I’ve been outraged and amused by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s “Bridge-Gate” scandal. Outraged because his people thought little of inconveniencing and possibly endangering New Jersey and New York residents by closing three lanes of traffic for four days for political pay back. Amused because of the hypocrisy of the left over the issue.
No, this isn’t about Hillary Clinton and her Nixonian enemies list. It’s not about how Barack Obama slammed the White House door to visits from school children and cut veterans from their memorials as political payback. My point is more basic than that. It’s as basic as being deprived of your ability to go where you want in your car or use perfectly appropriate products. This is about bureaucrats and political apparatchiks who believe it’s acceptable to manipulate the populace and force them to comply with their political whims and fads. Here are a few examples:
Killing car lanes for Choo Choos. Expensive 19th century-esque light rail trains eat up car lanes, slow down traffic, cause more traffic congestion, are more expensive, and deprive people from getting from A to B conveniently. Most of their ridership comes from people who used to ride more flexible buses which also use existing car lanes. This is worse than what Christie’s minions did and was done FOR political purposes. Where’s the outrage?
Take “plastic” bag bans for instance–please. Bag banners lied about
global warming marine mammals eating fishing line garbage island carbon footprints litter bacteria bags to deprive people of the ability to use these convenient alternatives to paper bags. They shut down that lane of traffic, so to speak. Where’s the outrage? Somewhere in a “swirling mass of garbage twice the size of Texas” in the Pacific I guess.
Closing parts of town from car use. Cities across the western United States–Portland, San Diego, LA and, of course, critical mass leader San Francisco– close miles-wide swaths of the cities to cars on several days of the year. They do this to fete bicycle use and deride cars. I don’t have a problem with riding bicycles, of course, but I do mind bureaucrats and political apparatchiks cutting me off from somewhere I may want to go several days per year all because they hate cars. The organization responsible for cyclavia is rooted in ridding the world of cars. Chris Christie’s minions closing three lanes of traffic for political reasons is outrageous and so is this.
Oregon and Washington’s Columbia River Crossing is the more than $10 billion replacement bridge for the old Interstate Bridge, but planners in Oregon won’t allow it to be built unless it includes light rail to Clark County, Washington whose voters don’t want it. Even though light rail does nothing to eliminate congestion, no new lanes are planned for cars. How do the Christie minions closing three lanes of traffic for four days compare to cutting off more car traffic forever?
California governor Jerry Brown is pushing through a multi-billion dollar faux “high” speed train between two small California towns as political payback to unions. To secure federal matching dollars after losing state funds, Brown is using greenhouse gas taxes imposed on businesses. Brown damns California taxpayers to decades of bond service for a train which is neither high speed nor necessary. In cities with light rail, planners eliminate bus routes to force current mass transit users onto the choo choos. What will Jerry Brown have to do to force people to ride his slow speed train to nowhere?
I am outraged by Chris Christie’s screwing with people because they got a political wild hair. If you’re the least bit fair, you’ll agree that these few examples are no less political and no less corrosive. In fact, if you’re honest with yourself you’ll agree they’re worse. As Nancy Pelosi would say, “Embrace the suck.”