International Writers Magazine - Our Tenth Year: Reality
The Change Express
The Obama Presidency Under The Microscope
Kennedys rolled into Washington in the winter of 1961, there was
some fanfare, much trepidation, and a long road of uncharted territory,
but it was nothing like this. Cold War, Catholicism, youth, inexperience,
and controversial election results aside; what Barack Obama walks
into now is beyond anything Saucy Jack had to experience.
is quite simply unprecedented. Some of it is good; he is the first candidate
since Ronald Reagan to win a significant victory with the "new"
credential tag, he has the majority of the country's demand for "change"
in his back pocket, and is following a disastrous predecessor. The rest
of it is bad, really bad; a stretched military on two fronts abroad
and a broken economy the likes of which has not been seen in over half
a century at home.
If the inauguration week was not enough of a pressure-cooker,
wherein a tsunami of ethnic, special interest, celebrity and counter-culture
voting blocks exposed their nerve endings over days of hyperbolic pomp,
then the first hours on the job with nearly every single move dissected
and analyzed should do it. The most asinine minutia surrounding a second
"swearing in" for what the administration has called an "abundance
of caution", which ended in the predictably ridiculous harping
on all-things Bible.
There is not much argument that even in its first hours,
this is a presidency like none other, and not because the commander-in-chief
is the most inexperienced since Abraham Lincoln or the first truly Liberal
or obviously the first African-American, but because the Information
Age, which has threatened to break down the doors of governance for
decades, is in full swing. But what do you expect from a 24-Hour harangue
of sound bites, borrowed clips and endless chatter on some ten year-old
falling down a well in Fargo? When real news hits we need updates, explanations
Can you imagine if in the first ten months of The Change
Express we're attacked or if the new guy dares solicit blowjobs from
the help? Not on your life, fella. Barack Obama can do nothing wrong,
save his decision-making, which is always up for fair debate. But pulling
an Iran-Contra or a "Read my lips" moment is hardly an option
here. Not this time, and not now. What were considered nothing more
than carefully structured mea culpas from Big Bill and a colossal host
of "disappointments" for Captain Shoo-In will be nothing short
of catastrophes for Joe Cool.
This is what happens when an entire generation goes bust.
The Boomers were supposed to "change" everything, but instead
ushered The Sixties well into the 21st century with the Clinton and
Bush failures. The chasm caused by the Kennedy/Nixon battle, up through
the culture wars, civil rights marches and women's movement, to the
interminably long and outlandishly criminal Viet Nam conflict muddied
their political genes; a divided country for forty-plus years culminating
in the closest most contested and ambiguously decided national elections
in U.S. history. So now here comes Joe Cool, not only a new ethnic face,
a new ideological face, he is the face of a new and untested, unblemished
This is why the pragmatic, almost robotic nature of Obama
has been on display the second his ass hit the Oval Office chair. Beginning
the Gitmo shutdown and outlawing any mode of torture, freezing government
pay, banning members of his administration from lobbying, and expanding
the parameters of the Freedom of Information Act amounts to more than
a fair start. It certainly beats the hell out of minor tax cuts and
midnight basketball. But if every president is judged on whom he chooses
to accompany him on the ride, there is already much to deconstruct.
Firstly, the president's cabinet is anything but Liberal
or big government. Instead it is pockmarked with moderate Democrats
and Republicans and even one former Bushie. The alarming preponderance
of ex-Clinton types mock the "change" mantra, but appears
as the lesser of the possible evils for the nagging "experience
issue". The best that can be said about this assemblage is its
blatant ignoring of southern accents.
However, a few specifics offer red-faced embarrassment
and outright Sarah Palin lack of vetting. Most pressing is the appointment
of Hillary Clinton to Secretary of State, which by any measure of objectivity
reeks of political expediency and Democratic cronyism. And speaking
of Clinton nightmares, the Eric Holder choice for attorney general with
the stink of the abominably wretched Marc Rich pardon on him does not
make it easy to forget the eventually disgraced John Ashcroft having
once been bested by a dead man. And let's just call tabbing Tim Geithner,
a smarmy tax evader, for Treasury Secretary a bad joke and be done with
Call them hiccups or screw-ups based on your side of the
ideological fence, but agree that they will not go away. These people,
Joe Cool's people, cannot be inept or sneaky or politically motivated
or self-righteous or act merely out of self-preservation. They MUST
function. This is not a rehearsal or a test or a weird kind of experiment.
Barack Obama is the leader of the free world in a time when for the
first time the United States of America is weaker economically, militarily,
and ideologically than it has been since its great leap fifty years
Excuses are past for dupes, half-ass types with insider
connections, or daddy's gaggle of mutants mucking up the joint. This
is not the deal we signed on for, Mr. Obama. No surprises. No bate and
switch. No mediocrity. No quarter.
First time. One time. Every time.
© James Campion Jan 23 2009
long Captain Shoo-In: Our Bedeviled Boy Howdy
final epitaph to the tenure of our 43rd president is that he was far
more adept at procuring the job than actually performing it
Burris Goes to Washington
the case of Roland Burris the next time some prickless dink prattles
on about Founding Fathers and the almighty Constitution, or God given
freedoms and the law-abiding exquisiteness of The System.
The Year of the Guilty
James Campion + Readers letters
nine will be the year of The Guilty. Exoneration is in the air. Free
rides. Hard promises. Credentials for all; particularly those who don't
all rights reserved - all comments are the writers' own responsibility
- no liability accepted by hackwriters.com or affiliates.