Bridges

English: , spanning the Hudson River between N...

English: , spanning the Hudson River between New York City and New Jersey. New York Tower . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bridges are troublesome things; they cost money to build and will fail if not maintained. Some bridges generate controversy, such as the Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska that was to connect Ketchikan to an island where its airport is located, replacing a ferry-boat. In war, rivers form natural defensive lines and bridges across them are natural choke points for advances and retreats. An example of that was the Bridge Too Far in WW2 where the Allies tried to advance too far, too quickly and were halted by the German defenders.

The George Washington Bridge between New Jersey and New York is the latest bridge to make the news. Someone ordered two lanes of traffic on the New Jersey side closed for four days, apparently to punish the residents of Fort Lee, New Jersey, whose Democratic mayor failed to endorse Chris Christie‘s re-election bid. At this time, everyone is denying responsibility, but I expect that the forthcoming investigation will identify a culprit, who will then apologize. It may be that a Christie aide took his boss’s jest for a suggestion to act. Just as Henry 2 of England’s exasperation with the Archbishop of Canterbury led to Thomas à Becket‘s death. Pope Alexander 3 threatened to excommunicate Henry if he did not repent.

Expert testimony is that 10,000s of US bridges are badly in need of maintenance and Barack Obama has asked congress to fund a modest start. Why won’t Congress authorize needed repairs? Because bridge maintenance will generate many jobs and make the President look good. The GOP want to defer job creation until after the 2016 election which they hope to win. In the meantime, many without jobs will remain unemployed, and motorists and others risk life and limb every time they cross a bridge.

It’s not their money

English: , U.S. Attorney, Governor-elect of Ne...

English: , U.S. Attorney, Governor-elect of New Jersey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chris Christie spent $24 million taxpayer dollars to hold a special election in New Jersey that recently elected Cory Booker to the US Senate. Ted Cruz led a government shutdown that cost the economy $24 billion, one thousand times the amount wasted by Christie. At the same time the GOP are moaning about the national debt, the GOP are wasting taxpayer money on schemes they support. And who do they stick with the bill? The 99% who are asked to embrace austerity. The 1% refuse to pay their fair share.

2 wings of the GOP

Jon M. Huntsman Jr. - Annual Meeting of the Ne...

Jon M. Huntsman Jr. – Annual Meeting of the New Champions Dalian 2009 (Photo credit: World Economic Forum)

The Republican Party consists of two wings: the radical (TEA Party) wing, and the rational wing. Marco Rubio and Rand Paul belong to the radical wing and neither person is qualified to be president in 2016. The only nationally known member of the rational wing is Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. Chris Christie is in a category of his own, the irascible wing.

Who will lead?

Governor of New Jersey at a town hall in Hills...

Governor of New Jersey at a town hall in Hillsborough, NJ 3/2/11 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Who will lead the GOP now? Mitt has abdicated, and Chris Christie is too busy with the aftermath of hurricane Sandy. The talkers on talk radio and the pundits on FOX are not qualified and not elected either. TEA Party mavens are losing favor. So who will lead the GOP until someone of stature emerges? I believe that John Boehner will be the leader of the GOP in the foreseeable future. I doubt that he wants to be the leader outside the House, but Mitch McConnell is not now and probably never will be the Senate’s Majority Leader.

2016

Governor of New Jersey at a town hall in Hills...

Governor of New Jersey at a town hall in Hillsborough, NJ 3/2/11 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is not about the anti-Obama propaganda film which I intended to see but did not. I read the book instead. This post is my very early suggestion about who the nominees might be in 2016. It would be ironic if the two major party nominees were the governors of New York and New Jersey, whose states were most affected by hurricane Sandy. Andrew Cuomo for the Democrats and Chris Christie for the GOP. They would be judged, in part, on how well they responded to the hurricane and its aftermath. True leaders rise to the challenge as Rudy Guiliani did after 9-11. It is difficult to tell at this distance, but from here in Utah it appears that Mayor Michael Bloomberg is not meeting the challenge of a devastated Staten Island.

As an aside, I would like to say that Chris Christie, favored by the GOP in 2012, may be opposed by some in the GOP in 2016 for his praise of President Obama. It is a shame that Republicans are punished like Charlie Crist of Florida for speaking the truth.