A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

My Photo
Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Friday, June 03, 2011

Stupid Republican Tricks: The Saga Continues

Well, once again we have another example of Stupid Republican Tricks, our ongoing continuing series of stories highlighting incidents that make members of the GOP look like stupid sacks of crap. As I embark on this theme again, I ask myself why. Why do these stories captivate the general public so much? Why should I, a lowly humble writer toiling away in the outer reaches of the blogosphere devote so much paragraph space to such idiotic events in our political world?

The answer to the first question would have to encompass the psychology of the masses, a collective primitive need to find fault in others so as to bring them down to our level of perception and/or our basest instinct to topple those from lofty heights down to where they can act like mere mortals such as us. In short, this is definitely master’s thesis territory. As to the second question, my answer is simple: it’s been a short stressful week at work, the antics of these professional politicians are too easy to pass up, and I’m working under a deadline.

Thus, we have the story of Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey, finding himself in hot water this week when he used a state police helicopter to fly himself and his wife to their son’s high school championship baseball game. Some witnesses to the helicopter landing and the governor embarking from the craft duly recorded the event for posterity or the Internet, or Tweetdom, or any number of other media outlets that need photos like these to fill the voracious 24/7 news cycle. Of course, Christie’s critics pounced on the story. After all, wasn’t this the man who has been so critical of the teacher’s union, so eager to let the havenots suffer the results of his state budget cuts, and so friendly to his rich buddies in the business world, now using state resources for personal use? The story made the governor appear to be a huge hypocrite.

The key word here is “appear”. Once again, a politician is caught in a situation that is politically embarrassing. It may be perfectly legal, but it may not be 100% ethical. In any event, Christie’s real problem is the perception among his constituents that he possesses a “Do as I say, don’t do as I do” mentality.

Advice to all future politicians and wanna be pundits: people hate this mentality! This whole incident could have been reported several different ways. It could have been written up for the masses with thought-provoking theories of power and abuse thereof. Or we could — in the spirit of the governor’s handling of the teacher's union, assume the role of school yard bully who resorts to name calling people with whom he doesn’t agree (i.e., the state's teacher's union is nothing more than thugs – I’m paraphrasing here) – reduce such a thoughtful examination to a string of raucous epithet shoutings that could devolve into an elementary school brawl.

Since the governor might want to be looked upon as leading by example, we’ll select option two. Besides, it’ll be much more fun than some stuffy discourse about abuse of power.

So anyway, Lord Pudginess is seen alighting from his taxpayer subsidized air ride and into a rented limousine — which itself was possibly written off as a reward from a grateful populace (not!) — where he rides 300 FEET (or 100 YARDS) to the baseball bleachers. WTF! The common rabble (i.e., New Jersey voters) would have made do by walking the last part of the journey with no artificial means of forward mobility. Also, the common rabble would have made the first part of the journey in a fuel-inefficient SUV! No fancy-dancy whirly-gigs for us, no siree, bob!

Just thinking of the gasoline that was used to tow his fat cat politician's girth is mind boggling! Let’s do the math. Let fr designate “fat rump”, multiplied by the upward draft of the motor blades, divided by the product of the mileage of an average helicopter trip, multiplied by the price of gasoline per air mile...and we soon see a formula which many professional mathematicians would determine to be truly unworkable. Okay, let’s forget the math and just revel in the sight of a huge man taking perhaps unfair advantage of his constituents who have seen their children’s educational opportunities savaged by the governor’s budget cuts.

Yes, this is hypocrisy at its finest!

Of course, the governor and the state have offered several explanations as to why the trip was not necessarily an extra expense to the taxpayers. There was the statement released by the state police that the helicopter would have been in the air anyway as part of its usual homeland security mission. Besides, this is a newer helicopter that must have so many hours of test flying before it can be deemed safe for everyday use. These arguments still didn’t sit well with Christie’s critics. Finally, the governor, tired of the controversy after a few days, ordered the state Republican Party to reimburse NJ for the cost of the ride.

So it appears there is a happy ending all around. The taxpayers get their money back, the governor is humbled and may double his efforts to watch his own back, and Christie’s critics in the media get lots of mileage from the story. Who could ask for anything more? Answer: we all will want more accountability from a government (state and federal) that appears to abuse their constituent's trust. Now the governor knows that many are watching his every move for the next stupid trick he pulls.

(Thank you for reading! Remember, when going to a sports event, consider taking public transportation. Christie probably wishes he had...)


Post a Comment

<< Home