“I shudder for New Jersey.”
Don’t we all? It’s a sentiment that could have been straight from the mouth of anyone who has paid attention to the Garden State the past few weeks—or heck, visited the Garden State in the past few decades—up to and including the man in charge.
“Mistakes were clearly made,” said Gov. Chris Christie, when the passive voice was clearly used in comments that were clearly said in his address that was clearly delivered on Tuesday. But after his mea kinda culpa, his message was clearly sent: “I also want to assure the people of New Jersey today that what has occurred does not define us or our state.”
Or does it? After all, that particular pronouncement was uttered—and shuddered—over two centuries ago, at the close of 1776, when British Major Stephen Kemble flinched at the marauding and pillaging of his fellow Loyalists who had just taken control of the “Garden of America” state and were scooping up all the illicit New Jersey booty—and female New Jerseyans—they could carry. “Scandalous behavior,” Kemble called it, way back when.
So by my math, for over two centuries New Jersey has been defined by, well, you name it. Ignominy. Odium. Opproprium. Dirt.
The Sopranos only reflected the tenor of how things are done in New Jersey. They didn’t invent it. And I say that as a fan of both the Sopranos and New Jersey.
We know the governor, despite his popularity and his toe-dips into bipartisanship, has a reputation as a ruffian. (As of this week, 40 percent of New Jersey voters say he’s a bully; the other 60 percent are afraid to.) But for Christie’s deputy chief of staff to be so surpassingly cynical and casually vicious (although I admire her style—“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” is my new favorite war cry, right up there with “but they’ll never take our freedom!”) the whole JamScam affair still prompts endless incredulity. We ask ourselves: How the hell could this happen? How could a political mastermind of Christie’s stature be so dunderheaded as to let himself be exposed to such an obvious abuse of power?
Well, another story that broke this week might just explain it.
Last Sunday, the semi-official Iranian news agency FARS reported something startling about former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, and even more startling about the country he fled. Namely, that among the thousands of state secrets Snowden leaked over the past year, the most revealing has to be the “incontrovertible proof” that America has been run by an “extraterrestrial intelligence agenda” that has been “driving U.S. domestic and international policy” since 1945.
You heard it here first second, folks: The American government is rife with aliens. Snowden said so. According to the Iranians.
Ewoks run domestic policy. The Ferengi handle foreign. And I have to assume ET himself is in charge of the NSA—no wonder they can hear everything when we phone home.
While most sensible people would take anything FARS has to say with a huge grain of uranium-enriched sodium chloride—FARS could easily stand for Far-fetched And Ridiculous Stories—I am not among them. No, sir. Snowden had spilled so many “truths” that seemed implausible; here was a fiction I can believe in. There are aliens among us, and they want our vote. It would, after all, explain so much:
The Wyoming congressman who proposed firing squads to execute that state’s death row inmates, because it’s “the cheapest.”
The disturbed congressional stenographer who went on a bizarre rant about Freemasons before being removed from the House chamber.
Last year’s inconceivable government shutdown.
Next year’s inevitable government letdown.
It might even explain Iran’s recent decision to submit to our demand that they halt their nuclear program—for all they know, we’re the Borg. You don’t mess with the Borg.
If it all sounds too fantastical, keep in mind: 36 percent of Americans believe in UFOs, while the legislative branch’s approval rating is a pathetic 13 percent. Almost three times as many people trust in extraterrestrials than trust in Congress.
So of course Chris Christie is an alien. Who else could manage a two-hour-plus press conference without buckling at the knees? And who else but an alien—or an administration of aliens—would assume it could shut down two lanes on the world’s busiest bridge and no one would care? (Perhaps because where they’re going, they don’t need roads. They don’t have roads.)
Christie is powered by supernatural drive, and it’s only a matter of time before Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones show up, bust the Guv open, and interrogate the tiny alien inside that pulls the levers that control the outsized outer shell that speaks in the passive voice. Here come the Men in Black.
Christie says he’d welcome them; he promised in his State of the State address to comply and cooperate with “all appropriate inquiries.” I’d say an inquiry into whether the big guy is really a little green man might be more than appropriate. And Republicans better hope that the test comes back positive, rather than revealing that Christie didn’t—and maybe doesn’t—know what’s going on around him. Otherwise, as they look toward 2016, the Republican Party is faced with a worst-case best-case scenario: that their ablest, shrewdest, canniest, most strategic thinker is also an unwitting dupe.
And if that’s the case, I shudder for the GOP.