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For every day and every scandal of his presidency, President Biden could count on unflinching, irrevocable support from the Washington Post and its devoted readers.
That ended Tuesday.
Traffic on one of America’s busiest roads in the Washington area screeched to a halt for hours during the evening rush hour.
Biden was heading out to hit up rich Democrats for hefty campaign contributions at a fundraiser in ritzy Chevy Chase, Md., and Team Biden shut down the Beltway so Biden’s motorcade could travel unseen and unimpeded by any peasants.
The shutdown caused more than five miles of backups and sowed disruptions for hours after it ended.
Local radio host Chris Plante labeled the affair Biden’s Bridgegate.
The story behind the road closure is unfolding but the rage is already on record.
A brief Washington Post report on the incident spurred more than 100 comments.
“Liz Martin” railed: “This was terrible timing, right at rush hour?…. The lack of consideration for us ‘normal people’ is infuriating.”
“Uncle Moe” raged: “4 hours of my life I can’t get back. This has single-handedly cost my capital D Democrat vote for you Sleepy Uncle Joe. . . . If Der Oranj Furor wins by one vote, you know what cost you the election.”
Many commenters were confounded that Team Biden chose to shut the Beltway, the George Washington Parkway, and other major arteries in lieu of a straighter shot.
“Takoma” fumed: “Big Biden supporter here — but what an unnecessary and boneheaded move by the Secret Service. . . . for godsakes, next time just drive up Connecticut Ave. what a ridiculous route. president. There are about a million better and more direct ways to go from the White House to Chevy Chase.”
“bethesdanonpartisan” scoffed: “Why not take the 7-mile most direct route? Because he thinks he’s a king.”
“4realistDC” offered a taxpayer- and commuter-friendly alternative: “Put Joe on the Metro. Then he can hitch a ride with Mayor Pete for the last mile.”
Perhaps even better advice from Wilt69: “He likes to ride his bike so let Joe pedal away on backroads.”
Of course, Biden might still need a large retinue to hoist him up after falling from his bike.
Several commenters were irate that Biden closed down the Beltway during rush hour for personal fundraising.
Asked “Sevenbike”: “Why not have the reception at 8:00?”
A Post reader replied: “Past his bedtime.”
“A Soldier’s Wife” groused that Biden “is so out of touch with us ‘Unwashed’ that he didn’t even know what Rush Hour is let alone when it is.”
The shutdown evoked the usual Twitter teeth-gnashing.
“FlatBranchCreek” groused that it was wrong to shut down the Beltway “during rush hour unless there is [a] death, or was imminent. Whoever authorized this is gonna catch hell.”
That would be a novelty during the Biden administration.
How will the White House spin this debacle?
Twitter’s Barry Allen forecast a new Biden soliloquy: “My dad used to say Joey don’t shut down the damn beltway. And then Beau rest his soul would say” . . .
Many commenters blamed the debacle on the Secret Service, and the agency responded by sprinkling bureaucratic holy water on itself.
Secret Service spokeswoman Justine Whelan declared that the agency “does not specifically discuss the means and methods used to conduct protective operations in order to maintain operational security; however, the agency does work diligently with our state and local partners to make every effort possible to anticipate and minimize potentially adverse impacts to the public and local communities during a protective movement.”
As long as federal officials recite that formula, they are entitled to inflict unlimited, pointless disruptions on the lives of American citizens.
Or was Biden’s Bridgegate so brazen that even members of Congress will ask a few questions?
Tuesday’s chaos was the result of Team Biden’s sense of impunity.
Washingtonians had a tiny dose of what other Americans have suffered since early 2021, from the total disruption along the southwest border caused by the illegal alien influx to the total paralysis that families endured from pointless school shutdowns to placate teacher unions.
How many more boondoggles can Biden survive?
James Bovard is the author of 10 books and a member of the USA Today Board of Contributors.