will rogers

In humorist Will Rogers’ day, the slang term “applesauce” was similar to saying something was “horsefeathers,” or — in more modern and less clean terms — bullshit.

Will Rogers knew what he was talking about.

Mark Twain also knew what he was talking about when he shared his thoughts on politics.

twain“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.”

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”

“An honest man in politics shines more there than he would elsewhere.”

I remember when a guy who’s been a good friend for close to 20 years, a longtime co-worker and daily commuting mate for several years couldn’t say enough good things about Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.  In my friend’s mind, Christie was refreshing, someone not afraid to speak his mind, he’d “tell it like he is” while career politicians would only tell people what they’d want to hear, how Christie’s “a man of the people,” he’s “one of us,” just the “kind of person we need running this country.”

I also remember where we were when — during a commute home from work — my friend made me laugh out loud by talking about a study that showed Fox News Channel is the most unbiased news source around.  When I asked him where he got that information, his answer was, “My brother-in-law.”

Needless to say, it got to the point my friend and I avoided discussing current events, or at least those events that involved politics, as much as possible with so much daily contact.  It could lead to some tension.  I don’t think he appreciated the humor I found in statements like “Fox News is the most unbiased news source around” and the hearty laugh he’d hear from me after he’d say it.

I’d be curious to know what my old friend thinks of Chris Christie these days, after the revelations of “Bridgegate” were made last week that Christie’s top aides were found to have exchanged messages calling for traffic problems to be created on the George Washington Bridge between New York City and Fort Lee, NJ, either because Fort Lee’s Democratic mayor didn’t give Christie an endorsement in the 2013 gubernatorial election, or because there’s some bad blood between Christie and state Democrats because of some state Supreme Court justices who were pulled off the bench or denied seats on the bench, all involving some form of political retaliation and the Democratic Senate leader in New Jersey is from Fort Lee … whatever the case may have been.

Meanwhile, for the better part of a week in September, millions of commuters’ personal lives were affected, countless hours of time was lost, countless gallons of fuel were wasted in idling time, public services were delayed, and human lives were put at risk due to delays in emergency response time.  All because of political retaliation in the name of Chris Christie — that “man of the people” who’s “one of us” and is just the “kind of person we need running this country.”

Christie spent about two hours after the revelations were made public last week saying how he’d fired those responsible, how he had no knowledge (after flatly denying in December that any such thing was possible) of any plans to cause such disruption to so many people’s lives, how he was so saddened that such a thing was possible and he wasn’t told the truth about it by his own people.

NJ legislator asserts ‘laws have been broken’

The truth is, Chris Christie is just your typical politician.  I personally believe he’s full of … “applesauce.”  I personally have a hard time believing someone as domineering as Chris Christie has shown himself to be in the public spotlight could attend what had to be numerous meetings involving this matter without demanding that his people tell him the truth if he truly didn’t know anything about it.  After all, the truth generally has a way of coming out and if Christie were smart (which I think he is, like a nasty fox) he would have raised hell and gotten down to the bottom of what was happening with the massive public disruption on public thoroughfares in his state and made damn sure it didn’t happen again instead of making jokes about it when the revelations about his administration’s possible involvement were made in December.

I call “applesauce” on Chris Christie.  With the outbursts he’s had in public when it comes to anyone who’s dared disagree or question him — whether it’s a member of the media or a member of the public he was elected to serve — I strongly doubt that anyone in his administration would make a move that could come back to haunt Chris Christie without Chris Christie having major input in it.  Who would want to make a move that could seriously damage Chris Christie’s public image and suffer that much wrath if he didn’t know it was happening?

I believe it’s only a matter of time before the smoking gun in “Bridgegate” is shown to be held in the hands of Chris Christie himself.  He puts on a good show when the time calls for it, making people believe that he’s a supremely caring human being.  That’s what politicians do.  Chris Christie pulls no verbal punches.  That’s what mean politicians do.

christieChris Christie now looks like a child politician who — when things didn’t go the way he wanted them — decided to take off his clothes and figuratively sit on one end of the George Washington Bridge pouting, while traffic and emergency services come to a standstill for the better part of a week.

Unlike what my friend said about Christie in past years, the man truly does appear to be a typical politician.  He just adds more public bite to his politics.

In the meantime, when Christie’s brand of typical politics is practiced, people’s lives are affected to the point of being endangered.  We need to keep that in mind.

It’s the people who elect children like Chris Christie to public office.  It’s the people who elect children like him to public office who need to look a bit deeper beyond the surface.

It’s time for Chris Christie and politicians like him to pack up their binkies and their blankies and let the adults start getting down to some serious work that actually serves the public interest.

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