Tag Archive | "George Washington Bridge lane closures"

A Bridge Too Far

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The epic story of the largely unsuccessful efforts of Allied airborne forces to seize control of bridges leading into Germany in an effort to accelerate the end of World War II in Operation Market Garden was recounted in the movie of the same name.  Much of the film’s drama focused on the heroic efforts of British forces to hold a bridge vital to the Operation’s objectives.

 

They say that “what goes around comes around.”  And strangely, in the year 2014, New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie finds himself in the same circumstances – feverishly attempting to hold onto his reputation and national profile in the face of a mounting scandal surrounding the circumstances of the closure of lanes on the George Washington Bridge.

 

Just when everything was coming up roses for the Governor, and it looked like he would be the front runner for the Republican Party’s nomination for President in the 2016 election – something went horribly awry.  News that the lane closures may have been political retribution for refusal by Fort Lee’s mayor to endorse the Governor’s reelection bid began as a spark and quickly fanned into a five-alarm blaze.  As the story unfolded, the liberal news media broadcasts seized upon the opportunity to defame a Republican who might have the ability to appeal to voters in “blue” states.  Democratic stalwarts in Washington smiled, and it was springtime for the Obama Administration that had been plagued by scandals, Obamacare, and political ineptitude since the President entered his second term.

 

Suddenly, the once bombastic Governor, renowned for his blustery, in-your-face style, found himself on the defensive and, in true politician fashion, blamed overzealous staff members – echoing the words of other leaders including President Obama in the face of scandal.  In an attempt at damage control, the Governor fired responsible staff members and met with reporters for more than an hour at the Statehouse during which he categorically denied any knowledge of the actions surrounding the lane closures.

 

There’s an old saying about s–t – “the more you stir it the more it stinks.”  An apology from a Governor perceived by many as a “bully” was tantamount to pouring gasoline on a fire.  And, his denial of any knowledge about the lane closures was a challenge to those who would relish proving him a liar.  Perhaps, the Governor’s course of action since the story broke has not been the right one.  Perhaps, others like Donald Trump or the Duke, John Wayne, could have given him better advice like “never apologize it’s a sign of weakness.”  Perhaps, simply firing the staffers with no explanation would have better served the Governor’s long-term interests.

 

Yet, as innuendo and revelations continue to drip, any hopes that Governor Christie has of rebounding and capturing the Republican nomination for President in 2016 are cast into serious doubt.  These are the hard lessons you learn in the political world, one or which is that honesty is not always the best policy.  Just ask Ozzie Myers, one of the politicians caught in the Abscam snare in 1980.

 

But alas, the damage has been done and there is no turning back.  Governor Christie is left with the same instructions as those given the brave soldiers in “A Bridge Too Far, “hold until relieved.”  Whether or not he fares better than Operation Market Garden remains to be seen.

 

Addendum: The Italian Lesson

 

Those of you familiar with me know that I have been dabbling in the study of Italian for a number of years.  I frequently enter text in Italian or English into Google Translate, often with hilarious results.  Below is an example:

 

Entry

 

Governatore Chris Christie spiega a il  Italiano Americano Associazione nel Trenton, New Jersey, cosa successo.

 

Appena un momento per favore, vorrei spiegare il situazione. non dissi vicino il ponte, Io detto, vicino il fridge, qualcuno fa no capisce inglese, e ottengo in culo!

 

Translation

 

Governor Chris Christie explains to the Italian American Association in Trenton, New Jersey, what happened.

 

Just a moment please, let me explain the situation. I did not say close the bridge, I said, close the fridge, someone does not understand English, and I get it in the ass!

 

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