Adios, Chris Christie. Don't Let the Toll Gate Hit You On the Way Out:
Here's how it probably went down:
When New Jersey Governor Chris Christie heard that Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich wasn't going to endorse him for reelection as governor in 2013, the first thing he did was swallow the piece of calzone that he was chewing as Christie is always testing just how far the stomach band will stretch. Then he got pissed. "That fucker," he probably said to his napkin-holding aides, "should be kissing my pimpled ass endlessly for shitcanning the Trans-Hudson tunnel." That would be the new passenger train tunnel in Secaucus that would have alleviated a great deal of the traffic on the Hudson River crossings, especially the Lincoln Tunnel and the George Washington Bridge, the cost of which Christie totally lied about in order to justify its cancellation. Less traffic means less traffic tickets in places like Fort Lee, where the GWB, as we sometimes call it up here, sits on the Jersey side. Less traffic means less people stopping in the stores of Fort Lee. A new tunnel means less money going to Fort Lee from the Port Authority, which operates the tunnels and bridges, because a pizza pie only slices so many ways.
An endorsement from a strong Democratic mayor would have been the icing on the presidential ambition cake. There was never any doubt Christie would win against Democrat Barbara Buono. And there really wasn't any doubt that he would win in Fort Lee and Bergen County. But girth never lies: Christie wanted more than he needed. "Sokolich owes me. Big time," Christie probably said. "Someone should teach the cocksucker a lesson."
Now that may have been all Christie had to say to send his aides into action. Whatever happened next may have just been implied, a wink to get creative on Sokolich's ass. Or he may very well have said, "Let's block some lanes heading to the GWB on the first day of school and see how he likes that." However it happened, however two of the three local lanes leading to the toll booths on the GWB from Fort Lee got blocked, it was a waste of time, slowed commutes down by hours, and fucked up traffic for days.
And now we know for sure that one of Christie's closest aides, the almost-comically specific named Bridget Anne Kelly, wrote an email to David Wildstein, a crony at the Port Authority, with the almost-comically thuggish command, "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee." Wildstein responded, "Got it." That means a plan was in place to punish Sokolich and the schoolchildren of North Jersey because Wildstein knew exactly what to do.
Notice two things in that exchange. First, they were writing from their personal email accounts. That means they thought they could keep it secret. Second, the date is August 13. School wasn't starting until three weeks later. That means they targeted a time when it would dick over the most people in the most abusive way possible.
Other fun highlights in the documents that Wildstein turned over ahead of an appearance before the legislative committee investigating what can legitimately be called "Bridgegate" include Kelly texting Wildstein while standing in line at a wake, Wildstein mocking a pleading Mayor Sokolich with "Is it wrong that I am smiling?", Sokolich wanting to know what's up because he doesn't want to believe the lane closures are a "punishment" but can come up with no other reason, Kelly dismissing the kids stuck on school buses with "They are the children of Buono voters" (which was dead wrong), Wildstein threatening to retaliate against the New York Port Authority for opening the lanes on their own, and a worried Wildstein emailing with a former Christie deputy (and current state GOP chair) Bill Stepien where Stepien calls Sokolich an "idiot."
There's some argument going on about how badly this affects Christie's presidential chances. While we'll know more after tomorrow, the Rude Pundit is currently in the "fucked to death" camp. Christie lied when he said that no one in his office was aware of what was going on. The best he's got there is a plea of ignorance, although, you know, it totally fits with Christie the Fat Bully image.
More importantly, Christie is already seen as anything from suspicious to traitorous by the conservative nutzoid wing of the Republican Party. One thing about the Tea Party is that they despise when some centralized authority tries to control them. That goes for the president and the states, but it also goes for governors and towns. When Rand Paul runs his first ad about Christie, it'll include Bridgegate and it'll include this fun little time bomb: Christie's threat to use eminent domain to take beachfront property in order to build dunes on the Jersey Shore. You wanna tell the teabaggers you don't care about their property rights because of environmental issues? Good fuckin' luck with that.
Of course, the other not-so-secret secret up here is that Chris Christie is a shitty governor, not the undulating savior of the GOP. He is a narcissistic blob, all about the aggrandizement of Chris Christie, everyone else be damned. He got reelected in a landslide party because of Sandy and partly because the Democratic Party surrendered the governor's race and all but abandoned Barbara Buono.
Christie is a rage-filled, vengeance-seeking caricature of a politician from a school so old that it's laughable to think that someone so Boss Tweed-esque could still exist. Imagine Hillary Clinton putting out an ad about schoolkids stuck on buses and sick people stuck in ambulances. It's over.
So are we done with this mad hippo? Can we finally shoot him with tranq darts and ship him to his inevitable Fox "news" show?