who have had lap-bands installed, and I know one unfortunate man who had a complicated re-routing of his guts, with horrid results. Lap bands require a strong desire to eat much less than one is used to, while the guy who had the greatest success is the 40 year old man I know who had 3/4 of his stomach cut out. That guy lost 200 of his 410 pounds the first two years. He loves the fact he has almost reached his goal of 180. I simply had never heard of the lap-band even mentioned in the gastric bypass genre of methods to reduce weight.

  38. Re britt hume :

    What does a coifed, manicured, perfumed, made-up pretty boy know about the manly manliness of guys’ guys ?

    I laughed out loud.

  39. What next ? Justin Bieber griping about “the feminization of America” ?

    Peewee Herman ?

  40. XREP! Don’t you go messin’ ‘roun’ with Pee Wee! He’s my idol, heh heh!

  41. daily kos re friday’s mornjo postmortem

    …. And of course everyone at the table agreed absolutely with Joe. They all thought Christie’s presser was great. I did, however, notice the word “performance” kept popping up in reference to it.
    Somewhere along the way they did acknowledge Christie never apologized to the people who were stuck in the grid lock. But it took the round table a long time to get to that admission.

    In the second segment they all agreed that Christie is responsible for creating an atmosphere in which dirty tricks (my Nixonian term) were acceptable.

    Then Donny Deutch knocked me for a loop.

    He actually pointed out that Christie had not said he was sorry for an atmosphere that allowed his closest aides to play dirty tricks to get revenge on thousands of civilians. What Donny said that has been recognized by many on the left was that Christie was “sad” that he had created an atmosphere in which his closest aides lied to him. And he apologized for that atmosphere. Mica got really pissed at Deutch, who kept pressing the difference, and told him to stop or he would “have to leave the room.” Seriously, she said that.

  42. patd,

    This is Christie’s big problem. He failed to prove that he is free of sin and a conservative meanie too. Right now he is in that hell hole of politics that proves difficult to get out of. He may have to tell the whole truth to survive, yet if he does no one will likely ever vote for him again, including his mother.

  43. patd,

    I would bet my MBA that was a very effective use of money in that it boosted confidence in the New Jersey commitment to recovery which, in turn, increased external investment.

  44. I saw a Yahoo headline this morning saying Japan’s saki works, Suntory, is buying Jim Beam.

    Craig, break the news to your parents gently.

  45. I watched the Awards show last night. The wardrobes were really interesting. The most challenging was worn by the woman in white with the two fan belts that kept choking-off her blood flow.

  46. Flatus,

    No! Although saki is good, I cannot imagine rice whiskey in the US. Especially in Kentucky. At least the local distillery boom is producing some fine rye whiskeys.

  47. blue bronc,

    I can’t imagine them making saki in the US, at least for non-US consumption. But, we could start a rumor.
    “Suntory Primo to be brewed with rice from Texas. Target market is Japan!”

    “Suntory Gold to be brewed with corn from Kansas. Target market? The World!”

    “Jim Beam Silver to be brewed with rice from Honshu. Target destination is ……….”

  48. PatD, I enjoyed your portfolio of pastoral scenes from the Tallahassee area that you shared the other day.

    I didn’t spend much time there, but it struck me as a real sleepy hollow--all except the rooftop where the lobbyists wined and dined us. What a bunch of scumbags. Gave me great pleasure to testify against their positions. Of course, they laughed last.

    I loved driving the mostly disused roads through the panhandle towards Hurlburt Field where Alice’s husband was stationed.

  49. blue bronc,

    That is an interesting article. I have made nothing more than short visits in Japan and haven’t developed a real appreciation for Japanese Cuisine.

    Indeed, the number of establishments placarded as “Japanese Only” or “No Foreigners” completely discouraged me from wanting to explore the culture in a meaningful way.

    I have met wonderful Japanese people while serving in the military. But, it was in their national interest to be wonderful.

  50. given toyota and its affiliates manufacturing cars and carparts in ky plus other japanese owned (154 in all according to ky cabinet for economic development) companies, buying out jim beam not so surprising. it’s when they start serving sushi made with old derby-winners the tar, feathers and pitchforks will come out.

  51. Flatus,

    tally is absolutely breathtaking in springtime.

    it has a magic to it like the enchantress circe. one intending only a short visit wakes up the next day years later. some of the charm is also in it being not only the capitol but the home of two universities and an important native american historical site as well as a botanical goldmine.

  52. blue bronc,

    thanks for the article. for some reason always suspected dirty gym socks were a major ingredient. the more premium the saki the more socky it tasted to me.

    wouldn’t be surprised if that magic mold mentioned in the article isn’t found in ky (probably grows along side the pot and ginseng). there’s also an abundance of grains, yeast and branch water used for bourbon in the commonwealth.

  53. Damned airplanes landing at the wrong airports. After one of the AF’s brand new FB-111′s did that back in ’71 they had a serious problem.

    They landed at a rinky-dink airfield with no tower, in fact there was nobody around the place. At least there was a pay-phone, but neither of the guys flying the thing had any money. So, they had to hike out to the road passing by the place and wait for someone with change to drive by.

    Next day, the wing commander solved the problem. He ordered every aviator to sew a quarter into the pocket of each of his flying suits.

    So far as I know, no one from that outfit landed at the wrong airfield again.

  54. Flatus,

    In the 40′s and 50′s, before Lowry AFB runways were shut down, planes would occasionally land there because the runways had very close directions to Stapleton. Coming in through a low deck would make one as good as the other, until the pilot would realize that the ground crew was wearing military uniforms.

  55. spent 4 years in Baja Alabama, and many trips along the way for various doo-rations…..played some “dances” at Hurlburt, Kiester, and Eglin, just like “Spinal Tap”……….lived in Niceville for long enough to get a Nice tan…..Destin and Ft. Walton, saw them from top to bottom…..

    All in all, a very strange neck of the woods…..might be sleepytime out in the open but the dens of iniquity were seething with gooberage and flesh……..you could drive up to the window at a club and they’d hand you a right fine gin and tonic, and down the road you’d go……..there were joints for the boggy boys which cranked it out 24-7………they all seemed to smell like those white cakes they put into the urinals…….

  56. It was 1990 when I seceded Florida from the Union by tearing its little page out of my Road Atlas…..

    I did meet a couple of great comedians, though….

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