The presidential election is Tuesday, Nov. 8.
One hundred and ninety days from now.
A tad more than half a year.
Quite a lot, really.
And given that, right now, it looks as if those days—4392 hours — will be taken up listening to, looking at, and thinking about Donald J. Trump, some words of comfort are in order.
I'd like to direct your attention to Chris Christie in the photo above.
Now the governor of New Jersey was never going to be president. That dream vanished when his top aides shut down a few lanes of the George Washington Bridge leading to Ft. Lee in 2013, as some kind of crazy political payback by creating huge traffic jams. Meaning either Christie knew about it and lied about that knowledge. Or ran an administration where henchmen ran riot while he sat in the dark.
And really, which was worse?
The man was a political corpse and didn't know it.
Still, Christie showed up at the Republican debates, delivered his prepackaged zingers and hit his cues. And when it was over he was among the first former opponents to embrace Donald Trump.
As a reward, Trump lets him join the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band album cover melange of models and GOP mercenaries who have drifted over to his banner and are allowed to stand behind him at speeches.
Christie, though, is noteworthy for that expression, that stunned, miserable stare that often comes over his face. I think of that woman trapped in the hive in "Aliens," who croaks "Kill me."
Or—and this is a vague memory—there was some Babylonian king, who kept his enemy, blinded, in a small cage at court. It was something I glanced on a TV historical drama years ago, so might not even be true. I can't dig up any facts on the matter, so maybe you can help out.* But the sight of once egomaniac Christie, deprived of the spotlight, showing his throat to Trump, who dressed him in rags and chained him to a post in the corner, where he crouches, miserable, waiting hungrily for scraps of attention.
That's a beautiful thing. It makes me happy every time I see it, because the obloquy is so well-deserved. The quisling, his head shaved, in a tumbrel, dripping in spit. And perhaps there's a bit of foreshadowing there. It is too much, at this point, to hope that Trump will end up the same way, toothless, ignored and flailing, a male Sarah Palin, spouting gibberish as people avert their faces. He's too rich for that. But it could happen. Some version of that could yet occur. Look at Christie. Really look at him. Whenever Trump is on stage, scan the ensemble of bootlickers and coat-holders and toadies. Find him and be reassured. The wheel turns, and sometimes rough justice does occur. Trump is riding high now, at this moment. But a moment does not last forever. Or so one may passionately hope.
* A Bible-savvy reader, John Anton Weber, offers up the unfortunate I was thinking of, Zedekiah, citing chapter and verse:
"At the end of his eleven year reign, Nebuchadnezzar succeeded in capturing Jerusalem. Zedekiah and his followers attempted to escape, making their way out of the city, but were captured on the plains of Jericho, and were taken to Riblah.There, after seeing his sons put to death, his own eyes were put out, and, being loaded with chains, he was carried captive to Babylon, where he remained a prisoner until he died."
— Kings 25:1-7; 2 Chronicles 36:12Thank you John!
Yep, he attached himself to Trump like a leech, showing his true character and lack of humanity. The two of them deserve each other.ReplyDelete
You're in fine form today Neil -- in one line of text I had to look up three words: obloquy, quisling, and tumbrel. Nicely done!ReplyDelete
The middle one is the most useful. From Vidkun Quisling, the betrayer of Norway. Sadly useful.Delete
Christie could prove a useful assassin for Trump. He did a nice job on Rubio. And he would, I'm sure be treated affectonatately and rewarded, although that doesn;t mean he has a political future. The last we hear of a character who performed comparably for King Lear was "...and my poor Fool was hung."ReplyDelete
Christie reminds me of the Gimp in Pulp Fiction, but at least Trump lets him take off the leather hood in public.ReplyDelete
It's just as I feared, he had a good nights sleep, and awoke in a new state of mind. Christie was doing something very unusual and rare, something almost never accomplished except by coloured people or by a pod person: he was doing really nothing at all. He was merely a state of being. But seriously, the biggest gripe I have with Christie was his unjustified criticism of the Tea Party, post hurricane Sandy. Our congress devised a 50 billion spending bill for the repair of destroyed infrastructure, and direct aid to the victims. Then they proceeded to tack on an additional 40 billion in unrelated spending. When the Tea Party Caucus blocked the bill because it had too much pork, Christie blamed the Tea Party, instead of excessive congressional spending.ReplyDelete
Many Republicans turned their backs on Christie when he dared to compliment President Obama after the hurricane.Delete
No criticism of the Tea Party is "unjustified" IMO. They're every bit as worthless as Christie.Delete
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There is a place in my heart for politicians who make a reasonable effort to get spending under control. All too often spending cuts consists of bitter partisan bickering, GOPers trying to cut Dem programs, and Dems trying to cut GOP programs. The nitwit Bush 43 years saw a meteoric rise in increased spending. I was pleased when President Obama and the Tea Party were able to agree on the sequestration, with spending cuts to the still bloated military budget. If you look at a graph of annual deficit numbers over the last few decades, the improvement is more then worthless, in my opinion. The worthless people in Washington are the lobbyist, a majority of which are busy currying favor with the greedy politicians, who don't mind spending other peoples money. The remainder are corporate lobbyist who encourage legislation that cripples their client's competitors. If you know of any lobbyist seriously trying to control spending in Washington, please bring them to my attention.Delete
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coloured people? did you really say that? jeez!Delete
Hi FME, There is an above average depth of literary knowledge to be found on this website. Most references are obvious, but at times it can take me 5 minutes of Googling to decipher a Tom Evans post. In this case I shamelessly plagiarized from Booth Tarkington's Penrod. There is a frequent call to ban works of Mark Twain. A superficial reading of his works can appear to be racist. It's clear to me Twain was satirizing the romanticism movement, and mocking the liberals of his day for their hypocrisy. So yes, if Tarkington was using Twain's literary devices in the same vein, it is too subtle for me to detect.Delete
I like to think Christie betrayed the Republican Party much as Aaron betrayed God and Moses by constructing the Golden Calf and returning idolatry to the Israelites. The Lord eventually forgave him, but there's no going back for Christie. He'll go down with this modern Golden Calf, never to be heard from again. I hope being reduced to little more than toady is worth the fit of rage again Rubio. But, it was a similar fit against a New Jersey mayor that produced Bridgegate. Christie's lack of emotional control resulted in his well-deserved political demise.ReplyDelete
You have to wonder what Christie's motivation to endorse Trump was. He sold his soul, for what? And the sell out by others continues as they flock to Trump's camp. I keep scratching my head in amazement.ReplyDelete
The President took a great shot at Christie last night during the Nerd Prom: “He RSVP’d for three: him, his wife and Donald Trump’s dry-cleaning. Chris lost a lot of weight recently, didn’t he. He said he just eliminated everything from his routine that wasn’t necessary, like his self-pride and dignity.”ReplyDelete
It was actually Larry Wilmore who said that. But Obama's speech is well worth listening to!Delete
Which reminds me....have we the people whose taxes paid for Sandy relief ever gotten any kind of accounting as to where the money went?ReplyDelete
What a vocabulary! What a great ability to compare current events to historic events. Your writing and insight continue to amaze me — and I’ve been reading you since the Sun-Times was smart enough to hire you!ReplyDelete