I don’t usually get too excited about political scandals due to their inevitable and foreseeable nature, but this ‘Bridgegate’ thing has gotten me more worked up than a paleoista at a food court. Specifically, I am more than shocked and dismayed that ‘Bridgegate’ is the best name the media could come up with for this nationwide local issue and frankly, whoever invented it should be made curator of the Lame Museum.
Really? ‘Bridgegate’? It’s like the creativity pipes got frozen in the polar vortex of banality and spewed liquid dull all over the floor of the triteroom.
Call me more progressive than my insurance company, but it’s about time we stopped putting ‘-gate’ at the end of anything that hints at the unethical or seemingly naughty-naughty. Other stupid examples include Bill Clinton’s ‘Troopergate’ and Janet Jackson’s ‘Nipplegate’ and Palmolive’s ‘Colgate’. Watergate was over 40 years ago, people. We might as well call this scandal ‘Bridgaquiddick’ or ‘The Bridgpot Dome’ or ‘Bridgedict Arnold’.
As you probably know if you are on the back side of life, the term ‘Watergate’ comes from the name of the hotel into which rich, white Republican operatives broke to get Democratic campaign secrets like “Pretend we care” and “Call Republicans racist.” Once they had these secrets, Nixon won the election handily but later had to admit that he was “not a crook.” He made no mention however, that he was not a big fat liar and so he resigned rather than face impeachment. This of course was back in a simpler time wherein lying presidents were frowned upon.
Since then clever journalists have been using the ‘-gate’ suffix on everything from street cops thinking a bag of steak fajitas were drugs (Fajitagate) to a controversial South Park episode (Closetgate) in order show that they are clever and politically hip. Sorry clever journalists, but it’s time for a hip replacement.
Polls show that 72% of US citizens don’t even know what Watergate is/was, although admittedly 72% of US citizens also think that the US Constitution is a Major League Soccer team. (And the remainder think that MLS is what Lou Gehrig had.) What say we start using scandal suffixes that are at least a little more recent? How about ‘Bridgran-Contra’ or ‘Monica Bridginsky’ or ‘Bridge to Nowhere’?—whoops, that last one is already taken. My bad. But I for one am sick of all the ‘–gates’ (no offense to Bill and Melinda) and refuse to use it in describing the Bridge scandal.
For those readers who do not read anything, this whole ‘Bridghazi’ thing is all about how the ample New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and/or his staff spontaneously closed lanes on the George Washington Bridge leading from New York City into Fort Lee apparently in reaction to some anti-Islamic YouTube video. This created ridiculous traffic problems, something New York commuters got all up in arms about once they were told that this was a different ridiculous traffic problem than usual.
What is especially tragic about Christie’s ‘Bridge-R.S. Targeting’ is that, as with any Republican activity, women and minorities were most adversely affected. It also seems to have prevented needed security forces from reaching our embassy in Libya and caused the Obamacare website from being properly tested before it was launched. And all of this after Christie repeatedly promised that if you like your bridge lanes you can keep them, which prompted Hillary to screech, “WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?!!!”
If you ask me this whole ‘Bridge & Furious’ thing is overblown and everybody should just tone it down and let Christie be beloved like the Christie of old–or at least like the Christie of our boyhood fantasies and a regular in the SI swimsuit issue and married to Billy Joel. I mean, it’s not like he held back Hurricane Sandy aid from Hoboken or closed a DMV for political reasons or anything. Okay, maybe he did those things, but at least he didn’t do anything completely outrageous like paraphrase the Bible. If that were the case, he would definitely deserve to be pretend-suspended until things blew over.
And then there’s the story this week that former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell has been indicted and charged with conspiracy, fraud, and overall waywardness, probably to be called ‘McGate’ but not to be confused with the superdelicious and controversially addicting ‘McRib’. Perhaps most interesting about this story is that McDonnell was recently offered a deal that would have spared his wife from facing any charges, but rejected it.
In a related story, Gov. McDonnell has moved to the couch.
With all this mischievous mischief going on it’s no wonder the latest Gallup poll on all things ironic found that Americans think the government itself is the biggest problem the government faces. If only we had some way of replacing them every few years…