The Bully’s Pulpit

| January 10 2014
Burt Prelutsky

I have no way of knowing all the facts regarding the New Jersey scandal swirling around Gov. Chris Christie, but I certainly have my suspicions.  As the story goes, in retaliation for Fort Lee’s Mayor Mark Sokolich’s refusal to support Christie in his bid for re-election, Christie’s deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly ordered several lanes of the George Washington Bridge shut down, allegedly for the sake of a traffic study.

In his defense, Christie insisted he knew nothing about it, claiming that Ms. Kelly betrayed his trust.  That would be easier to swallow if we hadn’t lived through several years of Barack Obama insisting that he knew nothing about his own various scandals until he read about them in a newspaper.

Would Christie have us believe that during the four days of lane closures, and the thousands of calls his office must have received, he never once bothered looking into it?  We’re not children.  We all know that the boss creates the atmosphere in which his underlings exist.  The boss needn’t risk leaving a paper trail, he only has to make his feelings known.

In his press conference, Christie defended himself by stating, “I am not a bully.”  An unfortunate choice of words.  For one thing, it reminded a lot of people of Nixon’s “I am not a crook.”  For another, only bullies ever have reason to deny being one.  And, finally, Christie’s political appeal is that he is a bully who doesn’t suffer fools or unions gladly.

The irony is that Mayor Sokolich, the man being punished for not supporting Christie, is not even a Republican.  But, then, a lot of us never thought Christie was, either.

Speaking of bullies, a lot of people suspect that the reason John Boehner is so reluctant to appoint a select committee to get to the bottom of the Benghazi massacre is that he was aware that Ambassador Stevens had been begging for additional security, but, like Obama and Hillary Clinton, did nothing about it.  For me, though, it begs the question why Senate Democrats and House Republicans allow their majority leaders to completely cow them, as if they were serfs beholden to a feudal lord.  Why is there never an uprising or at least a vote of no confidence?

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has gotten a lot of media attention for his book, “Duty.”  That’s because he shared some candid insights into the minds of Obama and Mrs. Clinton.  But nothing he said should come as a surprise to anyone who has been awake for these past five years.  I mean, how big a shock is it that Obama didn’t have his heart in the Afghanistan surge?  After all, at the same time the schmuck ordered an additional 30,000 troops be deployed, he set a date for our military withdrawal!

To me, the biggest surprise is that Gates went out of his way to praise the two of them, even going so far as to call Obama’s order to capture or kill Osama bin Laden the most courageous act of his lifetime.   Perhaps Mr. Gates would do well to start reading the commendations that accompany Medals of Honor.  But, for all I know, Gates was merely hoping he’d continue being invited to White House Christmas parties.

Recently, I was sent a cartoon that showed Obama speaking to someone who had lost his medical insurance:  Obama: “If you like your plan, you can keep it.”  Poor Schnook: “But I lost my plan.”  Obama: “You must not have liked it.”

When I read the exchange, I immediately thought of Jay Carney.  He takes the same patronizing tone whenever he replies to the poor schnooks comprising the White House Press Corps, usually adding an eye roll for emphasis.

It has me wondering if the new beard is in preparation for his entering the Federal Witness Protection Program after some day breaking down at the podium, screaming, “Day after day, I stand here and lie, and you all know it.  I can see the contempt in your eyes.  But I can’t help myself.  Joe Biden’s holding my family hostage in the basement of the White House!”

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