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David Gaul
Shelby County Democratic Party Co-Chair

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David Gaul
Donna Clothier
Kathleen Cue


I'm no fan of January, and it's not because of the weather.  Don't get me wrong.  I hate the cold weather and the snow that often goes with it.  There are lots of four-letter cuss words, and "snow" and "cold"  rank right up there with them.  But weather is definitely not the main reason I despise January.

It's the inertia.  The holiday season proceeds at a breakneck pace with lots of things happening simultaneously.  The days grow ever shorter during the holiday season, but the number of things requiring attention tends to multiply.  The momentum at the end of the year builds to a crescendo, and then--suddenly--it all stops.  That's January, the month where we confront another year and contemplate once again all the things that have to be done in that year.  How do we get the ball rolling again?  That's inertia, a principle from physics whereby something that is not moving will remain still unless a force is applied to get it moving again. 

As a farmer, I think about how a new crop will have to be planted once again and all the work that planting a crop entails.  Will the weather cooperate once planting season arrives?  What will the input costs be?  Will everything planted come out of the ground?  Will a big hail storm come and wipe everything out?  Will there be time to cut and bale hay without it getting rained on?  And at the same time, will there be timely rain to keep the crops thriving?  Will weeds refuse to die even after I have spent a small fortune on ensuring their demise?  Will the crop mature in a timely manner?  Will the weather cooperate come harvest time?  Or will I still be out there combining corn as a snowstorm threatens to bury that corn?  Will the farm machinery hold together one more year?  (That never happens.) 

Inertia and January go hand in hand, but occasionally things happen in January that get things rolling once again in a new year faster than is often the case.  Sometimes inertia when confronted by sufficient force is quickly vanguished.  Such a force has arrived!

Thank you, Chris Christie!  You are a godsend.  

The bridge scandal that has been percolating for some time in New Jersey now has finally broken through to the main stream media.  Rachel Maddow on her show has been documenting it for weeks, but it didn't surface for all Americans to see until yesterday.  Now it's here, and somewhere even now in cloistered cloak rooms and in Wall Street board rooms, Republican establishment types are in panic mode.  Chris Christie was their guy.  He was the one that would take them back to the Promised Land.  He was the guy they really wanted last time around instead of Mitt Romney.  He was the one with the clout and personality to take on Hillary Clinton. 

That's all gone now.  POOF!  In an act of utter stupidity, vindictiveness and outright nastiness, Chris Christie has torpedoed his political career.  In the coming days, he may well claim ignorance, but we're not that stupid.  We have all seen the bullying technique of Chris Christie on display, and what has happened with this bridge scandal is in keeping with the persona he has established for himself.  Ignorance does not suit him. 

The ultimate proof of his complicity in this matter has yet to be revealed, but the smoking gun is hiding in plain sight.  When the George Washington bridge lanes were closed and Fort Lee, New Jersey, was gridlocked for four days in a horrendous traffic jam, where was Chris Christie?  If he truly did not know about the plans to close the bridge, why after one day of the traffic jam didn't he get to the bottom of what was going on?  Why didn't he make a phone call or two to the Port Authority of New Jersey where his high school buddy was in charge and order the bridge reopened? 

For four days Chris Christie allowed the traffic jam to fester.  He did nothing.  And that's where he miscalculated.  We have all been in traffic jams at one time or another.  We can all relate to what those citizens in Fort Lee endured.  For over seven years I lived in Los Angeles, and I was in some doozy traffic jams.  Nothing can fray the nerves and fire the temper like a traffic jam.  When caught in them, we know on some level that perhaps it was caused by a wreck or an accident, but even with that knowledge, a traffic jam still makes most of us lose a bit of religion.  The revelation in New Jersey that this particular traffic jam was deliberate, that ordinary folks trying to go about their daily lives were deliberately made to suffer in a nasty game of political retribution is unconscionable and unforgivable.  People don't like to be made pawns.

Today, Christie will face the media.  He will try to repair the damage that he and his people caused.  I doubt the press will be sympathetic.  For many years now Christie has treated the press with mockery, derision and disdain.  Now it's their turn to exact some retribution of their own.

Meanwhile, those aforementioned Republican establishment types are writhing.  Christie is toast, and it's burnt toast.  No need for butter and jam.  He will never be president.  Who's their alternative?  Paul Ryan?  The guy is a loser.  The taint of Romney now stains him forever. 

Christie's demise leaves a vacuum, and the looney fringe stands ready to fill it.  Today, the plagiarist Rand Paul is rubbing his hands together in gleeful anticipation.  The feckless Marco Rubio can hardly contol himself as he reaches for another bottle of water.  The government-shutdown guru Ted Cruz is probably trying to find out for sure whether he's a Canadian or an American.  Maybe Scott Walker in Wisconsin can channel Richard Nixon and bolster his chances to endear himself to the Republican faithful.  And let's not forget old favorites like Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee.  This could get fun.

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Tags:   Chris Christie, Hillary Clinton

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