Maybe Chris Christie's Bridge to Chaos is finally that metaphorical stone fence of right wing belligerence; the high tide of decades of Right Wing intimidation before it was routed by a stalwart, belatedly competent, defense pushing back on all sides. The Christie politics of dangerous bullying, which has a contemporary origin with the made-to-order fake outrages roiling since 1992, but really stretches back to the Ku Klux Klan, Bleeding Kansas, and, before that, to the Tories who threatened the United States even before its turbulent birth, has started--ever so slightly, but perceptibly--to come crashing down amidst righteous outrage, competent prosecution and persistent inquiry of Christie's revenge politics. This new offensive is occurring from the remnants of a press corps that was, by and large, willing to abet the miserable failures of the Christie Administration. They delighted in his rages and retaliation while never fully reporting his abject failure as chief administrator in the state. For those who want to trumpet the successes of Boss Christie, let me invite you to downtown Camden for tea and crumpets. Their complicity and passivity made for an interesting horse race, but it hurt countless citizens. Here's hoping we can reclaim our national soul.
More after the Fold
Let’s recount only some of the bullying we have as a country endured without sufficient consequences for the felons just since the last bit of shared prosperity we lost in 2000:
1. The theft of the 2000 election through intimidation. The Brooks Brothers riot halted the recount process and gave the Supreme Court the opportunity to illegally intervene in a state electoral decision; Gore himself was intimidated from asking for a full and complete recount. The press was also intimidated into not vetting a dangerously incompetent candidate with a long history of moral lapses and failure. He became President.
2. The acceptance of propaganda as media, made possible through consolidations, dark money, and federal acquiescence.
3. 9/11. It was the product of epic incompetence or malfeasance. No one was ever brought to justice for the complacent conduct prior to the attack due to the intimidating executive power of the out-of-control president. Bush demanded and was allowed to only testify at the same time as Dick Cheney before the oddly passive commission supposedly probing the disaster. The chain of neglect prior to the disaster was swept under the rug and the Patriot Act and other enabling laws allowed the Administration to jail or beat down its critics.
4. The Patriot Act
5. The suspension of habeas corpus,
6. Torture, unlimited incarceration
7. Extraordinary rendition
8. Universal suspension of the 4th Amendment transpired
9. Plamegate. Fair game, eh Rove?
10. The conduct of official business “off net” on commercial servers which allowed the administration to break laws in super-Nixonian ways, accidentally lose all the computers, and never suffer through the jail time that was called for in Rico and other statutes.
11. The whole lead-up to the epic human disaster of Iraq was the product of bullying, lying and intimidation abetted by the press.
12. Abu Ghraib Prisoner of War abuse; a human rights POW disaster on a scale not seen since the right wingers lost the battles around Andersonville.
13. The 2004 suspension of voting opportunities throughout minority and democratic precincts in Ohio—that surely swung the election again, but was so excessive, it sparked a fire of outrage and monitoring which helped hold the line in 2008 and 2012 in the general elections.
14. The U.S. Attorneygate scandal which brought us Chris Christie
15. The acceptance of radicalized, front organizations like the “tea Party” by the larger media, who increasingly menace the right of peaceable assembly
16. Citizens United allowing the wholesale purchase of federal elections by unaccountable, unseen and monied forces—some of whom are foreign interests, which by law are not allowed to intervene in our elections ( but was rammed through with the further bullying malfeasance of the right wing Supreme Court majority).
17. The complete theft of resources in the economic calamity that has remained in GOP-intimidating full throat since 2008.
18. ACORN. Right wing intimidated an organization which allowed the poor and under-represented access to the vote was hounded and bullied out of existence while progressives reeled.
19. Gun apocalypse. Every mass shooting makes the NRA stronger as they pour money into places victimized by their hobby.
20. Abortion, birth control and women’s reproductive rights. They have bombed, bullied and threatened Planned Parenthood throughout America.
21. The faux summer of outrage against universal health care. Remember 2009? The paid disruptive bullies who may not actually be who and what they said they were? And yet, the meme was "stop us before we are as healthy as Europe!" God forbid.
22. The violent and dangerous reaction to Occupy Wall Street. Deaths, mayhem, pepper spray and jailed out of existence. On public property
23. The suspension of democracy in Wisconsin and Michigan. Contract-run cities who remove elected officials. Really happened.
24. The abrogation of the useful provisions of the Voting Rights Act during a chaotic time of racial unrest and inequality unseen since the 60s.
25. The undeserving poor meme. Let’s intimidate a whole class of people and take away their right to vote. Maybe make them take drug tests without probable cause. Maybe they’ll incriminate themselves.
26. Austerity as the only way forward. Um, yeah. How has that worked out? Anywhere, anytime, in HUMAN HISTORY? Just not enough to go around. Let’s “tighten our belts.” Tighten your belt means you are starving to death. That is a stark, harsh, and truthful reality. Not a metaphor. Repeat. Not a metaphor.
27. Human caused climate change.
28. The epic oils spills.
29. The attacks on Green energy by the oil interests. Solyndra! Solyndara!
31. The IRS scandal that isn’t—they should be denying partisan front groups tax free status and ensuring foreign money isn’t corrupting our political system
32. Rinse repeat attacks on progressives who actually haven’t done anything wrong. Who wants to be Secretary of Agriculture? Health and Human Services? Anyone??
33. The Debt Ceiling. Literally threatening to destroy the country and darkly hinting they have the guns to do it
34. Shutting down government
35. Stopping checks and food assistance to the needy at a time when corporate profits and the wealthy are at all-time scandalous highs. Let them eat Yellow Cake.
36. Stopping unemployment benefits while sabotaging the economy.
37. Sabotaging the functioning of the Executive Branch
38. The Sequestration which imperiled National Security spun as a good thing. More belt tightening
39. Blaming President Obama for the state of the economy that was sorely ravaged by tax breaks for the wealthy and generalized, sometime willful economic incompetence
40. The real Bridge to Nowhere. Christie’s Crime of Passion.
This is a list that can be amplified a thousand times in every locality in America, from Marysville Missouri to HOAs in Florida. I applaud the New York and New Jersey Press on finally digging in and presenting an organized defense against the treachery of a bullying and belligerent right wing. It came only after they wet themselves in fear over the past 22-years, from Oklahoma City to Tallahassee. But this outrage, which had a very human toll and was every bit as callous as Boss Christie suggested, should elicit at long last a new breath of freedom in a country humbled and faltering from Oligarchical collusion. I should add that cowering Democrats have sometimes surrendered in advance of likely intimidation--surely the most disheartening aspect of the past several years.
I am tired of intimidation and Issa.
I am tired of the Koch Bothers (o.k.; brothers then!) speaking through shills.
I am tired of right wing sock-puppet trolls and their fake Facebook pages, puffing themselves up to seem as if they are more numerous than the feeble numbers of cowering fools they incite to violence.
Let this begin the counter information campaign. Stop funding, abetting or tolerating propaganda. Push back. Subpoena, try, and jail felons who violate the public trust. And let’s raise the damned revenue we need from the very rich. Let’s tax the HELL out of unaccountable corporations unless they hire people and contribute their profits to the greater good. Let’s tariff goods and services we can’t produce anymore due to outsourcing. Let’s tax fossil fuels much, much more so green alternatives will miraculously come out of hiding. Let’s do what we need to do to feed, clothe, and nurse the needy and Middle Class of this nation—you know, like Christ intended. Let’s not be intimidated to argue at the margins of nonsense; rather let us consume ourselves in the fight for justice. And for God’s sake, let’s start an Apollo-like employment program to clean the damned planet. Let’s start at Fukushima and finish somewhere in Antarctica.
Quick edit: my first rec; thanks to all in this community. My intention was that this list of transgressions, like a certain Declaration, would be appended. It should be noted that I wrote the list without references, deciding on 40 more contemporary outrages--a list most of us here could recite by heart. Let's act for change. Meager dollars en masse can help. 2014 is here.