Posted on | March 28, 2014 | 49 Comments
The law firm’s report exonerating (supposedly) Christie says that key Bridgegate player Bridgie Kelly had a “personal relationship” with Christie’s then-campaign-manager, Bill Stepien, a relationship which had cooled — or soured — just before Kelly sent her infamous email, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”
The report claims the affair resulted in Kelly and Stepien barely communicating… and that this might have caused communication breakdowns regarding the Fort Lee lane closings.
“Indeed, that fact may have affected how Kelly and Stepien conducted themselves and whether they communicated about the lane realignment.”
[F]eminists are going to freak out at the (claimed) implication that a woman’s hormones caused all of this. The report doesn’t say that, and doesn’t really imply that, but, you know. You can get there if you really want to.
And MSNBC is going to really want to get there. “CHRIS CHRISTIE’S OLD BOYS CLUB BLAMES BRIDGEGATE ON WOMAN’S LIBIDO.” You heard it here first.
To digress — because I don’t give a damn about Chris Christie and consider speculation about his 2016 prospects absurd — this sheds a helpful light on the “unit cohesion” arguments against gays in the military, or having women in combat roles. Contrary to all the radical egalitarian politically correct bullshit on the subject, this is not an intellectual argument about “equality” or “rights”; it’s an argument about basic common sense and keeping troops alive.
Military success requires troops who are mission-focused and capable of effective teamwork. Introducing sexual tension or romantic feelings to this situation is a guaranteed formula for all kinds of bad outcomes, predictably including many outcomes — e.g., sexual harassment and rape — that the Left abhors. You should read Stephanie Gutmann’s The Kinder, Gentler Military, and you might also try talking to soldiers and their families. The success of the all-volunteer force and reductions in the size of the military mean that fewer and fewer Americans have any idea of what the lives of combat troops are like. And yes, I’m gonna tell a story about my Army son now.
The back of this T-shirt asks, ‘What do you do?’
They were set for one of their periodic training jumps at Fort Bragg, and my son was in the second flight. “Sleep discipline” means a soldier must be able to fall asleep at under any conditions, because sleep is a precious commodity in warfare. My son is naturally excellent in this regard, so while the troops in the second flight were waiting on the tarmac, he put on his Oakleys and nodded off.
He awoke to the sound of shouting: “YOUR RESERVE! PULL YOUR RESERVE! HIT YOUR RESERVE!” Bolting awake, my son looked up to see a troop high overhead falling from the sky. The main chute had failed and, although the falling troop obviously couldn’t hear the men on the tarmac, they reflexively shouted what was almost a prayer, knowing that the impending disaster overhead was something that might just as easily have happened to them.
Thank God, the reserve was deployed in time.
And then, moments later, two troops got their parachutes entangled with each other, and everybody on the tarmac went silent for the second or two it took for them to get untangled from what could have been another deadly situation. The instructors decided to cancel the second flight, and my son didn’t get to jump that day.
Military combat is a lethal business, and even in peacetime training exercises, death is not a possibility that can be ruled out. If you’ve read Scott McEwen and Richard Miniter’s new book about the Navy SEALs, Eyes on Target, you know that the biggest loss of life in SEAL history didn’t happen during a firefight. Fifteen members of SEAL Team Six, Gold Squad, were killed — along with 23 other service members — on Aug. 6, 2011, when a CH-47 helicopter (code named “Extortion 17”) was shot down in Afghanistan by an RPG.
You want to whine about fairness and equality?
Being on the tip of the spear is not the kind of “career opportunity” where complaints about discrimination and “social justice” belong. A liberal democracy cannot vote out of existence the decidedly undemocratic and non-liberal realities of warfare. Attempting to manipulate the armed forces to fit politically correct preconceptions will have a predictable result: Dead troops.
But I digress . . .
The BridgeGate report’s finding that a romantic relationship may have contributed to the mess doesn’t mean that the woman is to blame. It takes two to tango, and workplace romances predictably undermine staff morale without regard to who we blame. Suspicions of favoritism are one common consequence, along with resentments and hostilities and emotional turmoil, all of which are unnecessary distractions from a mission-focused attitude. Are we paying people to do their jobs,
or are we paying them to play hide-the-sausage? When people treat the workplace like a singles bar or a dating website, bad things happen, as the potential destruction of Chris Christie’s political future quite clearly illustrates.
Since we’re doing military-themed digressions, let me close by asking you to read Craig Henry’s excellent post about the dangers of poll-driven optimism leading to Republican overconfidence in the November mid-term election. He references the intelligence screw-up that made the Battle of the Bulge such a brutal surprise to the Allied high command in December 1944.